Kieran Davies looks back on seven days of head calling, Desmonds, and string pulling,
It’s a tough call which team would be in line for performance of the week in the Premier League and all it depends on your disposition. Diego Costa may look like he’s older than Didier Drogba but he’s taken to this league like a duck to water. Firing a hat trick against Swansea gave Jose’s men the only 100% record left standing this early in the season. After going behind to Terry’s own goal, Chelsea bounced back to take their goal tally to an unbelievable 15 goals in only 4 games! Costa however seems according to his boss only able to play once a week at the moment and they missed his midas touch in front of goal as they were left to rue not taking chances when Huntelaar broke to equalise and give the Germans a piece of the pie to take home. Meanwhile, Paul Lambert yet again got one over Brendan Rodgers’ side in their own backyard. Tactically Lambert set his side out perfectly to negate Liverpool’s attacking play. Taking an early lead, playing two deep banks of five players whenever the Liverpool back four received the ball from Mignolet they seemed incapable of breaking this Villa side down. Some would say he copied Mourinho’s tactics from last season just with a less talented group of players but either way this was an impressive 3 points to continue their impressive start to the season.
Liverpool fans will be slightly concerned in their lack of a ‘plan B’ still but personally I’m more concerned at the lack of intensity in the attacking play. Last season they came out of the blocks and came at their opponents in wave after wave but that has so far this season been replaced with a passing game with no penetration. It’s still early I know but fans will hope this is something Rodgers is addressing. The excuse of players needing time to ‘bed-in’ doesn’t wash with me as that what the pre-season is for. These players are earning more weekly than most of us would in a number of years of less pleasurable labour, they should always be giving 100%. They were again frustrated in Europe in the week against considered weak opposition but Super Mario seemingly got them the points late on before the reds defensive frailties were exposed with the visitors grabbing a 90th minute equaliser. Cometh the moment, cometh the iceman. Liverpool immediately won a penalty which was as ever coolly finished by Steven Gerrard. Tough on the minnows but this is the beautiful drama of those Champions League nights at Anfield.
Elsewhere, Arsenal and Man City played out an entertaining ‘Desmond’ in the early kick off. That’s 2-2 to the oblivious. Both sides will have been pleased with a point out of the game but maybe will rue not taking all three as they both carved out chances. Both were defeated on the road in Europe making their progression through the groups a little bit tougher. Everton picked up their first win of the season with Romelu Lukaku coming back to haunt his old side West Brom which seemed to be the confidence boost needed to follow that up with a convincing return to European football against Wolfsburg. Toffees fans will see the Europa League as a viable trophy to chase this season no doubt. The last time this happened the same year Clive Sinclair released his Sinclair C5, Paul Castellano was shot on the orders of John Gotti, Live Aid was happening in London and Jennifer Rush was number one with ‘The Power of Love’. Time will tell.
Tottenham will feel disappointed with throwing away the lead twice away at The Stadium of Light. An unfortunate own goal accredited to Spurs gifting Sunderland an equaliser to the joy of Gus Poyet. They went on to manage a point away in Belgrade in the Europa League and should have enough quality to qualify from their group.
Pochettino’s old side continued their good form since an opening day defeat away to Liverpool with the demolition of Newcastle. Pelle seems to be adapting to the pace of the league better than his namesake did with erectile dysfunction. The magpies looked woeful at times and you have to feel for the fans who paid all that money and made that long arduous journey. Yet again calls for Pardew’s head ring out but Ashley gave him a 300 year contract after one good season obviously mistaking him for a Highlander and cannot afford to buy him out of it without putting the price of Sports Direct goods up in line with Harrods.
Man Utd won their first game of the season at home against the dreadful travellers QPR. Obviously the 4-0 win against the worst team in the league has been seen as the sign for most fans that 20 years of dominance begins here and the league is in the bag. That aside Di Maria seemed to pull all the strings and any team wishing to beat them will need to keep the Argentine quiet. As all the big sides took on European adventures, United had a massive result in Iceland. They not only spotted Peter Andre filming a new advert but got 50 lamb burgers for £1 too. They then all went over Wayne Rooney’s house where Colleen had put on a buffet for them to watch the Champions League, good times lads.
Leicester had a great result winning at Stoke which is no easy feat in recent years for any club and their fans also enjoyed a debut appearance from the bench of Esteban Cambiasso. Imagine telling a foxes fan 5 years ago he’d be playing for them as he was winning a Champions League final with Inter Milan. Kudos! Palace had a hard earned draw at home against Burnley and have Julian Speroni to thank for a world class penalty save in the final minutes after Palace had spurned chance after chance to take the lead. Burnley for their part countered and created opportunities but may feel hard done having missed the penalty. Hull and West Ham shared the spoils in a goal laden draw. This weekend has a stand out game to look out for with QPR taking on Stoke. No I joke, Man City taking on in form Chelsea. It will be an interesting encounter hopefully Jose’s bus is a thing of the past as they’ve played fantastic attacking football this season and could outscore most teams. All will take heart in their back line which is still easily opened up with their attacking full backs leaving gaps for opponents to exploit. No doubt there will be more surprising results in what is lining up to be the most competitive of seasons, Chelsea march on with a 100% record to Manchester while Liverpool and Everton best flew the flag for England in Europe this week, many sides will be looking to get their seasons back on track with wins before rivals start pulling away from them.