Premier League: Match Day Five Talking Points

The 2020/2021 Premier League season returned after two weeks of international break with the fifth round of matches taking place over the weekend.

Following another exciting round of games, Everton remained top of the table, but they lost their 100% record after playing out a 2-2 draw against Liverpool.

Both Manchester City and Manchester United returned to winning ways with victories over Arsenal and Newcastle respectively. Meanwhile, Aston Villa remain the only team with a perfect record with four wins from four games.

Freshsports highlights some of the talking points from the latest round of Premier League games.

Struggling Leicester: Leicester City were really impressive last season, and only missed out on a champions league spot on the final day.

However, it has been an indifferent start to the season for Brendan Rodgers team. After winning their first three games, including the 5-2 win at Manchester City, the Foxes have lost their last two games.

Both losses have come at home, and against teams, they were expected to beat. The Foxes suffered a 3-0 loss to West Ham before the international break, and on Sunday, Ross Barkley’s late goal sealed a shock win for Aston Villa at the King Power Stadium.

Brendan Rodgers missed the services of several key players in the loss to Villa, including Jamie Vardy and Wilfred Ndidi. Their absence exposed Leicester’s struggles.

Kelechi Iheanacho led the line due to Vardy’s injury, but he did not offer any attacking threat. Ndidi’s energy was also missed in the middle of the park.  Although it has still been a decent start for the team, Rodgers will be worried about the way they things have gone in the last two games.

Blow For Liverpool: Following their 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Aston Villa, the champions played out an impressive 2-2 draw against table-toppers and local rivals, Everton.

While it was an improved performance from Jurgen Klopp’s men, they will have to do without Virgil Van Dijk for the rest of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in the clash.

The Dutch international was taken off following a nasty challenge from Everton’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford. Liverpool announced after the game that their centre back would need surgery and he’s set for a lengthy period on the sideline.

Van Dijk’s injury is a big blow for Liverpool in the title race. The Reds are not short of quality going forward, but Van Dijk’s arrival at the club made them winners. It would be interesting to see how Klopp’s men cope without the Dutch man’s leadership qualities at the back.

Chelsea Defensive Struggles: Chelsea made several attacking additions this season, but it appears they should have spent some of the money on their defence.

The Blues once again dropped points after playing a 3-3 draw against Southampton at Stamford Bridge. Timo Werner’s brace had given Lampard’s men the lead, but Danny Ings pulled one back for the Sants.

A mistake at the back from Kurt Zouma allowed Che Adams to draw level for Southampton. Kai Havertz put Chelsea ahead again, but Jannik Vestergaard’s injury-time strike earned a point for Ralph Hasenhuettl’s men.

The Blues defensive frailties were laid bare again. This has been a recurring issue since last season, and it appears Lampard is yet to find a solution. Thiago Silva was brought in, but at the age of 36, his best years are behind him.

Tottenham’s Collapse: Spurs are starting to look like a good team under Jose Mourinho, but the Portuguese tactician will be worried about his team’s struggles at the back.

Spurs have been brilliant going forward, scoring six at Manchester United and Five at Southampton. On Sunday against West Ham, they went 3-0 up inside the opening quarter, and it looked like they were home and dry.

But with less than ten minutes to go, the Hammers pulled off one of the most extraordinary comebacks in Premier League history. While David Moyes men deservedly grabbed the headlines, Mourinho will definitely be asking questions on what went wrong.

VAR Controversies: It’s hard to talk about a Premier League weekend without mentioning the controversial Video Assistant Replay (VAR). Liverpool had a goal against Everton in added time, but it was surprisingly ruled out after a VAR review.

There was also an argument as to whether Jordan Pickford should’ve been sent off for his tackle on Van Dijk. Crystal Palace penalty against Brighton was another subject of debate in what was another difficult for officials.

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