What happened in the English Premier League this weekend? Almost everything.
Liverpool lost points again and were a little lucky to get one from struggling rivals Everton. Man City dominated Aston Villa, but came out with a draw. Manchester United beat Arsenal to end another perfect start to the Premier League season.
Oh, and VAR. This is a big topic. Chelsea got three points instead of one, while the fortunes of Newcastle stopped in the same fate for some reason?
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Here’s a look at 10 highlights, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Andy Edwards (AE) and Nicholas Mendola (NM) share their observations across the latest PL games.
[ VIDEO: PL highlights ]
Let’s go to it.
10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 6
1. Aggressive United shake Arsenal’s talented youngsters (Manchester United 3-1 ArsenalIn waves, Arsenal’s strikers pulled United all over. But it was United’s outright aggression that brought Arsenal down over the course of the 90 minutes. McTominay faced challenges, and Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane continued to fly away in Gabriel Jesus, Diogo Dalot and Terrell Malacia, both of whom never stopped climbing up and down the wing. Arsenal’s young team was very impressive but United beat them. (JPW)
2. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology leaves many questionable opinions, what is clear and obvious (Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace | Chelsea 2-1 West Ham): Let’s start north, where Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita shook Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock on what appeared to be a Terek Mitchell own goal precisely because Mitchell pushed the flailing Magby into the keeper. There was a question as to whether the referee had only seen the angle the broadcast made him revise or if he had seen other points of view that showed a very clear push. Was it difficult enough? It looked certain, and Newcastle were denied the green goal in a play that hardly seemed to require a correction…
Then there was the London derby between Chelsea and West Ham. Chelsea goalkeeper Edward Mendy’s soft attempt to keep the ball out of danger saw Jarrod Bowen jump and pin the goalkeeper’s arm in his path. Mendy stayed on the ground, holding his arm, as West Ham’s Maxwell Cornet collected the rebound and hit the ball over the 90th to give West Ham a 2-2 scoreline. But wait! The VAR asked referee Andy Madley to understand the potential error, which no Chelsea player had objected to. Spurred by the suggestion, the referee now sees something in Bowen’s jumping back foot pulling into Mendy and calling in the goal. Surprising if not shocking, Chelsea got their big break. The Premier League has reportedly apologized to the two clubs it offended, which doesn’t help them at the table. (nautical mile)
3. Haaland could break the record for Premier League goals (Aston Villa 1-1 Man City): It might really be. Erling Haaland goes on to score 63.3 goals in his first league season with Manchester City. He won’t even get 50, but we have to consider 40 as a legitimate option: Haaland has scored 10 times in six matches. That is if he remains selfish, because the Norwegian seems more comfortable playing possession, bowing to his teammates at times on a day when he could have had assists. (nautical mile)
4. A stranger is going down this year, and Leicester has to absorb that (Brighton 5-2 Leicester): The Foxes have won the Premier League in recent memory and competed in European competition more than once. But the investment, the relative strength of two newly promoted clubs and a pair of wins for a third seem to suggest that we have reached an era when a more traditional club could fall back into the Premier League this year. Leicester’s defense was devastated on Sunday. There’s no other way to put it, and it’s fair to say that the Foxes as they are currently built will likely be in a relegation battle all season. (nautical mile)
5. Richarlison influences every game he plays (Tottenham 2-1 Fulham): Richarlison has played all 167 PL minutes this season, including 90 in his first game on Saturday, and it’s already clear he’ll beat one of Dejan Kulusevski or Son Heung-min on a regular starting point sometime soon. Sure, the Swede and the Korean apply themselves defensively to a satisfying degree for Conte, but Richarlison takes the gritty part of the game to a whole different level. No longer forced to take on the relegation-threatened side as the main striker, the Brazilian has injected energy and strength into a team that sometimes lacked those key intangibles in the past. Out of possession, he’s a midfielder looking for the ball. In the event of possession, appeared in dangerous areas to connect and facilitate play in a flowing manner to me Ken, not always through him. (AE)
6. The injury of the injured Liverpool team extended to its limits (Everton 0-0 Liverpool): Liverpool looked tired after their dramatic midweek win over Newcastle. Jurgen Klopp started with youngsters Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott in midfield, and Liverpool were never really in control of the match. However, Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez all managed to win. All in all, the draw was a fair result and Jurgen Klopp will pay tribute to the efforts and commitment of his strong team. The Reds are making a trip in the UEFA Champions League to Naples to start their midweek and weekend marathon pretty much from here until the World Cup in November. Liverpool simply cannot have more injuries. That’s why Robertson started and Alexander Arnold was fired. But the biggest impact of injuries was in midfield as Liverpool were unable to control the match. (JPW)
7. Produced by Evan Toni as one of the best players in PL (Brentford 5-2 Leeds): Six games per season, Tony has five goals and two assists to his name after hitting 12 and 5 last season. There’s a lot Toni does with Brentford, and a lot of it doesn’t show without delving into the advanced stats, and although it is well and good that he is in control of the air and able to hold the ball against any defender in the Premier League. , it is the “put the ball in the back of the net” part of his job that separates the bees from the other sides in the lower half of the PL hierarchy. He’s virtually automatic from the penalty spot, he’s a free-kick scorer and he’s as composed and confident as anyone anywhere on the field – and that was demonstrated by his first hat-trick in PL on Saturday. (AE)
8. A little luck finally arrives before the tough race for the Wolves (Wolverhampton 1-0 Southampton): They deserved to win a few games this season but they weren’t so lucky. He was with them on Saturday. From Bowdens’ blistering shot to the amazing Che Adams foul, the Wolves dug deep and worked harder than ever and they had to rub the green. They are now facing Manchester City, Liverpool and some pressure outside of Lage after their first win in 13 Premier League games. Given their performance, there’s no way they should have been that far but my word, are they glad it’s over. (JPW)
9. Gary O’Neill demands a job at Bournemouth (Nottingham Forest 3-2 Bournemouth): He’s had some impressive stops (including for the Liverpool U23s) in his coaching career so far and O’Neill has plenty of experience in the Premier League as a player. He’s now using it at Bournemouth and his players have responded to his tactics and tactics within a few days. He switched his formations in the first half to 3-52 and did a great job as Bournemouth hit Forest’s wingers. He may not get the top job this time around but O’Neill is betting on his claim to be an important part of the coaching staff at Bournemouth, or elsewhere in PL, in the future. (JPW)
10. The villa looks good for Steven Gerrard under fire (Villa 1-1 Man City): the goal came from nothing and so, in a sense, the act of performance. Steven Gerrard was willing to appreciate his team’s efforts in their losing career, preferring to put the blame on the club’s mistakes instead. There were far fewer than the latter on Saturday, as Emiliano Martinez and Tyrone Mings kept the defense unit as cohesive as possible and ready to counterattack. Indeed, Villa would be saddened by their lack of a 2-1 lead with Philippe Coutinho’s offside goal which was not, but it is impossible to know if City would react differently to the Brazilian’s shot from distance. (nautical mile)