Matchday eight of the Premier League was packed full of action and talking points. As always, we look through the winners and losers of the week.
Jose Mourinho has come under sharp criticism in the last few weeks following a poor run of form by his players. So dire has the situation been that there have been rumours that he could be facing the sack anytime soon. However, their 3-2 win over Newcastle during the weekend brought a new sense of optimism around Old Trafford. The manner in which the win was secured makes it all the more interesting. They fell behind 2-0 with less than 10 minutes of action and they could not respond until the last 25 minutes of the game. Substitutes Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez were instrumental in the win whereas Antony Martial also demonstrated that he can be relied upon during such times.
Wolves are one of the surprise teams of the new season and Nuno Espirito Santo couldn’t be happier with his teams’ show of consistency. They have accumulated 15 points from their last eight fixtures and are currently seventh in the league table. Their 1-0 win away to Crystal Palace on Saturday marked their sixth clean sheet from seven fixtures. It will interest you to learn that they became the first team in the history of the Premier League to name an unchanged starting 11 for their opening eight games. This is definitely a sharp contrast to the other two promoted teams who are finding the going tough.
Bournemouth are also having a season to remember after winning five of their last eight outings. Their latest triumph over Watford was their biggest away win in the Premier League and Eddie Howe deserves credit for that. They now have 16 points and are two points behind the top four and only four points adrift of the league leaders Manchester City. This is a team that have enjoyed relative stability and if they keep up the spirit, then this could be their best season yet in the top flight.
Elsewhere, the title race keeps getting a new twist with each and every passing week. As things stand now, we have three teams tied on points at the helm, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all having 20 points. City are top of the table courtesy of a superior goal difference and they are followed by Chelsea and Liverpool in that order. This is the first time since the 2011/2012 season that three teams have gone for eight Premier Leagues fixtures without defeat and so far no teams seem ready to throw in the towel.
Riyad Mahrez will rue his missed penalty shot that could have earned them a win against title rivals Liverpool. The Algerian international had an opportunity to put the Citizens ahead in the dying stages of the game but he blasted his shot over the bar. This was just but one of his recent penalty woes after missing five of his last eight penalty attempts. If this situation is not managed properly it could put a serious dent to his confidence which he desperately needs as he settles to life at the Etihad.
Fulham are finding it difficult to cope with life in the Premier League, despite making a number of good signings in the summer. They are yet to establish their best 11 and they became the latest casualties of the Gunners’ current run of form when they lost at Craven Cottage by a 5-1 scoreline. The first half was an evenly contested affair but their opponents proved too strong in the second half. Slaviša Jokanović has been tinkering with the team but even a change of tactics could not save them from a rampant Arsenal.
Crystal Palace’s home support
Crystal Palace are having yet another troubled start to their season. They are yet to win a home fixture in the league so far after losing three and drawing one. Roy Hodgson will be more concerned about their lack of goals as they are yet to score at home since the turn of the season. They have performed much better when on their travels but zero home goals, considering the opponents have not been stellar, is a big concern. They lost to newly promoted side Wolves after conceding a goal at after the break.