Manchester United fans were forced to witness a disastrous goalkeeping class as another glovemaker on the club’s books sent a pointed message to the Red Devils brass.
Arsenal have reportedly found the secret formula for success as a Manchester City star has proven he can be loud and quiet at the same time.
All this and more in the latest edition of Premier League talking points!
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DAMNING FROM GEA STAT THAT’S SCARY LIKE NO. 2 THE GUARDIAN MAKES A STATEMENT
When Brentford midfielder Josh Dasilva fired from outside the box, it looked like a routine save for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Instead, the ball squirmed through his grip and into the back of the net for the home side’s first of four goals at Brentford Community Stadium.
For a glovemaker renowned for his ability to stop the shot, this was a terrible mistake.
But the worst was yet to come.
On a goal kick, United‘s centre-backs parted to either side of de Gea as midfielder Christian Eriksen called for the ball in the middle.
The Spaniard agreed but clearly didn’t see Brentford’s Mathias Jensen breathing down Eriksen’s neck as the United star was immediately stripped and Jensen quickly added Brentford’s second.
Once again, it raised serious questions about de Gea’s ability to play from the back, an issue that has plagued him for several years and cost him his spot as Spain’s starting goalkeeper.
Just look at a comparison of passing stats to know how far behind de Gea is compared to his rivals.
According sky sportsManchester City’s Ederson and Liverpool stopper Alisson complete 84.8 and 83.7 per cent of passes respectively.
From Gea? It completes a paltry 61.6%.
With United boss Erik ten Hag demanding his team be built from the back, de Gea could find himself in a similar situation to Joe Hart when Pep Guardiola first arrived at the club.
De Gea bravely faced the media to discuss the humiliating defeat and explained he needed to ‘read the game better’ but as Sky Sports’ Adam Bate Notessomeone of his standing shouldn’t make those mistakes.
“The problem for De Gea is that he is 31 and has played almost 500 games for Manchester United over the past decade,” Bate said.
“His game has been established for a long time and he has also been successful.
“It just never emphasized his passing.”
As United fans mourn another costly mistake by de Gea, a goalkeeper who was destined to be the club’s starter last season was making headlines for all the right reasons.
Dean Henderson, who joined Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan with no option to buy, starred for the newly promoted side in a 1-0 win over West Ham United.
The Hammers peppered Henderson with several shots throughout the 90s, but the England star stood tall and put his all into safety.
Part of his great saves reel included stopping a penalty from Declan Rice, as he dived to his right and held the ball.
Did the Red Devils let the wrong goalkeeper go?
HOW ARSENAL’S STAR MAN PROVED THAT HE’S CUT FROM DIFFERENT FABRICS
Here’s some free advice for Arsenal’s scouting department: just look for Brazilians named Gabriel.
In a 4-2 win over Leicester City, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli found themselves on the scoresheet while Gabriel Magalhães continued to prove he was a key member of the Gunners’ defensive line.
But it is the most recent member of the trio to arrive at the club that has sparked dizzying levels of optimism at the Emirates.
On his home debut for Arsenal, Jesus was involved in all four goals scoring twice and assisting the others in a full performance.
But it’s something a little deeper that proves why Jesus was Mikel Arteta’s top transfer target this summer before joining Manchester City in a £45m (A$77m) deal.
The Brazilian faced a similar situation for his first goal of the day as he led Arsenal’s counterattack before handing the ball to Gabriel Martinelli who connected with Granit Xhaka.
“By the time he reaches Jesus again, there are eight blue shirts in the box, but he has the speed of thought and the technical ability to get the ball off his feet and roll it into the far corner,” said de Roché.
“The shot had an xG of 0.05 according to Opta and 0.07 according to Wyscout. Either way, Jesus sensed an opportunity and took it.
The Brazilian represents a completely different entity to the former Arsenal strike force of Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, especially with his work off the ball.
