The Premier League is back! This season, there are plenty of storylines to keep you entertained. Here we’ll take a look at the first round and how some players have performed so far
The “manchester city schedule” is an event that happened this week. Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace scored a stunning goal to stun Manchester City and PSG lost to Lyon. Man United’s Edinson Cavani was the key player in their win over Liverpool.
Manchester United bounced back against Tottenham, Arsenal found some goalkeeper brilliance, and some large teams (Paris Saint-Germain) are having trouble getting all of their players on the same page. There were also plenty of goals and discussion points around Barcelona, Brighton’s 0-0 tie with Liverpool, and Juventus. Manchester City, on the other hand, saw the best of Wilfried Zaha in their stunning loss on Saturday.
Mark Ogden, Sam Marsden, and James Tyler are here to talk you everything you need to know about Europe.
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There are four items to consider.
Cavani is crucial as Manchester United humiliate Tottenham Hotspur.
While Cristiano Ronaldo played a key part in Manchester United’s 3-0 triumph against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, it was Edinson Cavani who demonstrated why he is perhaps the most essential player in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad right now.
The former PSG striker earned just his second Premier League start of the season as Solskjaer switched to a 3-5-2 system in response to last week’s 5-0 thrashing at home to Liverpool, with Cavani choosing to play alongside Ronaldo in a front two. The swap paid off handsomely for United boss Jose Mourinho, as Ronaldo and Cavani scored the opening two goals against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Why is Cavani so crucial to United’s success? The Uruguayan international, on the other hand, accomplishes two things that distinguish him not just from the rest of Solskjaer’s attackers, but also from the rest of the team.
Messi is still not clicking for PSG.
Mauricio Pochettino’s superstar project triumphed again this weekend, defeating defending champions Lille 2-1, but doubt still surrounds Mauricio Pochettino’s superstar project after winning 10 of their first 12 games in Ligue 1.
PSG overcame Lille thanks to two late goals, with Angel Di Maria’s winner coming in the 88th minute. PSG was without Kylian Mbappe due to injury. It was the fourth time they’d fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 this season, with three of those four goals coming after the 87th minute. Earlier in the season, a 90th-minute winner against Metz sealed a 2-1 victory, although in a game in which PSG had scored first.
When you consider last weekend’s goalless draw against Marseille — as well as the recent 2-0 defeat to Rennes — it’s evident that Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi’s front line has yet to gel. Following his summer transfer from Barcelona, Messi in particular is being scrutinized in France. In five Ligue 1 outings, he has failed to score and was pulled off at halftime against Lille with a knock. His terrible domestic record contrasts with his Champions League achievements, where he has three goals in three games. SM —
See? Bayern Munich is doing nicely.
Julian Nagelsmann and his teammates got back to business on Saturday, shrugging off a humiliating 5-0 midweek cup setback at Borussia Monchengladbach to score five goals of their own in a comfortable 5-2 victory against Union Berlin. Any lingering sour feelings from their DFB-Pokal defeats were washed away in a polished performance of offensive football, with Robert Lewandowski scoring twice in the first 23 minutes, Leroy Sane adding a third before halftime, and Kingsley Coman and Thomas Muller netting late goals of their own.
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Although it may have been more nerve-wracking had Manuel Neuer not made a succession of stops after Union had made it 1-3 early in the second half, Berlin weren’t horrible. (It’s possible that Nagelsmann may lose patience with his high-risk/high-reward plan of maintaining his defensive line in midfield one day.)
Coman’s thunderous top-corner goal for Bayern’s fourth was the game-winner, widening a distance that Union couldn’t recover (though Taiwo Awoniyi and Sheraldo Becker will lament not making the most of some clear-cut chances). Bayern maintains a slim lead at the top of the table, however Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 win against Koln (again, without the injured Erling Haaland) may give Nagelsmann pause. After all, the first Der Klassiker of the season is set for Dec. 4 between the two teams. James Tyler is an author.
Potter’s brilliance at Brighton should put him on the radar of more prestigious teams.
