In the latest round of Premier League action, several compelling storylines emerged. Here are some of the standout moments:
Maguire and Fernandes answer critics
Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes faced heavy criticism this season but responded in style during a crucial 1-0 victory against Fulham on Saturday. Maguire, who played a crucial role in the absence of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, showcased his defensive prowess and composure on the ball. Manager Erik Ten Hag praised Maguire’s performance, raising questions about his place in the first team. Meanwhile, Fernandes, who had faced doubts about his captaincy, displayed focus and determination, delivering a late winning goal to secure three vital points.
Doku yet another puzzle for Man City’s opponents to solve
Winger Jeremy Doku dazzled in Manchester City’s 6-1 triumph over Bournemouth, reinforcing his reputation as a formidable challenge for opposing defences. Doku contributed a goal and four assists, demonstrating his ability to make wise decisions in one-on-one situations. While Erling Haaland’s injury prevented him from benefiting directly from Doku’s brilliance, his quick thinking led to Phil Foden’s goal. Doku’s impact promises to unlock opportunities for his teammates as Manchester City continues to unleash their attacking talent.
VAR under attack again
VAR found itself under scrutiny once more, with questions raised about its application. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta criticised the officiating as “a disgrace and embarrassing” following a controversial 1-0 loss to Newcastle. The decision to allow Newcastle’s goal to stand after a triple VAR check led to heightened scrutiny of the referees’ body (PGMOL). Arsenal backed Arteta’s assessment, urging the PGMOL to review refereeing standards and VAR’s use in the league.
Bleak outlook for Burnley
Burnley’s poor home form casts a gloomy shadow over their Premier League survival prospects, making them the first club in Premier League history to lose their first six home games after a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. While Vincent Kompany’s side displays neat football, they lack the essential components in both penalty areas. Kompany remains committed to their current approach, determined to extract the best from his team.
Mbeumo leading crippled Brentford’s charge
Despite numerous absences, Brentford remains competitive in the top half of the table, largely thanks to Bryan Mbeumo. With Ivan Toney suspended and Kevin Schade requiring surgery, Mbeumo has taken on the role of leading the attack, guiding Brentford to three consecutive league victories. The Cameroonian international, who has scored six goals and provided two assists, displayed his dynamism in a rain-soaked match as Brentford overcame West Ham United 3-2.