North London Derby tomorrow

We have the first North London Derby of the season when Spurs go to the Emirates to visit the Gunners. Tottenham was on a high before the international break, having back to back wins at home including easily handling the defending European champions Real Madrid. On the other hand, Arsenal is coming off being drummed by Manchester city and are sitting outside the Champions League spots.

The game proves a must-win for Arsenal, their road form has been horrible this year having only four points away from the Emirates. This gives, even more, meaning to the game if Arsenal can’t win the big games on the road, then they must pick up all three points at home. Right now Arsenal is in sixth, four points off the fourth-place spot. A loss on Saturday and that gap will only grow.

The last time Tottenham played to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates, dominating possession without having Dele Ali in the game. They created chance after chance and Arsenal’s goal came from an own goal off a set piece. This can’t happen on Saturday if Arsenal wants to get a result. The defense this year seems more shaky than usual. They have allowed 16 goals so far this year which is more than double what Spurs let in. If Arsenal wants to get all three points on Saturday they have to go back to their classic style of passing them around the park. Arsenal has to be ones that direct the pace of the game because they can’t seem to play well at any other. Here are highlights from last season’s matchup at the Emirates.

They don’t have the defensive structure to change their style of play against big teams. They have yet to win the possession battle in any of the big games and this is unheard of by Wenger teams in England. On Saturday at home, the Gunners should play their classic style if they want to get anything from the game.

Tottenham will like their chances. They have picked up points in their last two visits to the Emirates and they will look for the same on Saturday. While Spurs are in one of the Champions League places, but this is the type of game they have to win comfortably if they want to become Premier League champions. They have proven already that they are at the Champions League level, but can they show that consistently? After having a good string of results: Can they pick up right where they left off before the International break?

Arsenal is trending down as a team failing big to Manchester city and they are dealing the uncertain future of many of their players and Wenger’s future. Meanwhile Spurs are trending up, beating Real Madrid looking like legit Champions League contenders. Last year it was the first time in 22 years that Tottenham finished above Arsenal in the table, and the matchup on Saturday well clearly show us if the Spurs are here to stay or if Arsenal will stop their downfall.

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Week 11: Chelsea gets big home win, while Man City creates separation

Chelsea 1- Manchester United 0

Chelsea gets a big win over Manchester United with a bullet header from Morata ten minutes into the second half. Many were expecting another performance where Mourinho would park the bus in a big road game, but the bus was nowhere in sight. The game was a classic intense game where both teams could have ended up with the result.

The game saw the return of Ngolo Kante and we saw the return of form for the team. After getting beaten 3-0 in the midweek versus Roma, the Frenchman brought in a big motivation into the midfield. It freed up Fabregas and Bayako in the midfield who were struggling dealing with the brunt of the defensive issues. Both look freed up and better on Sunday. Fabregas, in particular, had struggled to come into the game but he led the blues in touches, having 94 of the teams 668 in the game, he was the team heartbeat. He set the pace for Chelsea in possession and Kante was again amazing in ball recovery.

The Blues also saw huge improvement upfront with Morata and Hazard finally looking well together and getting interlocking play by reading each others’ runs. In the game, their combinations didn’t end up in goal but it seems to be coming along very quickly. Morata finished a header off a lob pass by Azpilicueta, it was his seventh goal in 10 games so far playing for the Blues. He is on pace to score more than 20 this season. Hazard is looking like he is in top form and was creating chances left and right. Chelsea is now back and sits a point of second place.

From the United point of view, they came into the game confident they could outplay Chelsea, but got humbled. Besides Rashford no one in the front line was really able to find space and create opportunities. Mourinho went back to the back three he used last week and Phil Jones was found as the clear weakness in the back line, losing mark of Marrtial on multiple locations and losing a lot in the air. Many criticize Mourinho’s pragmatism in recent weeks. Yet, when he went away from that mentality is when United dropped points. United with the loss stay in second place but now have a huge gap from first place and have the field right behind them.

Manchester City 3 – Arsenal 1

Manchester City now has an eight point gap at the top when they handled Arsenal 3-1 at home. The Gunners might feel the referees were against them. There was a harsh penalty that was given against them and an offside call missed in the third goal leaves the north London club a little upset by the result. Yet, Manchester city was by far the dominant side in the game as they had 58 % decent of possession in the match and had 807 touches compared to Arsenal’s 618. They outshot the Gunners and always seemed in control of the match.

The first goal came from Kevin de Bruyne who had a classic give and go with Fabian Delph, tacking a low shot between four Arsenal defenders and finding the bottom corner. The second goal came when Nacho Monreal bumped into Sterling and he hit the ground. There was contact but to many pundits, the call seemed harsh. Too that point we saw the Manchester City that we have seen all year creating chances after chances with ease, passing the ball around the box and pressing when they lose it. They still look very shaky at the back, and this game gave no indication that the defensive issue is getting any better.

Arsenal got into the game when Lacazette was brought in, he brought movement in the front line that pushed the Man City center backs. He was the only real threat the gunners had. Which brings up the question about Weger’s starting lineup for the game. Alex Iwobi was chosen over the Frenchman in the big road game. You would expect Wenger to start his big money signing but he went with the youngster. This is the second big game he has decided to keep Lacazette on the bench, after not starting him at Anfield.

