Premier League Roundup: Major Talking Points from Matchweek 10
We are now a full quarter through the Premier League season, and the story lines from all across the league are as abundant as ever. Matchweek 10 ended on Monday with a heavyweight clash between Tottenham and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, who's pitch looked quite unprepared! Many of the smaller sides picked up massive wins this weekend, while the top 6 were on and off. Let's dive into some of the major topics.
Bournemouth continue to display their attacking prowess with a win at Craven Cottage.
Boy, is this Bournemouth team fun to watch. Eddie Howe continues to show us how talented he is as a manager, leading this Bournemouth team to 6th in the table. Not only are they sitting pretty in the table, but they've outscored 15 other Premier League teams, including Spurs and Manchester United. This all comes from their high-functioning front 4, which once again picked apart Fulham, who are quickly gaining the reputation of being defensively horrendous.
Callum Wilson continued his excellent form, picking up his 4th and 5th goals of the season at Craven Cottage. The wide play of Ryan Fraser and David Brooks has been the story of the season for Bournemouth, and they added a new chapter on Saturday. Fraser, a tricky and menacing winger, picked up his 4th and 5th assists of the season to put him top of the charts. Brooks on the other hand, scored once again, picking up the all-important 2nd goal to put the match to bed. Bournemouth play Manchester United next, and with the way both clubs are playing, that match may be closer than it seems.
Leicester City's late draw against West Ham overshadowed by tragic events.
If you are a follower of football, you will no doubt have heard about the tragic event that took place outside the King Power stadium on Saturday, immediately after Leicester and West Ham split the points in a gritty match. A helicopter, belonging to Leicester owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, spun out of control and crashed outside the stadium, engulfing the area in flames. None of the 5 members on board survived.
Srivaddhanaprabha was everything a chairman should be. He cared deeply for the Leicester community, the Leicester City players, staff, fans. He was generous, and seemed to have the personality which made him loved by all those who knew him. May he rest in peace.
Chelsea rampant at tough Turf Moor despite being without talisman Eden Hazard.
I'm sure Chelsea fans were not as confident as they usually would be heading into their match against Burnley on Saturday, due to the absence of match-winner Eden Hazard. A front 3 of Pedro, Willian, and the heavily criticized Alvaro Morata probably has very minimal fanatics across the Chelsea fanbase. Despite this, the Blues were rampant at Turf Moor, which is quite a difficult place to play in.
Ross Barkley took up Hazard's regular place in the spotlight, showing off his final third capabilities with a match-winning performance of goal and 2 assists. Barkley is really starting to hit the potential we had seen from him during his early Everton days, and his price tag of around £15m looks like a bargain now. Chelsea are looking sharp, and may very well be considered title contenders if they keep it up.
Arsenal's win streak comes to an end as the Gunners hit a learning curve.
Maybe some fans forgot about this during the Gunners' fantastic 11-game win streak, but Arsenal is still a team fully in transition. This was quite clear on Sunday against Crystal Palace, which proved to be a tough away fixture. Arsenal's matches have all followed the same narrative for the most part this season:
Start slow, concede chances, get to halftime miraculously level, dominate the 2nd half, win the match.
This looked to be the case once again on Sunday, but the Gunners conceded a silly penalty on the stroke of halftime, courtesy of Shkodran Mustafi, which allowed Palace to lead the match at halftime. Arsenal's form was expected to improve in the 2nd half by many, but it didn't quite do so. Sure, they scored twice, but the lack of full-back penetration or breaking of the lines from midfield meant the Gunners failed to produce many chances, eventually settling for a 2-2 draw. A draw is in no way a bad result for Arsenal, who will surely learn from their mistakes, as Unai Emery continues to steer this club in the right direction.
Manchester City squeak by Spurs on a pathetic Wembley pitch.
This was probably the toughest top-6 rivalry match to watch, ever. This was due to the state of the pitch at Wembley, which still had the logo's, markings, and texture from the NFL match the day before imprinted onto it. Still, we had 2 quality teams going head-to-head on Monday, and as highly expected, Manchester City completed their work to seal a 1-0 victory. Spurs created some chances, which they subsequently missed. The biggest being Erik Lamela's chance, which could most certainly be blamed upon the horrid Wembley pitch.
The match had some moments of controversy, with the biggest being Benjamin Mendy capping off a subpar performance with a wild swing towards the head of Erik Lamela, who was facing the opposite direction and didn't even notice.
At the end of the day, it was City's quality that nicked the match in their favour, courtest of an early Riyad Mahrez goal.