5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend
There were plenty of talking points
Manchester City and Manchester United both maintained their position at the top of the Premier League this weekend.
City thrashed Crystal Palace 5-0 to pull away from their local rivals on goal difference.
At the other end of the table, Palace remain rooted to the bottom. And West Ham United’s loss to Tottenham Hotspur piles more pressure on Slaven Bilic.
Here are five of the big talking points from the weekend’s action…
Reds’ defence could cost them
Liverpool’s attacking prowess will cause plenty of problems for opponents this season.
Their problem is that the good work going forward is often undone by their poor defending.
Simon Mignolet was at fault for both of Leicester City’s goals in the Reds’ 3-2 win on Saturday.
The goalkeeper also gave away a penalty, though he did redeem himself by saving Jamie Vardy’s spot-kick.
Mignolet didn’t cover himself in glory at the King Power Stadium. However, he’s often left exposed by the players in front of him.
Jurgen Klopp needs to address the issues at the back if his team are to have any chance of winning the title.
Tottenham finding a way without Dembele
Mousa Dembele’s long-term foot injury means that Tottenham Hotspur have had to find a way to play without him.
The midfielder’s ability to breeze past challenges and move the ball around has been key under Mauricio Pochettino.
However, he hasn’t started any of the last three league games. In his absence, Spurs have tweaked their system and have picked up seven points out of nine.
Dembele’s misfortune has finally opened up a clear role for Moussa Sissoko in central midfield. Eric Dier screens the defence, giving the France international licence to carry the ball forward at speed.
Lukaku leading the way
Manchester United drew 15 games in the top flight last season, more than any other side.
They weren’t at their best against Southampton on Saturday. It’s the type of game they’d have drawn last term.
This year they have Romelu Lukaku though. The big-money signing gives them a greater cutting edge. His sixth league goal of the campaign was enough to pick up three points on the South Coast.
Jose Mourinho’s team have been very impressive for most of this season. But Lukaku can help them grind out the ugly wins that lead to titles.
Morata steps up for Chelsea
After Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, some pundits observed that it was the sort of game where Diego Costa could have made a difference.
Alvaro Morata has undoubted talent, but does he have Costa’s killer instinct?
Following Costa’s return to Atletico Madrid last week, Morata responded to his doubters with a superb hat-trick against Stoke City.
His second goal was the pick of the bunch. The Spain international turned Darren Fletcher inside and out before curling into the far corner.
Morata and Eden Hazard haven’t started a game together for the Blues yet. They could be devastating together when they do.
It could get worse for Crystal Palace
New Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson will take heart from his side’s first-half display against Manchester City.
Palace were well-drilled and disciplined. They almost took the lead too when Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s deflected effort hit the post.
However, they had no response after Leroy Sane opened the scoring just before the interval.
City then cruised to a 5-0 win.
The Eagles face Manchester United and Chelsea in their next two outings. They’ve yet to score or get a point in league action this term.
They could become the first Premier League side to lose all of their opening eight games.
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