Now Arsenal sits in fifth place tied on points with Liverpool. With Chelsea’s win, Arsenal sits four points from Champions League spots and look like they have to improve if they want to challenge getting into the top four. They only have four points on the road this season. Manchester City, on the other hand, continues their amazing start and are in prime position to get the title. They have only dropped two points so far this year and are playing an amazing brand of football.

Liverpool and Tottenham maintain pace

Liverpool played West Ham out of the park in a 4-1 win at London stadium, a result that got Slan Bilic sacked. Liverpool looked dominating and scary in counter-attacking they continue the form they have had this year against opponents they should beat. They are right now in sixth place, but are still in the middle of things to get in the champions league spot next year. Liverpool will have to continue this form and prove that they can perform this way against the top of the league.

Tottenham held on to a 1-0 win versus Crystal Palace, it wasn’t the best performance but it was one that showed maturity for the squad. The goal came from a rebound that Son put in the corner, Spurs were in control but looked shaky at times and were saved by a fine performance by their keeper. Gazzaniga had three fine saves that help Spurs maintain their lead. Palace was able to create clear chances but no one was able to be decisive up front.

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Zidane finally showing weaknesses

Zidane finally showing weaknesses as Real Madrid are in the middle of a crisis

Zidane has been in a honeymoon since he took the job at Madrid, winning back to back Champions Leagues and bringing the La Liga title back to the Spanish Capital. Yet, on Thursday if you saw this team it would have been hard to believe they were the two-time defending champions. The Spanish side got completely outplayed and looked unorganized and undisciplined in the 3-1 drumming they suffered at the hands of Tottenham.

Tottenham came into the game fighting the Wembley curse and the best team in Europe, and they left looking like the best that can actually challenge for the whole thing. They were able to outplay a process the ball in long stretches of time, create football but at the same time attack Madrid in their counter attacks

Now Madrid sits second in the group and will probably face a tough opponent to start the knockout round. Plus they currently sit an eight point hole in La Liga. It still early in the year but Madrid will have to make drastic changes or their season will be done by Christmas.

What we learned from the game

They Miss Pepe

Nacho was picked out all game (Image: Getty Images)

Madrid actually misses Pepe. They are a loose team at the back and while Ramos is good he can be very undisciplined going forward and that was evident on Thursday. Nacho is not good or quick enough to be the last man in the defense, but with Madrid having so many defenders adding to the attack they leave massive holes. They are missing a stable guy at the back that is willing to foul and play dirty to defend Ramos and Marcelo’s constant push forward.

Part of what makes Madrid amazing is the factor that they can attack you from all parts of the field, but there is the defensive aspect of the game. This has been really the first time we have seen Madrid really look undisnipled when coming out, no immediate marking when someone loses the ball. This made the Tottenham wing backs look like world beaters. Madrid made Trippier look like the best in the world, as he would get into the Madrid third any time he wanted.

These defensive issues weren’t a thing last year, but Varane is injured and Nacho is simply not a Champions League elite-level player. They let Pepe go for nothing in the offseason and got no one to replace him.

They are not as deep as we thought

Benzema has turned old fast, failing to create chances and scoring only once this year. ( Image: Getty Images)

This team is not a deep as people were claiming it to be at the beginning of the year. They got youngsters in the summer, but not really anybody to push the starting 11. Now Benzema turned old fast creating only two shots on Thursday and has only scored a goal this year. That, compiled with Bale’s injury and Morata being sold, they lack a true option to replace him. Zidane had to put in Mayoral to try to make a difference.

Madrid should have a team that is deep in every position and that is what many people thought coming into the season. Yet, we are three months into the season and we have found out that narrative was completely wrong.

The midfield can be outplayed

Casemiro was the only one trying to win the ball back in the midfield (Image; Getty Images)

Yet the most surprising factors on Thursday and honestly bigger than the result is Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks, Christian Ericksen and Dele Ali outplayed the great Madrid midfield. The one that Mourinho said after the European league was the best in the world and had no one near their level in the premier league. They stop every dribble Madrid mad from the midfield, They had Isco in their back pocket. The Spaniard could never find the space to create any plays and felt lost in the game just running around. He played right in front of the other midfielders which is a formation made to allow him the liberty to dribble with no fear. Yet he only had a single dribble in the game.

Then comes the factor that they left Casemiro alone to clean up all the work from the team losing possession. In the game, he had ten tackles, while Nordic had one and Kross had none. If Madrid wants to be back to their elite level then Madrid and Kross need to help with ball recovery and defensively especially when Marcelo and Ramos are so involved in the build-up so high up the field.

Zidane will have his first opportunity to show he is an elite coach, if he can get Isco and Benzema going again and this defense back in line. The next stretch of games will show what Zidane is really made off. It’s the first time he has to dig himself out of results instead of being in the lead for most of the year.

