By Preye Campbell
From that last-minute moment at the Amex Stadium to Manchester City’s defensive frailties on Sunday, the Premier League continues to give us enough talking points.
Here are 5 talking points from the weekend’s matches;
VAR grabs the headlines again
Since the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) got introduced to the Premier League, we have come to witness the drama it has brought. From seemingly curious and critical decisions made, the technology has been said to be ‘destroying modern football’. Maybe not always as the right – but sometimes suspicious- calls have been made. And that was the situation with the Brighton Vs Manchester United game on Saturday and Tottenham’s clash with Newcastle on Sunday.
United travelled to the South Coast on the back of a disappointing loss to Crystal Palace on opening day, and seemed to be on the wrong foot again after Brighton scored first through forward Neal Maupay’s Panenka penalty. In a thoroughly exciting contest that saw Brighton hit the woodwork five times, United grabbed the equaliser on the stroke of half-time through a Lewis Dunk own goal, before a moment of magic from Marcus Rashford put the Red Devils in lead.
Brighton pressed hard for an equaliser and got one seconds before the end of the game, with Solly March, who hit the woodwork twice earlier on, heading home. The game was set and sealed until a frantic moment in the Brighton box saw Maupay handle Harry Maguire’s header.
Meanwhile, the referee had already blown the whistle for full-time before the handball was brought to his notice, and after several checks with the monitor, he pointed at the penalty spot, which was surely dispatched by Bruno Fernandes.
Tottenham Hotspur, on the other hand had things in control, with a first-half strike from Lucas Moura looking to earn them all three points against Newcastle.
It was only seconds to the end of the game that Newcastle-who had no shot on target throughout the game- won a penalty from an Eric Dier handball in the penalty area. Replay showed that the ball did hit Dier’s outstretched arm and, maybe it was a soft decision but nevertheless, it was one that cost Spurs two points as Callum Wilson scored from the spot to end the game.
The decision flared up the Spurs army and Jose Mourinho was seen walking out of the dugout in anger. It’s just another day for VAR.
Silva the villain as Chelsea Mount comeback
It was not the ideal debut for Chelsea’s new signing, Thiago Silva. The former Paris Saint-Germain captain had a nightmare start to the Premier League as his defensive frailties saw West Bromwich Albion put three past Chelsea in the first-half.
A calamitous first-half performance saw Callum Robinson score a brace and Kyle Bartley get on the scoresheet all before thirty minutes of playing time. Chelsea, who are now placed eight on the league table, improved in the second-half and started a quest for a comeback through Mason Mount in the 55th minute.
It sparked the team to life and Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham scored late on to restore parity.
Defenceless City stumble
It is unlike any Guardiola team to trail by 5 goals, but that was what happened at the Etihad on Sunday as a shocking defence saw Jamie Vardy score a hat-trick to see Leicester defeat City 5-2. Guardiola had his defensive problems coming since last season and efforts were made to strengthen the backline. And despite splashing the cash on Nathan Ake- who scored the second of City’s goals- the defence was exposed again on Sunday. Riyad Mahrez put City ahead with a thunderous strike in the 4th minute, but it soon became a Vardy show as he hit three- including two penalties- in the 37th, 54th and 58th minute. James Maddison and Youri Tielemans compounded City’s woes before Ake grabbed a mere consolation in the 84th minute. The result moved Leicester to the summit of the league table, with question marks now facing Guardiola’s team.
Everton continue form
Just in case Everton pulls off a Leicester this season, know that you read it here first!
The Toffees continued their fine form in the 2019/20 season with a third league win against Crystal Palace with the score line 2-1. Goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison- sandwiched between a Cheikhou Kouyate strike- saw Everton sit comfortably in second position; behind Leicester on goal difference. The perfect start for Carlo Ancelotti’s men might transcend into something bigger soon, fingers crossed.
Wolves turn Cats
Sunday was a bad day at the office for Wolverhampton Wanderers, who suffered a 4-0 defeat to West Ham United. A brace from Jarred Bowen, a Raul Jimenez own goal and A Sebastian Haller header late on condemned Wolves to their heaviest defeat since 2012.