Graham Potter was discussed as a possible replacement to Jose Mourinho by Tottenham Hotspur this summer, but the club decided to select Nuno Espirito Santo rather than try to entice Potter away from Brighton. Despite Potter’s good track record of building teams that play with flare and persistence, sources inside the Spurs management told ESPN that the former Ostersund and Swansea coach was not a big enough name to excite the club’s fans or players.
The 46-year-strong old’s start to the season and the club’s smart recruitment under Potter — he has reignited Adam Lallana’s career at the Amex Stadium and wisely invested in Zambia midfielder Enock Mwepu, the latter scoring a sublime goal at Anfield on Saturday — suggest that the 46-year-old will not be dismissed so dismissively the next time a top job opens up in the months ahead.
Although Potter is unlikely to make the move to Old Trafford just yet, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s post-match comments during Brighton’s last two games, against Manchester City and Liverpool, show just how highly he is regarded by the leading names in his field.
Brighton’s performance at Anfield on Saturday, when they came back from 2-0 down to clinch a 2-2 draw, exemplified the traits they’ve cultivated under Potter. They are a high-energy group with a solid blend of experience and young skill. The Seagulls’ comeback tie kept them inside one point of the top four and continued their remarkable start to the season, highlighting once again why Potter’s reputation is increasing by the week. Ogden, Utah
Three objectives that you must see
With elegance, retaliate in the goals.
Memphis Depay’s first goal from open play for Barcelona since August took a long time to come, but it was at least stunning. When the Dutchman scooped up the ball on the edge of the box, there looked to be little danger. He pretended to go outside before entering and firing a shot into the top corner of the Alaves goal.
Memphis has five goals since joining Barcelona from Lyon in the summer, but this was his first open-play goal in ten games. His last two goals were both penalties, and he even missed from the spot in Rayo Vallecano’s midweek setback, which lost coach Ronald Koeman his job.
With Koeman out of the picture, Barcelona’s temporary coach Sergi Barjuan was unable to capitalize on Memphis’ 49th-minute screamer. Through Luis Rioja, Alaves drew equal in three minutes. Barca failed to score, with Memphis squandering two golden opportunities, and the draw left them in ninth place in the standings after three league games without a win.
At Camp Nou, there is apathy. The game against Alaves on Saturday drew less than 40,000 fans, and whomever succeeds Koeman — sources told ESPN that talks with Al Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez are still underway — would have no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge before of them. Marsden
STOP IT, MEMPHIS! pic.twitter.com/1DpyOsKvib
30 October 2021 — ESPN FC (@ESPNFC)
Ramsdale makes a great save.
Okay, this is a bit of a departure from the usual routine. Great goals are celebrated for their eye-catching aspects as well as their relevance to the overall outcome, but a goalkeeper’s excellent contribution is usually neglected, even if it is just as vital as a goal.
With that in mind, Aaron Ramsdale’s save to keep away James Maddison’s free-kick in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory against Leicester on Saturday was as important as any goal, prompting former Manchester United and Denmark great Peter Schmeichel to tweet that it was the “greatest save I’ve seen for years…”
Maddison is a free-kick expert, and he was in excellent range from 20 yards out to cut Leicester’s lead to 2-1 shortly before half-time. Ramsdale was able to fling himself across goal and palm the ball away with his left hand, despite the fact that his set-piece was on target and shot with speed. That was excellent enough on its own, but the Sheffield United summer signing then reacted fast to stop Jonny Evans’ follow-up shot.
In seven Premier League games for the Gunners, the 23-year-old has surrendered only four goals and preserved four clean sheets, and Mikel Arteta’s side hasn’t lost since Ramsdale replaced Bernd Leno in goal in mid-September. His presence has instilled newfound confidence in Arsenal’s defenders, which will only increase as a result of saves like the one he made against Leicester. Ogden, Utah
All of the distributions and stops
Here’s a link to @AaronRamsdale98’s MOTM performance: pic.twitter.com/9RNh5cAF0M
October 31, 2021 — Arsenal (@Arsenal)
From 70 yards out, a goal? Please, yes…
Sunderland supporters may always wonder “what if” when it comes to offensive midfielder Wahbi Khazri; his promising start after joining from Bordeaux in 2016 swiftly turned sour as he failed to assist the Black Cats escape back-to-back relegations before joining Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1. He’s been averaging a goal every 2-3 games for Les Verts, and Saturday’s 1-1 tie with FC Metz may have been his finest yet. After falling down early in the game (Metz is 18th, Saint-Etienne is 20th), Khazri let one fly from his own half in the 16th minute, gliding a shot beyond Alexandre Oukidja’s desperate flails for the equalizer.