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Week 10 EPL wrap up: Mourinho gets win in another big game, City’s streak continues

Manchester United 1 – Tottenham 0

Manchester United beat the Spurs 1-0 playing the perfect Mourinho game. Martial scored the winner in the 81st minute. The Frenchman got behind a long ball headed forward by Romelu Lukaku. The Red Devils got the lead and it felt it was all over, setting up defensively after the goal. The win lets them keep pace with Manchester City. Tottenham’s heavy creative style was not existent at Old Trafford as they weren’t passing the ball quickly around the box like you are used to and failed to create a real significant chance.

Mourinho went to a back three with Tottenham missing their main striker Harry Kane and it worked to perfection. It kept all of Spurs play in front on them. Mourinho found a winner from the bench as the back and worth fight from Rashford and martial continues. When the Frenchmen came in found the back of the net.

The game also saw a return for Chris Smalling, the English center back had only three appearances coming into the game but he shined. Mou put him in the middle of the back three and it was a success, he was the player of the game. Successful in the air and clearing the ball right in overtime, he was the leading the defensive performance on Saturday.

Spurs on the other side looked completely different without Kane. While its understandable to underperform while missing your leading goal scorer you expected a least a couple of chances from the north London side. Tottenham had the majority of the ball but did nothing with it. The Spurs best chance was a very difficult half volley. This game adds another name to the long list of big games that Pochettino side keeps missing out on. When Tottenham start performing better in these kind of matches, then they can be actual tittle contenders.

Now both teams have midweek Champions League games with United playing today versus Benfica and Tottenham face Real Madrid in Wembley.

Manchester City 3- West Brom 2

Manchester City continues to look unstoppable on offense and very shaky at the back. They have beautiful offense but still, show moments of weakness at the back. The encouraging part is the offense and creative playing style seems to travel. they have scored in every game this season and have failed to have a dull performance to date.

Though conceding two goals to a limited west Brom side is something that must be fixed soon before it starts affecting the team results. Both goals came from lack of communication, one with Ederson coming out of turn not reading his back line. The second came when Otamendi tried to chest the ball back to his keeper and Matt Phillips intercepted it and put it in.

Manchester City is still a top of the table and in prime position to continue this fine form. Everyone being rotated in the squad seems to perform well, which makes this team scary. they have yet to be held scoreless and if they resolved the issues at the back they might be the team in Europe.

Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea keep pace

Liverpool gets a much needed 3-0 nothing win versus Huddersfield where they finally looked like the free flowing, high pressing team we are use to seeing. They had over 75% of passion int he game and gets Jurgen Klopp’s hot seat got a little colder. They now sit in sixth place in the table and three points out of the Champions League spot.

Arsenal also had a much-needed home win although theirs was less impressive. They came back in the second half against Swansea. The win is great for the gunner’s confidence and  they came back in the game they were getting physically bullied playing the classic Arsenal way. The Lacazette, Sanchez and Ozil front line look as good as any in the premier league. Arsenal may not be the title contenders they always are but by no means are they a mid-table club this season.

The last result of the big dogs was a Chelsea 1-0 win on the road at Bournemouth. The blues still seem like a team trying to find its identity this year, which is weird to say about the former champions. They got lucky in their goal but created many chances but nothing gets finished. The team is blending well at the back and they maintain possession but they can’t seem to find the goals like they did last year. The Blues are still true title contenders and performance like this one shows it. Even when the chances aren’t going in they get the result. Last year Chelsea had a horrible start and went on a record run, it is still early in the season they can still get it together.

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Tottenham, not Manchester United looks like the team primed to push Manchester City

Manchester City 3 – Burnley 0

Manchester City has clearly been the best team in the English Premier League and they showed it again over the weekend. They had the easy 3-0 win versus Burnley and created a five-point gap at the top. Aguero scored a penalty to open the scoring in the 30th minute. The goal makes him tied for the all-time leading scorer at the club.

Manchester City dominated the game in every aspect like they have done the last couple of weeks. Add the factor of Burnley being a team that likes to play without the ball, which made the encounter especially one-sided. Manchester city had 77% of possession created 18 shots and had 90% passing success and even beat Burnley in most Aerial duels (which is what Burnley is known for).

Smaller teams in England are having difficulty playing this City side because they pay so well with the ball. We saw another masterful performance from Kevin de Bruyne who got so much time to pick the passes throughout the game. This included the perfect through ball to Sane when he scored the third goal. Speaking of Sane, his running of the left-hand side was crucial in the game and was probably the best player on the field. The young German is finally looking elite like he did when he broke into the scene at Schalke 04. In the game, he scored and assisted continuing his pace to be the best young player of the year.

Before the Year Manchester city wasn’t considered title favorites but now mid-October they are the clear front-runners.

Huddersfield 2 – Manchester United 1

But the real question now is: Who is their main opponent in the title race? In the first couple of weeks, it seemed destined that the title push would be only the two Manchester clubs. Yet, things are changing. United has turned back to a more pragmatic style that is bringing the level of play of the Red Devils down by a lot. This weekend saw a loss to recently promoted Huddersfield, a game they should have dominated from the start.

The performance goes hand in hand with the Red Devils’ last three performances. Versus Liverpool, they surrendered possession in the game and only created three shots with the goal in mind of dirtying up the game and just gaining the point. Then the team heads to Portugal in the midweek and play a crude game in Lisbon to beat Benfica due to a goalkeeping error, failing to look in control at any moment.

