Cleat Geeks

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Nine men Arsenal gunned down

It was a controversial game at Stamford Bridge but yet again Jose Mourinho scored a victory over Arsene Wenger. wenger

Kurt Zouma and Eden Hazard were on target as the champions got back on track after a shaky start while Gabriel and Santi Cazorla both saw red for the visitors, meaning the Gunners finished the game with only nine men.

In truth, the Blues bossed the first half up to Gabriel’s silly dismissal for kicking out at the highly charged Diego Costa, and once they had a man advantage there was only ever going to be one winner.

With striker Olivier Giroud left on the bench and Theo Walcott preferred, the England striker failed to land a blow on Zouma or Gary Cahill in the Chelsea defence, and, in truth the FA Cup holders rarely threatened.

The only time Wenger has beaten Mourinho in 15 attempts was this season’s Community Shield, and the Frenchmen has a poor record against the rest of the top four too, so it looks like an uphill struggle for the North Londoners to mount a serious title challenge this season, having already lost two of their opening six matches.

Newcastle’s struggles continue

Having narrowly avoided relegation on the final day last season, Newcastle’s unpopular owner Mike Ashley announced serious investment into the first team for the 2015/16 campaign.  steve mcc

Steve McClaren was appointed as manager and with the arrival of players like Georginio Wijnaldum for $14.5 million over the summer, Magpies fans could have expected a decent season this time around.

However, a dismal 2-1 home defeat to newly promoted Watford on Saturday sees the Toon Army second bottom in the table, above only bitter North-East rivals Sunderland, on two points.

Just three goals in their opening half dozen matches leaves a lot to be desired and some poor defense has cost McClaren’s men dear, and the 54 year-old admitted he has a tough job on his hands:

“No-one said this job was going to be easy, we didn’t think it would be,” the former England and Derby boss told the BBC.

“I am trying to change a lot and being here two and a half months, it’s very difficult to change things quickly.”

Early goal of the season contenders

For me, Christian Benteke’s sublime overhead kick in defeat for Liverpool against Manchester United last week is still the best goal we’ve seen in the Premier League so far, but Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie fired in a screamer against Sunderland this weekend that surely runs Benteke’s strike close, what do you think?:

 

Poor Refereeing

A lack of common sense from referee Mike Dean led to Gabriel’s dismissal for Arsenal against Chelsea this weekend. mike dean

Diego Costa might have been punished for his forearm smash on Laurent Koscielny, and Gabriel was clearly looking for retribution. Instead of separating the players, speaking to them individually and having a word with the two captains, the pair remained in close proximity and the Brazilian center-back experienced a rush of blood that saw him being sent off and ruined what had, up until then, been a good game of football.

And, at Villa Park, Martin Atkinson’s decision to blow for a foul on the edge of the area curtailed a move that resulted in Micah Richards heading in what he thought was an equalizer for the home side.

Villa were the team that were awarded the free-kick on the edge of the box, so surely advantage should have been played as they were still in possession and on the attack.

Finally Stoke City manager Mark Hughes was left fuming with referee Andre Mariner after he failed to award the Potters a free kick for a clear foul by Leicester’s Wes Morgan on Jonathan Walters.

The Foxes went down the other end and scored an equalizer, much to the charging of Hughes:

“Jon Walters is fouled, they clear their lines, we don’t clear the ball and they equalize,” the former Welsh international told the Stoke Sentinel.

“It was obviously a free-kick from my point of view.

“I asked the referee and he said he was trying to play an advantage – it certainly wasn’t an advantage because we conceded.”

Nice one my Son

Son Heung-Min is really taking to life at his new club Tottenham, firing the winner against Crystal Palace on Sunday. son

That goal followed a double in the Europa League on Thursday night as the $22 million South Korea forward settles into life in North London.

Son is also proving a big hit with his new team mates after he brought a Korean banquet for the rest of the players to enjoy in the week.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pocchetino told the Daily Mirror: “He is a player you can see is a very friendly boy and he has settled in well.”

“After a week he brought in some very good Korean food for all the players to eat at the training ground.”

The 23 year-old striker added: “I wanted to say thank you to my colleagues and staff for welcoming me to Tottenham and I wanted to introduce Korean food and culture to the players. That’s why I brought in it.”

“It was traditional Korean food including barbecue, seafood pancakes and various different foods from Korea.

“They loved it so much — especially the coach. He had so many plates.”

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