After an unexpected win from Norwich city, a disappointing Arsenal performance and three stellar matches for Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, we take a look at Match Week 5’s winning and losing players.
Manchester United grind out all 3 points against Leicester
It was a back-to-basics performance from the Red Devils on Saturday, as United reduced Leicester to relatively small chances. Despite having more of the ball throughout the game, Leicester could not capitalise on this control, a powerful strike from Maddison being their stand out opportunity.
It was a positive outing for all the United players, but yet again it was Marcus Rashford that was the stand-out star, netting a penalty and hitting the crossbar with a curling free-kick. Harry Maguire showed the kind of solid defending that earned him an £80 Million move, with a strong showing of his ability to play out from the back.
Winner- Marcus Rashford
Another brilliant performance from United’s player of the season so far with a Ferguson-esque performance. Despite not having been given many chances to score, he was dangerous throughout and essentially won the match single-handedly.
Loser- Ayoze Perez
It has been a struggle so far for the former Newcastle star to settle in for his new side, failing to impress in any of his roles as a centre-forward or as a winger. After being dropped to the bench, he again failed to show any real threat that would warrant an inclusion back into the team. We wouldn’t give up on him just yet, though; He is certainly worth believing in once he settles into the Rodger’s strategy.
Chelsea put in a five-star performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Lampard’s surprise change of strategy was a bold decision but ultimately worked very well, as they reverted from a 4-3-3 to a 3-5-2 style. This allowed the leaky Chelsea defense more cover against an extremely dangerous counter-attacking Wolves side. After an unexciting first half an hour, the game exploded when Tomori curled a 30-yard strike into the top corner, followed by a clever finish from Tammy Abraham on the spin just three minutes later.
Just as the Wolves looked to settle, an inch perfect cross into Abraham allowed him to header past Krul, giving Chelsea a 3-0 lead starting the second half. When the Wolves ought to have seized the opportunity to attack, their vulnerability was exposed by another fantastic move by Abraham: dribbling in and out of a couple of defenders before firing low into the bottom corner.
Wolves fought back, however, after two sloppy pieces of defending from Chelsea. This led to a clearly frustrated Lampard allowing the Wolves back into the game, just before a calm finish from Mount killed the game off in the dying minutes.
Winner- Tammy Abraham
It was a case of “Wham bam, thank you Tam” for Chelsea, as Tammy Abraham climbed to joint top goal scorer in the league alongside Aguero after netting his fifth, sixth and seventh goals of the season.
Loser- Antonio Rudiger
After a commanding and assured performance, Rudiger had to be removed through injury, which is particularly disappointing as he had just finished rehabbing from the same thigh injury.
Manchester City are humbled by a classy Norwich side
In the surprise of the season, Norwich City put in a masterclass on how to counter against Guardiola’s possession-type football. The Canaries defended admirably throughout, which is particularly impressive considering their severe injury crisis. Academy product Todd Cantwell and free signing Teemu Pukki engineered the win.
It was a strange performance from a usually calm and collected Man City, who were wasteful throughout. The loss of Laporte is evident and Guardiola may be looking for a replacement in the defense, as Norwich were able to carve out three golden opportunities and took each one perfectly.
Winner– Todd Cantwell
All it took for me to decide this was to see the joy and jubilation in his celebration after putting his side two up. The academy product scoring for his boyhood club will always be special, but when it is against the champions of England it was always going to be a fantastic scene.
Loser- Nicolas Otamendi
A calamity of a performance from the Argentinian led to the demise of his side. He will undoubtedly be disappointed as it was a chance for him to ensure he is one of the first names on the team sheet.
Arsenal let 3 points slip against out-of-favours Watford
Unai Emery’s side were wasteful after a fantastic start from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who continued his fine form and bagged a brace. Arsenal settled early, but Watford forced them into panicking and they never regained any real comfort on the ball or in transition. This should have been a routine win against an unsettled team with a new manager, but after Cleverly reduced the deficit to one, Arsenal’s collapse had a feeling of inevitability. After David Luiz gave away a penalty that Pereyra converted, it looked like Watford could escape with all 3 points, but ultimately it ended in deadlock.
Winner- Quique Sanchez Flores
A fantastic second half display from the manager’s side will give himself and the club a much-needed boost after a dramatic week. A point against Arsenal is always a decent start, but the performance was more than just encouraging.
Loser- David Luiz
His performance had Arsenal fans asking if they are allowed to sue Chelsea over selling the club ‘damaged goods’. Already looking unsettled and error prone.
Liverpool remain perfect after early Newcastle scare
As is almost routine now, Klopp’s side regained composure after conceding early and dominated proceedings throughout. After an early Williems beauty, Liverpool controlled possession and never looked back with Mane gaining the lead before half time. A strong contrast to City’s performance, Liverpool never looked threatened. Salah sealing the win with 12 minutes to play was justly deserved.
Newcastle can still be proud in there display, but will still be looking to improve in their ability to create. Although it was very much job done for Liverpool, their inability to collect clean sheets might be a slight cause of concern against a better opposition.
Winner- Sadio Mane
Another two goals from Liverpool’s forward is further solidifying his place as one of the league’s very best. His combination play with Firminio and Salah is unstoppable and he is the catalyst for their success.
Loser- Emil Krafth
Although always a difficult task to defend against Liverpool, it was his miss on the other end of the pitch that frustrated Newcastle fans, as he never recovered from a guilt edged chance to equalize.