This game happens when you show up practicing defensive shape and being secure at the back. You can’t then expect the team to flourish when they go down in the game. Manchester fell 2-0 in the game and then started getting huge numbers in possession but they couldn’t do anything with it. They were stuck passing the ball around and created nothing. No one really tryed to take the ball and create.

With Manchester City’s level of play right now United looks miles behind, bigger even than the five-point margin in the table and unless something changes soon it’ll be very difficult for United to actually fight for the title. They can still be in contention for all the titles but playing like that they won’t win anything.

Tottenham 4 – Liverpool 1

This is why the team that will end up fighting Manchester City is Tottenham, The Spurs had an easy win versus Liverpool at home. This game was huge for the team’s mentality. Liverpool has their high pressing style that makes everyone fear playing an open game against them. Add to the fact that Tottenham doesn’t play well at Wembley (their temporary one until the new stadium is built). The game showed that when Spurs are playing their best they can play with any team in the world.

This week the team went to Real Madrid and got a point then went on and beat Liverpool with ease, a feat only a few teams could do. Young players like Harry Kane and Dele Ali stepping their game up and the team has new discipline of handling two competitions at once.

Kane had two goals and an assist. His resurgence has made people forget the early struggles the team had to open the season.

When Harry Kane is going and the team can create chances around him, Spurs are clearly the best team after Manchester City so far. They seem like the only other team that can push Manchester city in the title race.

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EPL has a good week in the Champions League

Manchester City 2 – Napoli 1

Manchester City now has proven that their style doesn’t just work against lower competition. Napoli, the best team in Italy, came into Manchester and have not dropped a single point in the season so far. They started their normal lineup and for many instances in the game City looked overwhelmingly in control. Having the ball and not letting Napoli create a single chance. At one point Manchester City had 10 shots to none by the Italian side.

This still poses big problems clearing issues up when they lose the ball as seen on Tuesday when they conceded two penalties and Ederson bailed them out in one. The defense needs work but what we learn is this team can play and score versus anyone. Without Aguero, they still created 17 chances and in many instances looked like the team in command.This is the best stretch Manchester city has had under Pep and possibly since the money has flooded the club.

The question now is not if Manchester City can get to an elite level? It is if they can maintain it. They look like the best team in Europe to start the year but it’s extremely hard to keep playing this way all the way up until May. Kevin de Bruyne has looked like the best player in the world and the continued on Tuesday when he hit post and provided yet another assist. Raheem Sterling continued his fine form and scored the first one of the night only to be joined in the scoreboard minutes later by Gabriel Jesus. The squad is clicking and right now it feels like it doesn’t matter the opponent they are going to score.

Watching this match confirms that this Manchester city squad are sure contenders

Chelsea 3 – Roma 3

Chelsea battled it out at Stamford bridge to get a 3-3 draw. Dealing with many injuries, Chelsea got a bit of good news when Morata came back to start, whose performance brought back the free flowing Chelsea we saw earlier in this season. The Blues started David luiz in the midfield because of an injury and it proved to be a blessing in disguise. The Brazilian put in a heavy effort performance where he scored a true golazo to open the scoring. Then Hazard took over, the Belgian is back and better than ever, clearly showing on the day he was the best player on the field. He created almost every play getting the rest of the Chelsea players involved.

Then Chelsea lost the two-goal lead and the Roma side people were expecting started showing up gaining the ball and creating chances themselves. They scored three truly lovely goals and showed the lack of experience Christensen and Rudiger have at the back in a Conte system.

While the result isn’t the best things for the Blues it still puts them in prime position to get out the difficult group and avoided going to a losing streak of three straight games. They showed guts to come back after letting the game slip completely away against Roma and that will be needed if Chelsea wants to make a deep run.

Chelsea has already proven they are one of the contenders this year when they went to Madrid and played masterfully versus Athletico earlier this season. What this game showed is the injuries are really affecting this squad. The loss of Matic and now injuries in the midfield and showed a hole in the team. It has made Conte depend on defenders who are completely new to Chelsea and the team’s style of play. The problems are happening now but when the squad gets back to full strength they should go away.

Manchester United 1- Benfica 0

United’s dull play continues after getting a 1-0 win after a goalkeeper mistake versus Benfica yesterday. The team started the season so well scoring 4-0 wins on multiple occasions, but now the team is getting in the mindset of Mourinho which is: Just results matters. Over the weekend they went to Anfield and played an ugly 0-0 game, now he went to Portugal and got all three points. Playing dull can be a problem,, but if the fans just want results he is getting them.

Getting a point at Anfield is one of the most difficult things to do in England and if you were to ask all the managers in the Prem would they just take the point and not play, they would all probably be yes. It might be frustrating form a neutral point of view. United got a least a point which keeps them in second place of the EPL and the only team currently close to Man City and their fantastic start.

Now we see that same mentality in Europe, and while it may be dull it found success again. When you look at the table Manchester is practically a game away from qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League. That is where the club fans want the team.

Ultimately even though Mourinho’s style is boring or anti-football he is giving the Red Devils the success they so deeply have missed since Alex Fergurson left.

