Premier League talking points: Mixed Man United and Chelsea revival
We look at the weekend’s top-flight action
The dust has settled on another exhilarating weekend of Premier League action, and the Coral News Team are back to examine the big talking points.
Chelsea and Liverpool retained their perfect records at the top of the table, while there was also joy for Jose Mourinho’s men in Hertfordshire.
Those are just some of the big issues covered below…
Watford visit shows best and worst of Man United
Jose Mourinho’s side eased the pressure on their boss with a second consecutive win, away to Watford.
United’s 2-1 win in Hertfordshire came courtesy of a performance which showcased the biggest strengths and most notable concerns in the visitors’ ranks.
In the first half, United were superb. Paul Pogba’s slick passing, Marouane Fellaini’s ball-winning and an outstanding all-round turn from goalscorer Chris Smalling seemed to have them out of sight at 2-0.
But once again, instead of going for the jugular – United sat back. And after conceding an avoidable goal early in the second-half, a nervy Red Devils side needed the heroics of David De Gea to save the points.
Wasteful Terriers must recruit strikers in January
Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner must be tearing his hair out at present.
Ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Crystal Palace, the Terriers had registered 103 shots in their first four Premier League goals – and scored just once.
It was more of the same this weekend. Huddersfield racked up 58% possession and recorded 15 shots. But they got just two on target, and were punished by Eagles star Wilfried Zaha.
Huddersfield definitely have creativity in midfield and a decent backline. But Wagner must add a proven goalscorer in January if they’re to defy odds of 4/9 for relegation.
Defensive lapses prove Spurs’ Achilles heel
Whether it was just an off-day for Tottenham Hotspur’s defence, or caused by the absence of Hugo Lloris in goal, their backline looked very shaky on Saturday.
As for Lloris’ replacement Michel Vorm, he was no better. In truth, visitors Liverpool could easily have netted four or five on another day – but ended up with a 2-1 win.
The Reds’ first came via a corner, initially produced by a defensive mix-up. And the Spurs shambles continued with a poor punch by Michel Vorm leading up to Georginio Wijnaldum’s first ever Premier League away goal.
Things didn’t improve for the hosts, with a clumsy attempted clearance setting up Roberto Firmino for the visitors’ second. The likes of Sadio Mane and Naby Keita were also given the freedom of Wembley with chances, but failed to convert.
Fantastic Fraser leaves Foxes reeling
AFC Bournemouth were in electric form at the weekend, racing into a 3-0 half-time lead against Leicester City at the Vitality Stadium.
Diminutive winger Ryan Fraser was at the heart of everything the Cherries did right.
The 24-year-old should have been given a penalty in the opening 15 minutes, but quickly put the situation behind him with two first-half goals. The first was a truly magnificent curling strike, with his second a cheeky nutmeg of Kasper Schmeichel.
Good on the ball, pacy and with a clinical strike, the Scotland international was their key man once again as the hosts racked up a 4-0 win.
Blues comeback shows resilience
Chelsea found themselves stunned at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as Sol Bamba’s finish from a neatly-worked free-kick put Cardiff City 1-0 up early on.
However, Maurizio Sarri’s men bounced back from a difficult start in a manner that the Blues failed to produce under former boss Antonio Conte.
Hat-trick hero Eden Hazard ran the Welsh club ragged with his fine footwork, whilst the powerful Willian looked superb after replacing a patchy Pedro.
The West London club look like a totally rejuvenated force this term, and sit top of the table with a 100% record. As it stands, Chelsea are 9/1 to win the Prem.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing