A scorching bank holiday weekend duly delivered another blockbuster round of Premier League football.
With 100% records at stake and some classic fixtures making a revival, here’s a look at five things we learned from the best of the action.
Abraham silences the critics
There has been some pretty unpleasant stuff aimed at Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham from the dark underbelly of social media recently. The young forward though has had faith invested in him by his manager and on Saturday at Carrow Road, he duly repaid Frank Lampard with a much more assured and confident display.
Chelsea’s defence may have had their fans living on the edge at times during their 2-3 win over Norwich City, but Abraham’s assured performance leading the forward line, was a real positive to take from a breathless 90 minutes. The young forward took his goals really well, including a stunning first-time effort on the half volley from a cross in from the left.
This was Chelsea’s youngest starting XI since 1994 and while there are still plenty of question marks over their long-term suitability, they at least delivered a first win of the season for the new manager at the third time of asking.
United feeling penalty pressure at Old Trafford
Crystal Palace finally have a Premier League victory over Manchester United. It only took them 21 attempts. In all fairness, Roy Hodgson’s men deserve a lot of credit for a resilient display during their 1-2 win over the Red Devils on Saturday. However, it was a victory that came with more than a hint of good fortune.
For the second game in succession, United squandered a wonderful opportunity from the spot, with Marcus Rashford smashing his effort onto the post with the score still at 0-1. After Paul Pogba’s much publicised miss against Wolves last week, this has become an unexpected issue for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer; but the manager must look to assert some authority and make a decision on who his penalty taker is before the situation is allowed to fester and become stick to beat him with.
Arsenal fall victim to the Anfield high press one again
For 60 minutes at Anfield on Saturday, things looked like they could get awfully messy for Arsenal as they were tormented by Liverpool once again. Jurgen Klopp’s men set their stall out from minute one, employing their relentless high pressing game and pinning Arsenal in their own half and defending deep with heavy numbers to keep their hosts at bay.
By the time Mo Salah had danced passed a hapless David Luiz for his second, and Liverpool’s third, their fans must have been fearing another four or five goal drubbing. It was only Liverpool’s easing off of the tempo or perhaps tiring legs, that allowed Arsenal a foothold for the final twenty minutes.
Their fans can be encouraged by Nicholas Pepe’s display against Andy Robertson and Virgil Van Dijk, but ultimately, they were left shaken by their first top-six encounter of the season.
Spurs toil without midfield creativity
Spurs were left to lament a surprise 0-1 defeat to Newcastle on Sunday. Steve Bruce was able to collect his first points in charge of the Magpies, and his side deserves credit for the rearguard action to keep their hosts at bay. However, Spurs fans will be frustrated by a stark lack of creativity from the attacking players prior to the introduction of Christian Eriksen
Despite a front four of Harry Kane, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min, Spurs were predictable and ponderous in their build-up play, leaving them simply unable to find an answer to the visitors deep sitting defensive lines.
However, with the introduction of Eriksen and Giovani Lo Celso just after the hour, the home side looked more lively, with good chances created for both Kane and Moura to bag an equaliser. However, Mauricio Pochettino will be concerned by his side’s failure to muster more than their two shots on target, despite enjoying 79.8% of possession as they dropped more points at such an early stage of the season.
Silva standard for City on South Coast
Manchester City’s evergreen 33-year-old Spanish play-maker has put in many a top-class shift for his side over the past few years. He was able to mark his 400th match for City with yet another vintage display as Bournemouth were efficiently swept aside at the Vitality Stadium.
This wasn’t City at their best by any means, but with Silva pulling the strings from midfield things were only ever going to go one way. The Spaniard had a hand in all three goals, including a beauty of a through ball for Raheem Sterling and a weaving, clever run to tee-up Sergio Aguero’s second of the afternoon. Silva and Aguero have now combined for 27 goals in the Premier League; the third-best partnership of it’s kind.