Spurs 1 – Real Madrid 1

Spurs went to the Kings of Europe, Real Madrid and got a 1-1 draw. The result now puts Spurs is a great position of getting out of the group of death with two home games still remaining. While Madrid still clearly shows they were the better side of the night they couldn’t prove it and find the winning break through.

The result was even more surprising when you add the factor that Dele Ali wasn’t available in the game. The young Englishmen is one of the most important in the north London but it gave way for Harry Winks to make a name for himself. The other youngster in the squad came in and played a full 90 minutes and held in versus the defending champions. Madrid is known for having the best midfield in Europe and none of them were able to overshadow Winks. The 21-year-old has just 26 appearances with the club but expect a lot more performances from him.

Moves, like playing Winks and moving Kane and Llorente up top together, shows how much Pochetino believes in his whole squad and he is the perfect manager for the post. He knows how to move the squad around through big matches and shows belief in the academy. While they have lost pace with leaders Manchester City they and still within distance and finally showing the maturity to compete on multiple fronts. While I still see no way they win both competitions they are setting themselves up to have a choice later in the year.

Liverpool 7 – Maribor 0

Liverpool essentially had a road-friendly on Tuesday when they went to Maribor and beat them 7-0. All the goals the team couldn’t finish over the weekend we’re going in. This game showed the great high pace offense Klopp has and can implement. The back line wasn’t really pushed a single time in the game. It was really one of those games where a team is just practicing versus the other. This game is not the test for Liverpool, but with Sevilla dropping points, Liverpool now looks in prime position to win the group and get a good pairing next round.

England is known for failing in Europe in recent years but this year feels different. The English teams look like they are playing with a purpose to perform well and by the first three match days they have yet to lose. They have conceded the least amount of goals of the top four leagues even though they have the most teams out of anyone. While an English team hasn’t won in a while, if you compare the table amount of all the top four leagues the British teams have had by far the best start.

                      P  W  D L GF GA Pts
ENGLAND     15  11 4 0 44 11 37
SPAIN          12  6   4 2 21 12 22
ITALY             9  4   2 3 14 13 14
GERMANY       9  3  2 4 13 15 11

England: 2.466 pts/game
Spain: 1.833 pts/game
Italy: 1.55 pts/game
Germany: 1.22 pts/game

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Man City Finally looking like Pep’s team

Man City Dominate Stoke City 7-2

Manchester finally looking like a Pep Guardiola team in the 7-2 drumming over Stoke City on Saturday. The team gained first place in the league when Manchester United drew at Anfield. In the eight games to start the year, they have seven wins and a single draw, scoring 29 goals and allowing 4 goals in that stretch.

Last year a lot of people were critical of Pep Guardiola and his managing skills after spending so much money and not winning a single trophy. Many claimed that he can’t actually build a playing style he likes because he doesn’t have the players and that his success has always come from managing two of the top five teams in Europe. The Spanish man is known for coaching teams playing beautiful football during his time in Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but many feel that level has not been seen in Manchester.

Yet this weekend Manchester city performances look right on par with the other great teams he has managed. If Manchester city had worn the old Barca kit you might not have noticed it was another team. They were playing on all cylinders creating chance after chance creating interlocking play and holding possession with ease. Real progress to the elite level is being shown.

Defensively they still have work to do they allowed two goals, but that didn’t stop them. They took a Stoke City to the clinic a team that had beaten Arsenal and got to a draw against Manchester United. Still, they looked in a different league having no solution to the constant pressure City was creating. Against Europe elite, they cant allow cheap goals like they did Saturday. Still, the best solution to allowing two goals is scoring seven goals.

Kevin De Bruyne has been the heartbeat of the team leading Man City in assists to start the year (Image: Getty Images )

The heart of the team is clearly Kevin de Bruyne. In this impressive start of the season, he has looked like the clear centerpiece of the team, The player that drives the ball and isn’t afraid to go in for a tackle. Guardiola this year has played him deeper in the midfield that we have seen in his career and what it has done is highlight the great vision the Belgian has to change the point of attack. He got two assists on Saturday getting his tally up to 6 assists on the year.

Another aspect that is surprising of this Guardiola team is he has a very young and expensive front line of Man city playing like seasoned veterans. They all the challenges they have had this year. Gabriel Jesus scored the first goal of the day finishing a great pass from Kyle Walker. The Brazilian is just 20 years old and in 17 premier league appearances, he has scored 13 goals, with six goals coming this season and two on Saturday. His movement upfront is special and puts back-lines under constant pressure. He is proving to be the perfect front-man in a Guardiola system, This why Aguero Starting spot has been put in doubt.

Yet, Jesus is not the only expensive young talent that has started the season in fine form. Raheem Sterling has had in the best form in a Manchester city shirt to start this year on the right-hand side. He has six goals to start the year one shy of his record with the club and it is only October. On the left-hand side, Leroy Sane seems to be finally be setting in, scoring four goals already this year and proving a big problem for left backs going forward.

