Manchester City Hands United a Reality Check
Cautious optimism had returned to Manchester United after three successive wins in all competitions but reality hit home hard as Manchester City outclassed them in a 3-0 win on Sunday. In the words of an observer, “Those victories against Brentford, Sheffield United, and FC Copenhagen were hardly convincing, and United’s glaring weaknesses were cruelly exposed by Pep Guardiola’s champions.”
As United’s title hopes dimmed, defeat left them eight points off the top four and 10 points from the bottom three, reflecting their current position of “mid-table mediocrity.” To emphasise the significance of this, one can’t help but recall the last time United found themselves in this dire situation, back in 1986. The pressure mounts on Dutchman Erik ten Hag, who, although not likely to meet the same fate as Ron Atkinson, now finds himself under scrutiny.
Chelsea Falls Short Despite Dominating Brentford
Chelsea had enjoyed two away wins followed by a draw at home to Arsenal, but manager Mauricio Pochettino was back at square one on Saturday after they dominated Brentford but lost 2-0. Pochettino acknowledged the issue, stating, “We need to be clinical and score more goals. This is what is missing. We need to keep believing.”
The expensive Chelsea squad has netted only 13 goals in 10 Premier League games, with seven coming against Luton Town and Burnley. Frustration grows among Chelsea supporters as their attack struggles to find the back of the net.
Nketiah’s Hat-Trick Rewards Arteta’s Trust
While some Arsenal fans had doubts about Eddie Nketiah’s ability to be a top-notch striker, manager Mikel Arteta’s faith in the local boy paid off as Nketiah secured a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Sheffield United on Saturday. Nketiah has been a key figure in Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, and despite a brief spell on the bench, he demonstrated his goal-scoring prowess when given the chance. With Gabriel Jesus sidelined due to injury, Nketiah is set to get more opportunities to silence his critics.
Liverpool’s Attack Passes the Test with Flying Colours
Liverpool faced Nottingham Forest on Sunday, and their attack shone, scoring two beautiful team goals in a comfortable 3-0 win. In both instances, they won the ball in a dangerous position and executed precise teamwork. A deflected shot by Darwin Nunez set up Diego Jota for the first goal, while Nunez found the net himself in the second. Liverpool’s ability to break down compact defences and string five players across the back demonstrated their strength in selfless running and precise passing, setting them up for future success against defensive setups.
Everton’s Changing Fortunes on the Road
A notable aspect of Everton’s recent struggles has been their poor away form. However, under the management of Sean Dyche, there are signs of improvement. Everton secured a 1-0 victory at West Ham United, marking their third away win in four games across all competitions. These wins included triumphs at Brentford and Aston Villa, both challenging places to secure a result. The only exception was a 2-0 loss to Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Anfield, a match in which Everton displayed a commendable performance.