If Jesus can continue this vein of form, who knows what is possible for Arsenal this season.
TWO ASSISTS, EIGHT KEYS, NO GOAL… BUT STILL A STAR FOR HAALAND
In the 74 minutes Erling Haaland was on the pitch for Manchester City against Bournemouth, the Norwegian only completed two assists.
One of them was the kickoff in the second half.
He also had just eight touches in City’s 4-0 win.
On the surface, it looks like an awfully quiet game and one where most Fantasy Premier League players have been pulling their hair out.
Still, those eight touches proved crucial in helping Pep Guardiola’s side to three points in a masterful performance.
One of those touches doubled as his only other pass of the game, which turned out to be an assist.
City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan played into Haaland’s feet and he fended off three Bournemouth defenders before slotting a perfect ball into the path of Gundogan who coolly passed Cherries keeper Mark Travers to open the scoring.
Haaland was also a threat on the defensive front, sprinting like mad and forcing Bournemouth defenders to sabotage the ball long to avoid being dispossessed by him.
The Norwegian should have scored a goal as well, but Phil Foden opted to go for it himself when he should have done so against an unmarked Haaland who had an empty net in front of him.
In no uncertain terms, Guardiola told Foden he took the wrong option.
“He has to pass the ball,” Guardiola said.
“Now he has to know that Erling will be there all the time in these situations.
“In the past, maybe with a false nine players wouldn’t know, but this guy is there.”
This is bad news for the opposition backlines.
SPURS MAKE A MAJOR CHANGE FROM PRETENDERS TO CONTENDERS?
Ok, it’s only the second game of the Premier League season.
But in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea, did Spurs prove they had the mentality to hang out with the big boys?
A 96th-minute equalizer from Harry Kane sparked jubilant scenes away at Stamford Bridge and demonstrated that Spurs finally had a belly of steel.
This is mainly thanks to the work of Antonio Conte, who forged the team in his strict style of play.
And the proof is in the pudding in terms of clear signs of improvement according to the Italian himself.
“Chelsea turned out to be a very good team, but compared to last season we did a bit better,” Conte said.
“The difference is clear. This team (Chelsea) won the Champions League two years ago, won the Club World Cup last year, reached the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals.
“There is a difference between Chelsea and Tottenham but we are here to close that gap.
“Last season we lost three times, this time we drew so it’s a small step forward.”
The two London teams will have to wait until February 26 to face each other again in the Premier League.
It takes a long time for Spurs to close the gap between them and Chelsea.
‘UNDER-ACHIEVING’ BRAZILIAN STAR BECOMES MIA… AGAIN
In Philippe Coutinho’s first eight games for Aston Villa, he scored four goals and had three assists.
As for the 13 Premier League appearances since then, the Brazilian has only one goal to his name and no assists.
It’s extremely worrying form for a player who just four years ago signed for Barcelona for A$179m but joined Villa on a permanent basis in May for a measly $28m.
There were flashes of brilliance sprinkled throughout the barren run.
Skillful films. Quick interaction with teammates. Wizard-like dribbling skills in tight spaces.
But those moments are becoming increasingly rare.
Yet the warning signs are there.
“Without a doubt there is magic in his feet and we have seen flashes of his genius,” Evans said.
“It’s way too early to critically judge his form after just two games, but right now he’s underperforming.
“He was silent at the end of last season, scoring just once in 11 games, and his performances in the first week of this season were slow.”
It says a lot that the Villa Park faithful were singing for Emi Buendia to come once Coutinho was injured in the second half against Everton, and the fiery Argentine was a game-changer when he arrived.
He brought an energy with and without the ball that Coutinho just doesn’t have.
Oh, and he also scored Villa’s second goal with a move he threw himself.
Villa manager Steven Gerrard obviously has a soft spot for Coutinho, but when both are fully fit, is it in the team’s best interest to send the Brazilian back to the bench and give Buendia a spot? holder?