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Cherries on top in south coast derby
Eddie Howe continues to prove his credentials as a young Premier League manager, overseeing his Bournemouth side as they coasted to a 3-1 away victory at near neighbours, Southampton.
Howe said in his post-match interview that he was far from happy with some of the ‘loose’ football his team played, and that says everything about a man who strives for perfection week in and week out, despite having one of the smaller budgets in the English top flight.
In a nod to how efficient he likes his side to be, they scored with their only three chances on target, with another disallowed by VAR. Southampton had double that, and 25 total shots compared to just six from the visitors.
The Cherries were sharp, inventive and pleasing on the eye, and as his own star continues to ascend, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Howe eventually rewarded for his work by being offered a post at a bigger club.
Man City are just gr-eight
There’s not really an awful lot that a side who are beaten by eight goals to nil can offer as an excuse.
After Watford’s comeback from 2-0 down against Arsenal last week, Quique Sanchez-Flores’ side found themselves five down before 20 minutes had even been played at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking side were showing no mercy, and the only plus point the visitors will take from the game is that they managed to restrict the hosts to eight goals.
It was hard on the Hornets who are still getting used to life under a new manager, whereas City know exactly what’s required from theirs.
They carried out his directives to the letter, and Kevin De Bruyne was the pick of the bunch, his performance underscored by a late goal to complete the rout.
The wheels have fallen off for Ole
After another away defeat, this time to West Ham at the London Stadium, the pressure is on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer more than ever.
A lack of summer signings, coupled with injuries to key players, has left the Red Devils light in some areas, and against an average Hammers side, they still weren’t good enough.
The back four, including captain-in-waiting, Harry Maguire, were static when Andriy Yarmolenko fired the hosts ahead right on half-time, but there was nothing they could do about Aaron Cresswell’s late free-kick.
The issue that should be troubling the Norwegian is that he has a set of players who don’t look capable of dominating any match, and some look fearful of playing their natural game.
Mason Greenwood was left out after his midweek heroics, but how they could’ve done with the bright young striker here. Instead, Jesse Lingard, a player with no goals or assists in 2019, was tasked with leading the line once Marcus Rashford went off.
Such a lack of foresight from everyone at the club is coming back to haunt them, whilst the Hammers go from strength to strength under Manuel Pellegrini.
Auba wins a thriller against Villa
In truth, Arsenal were lucky to have come away from this with all three points.
Defensively they were statuesque as John McGinn nipped in for his second goal in north London this season, and the Midlanders were good value for their half-time lead.
Down to 10 men after Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ rash challenge, it was a long way back for Arsenal, but they got there thanks to a penalty for Nicolas Pepe – his first goal for the club – just before the hour.
Within a minute the hosts frailties at the back were brutally exposed again as Villa captain, Jack Grealish, (surely in contention for Gareth Southgate’s next England squad), waltzed through and supplied the perfect pass to Wesley Moraes to put the visitors back in front.
With nine minutes to go, it was Villa’s turn to commit a defensive howler, and Calum Chambers gobbled up the chance presented to him via a poor Tyrone Mings header.
With their tails up, Arsenal won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit it hard and true for the winner.
EPL perfection from Liverpool
Six games, six wins. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side just keep getting the job done.
Although the scoreline suggests that this was a close game, the visitors were always comfortable at Stamford Bridge.
A cracking Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick opened the scoring and, right after Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal was ruled out for a marginal offside, the Blues’ defence went to sleep as Roberto Firmino rose highest to give Liverpool a 2-0 lead.
Chelsea deserve some credit for never giving up, a sign of how well Frank Lampard has them drilled, but with only two shots on target out of 13, their problems are obvious.
N’Golo Kante gave the hosts some hope with 19 to play, but his goal was destined to be nothing more than a consolation. Liverpool look bright, inventive and solid, and they remain five points clear of the pack.