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Premier League hits and misses: Are Chelsea and Tottenham real title contenders? | Soccer Information

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A bottle of classic Jose. Now drink it in


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win in opposition to Manchester Metropolis within the Premier League

Magnificence in soccer can take many guises. To some, Spurs’ assertion victory over Man Metropolis was not enticing. 4 pictures on aim to 22, simply 33 per cent possession and all 11 gamers spending the vast majority of the 90 minutes in their very own half.

To many others, this author included, this was an beautiful footballing plan in a season the place defence, recreation administration and primary solidity has been uncared for to the intense.

It was classic Mourinho, a refreshing reminder that recreation plans nonetheless exist and are an important commodity within the Premier League. It is going to have damage Pep Guardiola and apprehensive many others within the Premier League.

It’s no shock that each Spurs and Chelsea have shut up store in current weeks, and meet subsequent week as two of probably the most in-form groups within the Premier League.

Fatigue, scheduling and an absence of followers to maintain you trustworthy will imply groups who favour solidity over enticing, free-flowing soccer ought to succeed this season. Mourinho has drilled Spurs to suit this sort – Heung-Min Son was a right-wing-back for a lot of the sport, Harry Kane confirmed the extra layers to his armour and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was monstrous in midfield. Even Tanguy Ndombele is again within the supervisor’s good books.

Mourinho walked into a movie studio at Spurs and made it The Jose Present. Simply take a look at his Instagram account.

If he succeeds at Spurs this season, in opposition to the chances, it could be his greatest efficiency but.
Gerard Model

Guardiola cannot be having fun with this. So what’s his plan?


Manchester Metropolis head coach Pep Guardiola says his facet are enjoying nicely regardless of struggling to attain targets thus far this season

“The Man Metropolis patterns are the identical as earlier than however the punch is totally different,” mentioned Sky Sports activities’ Gary Neville shortly after half-time as Manchester Metropolis wilted at Tottenham. “They’ve to seek out that punch.”

Forty-five or so minutes later, the Metropolis gamers seemed punch-drunk and their hopes of regaining the Premier League are on the ropes. Simply two days after he put pen to paper on a brand new contract, Pep Guardiola finds himself grappling with maybe probably the most tough second in his Metropolis profession as a result of it’s removed from clear the place they go from right here.

The place is their innovative? The place is their worry issue? The issue, to lengthen Neville’s level, is that groups are now not apprehensive about what Metropolis can do to them. Their focus now could be on what they will do to Metropolis. The heavyweight energy of the Premier League over the past half-decade are weak exactly as a result of groups now consider that Metropolis’s lack of punch means they will take in their strain after which hit them laborious on the break.

That, in fact, is exactly what Tottenham did, simply as Leicester did a month in the past. By the top, Metropolis had been made to look predictable, their creativity virtually solely reliant on the genius of Kevin De Bruyne. It was a tough and dispiriting watch.

Which begs the query: Has Guardiola picked an odd time to re-commit to Metropolis? Maybe, but in addition maybe not. First, there are these Lionel Messi hyperlinks to bear in mind. Second, Guardiola’s new deal could be the primary sign that Metropolis are about to reset. He absolutely can’t be having fun with this season or this second. The suspicion lingers due to this fact that he, in contrast to his workforce on Saturday evening, is up for the struggle. If this Metropolis workforce don’t haul themselves off the canvas, it may very well be a brutal summer season.
Pete Gill

Chelsea real title contenders?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Chelsea’s win in opposition to Newcastle within the Premier League

Frank Lampard insisted Chelsea would “keep humble” for what he was adamant could be “a protracted, lengthy race” on the prime, however his post-match smile unsurprisingly caught.

Newcastle had been familiarly toothless on this comfy 2-Zero win and, earlier than the worldwide break, Sheffield United simply brushed apart themselves, however the Blues dropped factors in each respective fixtures final time period; this time, there was an ominous air about their enterprise.

Chelsea went prime of the desk for the primary time in Lampard’s reign – for just a few hours no less than – after a fifth successive victory that was testomony to how the rookie supervisor has, albeit with huge bucks, elicited enhancements at each ends of the pitch and rapidly gelled gamers {old} and new.

The scoreline ought to have been larger, Timo Werner twice wasteful, however the German’s partnership with an efficient point of interest in Tammy Abraham happy Lampard, because the no-nonsense work of Kurt Zouma and the reintegrated Antonio Rudiger in defence would have achieved, too. In entrance of them, N’Golo Kante unfold calm, breaking apart play and recycling the ball with ease however enjoying vertically to good impact, too. So leaky final time period, the Blues’ anticipated targets in opposition to column is extra beneficial than everybody however Burnley.