Sterling and Jesus both form part of a young front line that is playing lights out (Image: Getty Images)

Guardiola started all three on Saturday. They are all under the age of 22 making this a setup that could last many years to come. When news came out on Aguero injury in the car crash there were some doubts if the team would miss his goals. The answer has been no, between Sterling, Sane and Jesus they have scored 16 goals in 8 games to start the year.

This team is currently without the most expensive defender in the world in Mendy and their club legend Sergio Aguero, and you wouldn’t have noticed. Two starters are out and the team still holds a world-class level creating seven goals. This is finally starting to look like money well spent, like a project finally starting to take foot.

The core of the Squad is very young and with Guardiola guiding it maybe they do really have a chance to build from starch (or money) a generational team that plays beautiful free-flowing football. If they use their financial resources to make sure many of these players see their career out in the sky blue shirt., then they are set up for something special.

While the defensive issues still loomed over the team and are something that has to be worked on if they want to win the Champions League, one thing is for sure: This team can score on anyone.

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Both Manchester Clubs showing their class


Both Manchester clubs had amazing performances over the weekend and are proving to be the clear top two contenders. Five games in and both clubs look to be separating themselves from the pack. The two teams started the season with four wins and a single draw, being the only teams yet to lose. The parity is so tight that both teams have scored 16 goals and conceded two goals. With the goal difference exactly the same and both teams in amazing form, the December Manchester derby can’t come fast enough.

Manchester city dominated Watford 6-0 controlling every facet of the game. Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick and is finally looking back to his world-class form for the first time under Guardiola. Gabriel Jesus scored the third goal of the game is proving to be a deadly matchup playing with Aguero. to begin the year there were doubts if both players could play together but after the last week, there is no longer doubt. They can.

Kevin de Bruyne also put in an amazing performance and is looking like the pace setter of the team. He created key pass after key pass versus Watford if he continues with that form he will be a shoe in for player of the year. Manchester City’s squad is deep and is proving they can handle the high number of fixtures with no problem.

Manchester United responded on Sunday by getting another 4-0 win at home versus Everton. United dominated the game starting with a lead early with an amazing volley by Antonio Valencia. This led the Red Devils to have a controlled performance where they handled Everton’s attack with no real panic and turning up the pressure late. They scored three goals after the 80th minute. Half of their goals this year have come in that manner.

Lukaku continued to be potent scoring on Sunday and being the point of reference of the offense for United. The team is playing exactly how Mourinho teams do, being solid at the back and in the midfield, not worried about the goals. They know they have the talent to get them. With this team you’re not worried about it like last year, you know that the goals will come.



Both showcased themselves this weekend and proved to be the class of the league so far. This goes to show that when you spend correctly and just to spend on the names, teams can improve a lot during the summer. For City, it was the Goalkeeper and the wing backs. Now the team looks in control at the back and comfortable on passion throughout. Adding Walker and Mendy give them two backs that are workhorses on the wing that will track back and forward. Something they were missing. Ederson at goal also has given the team senses of security like they never had. United, on the other hand, spend their money on a center forward and a central defensive midfielder. Lukaku has scored five goals in five matches and Matic has fit in and brought stability to the midfield. Both clubs were the highest spenders and five games in they look to have spent wisely. The rest of the league will have to step or this might just be a two-team race.

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EPL Week 4 Rundown

Manchester City score 5 to see off Liverpool at the ETIHAD

Manchester City faced their first real test of the season and responded beautifully controlling a heavy pressing squad like Liverpool with ease. Many expected Man City’s defense to struggle with the pace the Reds bring and they did early. Yet as the game went on Manchester City looked extremely comfortable on the ball and were never really rattled by Liverpool’s attack in the second half.

The game started well for both sides with each team being able to create chances. The game was quick and back and forth until Manchester City found the net when Kevin De Bruyne found Aguero with a great through that the Argentine put it in with class. Liverpool knocked at the door but Ederson was up for all the shots from the Reds.

Then came the talking point of the game, Mane’s red card. The Senegalese international accidentally kick the City keeper, Ederson, who ran out to head the ball right out side of the box. Although Mane’s eyes were always on the ball the kick got the keeper clearly in the face in a gruesome fashion that almost looked like a Karate Kick.The referee didn’t really have an option and sent Mane off.

After the red everything was lost for Liverpool who lost their fight and organization, trying many different formations to stop the bleeding but nothing was done. Manchester City controlled the pace and found five goals. Highlighting the performance is how well Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were able to play together. Many believe both strikers can’t be on the field together but Saturday they looked in perfect sync, creating chances of each other’s movements. Jesus scored twice and was a handful for the overmatch Liverpool defense.

The last two goals were scored by Sane who came in and made an immediate impact. Finishing up an amazing team goal when he teamed up with Mendy on the left-hand side. Then came the Golazo of the weekend when Sane took a left footed shot from outside the box and put it left in the top corner, leaving the keeper with nothing to do.

Manchester City Finally looked like a Guardiola side if they are able to control games and create chances constantly like they did Saturday they could easily find themselves competing for all the titles this year. Liverpool, on the other hand, will have to work on the same issues they had last year and find ways to stay compact at the back even when playing a high pressing style.

