A roundup of the Week 5 Premier League news including a record-breaking start for Pep Guardiola at Man City, three losses on the bounce for Jose Mourinho, and continued unbeaten starts for Everton and Spurs.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola equalled Carlo Ancelotti’s Premier League record of five wins our of five after his side thrashed Bournemouth 4-0.
During the post-match interviews, Guardiola then sent a flaming cannonball across the bows of the rest of the Premier League, especially Jose Mourinho, declaring that Bournemouth was the best team he had faced this season and that everyone else just played long balls.
Even with Sergio Aguero sitting out game two of a three-game ban, and John Stones sitting on the bench, City had far too many weapons of mass destruction for the Cherries. It was a game where Kevin de Bruyne once again showed that he is a world class midfielder, and Raheem Sterling continued to show growing maturity and confidence under the Spaniard’s wing.
De Bruyne was the creative driving force behind all the City goodness delivering his final ball with the focus of a military sniper. The Belgian opened up the scoring in the 15th minute with an innovative daisy-cutter of a free kick that flew underneath the wall and into the back of the net, before having a hand in the other three goals scored by Kelechi Iheanacho, Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan.
Sterling was mesmerising at times, but the differences between him and de Bruyne are painfully obvious. The final pass is missing. The goals are missing. The former Liverpool forward nearly fluffed his lines from three yards out when he scored his goal. If he can fix those two problems, he could join De Bruyne in the world class category.
In stark contrast to the fortunes of Man City, neighbours Man Utd lost their third game in a row after a disastrous defeat at Watford. United started the game with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on the wings, and Chris Smalling brought in to replace Daley Blind. They looked lean and mean but were anything but, on the pitch.
United have a tendency to give possession away early in matches and often find themselves with more to do than they would like. Watford could have been 2-0 up in the first 10-minutes, with Odion Ighalo squandering the best chance when he missed an open goal after a communications blunder between David De Gea and the returning Smalling.
Watford’s coach had tried 22 different players from 18 different nationalities in his first five games in charge, but there has been one constant – Etienne Capoue opening the scoring after Watford punished Anthony Martial for dilly-dallying on the ball. It was his fourth goal of the season.
United should have equalised in the 21st minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the side netting from a tight angle, and it was left to the wonder kid Rashford to seemingly spare United’s blushes with a scrappy goal in the 62nd minute.
But just when you thought United would push on a win the game, it was Watford who stole the apples, and the cart. Substitute Juan Zuniga waltzed into the United penalty area to finish an excellent Watford move, and Troy Deeney scored an injury time penalty after the millionth rash tackle by the cumbersome Marouane Fellaini.
So what’s going wrong with United?
Pep Guardiola came into Man City and immediately axed Joe Hart from his side. Hart was one of the most influential players at City, but Guardiola knew he was a liability. Mourinho should take note.
Wayne Rooney is not a midfielder. He doesn’t control the game and instead drifts further and further back as the match progresses. With a player like Fellaini in the side and Paul Pogba still finding his Premier League feet, that spells trouble for a United side who have more holes in their midfield than Swiss Cheese.
Mourinho doesn’t know what his strongest team is, and it shows. I also think that Ibrahimovic is too cumbersome to play up front, and the big Swede can’t keep up with the likes of Martial and Rashford often arriving in the box too late to connect with crosses. He will score goals; he has scored 33 in 43 league games, but this isn’t France. He always seems way off the pace and his goal-scoring start to the season is masking his inadequacies.
The Special One has a lot to ponder if he wants to end the season as a Premier League winner.
Everton and Spurs Remain Undefeated
Everton and Spurs move up to second and third respectively after keeping their unbeaten starts to the Premier League. Everton breezed past Middlesbrough by 3-1. Gareth Barry scoring one of the goals on his 600th Premier League appearance, a feat matched only by Ryan Giggs and Frank Lampard. Romelu Lukaku got on the scoresheet for the second game running, and Sheamus Coleman scored a smart goal from full back.
Harry Kane also scored for the second consecutive game as Spurs poured more misery onto the head of Sunderland boss David Moyes with a one-nil win at White Hart Lane. In truth, it could have been a goal glut for Spurs if it weren’t for an inspired display from the Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford, and Adnan Januzaj didn’t help the Black Cats chance of a revival by getting sent off in the final minute of the game. The only black mark for Mauricio Pochettino’s side was the sight of Harry Kane on a stretcher in the 90th minute.
Are Liverpool Title Contenders?
It’s a worthy question after Jurgen Klopp’s men travelled to Chelsea and came away with a 2-1 win. It was the first time that Antonio Conte had lost a home league game for either Chelsea or Juventus since January 2013.
Dejan Lovren broke the duck in the 17th-minute volleying home a Philippe Coutinho cross, and Jordan Henderson scored a goal of the season contender rifling home Liverpool’s second 10-minutes before half time. Diego Costa set up a grandstand final 30-minutes after finishing off a great move by Nemanja Matic, but they couldn’t find that all-important second goal. According to Oddsshark.com Liverpool are now the second favourites to win the league at +550, in from +1000 a week ago.
Here are the rest of the results.
Premier League Results (Week 5)
Everton 3 v 1 Middlesbrough
Watford 3 v 1 Man Utd
Crystal Palace 4 v 1 Stoke City
Southampton 1 v 0 Swansea City
Tottenham 1 v 0 Sunderland
Chelsea 1 v 2 Liverpool
Hull City 1 v 4 Arsenal
Man City 4 v – Bournemouth
West Brom 4 v 2 West Ham
Leicester City 3 v 0 Burnley
Premier League Table
1. Man City – 15
2. Everton – 13
3. Tottenham – 11
4. Arsenal – 10
5. Chelsea – 10
6. Liverpool – 10
7. Man Utd – 9
8. Crystal Palace – 7
9. Watford – 7
10. West Brom – 7
11. Leicester – 7
12. Hull – 7
13. Middlesbrough – 5
14. Southampton – 5
15. Swansea – 4
16. Burnley – 4
17. Bournemouth – 4
18. West Ham – 3
19. Sunderland – 1
20. Stoke City – 1
Premier League Title Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)
Man City -165
Man Utd +1200