Premier League: Major talking points from a frenetic Gameweek 7

Gameweek 7 of the Premier League saw plenty of exciting action, meaning fans will be keen for the international break to end soon.

Timo Werner celebrates his goal against Southampton. (Twitter: @premierleague)

The Premier League is officially done with seven rounds and, sadly for fans, the international break is back. The action in England’s top-flight league has been top notch thus far. And gameweek 7 continued the trend of high-scoring and unpredictable encounters. Liverpool and Manchester City played out a thriller, while Chelsea left it late to beat ten-men Southampton. Manchester United, meanwhile, slipped to an unwanted draw against Everton. In other news, we have the first sacked manager of the season. In news that will surprise no one, it is Watford who took the plunge and are ringing in the changes.

All in all, there is plenty to talk about at the end of each encounter. So without too much delay, let’s delve right into the talking points.

Chelsea’s win notable more for which players shone

Chelsea finally got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Southampton but the game wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests. Chelsea had to huff and puff for an eternity before they could blow the house down. Indeed, it is debatable if they would have done so had James Ward-Prowse not been sent off.

Yet that will matter little to Thomas Tuchel, who does have positives aplenty to take from this game. The biggest of those is the players who did well. Timo Werner broke his goalscoring drought and was a lively presence throughout. Ben Chilwell did well at left wing-back and even scored, even though he gave away the penalty for Ward-Prowse to score from.

There were also good performances from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who started in a deep midfield role and from Ross Barkley, who replaced him. Having all players firing is going to be crucial for Chelsea, who face a packed schedule in the coming weeks and months.

City, Liverpool prove their worth as Premier League top sides

There was much to be enjoyed about the game between Liverpool and Manchester City. Both are sides content in their identity as a team and neither is afraid to strut their stuff. As such, fans were always going to be in for a treat. And that is exactly what they got from this match.

City will perhaps regret not being more clinical in the first half, when they created chances aplenty but couldn’t finish. Equally, Liverpool will feel like they should have taken all three points after leading the game. But given the way the match went, a point each was the only fair result.

The fine margins between the two sides, did, however, showcase their title-winning credentials. Chelsea are currently on top of the table but it would be unwise to discount either of these two sides yet. Strap yourselves in fans, we could be in for a title race for the ages.

Manchester United need a cohesive system for consistent results

Many would argue that Manchester United are also potential title contenders, and they would be correct. However, their frustrating 1-1 draw against Everton highlighted an issue that needs immediate correction. Namely the fact that they do not, when push comes to shove, have a particular style of play to fall back on.

The likes of City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all tactically flexible, but do have a defined manner of attacking and defending. United, as of now, don’t have a system in place. The attack depends largely on the individual brillance of their players – which, admittedly, does the job spectacularly on occasion.

However, the best sides will all have a defined style of play, with attacking patterns and defensive movements practiced over hours on the training ground. This current United side have plenty of talented individuals, but it is clear that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer still needs to find a way to get a tune out of them as a collective.

Win against Villa merely papers over cracks for Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa ended Spurs’ dire run of three straight Premier League games without a win. Before this game, Spurs had lost all three games having conceded three goals on each occasion. In that sense, a hard-fought win over an ambitious mid-table side is good news.

Sadly for Spurs and manager Nuno Espirito Santo, that is where the good news ends. Because the signs of their current problems continue to exist. They seemed to wilt under pressure in the second half, with only individual brilliance resucing them to a degree.

To make matters worse, when things descended into chaos, it was actually Villa who looked the better side. Dean Smith’s men were unlucky not to walk away without at least a point, such is the poor state of Spurs right now. And while overnight improvement isn’t going to happen, Nuno will need the side to show some improvement very soon.

Graham Potter continues to prove elite coaching credentials

Brighton’s hard-fought 0-0 win over Arsenal ensures they will remain a Top 6 side for another two weeks at least. On current form, it is hard to argue against them meriting that position. Coach Graham Potter has created a side that, when in full flow, are greater than the sum of their parts.

This was true last season as well, but their lack of a clinical goalscoring touch severely undermined them. Now however, they are finding goals to go with their overall solid play. And it is hard to see Potter as anything but a coach who, sooner rather than later, deserves a crack at a top side.

Premier League best of the rest

  • Watford’s 1-0 loss to Leeds United saw them sack manager Xisco Munoz and replace him with Claudio Ranieri. Shocking, right? All sarcasm aside this is, for better or worse, the Watford way. It remains to be seen if Ranieri can keep them up this season. But Leeds will be pleased with the win regardless, as they needed an upturn in fortunes badly.
  • Michael Olsie inspired Crystal Palace to a thrilling 2-2 draw against Leicester City. Coming off the bench, he scored to half the deficit and showed signs of why Palace fans rate him so highly. It will be interesting to see how he links with Eberechi Eze once he’s back from injury.
  • Burnely and Norwich playing out a 0-0 draw was, in many ways, the least surprising result ever. Burnley are a workman-like side whereas Norwich would probably fail at buying a goal at this point. However, the result did little for either side in the short or long term.
  • Brentford continued their fine introduction to the Premier League with a 2-1 win away to West Ham. What’s even better news is that the winner came from Yoane Wissa, meaning they have another goal threat aside from Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbuemo. As for West Ham, they will need to do better than the listless performance they managed here if they are to finish in the Top 6.
  • Hwang Hee-Chan continues to shine for Wolves, the South Korean scoring twice in their 2-1 win over Newcastle United. In another positive, both goals were assisted by Raul Jiminez, the Mexican showing further signs of returning to his best. For Newcastle though, the hits just keep on coming. It is anyone’s guess how they intend turning this run of form around.

That’s all for this week! See you in a couple of weeks (boo the international break).

Sportslumo Desk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *