We witnessed some intense football over the weekend, from incredible highs to crushing lows. Here we distinguish the football fortunes from the football flops and analyse the errors and achievements of the weekend’s fixtures.
Manchester City v Norwich
Man City fans perhaps experienced the most devastating defeat of the weekend, losing 3-2 to Norwich at Carrow Road. Who would have thought that The Canaries had it in them to conquer The Sky Blues? The win is especially shocking when you consider that the cost of the whole Norwich team is probably less than the price of one City substitute. City fans took to Twitter to concede that Norwich played an excellent game of football and were worthy winners.
Poor defence seemed to be the key reason for the loss as Norwich highlighted the vulnerability of Man City’s line up. Many fans were critical of Otamendi, commenting that he is no longer a decent starter.
Despite the loss, Guardiola refuses to speak negatively of City. ‘I am sorry if you think that today I have doubts in my team – I can’t’ he said. ‘Maybe you forget that they are human beings. Maybe you were wrong when you talked about us being unbeatable or a perfect team.’
City are clearly missing their top defender, Aymeric Laporte who is currently nursing a knee injury. The French footballer labelled City’s defeat as an ‘accident’. In his absence, Guardiola fielded Otamendi alongside Stones. Sadly, the Argentine’s catastrophic performance contributed to the defeat.
Liverpool v Newcastle
Unsurprisingly, The Reds came out on top at Anfield as they played against Newcastle on Saturday, securing a 3-1 win. There were, however, glimpses of brilliance from The Magpies as Jetro Willems scored a fantastic goal. Ultimately, Liverpool remained strong throughout the game, cementing their victory. Senegalese winger, Sadio Mane, managed to score two goals in the first half with Mo Salah scoring the third after half time. Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp said he started enjoying the match ‘after 35 minutes when we arrived in the game.’
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce responded by praising their opponents. ‘Liverpool are as good as you get. You can understand why they are European champions and only lost once last year.’ The Reds have once again proved their status within the world of football and continue to stay at the top of the table.
Manchester United v Leicester
Man United were also weekend winners, claiming a 1-0 victory against Leicester at Old Trafford. The Red Devils defended well and were able to administer Leicester’s first defeat of the season. During a post-match press conference, Solskjaer stated that he thought that United played excellently. ‘I thought they read the game well. I’ve got loads of admiration for Jamie Vardy, he’s my type of centre-forward, runs in behind and harasses.’ However, he also acknowledged Leicester’s performance, stating that ‘it was the first time this season where we have had to defend for large periods. They are a good side who want to get into the top four.’
It was Marcus Rashford who scored the only goal during a penalty in the eighth minute. It may have been a difficult start to the football season for United but there were plenty of positive moments in Saturday’s game, which may kickstart further promising performances throughout the remainder of the season.
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
The most spectacular win of the weekend goes to Spurs. They reigned supreme against Crystal Palace and won 4-0 at their new impressive stadium. Manager, Mauricio Pochettino stated that ‘the attitude was amazing and the performance. We were very concentrated and had tremendous quality. I’m so happy for the team. I think it’s important for their confidence.’ Perhaps the most stand out performance from the Spurs side was from Korean forward, Son Heung-min. He brought energy to the game and did all he could to stop his opponents from scoring. Spurs’ overall performance was so impressive that even football legend, David Beckham, joked that he wanted to come out of retirement so he could play form them!
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea
We started the article with a defeat and so we end with a defeat. Wolves played a disappointing game against Chelsea on Saturday, losing 2-5 at Molineux Stadium. They continued to put up an unsatisfactory performance, having failed to secure a single win so far this season. Manager, Nuno stated that ‘bad games can happen, what is important is we don’t repeat them. We have to react and be better. It cannot happen again. We have to start from the defensive organisation.’ Football fans have commented that Wolves have not been up to scratch for the past five games they have played and are becoming frustrated with Nuno’s repetitive response. Many have stated that they simply need a stronger squad in order to break the cycle. We still have a way to go this season but can Nuno’s men get their act together in time?