WEEKEND OF SURPRISES
Where do I begin? What a weekend of surprises, a weekend of action and a weekend of footballing entertainment. There were 3 stand out matches over the weekend and either one of those games could have grabbed the headlines. You look at the Leeds vs Man City game, Spurs vs Man Utd and Aston Villa vs Liverpool. All 3 matches were brilliant and a great spectacle of how the game should be played. This further shows just how competitive the premier league is and why it is regarded as the best league in the world.
Deservedly, Aston Villa in their complete destruction of current premier league title holders Liverpool get the accolades and merit for what they did. Who would have predicted it (definitely not me), share brilliance and quality on display for all to see. I am sure some Liverpool supports will say it was a one off and from that perspective, I definitely agree. The Reds haven’t turned into the worst team in the league over night. You don’t go from winning the champions league and premiership title to becoming uncompetitive within 6 months, it just doesn’t happen. No, the focus here is solely on Aston Villa who marginally escaped relegation last season.
Villa were outstanding in everything they did. It is very difficult to find a negative critique of their performance (don’t forget that Liverpool tried to play also). The question I ask is why don’t other teams with lesser resources approach the start of the season in this fashion rather than waiting till the last 10 games of the season to try and stay in the league. I believe Villa have learnt a lot from last season and I would be very surprised to see them in the bottom 3 come May next year.
Aston Villa raced ahead to a 2-0 lead through unknown striker Watkins who scored in the 4th and 22nd minute respectively. Salah pulled one back in the 33rd with a half volleyed finish into the roof of the net. Such was the attacking prowess on display from Villa that they kept bombing forward at every opportunity and not giving Liverpool a chance to settle. McGinn added a third in the 35th minute before Watkins grabbed a memorable hat-trick in the 39th minute to put the home-side 4-1 ahead (surely a cult hero now).
Debutant Barkley (signed from Chelsea) added a fifth for Villa before Salah grabbed another in the 60th minute. However, the match would not be completed without contributions from Grealish. The Aston Villa captain rounded up the evening game with two goals, leaving the Reds with the worst record for a defending champion as the game ended 7-2 to Villa. A thoroughly deserved victory and we hope for the sake of Villa fans that the team’s performances get better if not, maintaining the same display and standard shown against Liverpool. Liverpool on the other hand will be back to winning ways but after just 4 games, the season certainly does look interesting at the early stages.
Villa would have taken initiative I’m sure from Spurs who earlier travelled to Old Trafford in the game against Manchester United. Tottenham put in a headline grabbing performance and made it two wins in a row for Mourinho against former clubs having knocked Chelsea out of the League Cup a few days earlier. Spurs are in blistering form currently and with Bale yet to put on a shirt, things can only get better for the North Londoners.
United took the lead through a penalty converted by Fernandes after Martial was brought down by Sanchez in only the 2nd minute of play. Tottenham responded immediately as clumsy defending by £85 million Maguire (hahahaha!!) presented NDombele with the opportunity for the Spurs leveler in the 4th minute. Son brilliantly put Tottenham ahead in the 7th minute after Kane’s quickly taken freekick freed the Spurs attacking midfield through on the United goal. Martial was sent off (not that it would have made much difference) in the 28th minute after striking Lamela in the face, although the Argentine was lucky not to have been sent off for similar actions against Martial.
Tottenham’s onslaught continued and were rewarded when Kane found the back of the net after great play from Son in the 30th minute before Son added his second in the 37th minute. By this time, there was only ever going to be one outcome and one winner. In the second half Spurs carried on where they left off as Aurier who was magnificent throughout grabbed what was probably the goal of the game in the 51st minute before Kane wrapped things up with a 79th minute penalty ending the game 6-1 to Spurs. A memorable victory for the away side that will surely live long in the memory of Spurs supporters and fans (I heard united fans tuned off at half time-oh how the tables have turned hehehehe!!). Are Spurs now in a position whereby they feel confident enough to push and mount a serious title challenge? You best believe they are.
Meanwhile Leeds continued to impress with another fine display as they earned a valuable draw against Manchester City. On a good day their performance and progress would have made the back pages but for Aston Villa’s shocking result. Nevertheless, you have to credit a well organised outfit who are standing tall against the more established premiership teams. Sterling put City ahead in the 17th minute before Rodrigo equalised for Leeds in the 59th minute. Leeds potentially could finish in the top 6 (no its impossible) and I am certain they will give it a good go. Chelsea won 4-0 in the London derby game against Crystal Palace whilst West Ham took all 3 points in their game against Leicester, winning 3-0.
Everton made it 4 wins in 4 as Carlo Ancelotti’s boys continue to set the early pace this season. I think we tend to forget that Ancelotti is every bit a successful manager and in the same calibre as the likes of your Fergusons, Mourinhos, Wengers and Guardiolas (yes I said it…..ok Wenger is questionable). He has won titles everywhere he’s managed and lets not forget he also won the premier league with Chelsea. It will come as no surprise should Everton finish at the summit (no I’m kidding, it will be absolutely shocking!!!).
Rampant Villains too hot to handle!!!!