Manchester United finally drop points

United started the year with perfect form winning all three of their matches by multiple goals. The form finally stopped when they traveled to Stoke over the weekend. The Potters were great at pushing United and putting their center backs under pressure, something we had yet to see this year. United faced their first adversity of the season a responded well to get the game back and find the lead. They couldn’t keep control of the game but the team showed heart in the performance.

Choupo-Motíng caught Baily napping and found the space in behind to finish a cross and put Stoke City ahead late in the first half. United responded quickly scoring a scrappy goal right before the halftime whistle. Manchester came back strong in the second forcing the issue and finding the net when Lukaku put in the rebound of his own attempt to get United ahead.

The lead didn’t last long as it was time for Stoke City to respond quickly to going down. Phil Jones did a horrible job defending the corner and let Choupo-Moting get a free header to tie the game. United pushed the issue but was never able to regain the lead and dropped their first points of the year.

Manchester United still sit a top of the table but have shown that they are beatable and that the issues at the back we saw last year are still there. They still look the part and responded well to going one goal down.Still, should be considered the title favorites from what we have seen of this season so far. As for Stoke this was a great result and are showing great play. They look in prime position to make a push at the Europa League spots and be nowhere near the relegation battle.

Spurs And Arsenal get much-needed wins

Spurs got a much-needed win after dropping points at home last week beating the Toffees 3-0. They faced the tough challenge of traveling to Goodison Park and face the heavy spending side Everton and passed it with ease. Spurs Controlled the game and finally look like the elite side we saw last year. Harry Kane broke the goal drought he had to start the year. Netting two goals, one from a cross that found its way in and the other was a classic give a go goal Kane scores. Ericksen scored the other goal and was the best player on the field dribbling up and down the pitch and finding any pass he wanted. Spurs form comes at a good time who welcome Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in Champions League play in a matchup that might decide the group.

Arsenal was the other team desperate for a result after the disastrous result versus Liverpool last week. They look in control all the game beating a Bournemouth 3-0 having the ball and creating chance after chance. The defense looks in no pressure all 90 minutes which was something that everyone was looking at. The Gunners face another tough test next Sunday when they visit Chelsea and the defense will have to perform like today if they want the result. Danny Welbeck found the net twice putting in a performance that might delay Alexis Sanchez re-introduction to the first 11. Arsenal looked better and started both their new signings of Lacazette and Kolasinac, something they have to do to keep performances up. Keeping the home form up was key for Arsenal to keep the pressure of the fans off the team.

Morata Keeps on shining

Chelsea Had a difficult road test visiting recent champions Leicester City and came back with three points. Still without Hazard and saving some players for the midweek champions league matchup, Chelsea was able to see out the result and gain all three points.

The first goal of the game was Morata who again was able to score a header by finding the space in between the center backs and sending the ball home. Filing in nicely with Diego Costa yet to show up to practice. The second goal came in the second half when Kante hit a low rolling shot that found the bottom corner facing his former team. Leicester City thought they found a way back when they had penalty scored by Vardy but it was difficult for the Foxes to create chances and continue having a rough start to the season. Chelsea, on the other hand, find their third straight win after the embarrassing loss in against Burnley week one.

Crystal Palace loss but West Ham win in their must win-or-get sacked games.

Crystal Palace sacked their manager Franck de Boer yesterday after starting the year with four defeats and his team not scoring a single goal. He was brought in this summer to change the style of play but that could never have been done in four games. What will make matters worse for De Boer is the final match he had. The goal they conceded was a huge gift from a back pass that Chris Wood pushed it home. Palace controlled the 90 minutes creating 23 shots and allowing only two but they were unable to find the net and now De Boer is out of a Job. Palace face a long season as four games in they lose their manager and the same problems remain, the team will have to respond quickly if they want to stay up.

West Ham was the other team facing a 0-4 start but the hammers responded with a gritty 2-0 over recently promoted side Huddersfield town. They played a classic English style of sending a ball over a top and having Andy Carrol knock the ball down to create chances. They left it late but found a deflection goal and a tap in off a corner. This win will give the manager more time to fix the system and it was a great result as the club’s first home game of the season.

The rest of the league

Watford got a great 2-0 win on the road as they beat a Southampton side that continues to struggle infront of the goal. They have failed to score the last three games. Brighton got their first win and goal of the season versus West Brom from in a 3-1 game. The last game saw Newcastle getting a scrappy 1-0 win at Swansea as they look to ignore the lack of spending in the transfer window.

There is no midweek action this week as the top teams will have Champions League play in the first European match day on the season.Expect some weird squad selections next week in response to these matches.

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Headlines From Transfer Deadline day

Winners: Tottenham

Serge Aurier comes in to fill the hole left behind by Kyle Walker(Image: Getty Images)

Spurs added depth to their squad which is what they desperately needed.They seem like the only club who really go what they wanted. The north London club has a starting 11 that can compete with anyone. Serge Aurier is a World class wing back they are bringing in from PSG. He will probably take up the role left behind by Kyle Walker’s departure to Manchester city. They got 50 million from Man City found a cheaper replacement on deadline that cost less than half (23 million).

