Top Two Are In A Different Class To The Rest Of The Premier League
We’ll start with the Saturday evening game at Anfield and it went exactly how I thought it would go.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
There’s always optimism in the camp when you spend as much money as Arsenal did in the summer but I didn’t see them change anything that would improve them in attack or defence.
Pepe did cause some problems in the first half, even the great Virgil Van Dijk was having some problems with him. But in the 2nd half it looked like the Arsenal sides from the past decade and it could have been any score.
I thought it was a comfortable win for Liverpool and they should have won by more.
Liverpool were hindered by their Super Cup match when they played Southampton last weekend but they didn’t have that problem this weekend. We saw that really high tempo football again on Saturday against Arsenal.
It was pretty much a routine weekend for the top two. Man City were very comfortable against Bournemouth, they dealt with everything that Eddie Howe’s team had to throw at them. We are looking at a season where every dropped point by the top two is going to be crucial.
Man Utd 1-2 Crystal Palace
You couldn’t have scripted it. We knew the Manchester United penalty situation was going to come back again after what happened last week. I felt Rashford was unlucky with the spot kick, it was a good strike. Across the 90 minutes United weren’t good enough.
They dominated possession but didn’t create very much.
I can’t see anything being different this season from last season for them.
They can hit teams on the counter but Palace proved at the weekend that if you sit in and are solid you can get at them and you can hurt them. United are always going to be a big talking point but they’re not in the same class as the top two.
Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle
Christian Eriksen is key player for Tottenham especially in matches against the likes of Newcastle. I understand Pochettino is trying to lay the law down but when you know what Newcastle are going to do, you know how they’re going to play, that’s when you need a player like Eriksen who has that bit of quality.
They had so much possession in the game but they didn’t really test Dúbravka in the Newcastle goal. I thought, looking at them in the summer, their big players were all rested, they made a couple of signings, that they would start the Premier League fresh but they don’t look up to speed to me.
It was a huge result for Newcastle and I’ve said before that playing away from home would suit them better than playing at St James Park when you see how they play.
I think Newcastle will have enough to stay up.
There’s going to be pressure on them all season but I think they’ll be solid enough and they’ll have a bit of creativity up front.
The result heaps the pressure on Javi Gracia at Watford. Given the track record for managers at Watford you would have to be looking at him and thinking he’s in trouble.