Large video games, late targets, new superstars, and VAR controversy. These are the phrases that can be utilized to explain the sport week 4 of the 2023-24 Premier League season. Throughout the ten video games this weekend, we noticed a whooping 41 targets, probably the most in any recreation week this season. The present season has seen loads of the so-called ‘mid-table’ and ‘lower-table’ groups ditch their defensive model of soccer for attacking aptitude.
These groups have additionally deployed this technique in opposition to stronger groups, giving us some unimaginable video games. After 40 video games, one factor is for certain: irrespective of how huge a crew is, they must again their expertise on the pitch to win factors, as now different golf equipment have proven that they’re geared up to punish any lapse in focus.
Solely 5 groups within the league are unbeaten at this level, with just one boasting a 100 per cent profitable fee, showcasing how cutthroat the battle for locations might be this season. And with the switch window additionally closing, groups solely have their present squad to assist them ought to their kind flounder or accidents rise.
So, what did we be taught from recreation week 4 of the Premier League?
Arsenal get the bragging rights over Manchester United at Emirates
The most important conflict of the week was undoubtedly Arsenal vs. Manchester United. The Gunners desperately wanted the three factors after their dismal efficiency in opposition to Fulham final week. Arsenal began the sport on the entrance foot and created a number of possibilities however failed to search out the of completion.
United’s technique was easy: take in the strain and hit the crew on the counterattack. And that is what received them the opening objective as Marcus Rashford bamboozled Arsenal’s defence to attain from a surprising roller previous Aaron Ramsdale. The objective hit a change inside Arsenal, who solely took 35 seconds to equalise.
The second half was a lot the identical, with each side struggling to search out the profitable objective. United scored, however Alejandro Garnacho was offside by the best of margins. In the long run, it was record-signing Declan Rice who scored his maiden objective from a scruffy end to beat Andre Onana at his close to put up.
The objective meant that United needed to go on the offensive with minutes to go. This opened areas for the Gunners, and in a single such probability, Gabriel Jesus discovered himself via on objective. The Brazilian produced a fast cutback that embarrassed Johnny Evans earlier than slotting the ball previous Onana to substantiate his crew’s victory.
Manchester Metropolis win, however VAR makes headlines
Manchester Metropolis thrashed Fulham 5-1 to win their fourth straight victory, with Erling Haaland scoring his first hattrick of the Premier League season. Nevertheless, the sport was marred by a controversial VAR determination that allowed a Manchester Metropolis objective to face. Regardless of taking part in in opposition to a star-studded facet, Fulham got here out all weapons blazing, matching Metropolis in depth.
The Cottagers additionally managed to equalise inside two minutes after happening. In the direction of the tip of the primary half, the hosts received a nook, which was swung in by Cole Palmer, with Nathan Ake getting on the tip of it and scoring previous Bernd Leno. Nevertheless, Metropolis defender Manuel Akanji was simply forward of Leno, and in response to Regulation 11 of the FA handbook, a objective might be deemed offside if an opposition participant is obstructing the goalkeeper’s view.
Regardless of this, each referee Michael Oliver and the VAR allowed the objective to face. This objective deflated Fulham’s spirits as Haaland ran riot within the second half.
Brighton and West Ham are to not be taken calmly
Earlier than the beginning of the season, Brighton and West Ham misplaced a number of high gamers within the switch market. Nevertheless, each golf equipment moved swiftly and promoted new gamers into the function. And the transition has been so easy that each golf equipment have grow to be even higher regardless of shedding their star gamers.
West Ham United have received three and drew one, which incorporates wins over Chelsea and Brighton. David Moyes, who has been the grasp of defensive soccer, has created an ideal system that makes use of quick counterattacks by bodily gamers to overwhelm the opposition. Their recreation in opposition to Brighton is an ideal instance the place the Hammers scored three targets regardless of having 22 per cent of possession. They continued their kind this week, profitable 2-1 away in opposition to newly promoted Luton City.
In the meantime, Brighton bounced again in model after their defeat to West Ham United as they took three factors at residence in opposition to Newcastle United. Led by their rising star Evan Ferguson, who scored a hattrick, the Seagulls had been at their finest in assault. Below Roberto de Zerbi, the membership have improved by leaps and bounds in the previous couple of seasons.
With 12 targets, Brighton are probably the most scoring crew throughout the highest 5 leagues after AS Monaco, which exhibits how excellent of a system they’ve constructed.
Tottenham Hotspur look nearly as good even with out Harry Kane
Ange Postecoglou had an enormous job at his fingers when he took cost because the boss at White Hart Lane. On high of that, he additionally needed to see his high participant, Harry Kane, depart for Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, the Austrian recognized for his tactical genius has managed to show issues round on the London membership inside months.
The latest 5-2 away win over Burnley confirmed their brilliance, with skipper Son Heung Min scoring a hattrick. Nevertheless, the star of the present has been James Maddison, who has been the lynchpin of the facet. The English attacker presently ranks second within the league for Expected Threats (xT) and fourth in Expected Offensive Value Added (xOVA). He additionally has received 11 fouls, the fourth most within the league.
Tottenham additionally managed so as to add Brennan Johnson to their squad earlier than the switch window closed. Whereas the Welsh worldwide is clearly not as deadly as Kane within the function, he does have an enormous potential and can give Postecoglou a brand new dimension within the assault.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool present adaptation is essential to survival
The most important void that Liverpool wanted to fill within the switch window was in the course of the park. Whereas Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai had been added to extend the standard within the attacking midfield areas, Liverpool failed so as to add an elite holding midfielder, failing to signal any certainly one of Jude Bellingham, Moises Caicedo, and Romeo Lavia.
They did handle to signal Ryan Garvenberch on deadline day, however he’s not a real holding midfielder; regardless of this, Jurgen Klopp had stated that with these world-class midfielders at his disposal, he may adapt his crew in such a means that negates the necessity for a quantity six.
And until now, we’re beginning to see indicators of that with Liverpool taking part in fast one-touch passing mixed with excessive intense Gegenpressing to suffocate the opposition off the ball. The assault is in advantageous kind, with Darwin Nunez beginning to justify his payment and Szoboszlai scoring his first objective for the membership to assist his crew seize the third spot on the desk.
Chelsea hold hitting new lows each week
If one needed to put their cash on which supervisor is prone to be sacked within the Premier League, then Mauricio Pochetiino’s would fetch a lot of bets. After having a dream switch window the place they added a number of gamers that took their whole spending within the final yr over one billion, Chelsea have unimaginable managed to grow to be even worse.
In reality, seeing their efficiency up to now this season, it appears to be like just like the crew wants one other one billion funding to enhance. After 4 video games, the Blues sit twelfth on the desk. Their latest video games noticed them lose 1-0 to Nottingham Forest at residence. This was in a recreation the place that they had 21 photographs on the right track with an xG of two.13 (in response to Opta) as in comparison with 0.71 of their rivals.
Star signing Mykhailo Mudryk has but to attain his first objective after 20 video games, whereas the shortage of ending and the eros in defence hold mounting. Pochettino is but to search out his finest beginning 11, and his ways until now look clueless, with gamers unable to string an affordable interval of dominance in any of the video games up to now.