Premier League: What we learned from matchweek 2 - Liverpool means business, Chelsea will take time to impress, Arsenal need midfield reinforcements
Liverpool means business
It certainly can’t be advisable to conclude just two games.
But like the rampaging statement made by Manchester City in the summer of 2017.
When they spent so much on Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, and a few other defensive-minded players
leading to them amassing a century of points for the record books, the acquisition of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich is a statement of intent, to rule for a long time and remain invincible, as evident in the 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
In just a half of football, Thiago bossed the midfield, raked up stats on touches, and more importantly, influence in the opposition area and could have topped it with a goal as his curling effort went just inches wide of Kepa’s left post.
Defensively, Liverpool doesn’t have much to worry about, James Milner can always fill in at either side of fullbacks should Trent Alexander Arnold be unavailable or Andy Robertson.
Another option at right-back is Joe Gomez and Tsipas and Fabinho can both fill in at left-back, goes without saying that Virgil Van Dijk can always give you extra comfort with whoever is chosen to partner him at center back.
Joy to watch for Liverpool fans who endured the error-laden days of Dejan Lovren and Sakho, the days of Klavan and Alberto Moreno, ever heard of Sebastien Coates and Alex Teixeira?
Upfront, the need for Diogo Jota wasn’t obvious but Jurgen Klopp knows best.
The Portuguese forward joined from Wolves, with pace, movement, and precision.
Sadio Mane and Mo Salah have both owned the two fixtures played so far with the latter netting a hattrick against Leeds and Mane hitting a brace against Chelsea, the rest of the bunch must be worried.
Chelsea will take time to impress
|Sadio Mane puts Liverpool ahead with a powerful header into the bottom left corner during |
Livepool 2-0 win vs Chelsea (Source: premierleague.com)
Up until Christensen’s sending off at Anfield on Sunday, Chelsea still had a chance to get something from the game.
The Dane’s indiscretions, proudly supported by yet another Kepa Arizabalaga’s howler, with all eyes on Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, early pressure to deliver based on price tags and the hypes around them, none lived up to that so far but they will come good.
In the loss to Liverpool, Chelsea showed signs of what is to come, but they will be patient.
The first stop is to discuss Kepa and wonder if he still has any cigarette left to smoke with the arrival of Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
While I don’t think Kepa is as bad as his howlers suggest, the manager however must make a decision he’ll be held by.
Does he stick with the young Spaniard and help him find confidence or discard him straight up and switch allegiance?
In all honesty, it wasn’t always going to be pretty,.
Thibaut Courtois struggled at some points at Chelsea despite how good a lot of us believe he is.
David De Gea had his moments of struggle at Old Trafford, yes it didn’t last long, but he was trusted to get better and we’ll need to ask the stat lords for the number of points he has saved Manchester United over the years.
In defense, Thiago Silva will help stabilize things at the back, but Kourt Zouma won’t lead Chelsea to the promised land.
Far from it, he’s never assured, coupled with Christensen showing weaknesses, it might take more than patience for Frank Lampard to find joy in his rearguards.
There were chances for Timo Werner to break his deadlock to be honest but he will get a run in the cup game to try and find confidence.
When the pressure is off, fans will enjoy the beauty of this dangerous German and the creativity behind him
Arsenal need midfield reinforcements
|Since 3 February 2018, Arsenal duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have combined for 11 Premier League goals, second only to Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson, with 13 (Source: premierleague.com)|
Fans only care about the points at the end of the day, hence the number of praises being showered on Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta.
But the hard-fought win over West Ham suggests that the Gunners are far from being ready to challenge for anything and had the Hammers taken their chances when they dominated in the second half, the result would have been different.
News over the past few weeks continue to link Arsenal with Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid and Houssem Aouar from Lyon.
Nothing is clear at the moment with the understanding that Arsenal must sell before buying, just as it is with other clubs across Europe – Atletico need to sell Hector Herrera to be able to buy Lucas Torreira from Arsenal.
One would easily wonder why they won’t just do a straight swap plus cash to whom it is due, they know better.
Arsenal scored two goals and none was scored by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, but he did assist the first.
First time he’s gone a whole game without scoring since the back end of last season.
Quite worrying that there are not much coming from the rest of the team, with the continued absence of Mesut Ozil, a proven goal creator.
If Arsenal doesn’t bolster the midfield, the frustrations of the past are waiting at the door, waving at the unsuspecting fans, ready to hug them with crazy fixtures piling up.