By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week seven
- Full results
The Manchester clubs pulled ahead of the pack in match-week seven. Why it went so right for them and so wrong for Chelsea is just one part of our Premier League recap.
Guardiola got it right whilst Conte got it wrong
Chelsea vs Manchester City may not have lived up to the pre-match hype, but none the less it was a classy performance from the Citizens as they edged the Blues 1-0 thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s left footed effort.
City controlled the game from the get go, keeping the ball as expected and looked to work a way round the Chelsea defence. Their tactics to use the fullbacks to draw space for De Bruyne and David Silva worked a treat and their more patient approach got its reward in the end.
But for as much as Pep Guardiola got a lot of things right, Antonio Conte got a lot of things wrong. Chelsea were dealt a huge blow when Alvaro Morata was forced off with injury, and Conte elected to bring Willian on to replace him. The problem was that Chelsea were struggling for an outlet and had nobody to hold up the ball once Morata went off. The decision to play three central defenders also turned out to be a mistake, as having three defenders to counter one striker left the Blues without many bodies going forward.
The problem for Chelsea was not defensively. They did not concede that many chances to a free-scoring City side, but going forward they lacked almost everything once Morata went off, and that ultimately cost them the match.
There is now a six point gap between the Blues and the Manchester clubs, and the way the Manchester clubs have been playing, it is hard to see them letting that slip.
Manchester United look every bit as good as their neighbours
Many were impressed with the way City handled the defending champions, but calling them title winners elect might be too much too soon as Manchester United look every bit as good as the Citizens.
They may not be as flashy as City, but they have a manager who knows the Premier League from the inside-out and one that knows how to get results. Of course, Crystal Palace were not going to trouble the Red Devils in their horrible form, but United did not give them a chance to either, beating the bottom club 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Romelu Lukaku was among the goals again, netting his seventh of the season. But it was another Belgian who made the headlines. Marouane Fellaini contributed two of his own from midfield as United cruised to an easy victory.
It may be too early to call it a two horse race, but in terms of the title, the Manchester clubs look like the teams to beat already.
Harry Kane is a wizard
“You’re a wizard Harry!” may be one of the most recognisable quotes in fiction, but it seems in 2017 that the statement could be brought into reality. Harry Kane might have more magic in his two feet than Harry Potter ever had in his wand after-all.
But all jokes and puns aside, September continued to be a fruitful month for the English striker as he scored another two goals in Tottenham’s 4-0 win at Huddersfield. In truth, Kane could have easily scored more but his two goals even earned an applause from the Huddersfield fans once he was taken off as a substitute.
It was his seventh goal in a week, goalscoring form even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of. Whilst it would be absurd to compare Kane to two of the greatest footballers of all time, his numbers show what a quality striker he is.
There is hot competition for the golden boot this season. Lukaku leads the way at the moment, Morata has looked good for Chelsea and Sergio Aguero will be up there if he can remain fit too. However, Tottenham’s star striker might just be the favourite.
Pressure is mounting of Ronald Koeman
Everton suffered another defeat on Sunday as they were beaten 1-0 by Burnley at Goodison Park. Although it was a fine team performance from the Clarets, the chorus of boos at full time suggests that pressure is mounting on Ronald Koeman.
The Toffees spent a lot of money during the summer to close the gap between themselves and the big six, but the departure of Lukaku is really beginning to show its effect. The problem for Everton is lack of goals, having scored only four this campaign.
They have taken just seven points so far this season and sit 16th in the table after seven games. Their recent form is a concern, and in an age of football where management changes can happen as quick as lightning, Koeman will undoubtedly feel the pressure.
What else happened?
Watford continued their solid start to the season coming from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at West Brom. Leicester and Bournemouth also shared the spoils in their game in a less entertaining goalless affair.
West Ham left it late but they got the win at home to Swansea. Stoke also got a much needed three points of their own with a 2-1 win against Southampton.
Whilst he did not get a correct score, Neil had a solid run of results to gain eight points overall in match-week seven. He incorrectly put faith in Southampton and Everton, but otherwise he successfully predicted the results of the games which is an impressive feat.
Niall got one correct score with Manchester United’s 4-0 win, but he only managed seven points overall this week due to less correct results.
The gap has closed by only a point this week, but every one counts towards the prediction cup.Can Niall respond next time out?
||Actual Score||Neil (47)
|Huddersfield 0-2 Tottenham (1)||Huddersfield 0-4 Tottenham||Huddersfield 1-2 Tottenham (1)|
|Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester||Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester||Bournemouth 2-2 Leicester (1)|
|Man United 4-0 Crystal Palace (3)||Man United 4-0 Crystal Palace||Man United 3-0 Crystal Palace (1)|
|Stoke 1-1 Southampton||Stoke 2-1 Southampton||Stoke 0-1 Southampton|
|West Brom 1-1 Watford (1)||West Brom 2-2 Watford||West Brom 1-1 Watford (1)|
|West Ham 2-0 Swansea (1)||West Ham 1-0 Swansea||West Ham 2-0 Swansea (1)|
|Chelsea 2-1 Man City||Chelsea 0-1 Man City||Chelsea 1-2 Man City (1)|
|Arsenal 3-0 Brighton (1)||Arsenal 2-0 Brighton||Arsenal 3-1 Brighton (1)|
|Everton 1-1 Burnley||Everton 0-1 Burnley||Everton 2-1 Burnley|
|Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool||Newcastle 1-1 Liverpool||Newcastle 2-2 Liverpool (1)|
The Premier League returns on October 14th
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