The goal didn’t move Saint-Etienne out of last place in Ligue 1, but it was certainly one of the most impressive efforts of the season. JT’s opinion
Wahbi Khazri scores for Saint-Etienne against Metz yesterday from 70 yardspic.twitter.com/PYXaNkMQzz
October 31, 2021 — Robin Bairner (@RBairner)
There are two teams that should be concerned.
Is it true that the “Yellow Submarine” is sinking?
Unai Emery is being questioned in Spain after his Villarreal team was defeated 2-0 by local rivals Valencia on Saturday. Villarreal have now gone four games without a victory in the league and have only won two of their first 11 domestic matches, putting them four points above the relegation zone.
In other conditions, Emery could already be unemployed. However, the former Arsenal boss has been given some breathing space after winning the Europa League last season. However, the following seven games are going to have a significant impact on how much time he receives. Villarreal visit Young Boys in the Champions League this week, where they are in second place behind Manchester United, and then play Getafe at the weekend in LaLiga.
After the November international break, Emery’s schedule becomes more difficult. Following a league match against Celta Vigo, Villarreal will play Manchester United, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Atalanta in a 15-day span. Marsden’s words
Just when you thought Juventus had regained their composure…
Although there are still two-thirds of the Serie A season left, and the usual disclaimers about “it’s still early” apply, when do we start to think of Juventus as aiming for a top-four finish rather than the title? After a fourth loss in 11 league games, it seems that “now” is the time to make a change.
Juve’s 2-1 loss to Verona on Saturday was a picture of their season so far: they were two goals behind within the first 15 minutes, and despite numerous fantastic opportunities for Paolo Dybala (who needs to regain his shooting boots), they couldn’t get back into the game until it was too late.
Giovanni Simeone, coming off a four-goal performance against Lazio last Sunday, scored both goals to sink the Bianconeri this weekend. The first was a stroke of luck, as Antonin Barak’s deflected shot dropped pleasantly to him six yards away, resulting in an easy tap-in. After obtaining the ball left of goal, he moved infield a little and took advantage of no defensive pressure to curl a superb shot over and past Wojciech Szczesny. With 10 minutes left, Weston McKennie grabbed one back, but there was little prospect of a comeback.
It’s evident that Juventus aren’t themselves (or whatever they’re meant to be in this post-Ronaldo era), but with time and patience, they’ll find a winning rhythm. They have much too much skill across the team to be this terrible. Fans, on the other hand, should be more realistic about what this team can do. Juve didn’t lose their fourth league game until Matchday 31 the last time they won the league, in 2019-20. It’ll be a while before they’re as firm as they once were. Tyler’s comment
The Palace star played a key role in the season’s biggest upset.
When Wilfried Zaha is in great form, he can be unstoppable, as Manchester City learned to their dismay when the winger put in a talismanic display for Crystal Palace in their 2-0 victory at the Etihad. The former Manchester United player scored one goal, assisted on another, and drew the foul that resulted in City’s Aymeric Laporte getting sent off in the first half for preventing a goal-scoring chance.
In the first half, Zaha opened the score for Palace with a mis-hit effort that eluded goalkeeper Ederson, and later in the game, he encouraged the play that led to Conor Gallagher scoring the game-winning goal for Patrick Vieira’s side.
In the end, Zaha’s ability to get under the skin of City’s players was a major element in Palace’s victory. Not only did Zaha get Laporte sent off when the defender wrestled him to the ground, but he also prompted other City players to lose their minds by continuously fouling him. Bernardo Silva, in particular, was lucky to avoid a first-half red card for a brutal tackle on the 28-year-old.
Zaha is one of those players who can wear out an opponent to the point of distraction, as he did excellently against City. When he’s in form, Zaha can kill the best of opponents, which is possibly why he’s never had a second opportunity at a big club since returning to Palace from United in 2015. Ogden, Utah
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