10 talking points from the weekend’s football

Richarlison is getting a reputation

When Watford faced Arsenal, Richarlison dived for a penalty which Troy Deeney scored and he was not disciplined retrospectively. Then, against Chelsea, he dived again and Watford were awarded a free kick. Richarlison has been described by manager Marco Silva as a “huge talent” and that is clear for all to see, despite him missing two sitters against Chelsea. However, he needs to cut the unnecessary and deceitful diving out of his game.

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Batman to the rescue

Michy Batshuayi was introduced with 29 minutes to go against Watford. Chelsea were 2-1 down but Batshuayi completely changed the game and was instrumental in Chelsea’s eventual 4-2 win. Batshuayi scored the equaliser and then wrapped up the victory with Chelsea’s fourth goal. The Belgian striker has scored in all three of his Premier League appearances against Watford.

He has scored six goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, after netting just once in his previous 17. When Batshuayi started against Crystal Palace the week before, he barely made an impact and was withdrawn just before the hour mark. Perhaps he is more effective as a super sub.

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Record equaling Sergio Aguero and Manchester City

Making his first start after suffering broken ribs in a car crash in Amsterdam, Sergio Aguero scored his 177th goal for Manchester City to equal Eric Brook’s record. Pep Guardiola’s side also equaled a club record of 11 straight wins. Man City are simply unstoppable at the moment.

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Swansea forget one of football’s most basic rules

From a young age, footballers are told to play to the whistle. Until the referee blows the whistle, keep playing. The Swans waited for a whistle that didn’t come on two occasions and Leicester punished them. For the first goal, Riyad Mahrez just about kept the ball in on the left. The Swansea players, believing it was a goal kick, stopped to appeal while Mahrez played on and fired in a cross which Federico Fernandez turned into his own net.

Swansea did not learn their lesson. Leicester doubled their lead through Shinji Okazaki after Marc Albrighton passed to Mahrez who was marginally offside. The referee should have got the decision correct but Swansea did themselves no favours by not playing to the whistle for the second time.

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Sack your manager, win the next game

For the second time this year, Leicester City have sacked their manager. Title winning manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked nine months after his triumph. Despite Leicester being one point above the relegation zone at the time, it was a huge shock to the football world. Craig Shakespeare took over as caretaker manager and Leicester won 3-1 against Liverpool, their first game after Ranieri’s sacking.

Four months after signing a three-year deal to become Leicester’s permanent manager, Shakespeare suffered the same fate as Ranieri and was sacked with Leicester third from bottom. In their first game since Shakespeare’s dismissal, the Foxes beat Swansea City 2-1 to move up to 14th place. We all saw that coming.

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Three out of three for the newly promoted sides

It was a good weekend for Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town as the three newly promoted sides got three points. Brighton beat West Ham 3-0 at the London Stadium. A brace from Glenn Murray and a Jose Izquierdo strike was enough to seal three points and push West Ham manager Slaven Bilic even close to the brink. This was West Ham’s heaviest home league defeat against a newly promoted side since losing 5-1 to West Bromwich Albion in November 1931.

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Newcastle beat Crystal Palace 1-0 thanks to Mikel Merino. It was his first Premier League goal in his ninth appearance in the competition. The Magpies are doing very well after a seasons absence in the top flight with Rafa Benitez working wonders with his squad.

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The best result for a newly promoted side was Huddersfield Town’s 2-1 win over Manchester United. The Terrriers inflicted their first defeat over Man United since 1952 and became the first team this season to beat Jose Mourinho’s side. Manchester United committed two errors that directly led to a goal in the same Premier League game for the first time since January 2014 against Spurs. This was only Jose Mourinho’s third defeat to a newly-promoted side in the Premier League (W33 D4) – losing against Crystal Palace in 2013-14, and Bournemouth in 2015-16 when at Chelsea.

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Last time all three promoted sides stayed up was 2011-12 – QPR, Swansea City and Norwich City. Could it happen again this season?

Goal of the season contender from Sofiane Boufal

Southampton v West Brom was a difficult match to watch and that’s putting it lightly. Five of the last nine Premier League games between Southampton and West Brom have been goalless at half-time and that really isn’t a surprise. Southampton were determined to win while West Brom were playing for the draw.

Enter Sofiane Boufal. He only came on in the 81st minute but he scored a sublime individual goal to win the game. Boufal collected the ball deep in his own half, evaded several challenges while sending two West Brom defenders crashing into each other before curling into the bottom corner. If any goal deserved to win a game, that was it.

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Happy Birthday Arsene Wenger

On his 68th birthday, Arsene Wenger’s oversaw a 5-2 win over Everton. This is the 20th instance of a manager winning a Premier League game on his birthday and the third time that Arsene Wenger has done this (2005, 2006 and 2017) – more often than any other manager. When Wenger was asked about having a birthday drink last year, he said: “When you win, you deserve it; when you don’t, you need it.” After that Arsenal performance, Wenger is deserving of his drink.

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More defensive woes for Liverpool

Everyone knows Liverpool’s defence is terrible. It needs serious improvement and Jurgen Klopp has been Liverpool manager long enough now to have sorted it out. Dejan Lovren was hooked after half an hour following an atrocious performance. Lovren was at fault for Spurs’ first two goals which saw the hosts 2-0 up after 12 minutes. Even after Lovren was take off, the mistakes kept coming for Liverpool.

They conceded two more goals as they lost 4-1 and have now conceded 16 goals in the league this season, their worst defensive record after nine top-flight games since 1964-65. Simon Mignolet was at fault for Spurs’ fourth goal and has made 13 errors leading to goals in the PL since making his Liverpool debut; three more than anyone else. Liverpool supposedly have ambitions of winning the league. It isn’t going to happen with this defence.

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Wembley curse well and truly over for Spurs

Spurs beat Bournemouth 1-0 at Wembley last week in their first win at their temporary home. Their performance against Liverpool was even better. For the first time in 10 Premier League games against the Reds, Spurs were on the winning side after three draws and six defeats. Harry Kane scored his first goals at Wembley and provided an assist as Spurs won 4-1. Diego Maradona’s presence had the desired effect.

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