Cleat Geeks

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

1. City now favorites for title

Manchester City are the new favorites to clinch the Premier League title after their thumping win over reigning champions Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. city

Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho were on target as Manuel Pellegrini’s men eased to victory and moved five points clear of the Blues after two games of the new season.

It was City’s second successive 3-0 win and bookmakers have been quick to shorten their odds of lifting the Premier League trophy for a third time.

Pellegrini and Blues boss Jose Mourinho saw Sunday’s  game in a totally different way, with the Chilean claiming a 3-0 triumph was the ‘least we deserved’ while Mourinho called the outcome a ‘fake result.’

Either way, City look like they will take some stopping this season, while Chelsea are still searching for a first victory this term.

2) Doctor Who?

Mourinho dominated the headlines in the build up to the Manchester City game after his criticism of his medical team during the 2-2 draw at home to Swansea in the opening round.  hughes

The Portuguese confirmed that club doctor Eva Carneiro would not be on the bench for the trip to the Etihad Stadium, something not lost on City’s match entertainment people or fans.

Firstly, the famous Doctor Who theme tune was played to both sets of players in the tunnel just before kick off and when Chelsea’s replacement medical team, Chris and Steven Hughes, were needed on the field, City fans broke out in a chorus of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning!’

Better news for Mourinho is that the FA have confirmed that the enigmatic Chelsea manager will face no disciplinary action over his treatment of Carneiro and colleague John Fearn.

3) Too early for a crisis?

At this early stage of the season, Sunderland are bottom of the pile after two losses from two games.
The most alarming thing about the defeats for boss Dick Advocaat has been the woeful defending his side has shown, leaking four goals to Leicester on the opening day and three at home to Norwich on Saturday.  dick-advocaat-sunderland-2015

The 67 year-old Dutchman told media he would hold a meeting with his players following the 3-1 defeat to the Canaries this weekend: “There is something wrong, that’s quite simple,” he said.

“What was so wrong was I saw players – and I don’t want to mention names, it was the whole team, with the exception of one or two players – and they did things that I don’t expect from a player at this level. I have to know why that can happen because it’s really strange for me. You can play badly, but not even knowing what to do is even worse. I’m really shocked.”

Meanwhile, captain Lee Cattermole criticised his teammates’ ‘lack of effort’ after their poor start: “We’ve been beaten two weeks in a row by teams that I believe we look better than,” the 27 year-old told the Telegraph.

“Do you put that down to commitment and effort? I think a lot of it comes down to that and there should be no excuse why you don’t get that from us.”

Following what has been dubbed as a ‘crisis meeting’ between the manager and his players, the Black Cats face another tricky match next weekend against the impressive Swansea City at the Stadium of Light.

4) Januzaj recall a Van Gaal masterstroke

Manchester United made it two wins from two under the Friday night lights at Villa Park as the recalled Adnan Januzaj scored the only goal of game against Aston Villa.  januzaj

That was the Belgium international’s first goal since April 2014 as he struggled to hold down a regular place in Louis Van Gaal’s team last season.

Januzaj was a surprise inclusion ahead of Ashley Young but his second half strike vindicated his manager’s faith and maintained United’s 100% record at the start of the campaign.

The 20 year-old was rewarded for his strike with a starting place in the team against Club Brugge in Tuesday’s Champions League play-off.

5) Ozil to come good?

Arsenal bounced back from their opening day defeat with a hard-fought 2-1 win away to London rivals Crystal Palace on Sunday.  ozillll

In the heart of the midfield was German international Mesut Ozil, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium in September 2013 for a hefty transfer fee of $42.5 million.

At first, Ozil looked to be excellent value, but has since become inconsistent in an Arsenal shirt. However, his performance at Selhurst Park suggests the year-old may be beginning to get back to his best.

The World Cup winner found a team mate with 53 of his 54 passes during Sunday’s victory, and has a pass success rate of over 92% from the first two rounds of the new season. Last term, Ozil had the fifth highest pass success rate in the league.

He is joint top for key passes for players who have played both games so far this season, averaging 4.5 a game and he was involved in Olivier Giroud’s goal that gave the Gunners the lead on Sunday.

The early signs have been good from Ozil so far, the big test is to perform well for the remaining 36 games of the season.

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