By Preye Campbell
The English Premier League continued its usual action following the lapse of the international break, and as expected, results over the weekend have left us with five talking points.
Here are five things we learned from Matchday 5.
Jurgen Klopp will be left wondering-and fuming- how his Liverpool side did not walk away from Goodison Park as winners.
A highly anticipated clash saw Video Assistant Referee take centre stage again, and the reigning champions were left undone by decisions from the monitor, thereby settling for a 2-2 draw.
For that harsh Virgil Van Dijk challenge, Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford should have been sent off, for that last-gasp Jordan Henderson strike, Liverpool should have won a largely frustrating game. But VAR’s decisions to adjudge both Van Dijk and Sadio Mane – in the build-up to Henderson’s goal- offside means that Everton will go into another weekend at the summit of the table.
Still defenseless at the Bridge
A team’s ability to win the league does not rely only on how well they could score, but also how well they could prevent conceding goals every chance the opponent gets, and Frank Lampard will be frustrated that his Chelsea side are yet to get the initiative after Saturday’s pulsating 3-3 draw against Southampton.
From trailing at half-time to securing a point in the closing moments of the stage, maybe the spotlight should be on the Saints for a determined performance, but then again, they weren’t the club who made huge made investments on their team in the summer transfer window.
Without the presence of Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte, it looked as though Manchester City would be in for a long evening at the Etihad. Raheem Sterling was, however, the player to separate the boys from the men in City’s win over Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
A shape-shifting Pep Guardiola side fought to see off the Gunners, albeit luckily, as it required an error from Hector Bellerin to allow Sterling to coast home. Arteta, on the other hand, will be left frustrated with the result as the match could have simply gone either way.
Breather for Solskjaer
Manchester United fans would have been sliding into brief depression and another weekend of humiliation after Luke Shaw’s own-goal two minutes into the clash against Newcastle United at St. James Park. Luckily, any fan who switched off their television or phones at that moment would be buoyed to go back to watching the game as United finished the game on a high- a classy 4-1 win.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men are not out of the woods yet– especially with high-profile fixtures coming up next- but for this weekend at least, they get a breather.
Son, Kane…and Bale?
Although the match looks set to be overshadowed by West Ham United’s dramatic 3-3 comeback, attention should still be placed on arguably the league’s most potent duo… and the chance that another player could soon make a deadly triumvirate.
Between them, this season, Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane combined for a staggering eight times, when they played West Ham on Sunday.
The game was already in Spurs’ favour by the 16th minute; Son grabbed the first- in the first minute- and Kane grabbed a brace- with one assist from Son- to take Jose Mourinho’s side to three at half-time. The England captain has scored five and provided seven assists in five games while the South-Korea forward has scored seven and provided two in the same number of games in the league.
Such a deadly figure is about to become even more frightening as Gareth Bale made his second debut in the second half. And if it goes as it seems, this might finally be Spurs’ season.