By Preye Campbell
Eight games down and the English Premier League is already taking shape for what is looking to be an all-action season.
As usual, the ‘Big Boys’ left us with talking points at the weekend.
Solskjaer gets a breather…for now
Ole Gunner Solskjaer should be able to sleep peacefully this weekend, at least.
The under-fire manager arrived Merseyside with his equally under-fire team, searching for respite in a largely disappointing week.
Fortunately, it took the brilliance of one Bruno Fernandes– a familiar face these days- to keep the trending ‘Ole Out’ hashtag out of use this weekend.
Of course, we have seen this scenario before; great win, positive run, disappointing defeat, loss of form, sack talks, repeat – the ‘Ole Way’. And with Mauricio Pochettino still lurking in the corner, the Norwegian club legend just might be exhausting his final round of ‘luck’ at Old Trafford.
Ziyech is the magician
Ladies and gentlemen, Hakim Ziyech is here.
Another game and another exciting display for the Moroccan winger culminated in arguably the best Chelsea performance of the season so far. It is safe to say that since the exit of Eden Hazard, the Blues have not had a player who can combine magic and flair on the field and produce results that could only be the fuel for a title push.
It is also safe to say that that kind of player has arrived at Stamford Bridge; his name is Hakim Ziyech.
‘But Mourinho is finished?’
Eventually, the top-of-the-table honours went to Leicester City after a victory of their own but Tottenham Hotspur and Jose Mourinho, in particular, did give us a statement in a last-gasp win at West Brom on Sunday afternoon.
At the time of flexing their wings on the top of the league table, records showed that it was the first time the North London side had been in that position since 2014. For a club devoid of trophy successes and for a manager many has said to be well past his magic, 2020-21 is looking to be an important season for both club and manager.
The giants share the spoils
The match of the weekend ended in a stalemate at the Etihad Stadium. Somehow, both Manchester City and Liverpool will be determined by the outcome of the game.
Jurgen Klopp’s men ultimately failed to lead the league standings for the weekend, and even worse, seems to have lost another man to injury as Trent Alexander-Arnold is the latest victim. On the other hand, Kevin De Bruyne will be wondering how he missed that penalty and he, like his manager and like the fans, will be worried about City’s form this season- or a lack of it.
Partey scatter at the Emirates
Again, Arsenal struggled. The victory at Manchester United last week may have created a different narrative, but that sinking feeling was there that, perhaps that victory only happened because Mikel Arteta’s side played against a team low in confidence.
The good news was that it was exploited, the bad news now is that Arsenal cannot play United every week.
Aston Villa took the Gunners back to the drawing board again. With the international break now here, Arteta should have time to add the full details to a rough sketch of his tactics. For his sake.