N'Golo Kante effectively combined simple and more probing passes against Newcastle in his most familiar deeper-lying role
N’Golo Kante successfully mixed easy and extra probing passes in opposition to Newcastle in his most acquainted deeper-lying position

Six of their opening 9 fixtures have been in opposition to sides at present within the backside half whereas the following 9 embrace Tottenham – in entrance of the Sky Sports activities cameras subsequent weekend – Manchester Metropolis and Leicester. That prompts perspective. However, given Chelsea’s personal enhancements and depth of expertise – mixed with their rivals’ challenges in a compressed season – additionally loads of optimism.
Kate Burlaga

An all too acquainted story for Newcastle

9 video games into the brand new marketing campaign and there’s a sense of deja vu surrounding St James’ Park.

After an unprecedented summer season of spending and an undoubtedly promising begin, Magpies followers had been nicely inside their rights to consider issues may very well be totally different this season.

They might nonetheless be totally different, however the method of Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea – a workforce who’ve received simply as soon as on their earlier six journeys to Tyneside – left an all too acquainted feeling they will not.

Newcastle merely failed to show up. From the primary whistle Chelsea had been superior in each division and grew in confidence unchallenged, creating menacing after menacing assault which, on one other day, would have yielded a much more convincing victory than the one gained.

Steve Bruce could level to accidents to key personnel, or late-returning gamers from worldwide obligation, however these excuses merely can’t wash for any membership trying to attain that subsequent degree, and neither can a report of 5 defeats from their final seven dwelling video games.

There’s work very a lot nonetheless to be achieved for Newcastle – what number of instances have we mentioned that?
Jack Wilkinson

Aston Villa miss Barkley and residential comforts

Ross Barkley goes off injured during Aston Villa's match against Brighton
Ross Barkley was taken off injured inside 5 minutes at Villa Park

Aston Villa had been the victims of a nasty omen when Ross Barkley was taken off inside 5 minutes. He twinged his hamstring and was quickly changed by Bertrand Traore, however Villa by no means actually recovered from his absence.

Firstly, there may be the change in personnel so early on that may throw you off, however Barkley has flourished in Villa’s midfield. He brings that creativity and link-up play that has been of big profit since his arrival, and takes the strain of Jack Grealish. So typically up to now Villa have relied on him an excessive amount of and Barkley has helped share that load.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s win in opposition to Aston Villa within the Premier League

However on Saturday, as soon as once more, Grealish was the person they turned to. He had a busy worldwide break and wanted that further hand to assist him out, generally trying annoyed and drained in the direction of the top. Traore delivered some good set-pieces however didn’t deliver a lot else, whereas Ollie Watkins look stranded up entrance at instances, particularly within the second half. They wanted Barkley’s presence.

Aston Villa could also be beginning to really feel the consequences of the empty stadium too. Their defeat to Brighton was their third successive dwelling loss and in opposition to a facet who had by no means received earlier than at Villa Park. Considered one of English soccer’s historic grounds has at all times been identified for its ambiance, however Villa look to be struggling with out their 12th man in the mean time.

Total, it was a nasty day on the workplace for Aston Villa. Nevertheless, if their current type has taught us something, it’s a dangerous concept to guess in opposition to them and, hopefully, it is a minor blip after a robust begin to the season.
Charlotte Marsh

A day of firsts for Brighton

Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring for Brighton against Aston Villa
Danny Welbeck scored his first Brighton aim on Saturday

Regardless of enjoying some good soccer this season, Brighton have solely received as soon as however picked up an important three factors at Villa Park – a floor the place they’d by no means received earlier than Saturday afternoon.

Of their 12 visits, they’d drawn three and misplaced 9 video games, with Aston Villa unbeaten of their final eight league conferences. Nevertheless it all got here to a halt when Solly March curled dwelling a candy strike within the second half, regardless of the midfielder surviving a late VAR scare when he was penalised – after which not – for a foul on Trezeguet inside the realm.

There was additionally a primary Brighton aim for Danny Welbeck, and a great efficiency besides. It was like a throwback to an easier time because the striker burst ahead earlier than lofting a beautiful chip over the goalkeeper. All through, Welbeck saved up the strain in assault and made some important clearances when Aston Villa had been bearing down on Brighton’s field.

For a striker who has by no means hit double figures within the Premier League – his finest tallies had been 9 targets within the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons at Manchester United – it may be Welbeck on his strategy to surpassing that complete. Brighton followers will definitely be hoping so.
Charlotte Marsh


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