|Reece James rues his own indiscretion as he walks off following his second yellow card against Newcastle. Chelsea lost 4-1. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)
There’s a reason we don’t fancy the international break; beyond the injuries and the fact that we won’t see our favorite teams on TV, the feeling of league football and log table permutations cannot be overemphasized.
Manchester City and Liverpool opened the weekend, and it was not a disappointment. Manchester City terrorized Liverpool throughout the first half, but the Kops balanced things out in the second half. The game showed us what the league title will look like this season; it will go down to the wire.
Erling Haaland became the fastest ever to reach fifty Premier League goals; it took him less than fifty games to reach the milestone, beating the longstanding record of Andy Cole, and he’s in the illustrious company of Michael Owen, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and Fernando Torres.
The draw at the Etihad once again shows that it’s going to be really close this season. Trent Alexander Arnold exhibited his finishing instincts; maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Jurgen Klopp to find his man for the RB position, then move Alexaander Arnold up the pitch for greater exploits.
Elsewhere on the day, Chelsea once again proved to be a wasted force. The Blues didn’t only lose at Newcastle; they also lost two key players ahead of their home fixture against Brighton. It’s going to be tough for them next weekend.
They don’t have European worries; Brighton does, but Roberto Di Zerbi has a rich squad to manage his fixtures. Reece James saw red under disappointing circumstances. You are the club captain; you’re supposed to be the leader. How did you get sent off for two avoidable offenses?
Leadership isn’t dependent on talent alone. Reece James’s first yellow card was for kicking the ball away after the referee awarded a free kick to Newcastle; the second was for tugging back Anthony Gordon after losing the ball to the former Everton youngster, stupid to say the least.
Marc Cucurella picked his fifth yellow card of the season in the game, and despite not being booked for his reckless tackle, he picked the yellow card for dissent. Players have been told many times this season that they’re not allowed to annoy the referee after decisions go against them. Why can’t they behave?
Newcastle, despite their injury worries, took Chelsea to the cleaners, and they were well and truly above the Blues even before the red card. Champions League football is up next for the Geordies; it will be tough in Paris against PSG, but don’t write off Eddie Howe’s team yet.