Five talking points from the Premier League this weekend
The Premier League returned after the international break with some high-scoring matches. Here’s some of the biggest talking points from the weekend …
1. Mourinho still has much work to do
Jose Mourinho may be the manager Manchester United desperately needed after a turgid time under Louis van Gaal but the derby defeat showed it may not be a quick fix.
Despite spending Â£145 million strengthening the spine of his team they were rendered impotent by a spell-binding first-half City performance at Old Trafford. Had they not been handed a way back into the game at 0-2 (more of that later) the result could have been much worse.
Having just scraped past Hull with an added-time winner in their previous game it is safe to say United are a long way from their best form.
2. No three cheers for Bravo
Claudio Bravo was hailed as the solution but actually turned out to be the problem at Old Trafford. The new Manchester City goalkeeper’s debut did not go entirely to plan as his flap at a free-kick allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to put United back in the game.
However, Pep Guardiola brought him in at the expense of Joe Hart to be a ‘sweeper keeper’ and be good with his feet – which he was for the most part as City dominated the game – so maybe the City boss can overlook minor issues like not being able to catch a ball.
3. Hell hath no fury like Premier League footballers scorned
The honeymoon period at the former Olympic Stadium is well and truly over as the party atmosphere generated by moving into a state-of-the-art ground and paying just a fraction of its cost got the better of West Ham.
Cruising at 2-0 against Watford the home side, with all their flicks and tricks, were accused by Troy Deeney of trying to “mug off” the visitors. It produced a devastating response with Watford running in four unanswered goals.
Coming so soon after a home defeat to Romanian’s Astra Girgui resulted in a Europa League exit the Hammers’ bubble has been burst.
4. Can Liverpool find some consistency?
Last season Jurgen Klopp’s side showed they can be good and bad in equal measure and so far this season a similar pattern has developed. However, their win over Leicester showcased all their very best elements and, on the back of a win at Arsenal and a decent performance at Tottenham early indications are the team is on a better upward curve.
But Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Friday will be the test of that.
5. Have Stoke gone soft?
Mark Hughes’ reinvention of the Potters had them re-christened Stokealona because of the quality of their football but something has not clicked this season and they are bottom of the Premier League with one point, having lost their last three and conceded 10 goals already.
The desire to add more flair has seen an erosion of what got – and kept – Stoke in the top flight. If they cannot rediscover some of that steel it could be a long season as no-one will fear the bet365 Stadium, not even on the proverbial wet and windy Tuesday night.