It’s only week two of the new Premier League season and three of the self-styled ‘Big Six’ have already suffered their first defeat of the campaign.
Chelsea woke up at Wembley, Manchester United continued to swat away all before them and Arsenal…did an Arsenal.
It’s your weekly Premier League winners and losers.
Chelsea. Injuries, suspensions, defeat to Burnley last week, a manager fit to kill someone in a fit of white-hot rage – things were not looking good for Chelsea heading into the all-London clash at Wembley. And yet they came through it, as Conte taught this team to do so often before. A reshuffled pack that included David Luiz and debutant Tiemoue Bakayoko in midfield paid off and a huge win was the outcome. Crisis? What crisis?
Marcos Alonso. But for Juventus having the balls to turn down £60m for Alex Sandro, Alonso might not have even been playing in this match, and yet he turned out to be Chelsea’s saviour. A top-class free kick in the first half and a darting to run to finish off the second goal late on proved once again just how important the Spaniard is to this team.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Four assists in two games already, and after a season of finding his feet in the Premier League, the Armenian is now ready to take it by storm. It’s early days yet but Mkhitaryan could turn out to be the biggest creative force in the Man United attack this season.
Andy Robertson. The life of a Liverpool left-back is rarely an easy one. Just ask Fabio Aurelio, Andrea Dossensa, Paul Konchesky, Emiliano Insua, Jon Flanagan, Alberto Moreno and James Milner. However, the new £10m signing Andy Robertson had a strong debut in the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday. It’s only a start, but it’s definitely something to build on.
Mark Hughes & Stoke. A tough start and quiet summer in the transfer market led many to believe that Hughes would be the first managerial casualty of the season, but what a difference a couple of weeks makes. New signings Jese Rodriguez and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were thrown in at the deep end in the 1-0 win against Arsenal on Saturday, but it proved to be a masterstroke from Hughes. The former scored his first goal for the club just days after landing in the country, and the team as a whole now already looks a lot stronger.
Aaron Mooy. Signed by Manchester City last season in an odd move on many levels, Mooy was immediately loaned out to Huddersfield, and then sold to the Terriers this summer. Already, the Australian international is looking a fantastic bit of business as he was the best player on the pitch against Newcastle on Sunday. Took his goal extremely well too.
West Brom. Two wins, two clean sheets. West Brom’s best start to a Premier League season and although they rode their luck a bit against Burnley, only the three points matter.
Javier Hernandez. Chicharito is back, even if West Ham aren’t.
West Ham. This section could be filled with West Ham players, truth be told. From Marko Arnautovic’s brainless red card, conceding two penalties (one in the dying minutes having dragged it back to 2-2), Joe Hart only saving three of the ten shots he has faced so far (according to Whoscored), then it all adds up to a nightmare. West Ham are bottom of the league now and are threatening to implode already. Not a good sign.
Slaven Bilic. Bilic was able to steer West Ham out of trouble in the end last season, but that won’t earn him a grace period here. Davids Sullivan and Gold have never sounded 100% on the Croatian’s jub security at the London Stadium, and they will have no qualms about getting a new manager if they think it will help the team improve.
Arsenal. One step forward, one step back. Into a puddle. Arsenal can point to the disallowed Lacazette goal in the second half (and Wenger has done) but the truth is that the Gunners deserved to lose at Stoke, and although the fans’ natural reaction is to demand signings, an already bloated squad makes that impossible right now.
Newcastle. This squad may have been too good for the Championship, but it doesn’t look cut out for the Premier League yet. Big ten days ahead for Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley.
Bournemouth. Sluggish, awkward, still without a single point (or goal) this season. It’s too early to panic wildly yet Eddie Howe will know he already has a job on his hands.
Read More About: aaron mooy, Andy Robertson, Arsenal, Chelsea, henrikh mkhitaryan, huddersfield, jese, jose hart, Liverpool, Man United, marcos alonso, mark hughes, Marko Arnautovic, Newcastle, Premier League, Rafa benitez, slaven bilic, stoke, Top Story, West Ham