Thursday, 18 October, 2018

5 things we learned from the Premier League weekend

Lucas Torreira of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney Emery names five Arsenal captains | Sports
Freda Brock | 13 August, 2018, 00:38

Should Emery take note and elect to start Lacazette with Aubameyang, a sluggish Mkhitaryan looks most in danger. Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and a Silva - either David or Bernardo - is a familiar trio for the away side.

After Liverpool's impressive close-season in the transfer market and emphatic 4-0 win over West Ham it was time for the champions to restate their own credentials.

A first half goal from Raheem Sterling followed by an excellent left-footed strike by Bernardo Silva on 64 minutes sealed the victory for the reigning holders.

"In general to be at this moment of the season, with the desire to run and run, it was the same last season".

The hosts improved as the game wore on but offered little threat to the goal of Ederson while City were opening up their hosts at will.

Making amends for that blunder, Cech kept out a Mahrez free-kick before alertly recovering to block Aymeric Laporte's effort from the rebound.

Emery's arrival, along with acquisitions like Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira, had many Gooners optimistic about what they can achieve this season.

The Gunners were far too structured and predictable, nearly robotic as they consistently played short passes out from the back at every opportunity.

Maurizio Sarri hopes Chelsea can play 'Sarri-ball' within a month
While he didn't score, the Spaniard's hold-up play was impressive. Callum Hudson-Odoi was tipped to start after a bright preseason. New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri got off to a winning start.

"The first half we didn't play like we wanted".

It was a chastening introduction to the Premier League for new Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who has replaced Arsene Wenger following the Frenchman's 22-year reign.

MF Aaron Ramsey, 6 - It was a big boost to Arsenal to see the Welshman passed fit, and he was the man charged with spearheading Arsenal's new pressing system.

New centre-back Sokratis looked as shaky as partner Shkodran Mustafi, while game but jittery youngster Guendouzi and serial offender Granit Xhaka - giving a greatest hits performance that involved giving the ball away in risky areas, a lazy booking and needlessly embellished sideways passes - offered only a flimsy screen.

Centre-back Laurent Koscielny will miss the fixture as well.

Sterling proved to be City's creative fulcrum, but he was fortunate to escape with a yellow card for a studs-up foul on Arsenal debutant Matteo Guendouzi in the early stages. Not every game will be against a team as good, as well coached, as cold-blooded as Man City.

And the best thing for Guardiola is, this wasn't even the Champions at their best.

Installed as heavy favourites to finish top again - which would make them the first team to defend the title since Manchester United in 2008-09 - City's ruthless performance was ominous for their rivals.

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