Another rip-roaring weekend of Premier League football has been and gone. The second round of fixtures threw out plenty of drama and talking points as the new season begins to click into gear.
Here’s a look at five things we learned from the action…
Kevin De Bruyne back to his brilliant best
Injuries limited De Bruyne to just 19 appearances in the Premier League last season, as Manchester City were robbed of arguably their most creative player. The talented Belgian was well and truly back to his impressive and devastating best on Saturday though as City were held to 2-2 draw with Spurs.
VAR will sadly take all of the headlines for controversially ruling out Gabriel Jesus’s late winner, but the plaudits for this match must go to De Bruyne. The 27-year-old midfielder was virtually unplayable as he set up Raheem Sterling’s opener, before teeing up Sergio Aguero with another beautifully weighted cross.
Man City may have dropped points in this match, but with a player as good as De Bruyne back to his best, it could tip the title race very much in their favour again this season.
Dani Ceballos pulling the strings in Arsenal’s midfield
Arsenal look to have found themselves one hell of a baller in Dani Ceballos. The 23-year-old really impressed in a closely fought 2-1 victory over Burnley at The Emirates. Arsenal’s midfield looked far more menacing and productive with the Spaniard orchestrating the play with his vision and clever play from the middle of the park.
Ceballos completed an industrious 70 passes and created four chances, including an assist each for the prolific duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It may only be early days, but if the Spain international can carry on this kind of form, he could make the difference for Unai Emery’s men in the quest to reclaim a Champions League spot.
With Arsenal winning their opening two matches for the first time in ten years, there is certainly a growing wave of cautious optimism in the red half of North London.
Missing composure blemishes James Maddison’s excellent display for Leicester
Frank Lampard’s homecoming as Chelsea boss was spoiled by a defiant Leicester City performance on Sunday. The Blues were travel weary following their draining exploits in the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool last week, and perhaps that can explain their second-half dip against the Foxes as Brendan Rodgers men duly got on top of their hosts and were unlucky not to leave with all three points.
Rodgers should be particularly encouraged by James Maddison’s display. The 22-year-old put in a wonderful shift for his side as he looked to spring the counter-attack at every opportunity. The attacking midfielder created three chances for his teammates and provided the pinpoint ball in for Wilfred Ndidi’s thunderous headed equaliser.
Maddison could and probably should have won it for his side though and will be disappointed to have fired over the bar after yet another dangerous counter left Chelsea exposed. It was the only blemish on an otherwise very good day for the youngster.
Leandro Trossard impresses in another lively Brighton display
Many would have tipped Brighton as relegation fodder this season, but on the early evidence we’ve so far this season, they look anything but. Graham Potter’s men were lively, athletic and creative against West Ham. They were unlucky not to take all three points in their first home game of the season, but their fans should take plenty of encouragement from Leandro Trossard’s efforts in attack.
The summer arrival had the ball in the back of net in the first half, with a superb effort that was duly chalked off by VAR after Dan Burn was deemed to be offside in the build-up. However, the Belgian continued to fizz away in dangerous positions all game and got his reward with another sweet strike to earn a point for his side.
Goals were in scarce supply last season for Brighton, but with Trossard impressing this weekend, they at least look to have addressed this issue over the summer.
Liverpool have to be cautious with their delicate goalkeeper situation
The Reds did very well to grind out a win in trying circumstances against Southampton, but they will have to take a lesson from the form of their stand-in goalkeeper Adrian. The Spanish stopper was the hero against Chelsea in Istanbul and made a couple of really smart of saves on Saturday to keep his side in the game when their backs were against the wall.
However, his kicking was dire all match as Liverpool’s defenders frequently played the ball back as they so often do whenever Alisson Becker is between the sticks. Whether it was his painful ankle or just genuine discomfort at having to do his bit in terms of distribution; Adrian really did struggle at St Mary’s.
He was eventually punished when he kicked the ball straight at Danny Ings for a late consolation goal, having been under little pressure from Virgil Van Dijk’s standard back pass. The Reds will need to be mindful of this issue as they gear up for the next few weeks with Adrian standing in for some pretty big fixtures on the horizon.
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