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10 talking points from the Premier League weekend as Liverpool thrashed Arsenal and Man United won again

Date Posted,August 27, 2017

Liverpool ripped apart woeful Arsenal in a 4-0 Premier League thumping at Anfield on Sunday.

Goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane before the break and Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge after it secured a thoroughly convincing win against disjointed and disheartened opponents.

Sunday’s other games saw Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata on target as Chelsea swatted aside Everton while Tottenham drew at home to Burnley and Stoke drew away to West Brom.

On Saturday, Manchester United moved back to the top of the Premier League table after claiming a third win from three games with Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Leicester.

Defeats for West Ham and Crystal Palace put pressure on Slaven Bilic and Frank de Boer at the bottom of the table.

De Boer’s Eagles are yet to score after a 2-0 defeat to previously winless Swansea and were booed off three matches into the Dutchman’s reign.

Tammy Abraham, on loan from Chelsea, scored his first Premier League goal one minute before half-time and Jordan Ayew added a second within three minutes of the restart.

Bilic’s Hammers lost 3-0 at Newcastle, who won for the first time this season through goals from Joselu, Ciaran Clark and substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Like Palace and West Ham, Bournemouth are without a point after three games following City’s last-gasp 2-1 win.

Pep Guardiola’s men claimed victory through Raheem Sterling’s deflected winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Huddersfield are unbeaten on seven points after being held to a goalless draw by Southampton.

Here are 10 talking points from the weekend’s action.

1. Despite their attacking verve, Liverpool need more composure in front of goal

Mohamed Salah scored in Sunday’s win (Image: John Powell)

It sounds harsh after such a devastating performance in the first hour, but they created enough chances to have doubled their lead at that point, writes David Maddock.

The problem with playing so quickly, is it tends to make everything so hurried, and a couple of finishes from the other wise electric Salah in particular showed that he is struggling to adapt to the quick/slow combination required of Liverpool forwards.

He will get better though, and so will the rest of forwards. When they do, it will be terrifying.

2. What have Arsenal been doing in training all week?

Alexis Sanchez during Arsenal’s defeat (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

One thing you know about Liverpool, they will press, and press hard inside their opponents’ half, especially early on, writes David Maddock.

So what kind of madness was it for Xhaka to try a lazy, dinked pass out to the touchline which allowed the excellent Gomez to intercept and provide the first goal?

Of all the horrible mistakes Arsenal made, their failure to understand their opponents’ tactics was the most baffling.

3. Fabregas offers reminder of his class

Cesc Fabregas and Mason Holgate battle for possession (Image: Jordan Mansfield)

The Spaniard was back in the team after suspension and provided a timely reminder of his class and quality, writes Adrian Kajumba.

Timely because Antonio Conte wants to go shopping before the transfer window closes on Thursday and has midfielders in his sights.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley are all among the Blues boss’s targets.

But none of them can effortlessly help their team control a game like the classy Fabregas does.

His goal showed his cleverness as he quickly adjusted his feet to steer in Alvaro Morata’s header on and then spent the rest of the game keeping Chelsea ticking over in midfield.

4. Spurs to miss out on title again – it’s as plain as black and white

Eric Dier dejected after Burnley score (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The last time Tottenham played Burnley at Wembley, it was the 1962 FA Cup final and Bill Nicholson’s fabulous team had won the Double 12 months earlier, writes Mike Walters.

The meter is already ticking over towards 57 years since Tottenham won the title, in the days of black-and-white newsreels, and their enduring labours at Wembley are not going to make it any easier to break the drought.

Sorry, it’s not going to happen again this season, either.

5. Burnley going down? No, nay, never

The Burnley team show appreciation to the fans (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Based largely on their submissive away form last season, some deluded observers – who may have included this correspondent – feared Burnley were heading for a relegation scrap, writes Mike Walters.

But after their startling win at Chelsea on the first day of term, and two committed performances where the Clarets’ rewards did not reflect their efforts, a hasty revision of doomsday predictions may be required.

James Tarkowski looks a promising replacement for £25 million refugee Michael Keane, and Sean Dyche’s team will be competitive, resilient and harder to beat than their pre-season odds suggested.

Chris Wood’s strike hints they will have the goals to stay up as well.

6. Rashford hits form

Marcus Rashford celebrates his goal (Image: Getty)

For all their dominance in the first two-thirds of this game, the Red Devils had to rely on Rashford to make the breakthrough, writes Joe Mewis.

The England striker immediately used his pace to trouble the Foxes defence after they had held firm in the face of increasing pressure.

Rashford’s goal came after a dominant performance from United, which was a far cry from the languid performances seen at Old Trafford last season.

A big part of this is Paul Pogba’s new role. He had six shots in a 16 minutes spell in the first half and on another day would have bagged at least a couple.

7. Aguero vs Jesus

Gabriel Jesus in action (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has nailed his colours firmly to the mast, Gabriel Jesus is Manchester City’s main striker. So the pressure was all on the Brazilian to prove why his boss has his belief in him, writes Alex Smith.

Jesus shrugged off all that when he classily slide in his side’s first half equaliser – his first goal of the season.

It was at the Vitality Stadium in February that Jesus suffered the foot injury which stopped his three goals in three game storm of the Premier League, but the south coast hoodoo was put to bed.

He ran the line well and linked up perfectly with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and the Silvas to take the man of the match gong.

Sergio Aguero might have to get used to parking himself on the bench again this year.

8. Daniels upstages Defoe

Charlie Daniels scores a stunning half-volley (Image: Reuters)

The stage had been manipulated by Eddie Howe to give Jermain Defoe a Premier League debut for Bournemouth to remember by downing City – a team they had never beaten in their history, writes Alex Smith.

The former Sunderland front man ran the line and had a good chance on the stretch to net his first goal on his return to the south coast.

But all anyone who watched the game will remember is Daniel’s rocket for the opener.

The goal of the season debate already has its first nomination – as the ex-Tottenham youngster crashed an unstoppable blast into the top corner, via the crossbar.

9. No Dwight Gayle but Joselu delivers

Joselu after scoring (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

The £5m new signing was on target in the first half – after Dwight Gayle was left out the squad, writes Simon Bird.

Gayle’s form this season has been off the pace, and his mood isn’t great.

So it was essential United proved they had goals elsewhere in the team.

Joselu worked the line well, took his chance, and clearly has something about him. Perhaps Benitez can be the making of him?

10. What’s wrong with West Ham?

Slaven Bilic’s West Ham are in trouble (Image: Reuters)

They have decent players but have not gelled.

They were bullied by Newcastle at times, who pressed high up the pitch, and unsettled the defence when they had the ball.

Javier Hernandez was competitive, but until they can control the ball and work through the pitch, he won’t get much joy.

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