The other pick up was Fernando Llorente who will come in and be a valuable back up to Harry Kane. The only other striker in the squad was Victor Janssen who can’t seem to score in the Premier League. Llorente is an experienced Spanish international that will understand his role, he is big, mobile and finally, gives Spurs a real option off the bench. To add more to the news they stole the striker from Chelsea who was talking to Swansea all week and then Spurs came in on deadline day and signed the Striker.

They may have missed out on bringing in the third player that was promised on deadline day but the squad has added a lot of talent. With the addition of Davinson Sanchez, last week Spurs looks like they have a full squad to compete and actually win the Premier League. They still might be a little thin to really compete in the Champions League after their difficult draw.


Losers: Arsenal and Alexis Sánchez


Alexis Sanchez’s Long waited move fell through on Deadline Day (Images; Getty Images )

After losing 4-0 at Anfield, Many expected Arsenal to be very active and bring in players. They threw in a massive bid for Thomas Lemar that was accepted by Monaco but the young French international decided he didn’t want to go a club that wasn’t in the Champions League.

They sold players on Transfer deadline day but not the one that many thought would go in Alexis Sanchez. The Gunners did accept a bid for Sanchez from Manchester city but decided not to go through with the deal after not getting a replacement. Now Arsenal is stuck with a player that is causing problems in the locker room, You don’t know how motivated and will probably leave on a free next summer.

The Gunners are in a crisis and on transfer deadline day they did nothing to improve their situation. From the Alexis point of view, he is frustrated that Arsenal backed out of the deal and that the Chilean will having to be in London more time that he wants to be probably not competing for trophies.

On the end of the spectrum, Manchester city lost the opportunity of becoming one of the scariest teams in Europe. The addition of Alexis Sanchez to the squad would have put the up there with the best teams in the world and one of the favourites to win the Champions League.

Arsenal Finished outside the top Four last season and all they have done this summer is gotten rid of some players and only brought in two Reinforcements. If Sanchez and Ozil don’t come motivated than the Gunners face the fear of becoming a mid-table team. Lacazette is a world-class striker that will get Arsenal goals and Kolasinac will be a much-needed help to the defence but that simply isn’t enough to get them among the Elite in the EPL. Arsenal should’ve done something on Deadline day or not have left it all for late in the transfer window.

Chelsea gets rejected by a player again

Usually, when a team are champions a lot of players want to go there but it is very interesting transfer window, Chelsea has managed to get rejected on numerous occasion. Romelu Lukaku rejected them earlier in summer when he decided to go to Manchester United over the Blues. Then two days ago Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain decided to turn down the move to go to Chelsea in preference to go to Anfield. Then to end Transfer deadline day they got rejected by Ross Barkley, a player that currently seems out of favor in his current squad.

While they still brought in players during the summer that will help the squad it still seems weird that so many players have rejected them recently. It wasn’t all bad news for Chelsea they were able to bring Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater on Deadline day. Zappacosta is a Right back but can play on the left-hand side and will be a much-needed backup in the heavy wingback system of Chelsea. Danny Drinkwater will be another proven midfielder that helps Chelsea deal with the expanded fixture list this season.

Chelsea didn’t have the worst day but they should have a better day and better summer but were denied by many of their top targets throughout the transfer window.


Liverpool miss out on having the perfect summer

Deadline day has passed and Coutinho is still a Liverpool player. They will have sweat it out one more day as Barcelona’s Window closes today. In addition to that, they have Brought in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who be able to play various positions in the high pressing Liverpool system.

Virgil Van Dijk will stay at Southampton to surprise of many (Image; Getty Images )

The thing is they failed in bringing in Virgil Van Dijk who would have been the perfect signing for the Reds. Liverpool is in much need of a secure center back that you can have confidence in every game. The other loss was not being as strong in their pursuit of Lemar. They were a couple million short of the offer that accepted from Arsenal and the player started that he really wanted to play for the Reds.

If Liverpool would have brought in those two players alongside what they did they would have had the perfect summer. As of now, that is in prime position to get top four again and be able to compete in every competition they are in. Yet, if they would have added them they would be among the contenders. This squad is slightly a step down from the other Manchester Squads and Chelsea but those two players would have put them right up there.

Liverpool still had a good summer they added some depth to the squad and didn’t really over spend for any players.


Other Big Moves

The most eye-catching move was made by Swansea who brought in Renato Sanchez on loan from Bayern Munich as their replacement to losing Sigurdsson a couple of days ago. He is a young prospect that was key in Portugals run to win the Euros last year. Amazing that a world class player goes to a mid-table team. The other team that had great news on Transfer Deadline day was Crystal Palace who got in the much needed center back in Buying Sacko from Liverpool. They also got help up top with signing Niasse, Crytal Palace has not started the season well. Losing three games they needed to bring in players was something the team had to do if they ever want to get out of relegation battles.

Renato Sanchez will be on Loan at Swansea this year (Image; Getty Images)


This Transfer Deadline day will be remembered for the WHAT IF. So many transfers were close to coming together that fell through. It was a day that had players reject moves, teams waiting on other teams to do so and angry players driving and flying to other countries to work out their move. Transfer Deadline day is always crazy but finally, it is the end of the silly season and teams can focus of what they have because nothing else can be done. So much money was spent this summer and it only set up the best Premier League yet.

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