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10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides


It was a weekend of shocks in the Premier League as half of the so-called Big Six suffered defeat.

Manchester United , Arsenal and Tottenham were all left beaten in a game week that could have huge ramifications for the title race come the end of the season.

Crystal Palace’s win at Old Trafford raised eyebrows as Marcus Rashford missed a penalty – days after Paul Pogba also missed one – and David De Gea fumbled his lines to give the visitors the win.

Arsenal were brushed aside by title challengers Liverpool , who waltzed to victory with relative ease in Merseyside.

Tottenham will likely be most disappointed, falling to a 1-0 defeat on home soil to Newcastle as Steve Bruce celebrated his first win.

There were wins for Manchester City and Chelsea elsewhere, while West Ham , Southampton , Leicester and Aston Villa will also be happy with their weekend efforts.

Here are all the key talking points from the Premier League weekend…

1. Solskjaer takes aim at vile Twitter trolls

Solskjaer offered support to his United stars

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a pop at the Twitter trolls after Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford were racially abused last week but Manchester United’s own social media team were left red faced this weekend.

For reasons best known to themselves, the club’s official Twitter account declared on Saturday lunchtime that it wished the Reds were playing Chelsea again instead of Crystal Palace , having beaten the Blues 4-0 on the opening day.

“Talk to us, Reds: how are you feeling? #MUFC #MUNCHE,” it asked before adding: *#MUNCRY. Wish we were playing Chelsea again, though…”

Cue the Eagles’ first Old Trafford success in 30 years – and their first league win over United since 1991 – and it was time to eat electronic humble pie.

“We’re sure you do… *#MUNCRY,” replied Palace’s own Twitter feed. United’s spectacular own goal did not go un-noticed by Chelsea either, with Frank Lampard’s side winners at Norwich earlier in the day.

“How’d it go?” the Blues’ Twitter account asked. Not well, not well.

2. But more penalty drama at United

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Rashford missed United’s second penalty in a week

Paul Pogba was criticised for taking a spot-kick in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves , ahead of Marcus Rashford, and then seeing it saved by Rui Patricio.

Pogba has now missed four of his 11 attempts in the Premier League and, after United were handed a penalty in the second half, there were no arguments over Rashford stepping up to take the spot-kick.

But, much to the dismay of United fans, the England striker – who stuttered his run-up – saw his effort cannon off the post – and captain Luka Milivojevic was able to breathe a sigh of relief having fouled Scott McTominay.

Perhaps Pogba should have taken it after all…

3. Salah does it again

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Salah continued to do Salah things with Liverpool

Mo Salah loves playing against Arsenal. Well, with their defence, who wouldn’t?

The Egyptian hit two, including a penalty, in Liverpool’s 3-1 Anfield success on Saturday.

That took his personal tally against the Gunners to six – no other top-six side has been hurt nearly as much by Salah in the Premier League.

For the record, he has also scored six against both Watford and Bournemouth , five against Southampton and four apiece against West Ham and hapless Huddersfield .

4. Pepe provides glimmer of hope for Arsenal

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Pepe’s performance offers a glimmer of hope for Arsenal fans

Arsenal fans were given a pre-match boost when Unai Emery’s line-up included club-record £72m winger Nicolas Pepe.

And the Ivory Coast wing wizard didn’t disappoint, showing glimpses of why Arsenal have broken the bank to bolster their attacking ranks.

He possesses frightening pace that kept Andy Robertson on his toes and he went close to scoring on two occasions.

Gary Neville even said on commentary that Virgil van Dijk was scared of him. That doesn’t happen very often!

5. De Bruyne smashes Ozil’s assist record

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Assists? De Bruyne will have you sorted

Kevin De Bruyne smashed Mesut Ozil’s record for the fastest player to set up 50 Premier League goals.

The Belgian – who missed much of last season through injury – saw a scuffed shot reach Sergio Aguero for Manchester City’s first goal in yesterday’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

That meant he had required 123 games to reach 50 assists – 18 fewer than Arsenal’s erratic playmaker, who reached the milestone in his 141st game for the Gunners.

6. VAR takes centre stage again

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Kane was brought down by Lascelles – but no penalty was given

The new technology has been a key player in the opening weeks of the season and this weekend was no exception.

Tottenham fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United and Harry Kane was denied a penalty by VAR – despite being tripped by Jamaal Lascelles.

Manchester City saw off Bournemouth 3-1 on the south coast and David Silva wasn’t awarded a penalty at 2-1 – although he appeared to be fouled by Jefferson Lerma.

Lastly, Manchester United lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace and Anthony Martial was refused a penalty – yet he was man handled by Martin Kelly as he shaped to shoot.

Love it or loath it, VAR is here to stay and there is no doubting that it has raised more questions than answers since its introduction to the Premier League.

7. Bruce gets his win – but it’s subdued celebrations

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Bruce was happy – but he didn’t go and clap the Toon supporters

On a day of sporting heroics and defiance, still no-one saw this result coming.

Not least Steve Bruce who celebrated at the final whistle with a muted smile and a hug for each of his players as they trooped off looking weary and wounded at the final whistle.

For once the Toon Army in the away end could be excused for taking their shirts off to celebrate on a gloriously hot day in North London when it was Tottenham who ran out of gas.

But you can probably understand why Bruce chose not to go over to the away end after the game considering the amount of stick he has taken even from his own supporters this season.

8. Haller said he was rubbish

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Haller has made his mark with West Ham already

Sebastien Haller is the name on the lips of West Ham fans – but he thought he was rubbish in their win over Watford.

Haller might have gone some way to justifying his price tag with the Hammers with his quick fire double which secured their win this weekend.

He showed true poacher’s instinct with his finishes and already looks like he will handle the pressure of being top dog leading the line at the London Stadium.

The reaction after the game, where he claimed he did not put in the performance he perhaps wanted to, is a promising sign. He clearly has more to come.

9. Lampard gets it right putting faith in youth

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Lampard will have enjoyed that one

The new Chelsea head coach said promoting youth was at the top of his agenda when he secured the job back in early July.

He is a man of his word and the faith he has put in the likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount has been dually rewarded.

Mount has scored in his previous two Premier League games including the second of the Blues’ three goals at Norwich on Saturday.

Abraham netted either side of his fellow Chelsea academy product and poignantly celebrated his first strike with Lampard.

It’s early days but the initial signs are positive. ‘Super Frank’ is taking young ingredients and blending them into a possible recipe for success.

10. The game needs characters like Vardy

10 talking points from Premier League weekend with Man Utd and Arsenal among losing sides
Vardy is the sort of character that the game needs

Let’s just take a moment to step back and appreciate Jamie Vardy.

Well, that’s if you’re not a Sheffield United fan.

As he thumped home the opening goal for Leicester at Bramall Lane on Saturday, he immediately stood in front of their Kop and cupped his ears.

Vardy, a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan, enjoyed that moment and loved riling up the boo-boys who had targeted him earlier in the game.

Football wouldn’t be the same if we did not have characters like Vardy. It’s harmless fun and it’s great to see.



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