“I do not assume there’s anybody enjoying higher on the planet or in Europe for the time being,” mentioned Jamie Carragher at Anfield. There might be few arguments. Mohamed Salah is not only on the prime of his sport proper now – he’s on the prime of the sport.
The 29-year-old’s brilliance is such that at instances he might be taken as a right. However even by the sky-high requirements he has set himself, his begin to the season has been one thing particular.
Salah has now scored in seven consecutive video games for Liverpool – equalling his longest scoring streak for the membership and taking him previous 100 Premier League objectives within the course of. There have been 9 in all competitions to this point this season and three assists too.
No Premier League participant has had a direct hand in additional objectives in 2021/22 and no Premier League participant has produced something fairly like what we noticed from Salah at Anfield on Sunday.
His purpose was an astonishing exhibition of pace, power, steadiness and brutal effectivity. When the ball rippled the again of the web, sending Anfield into raptures, there have been three Metropolis gamers on their knees within the six-yard field.
That is what Salah does to his opponents and he did it for Liverpool’s opening purpose too.
His involvement within the transfer began deep in his personal half, when he beat Bernardo Silva to Joel Matip’s cross, then managed Fabinho’s chipped ball with professional precision earlier than accelerating past Joao Cancelo and sending Sadio Mane via.
It was Mane’s purpose however, as along with his personal, 17 minutes later, it was conjured up out of nothing by Salah. He’s working at a degree totally of his personal proper now. If Metropolis cannot cease him, who can?
The journey to Anfield ended the hardest of weeks for Manchester Metropolis, coming on the finish of going through each Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain away from the Etihad.
Their probabilities of replicating final season’s victory at Liverpool had been made all of the extra distant when Pep Guardiola bristled at one or two selections go towards his aspect throughout a breathless, see-saw second half.
Guardiola was in full-on meltdown mode when James Milner averted a second yellow card for a transparent bookable offence on Bernardo Silva, however his gamers saved their cool to share the factors.
It ended with Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp slapping each other on the again on the closing whistle, however Metropolis will maybe really feel this was a possibility that received away – a sport they left open and ought to not have required a numerical benefit for the consequence to replicate their dominance.
Guardiola celebrated what these two title rivals served up, claiming “because of this the Premier League is the very best” and Micah Richards believes there’s extra to return from his former aspect.
“I am pretty assured,” he advised Sky Sports activities. “There are nonetheless areas of their sport they’ll enhance. They may’ve scored extra objectives at Chelsea. I would say it has been a Positive week, however they can not relaxation on their laurels.”
We head into the second worldwide break with a well-known prime 4 – the identical 4 that completed within the Champions League locations on the finish of final season albeit in a special order.
Guardiola admitted beforehand he tends to not sleep so effectively within the rapid aftermath of video games, and he’ll little doubt be sweating over his star-studded solid as they head world wide.
However 4 factors from visits to Stamford Bridge and Anfield underlined Metropolis’s pedigree as champions. They might be third, however they continue to be the crew to catch.
“Tottenham had the excellent participant on the pitch.”
After Aston Villa’s 2-1 defeat at Spurs, Dean Smith’s post-match feedback had been each gracious and correct, and the form of evaluation we have come to affiliate with Harry Kane.
However Smith remarks weren’t about Kane, who has been fully out of types on the again of an unsettling summer season the place he needed to depart the membership, however about Spurs’ new talisman, Heung-Min Son.
As Kane has failed to search out the web in six Premier League video games this season – his longest barren run within the prime flight since 2015/16 – his greater than ready deputy, Son, has picked up the baton and guided Spurs out of this wretched run which has engulfed the membership.
His two essential assists towards Villa helped Spurs arrest an alarming three-game dropping streak within the Premier League with an vital, morale-boosting 2-1 victory which sends Nuno’s under-fire squad into the worldwide break on a much-welcomed excessive.
It meant Son had been concerned in 11 objectives in his final 12 Premier League residence matches (six objectives and 5 assists), and a primary league victory since August 29 was simply reward for Son, the proper treatment to an off-colour Kane.
It was one other disappointing afternoon for Leicester – a sense that has develop into all too acquainted within the final two months.
Towards the run of play, the Foxes took benefit of two defensive errors from Crystal Palace to search out themselves 2-0 forward on the break. Arguably, neither Kelechi Iheanacho nor Jamie Vardy will rating simpler objectives this season, every rolling the ball previous Vicente Guaita.
However Leicester had been second finest for a lot of the sport towards a spirited Palace aspect, and the absences of Jonny Evans and Wilfred Ndidi – two of their most vital gamers – had been apparent.
Going ahead just isn’t the difficulty for Leicester. Vardy and Iheanacho did their jobs by scoring the objectives, with Harvey Barnes vigorous as soon as once more. The problems got here in midfield, the place the ball was given away far too cheaply and much too usually, and in defence.
Leicester are lacking the presence of Evans within the centre of that again line. Whereas former Southampton pair Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard have greater than sufficient Premier League expertise between them, there’s one thing about Evans that provides the Foxes extra solidity.
Brendan Rodgers mentioned after the sport: “2-0 is all the time a harmful scoreline and in most of my time right here, I’d’ve felt actually snug in that place with how we defend with the ball and when we do not have it, we’re usually very strong.
“I by no means felt overly snug [on Sunday] and when it will get to 2 every, the momentum can actually go towards you, however the gamers saved preventing and I used to be inspired by that facet. They gave it every thing, however we’re simply not enjoying to our degree.”
There isn’t a doubting Leicester has the expertise of their squad and supervisor to have the ability to flip issues round. Groups all the time undergo cycles and that is Leicester’s time for a dip – they have been on fairly the trip since their Premier League promotion.
However Rodgers additionally wants to make use of the subsequent two weeks of the worldwide break to determine a technique earlier than the state of affairs turns into worrying. There’s nonetheless loads of time to show issues round.
Selhurst Park is famend for its particular environment. The followers are loud, passionate and there’s little or no area between the pitch and the stands – you’ll be able to hear every thing from these first few rows.
It signifies that when Crystal Palace are enjoying poorly, you realize about it and beneath Roy Hodgson, whereas the Eagles had been a strong crew, there wasn’t a lot creativity and a few followers had been disgruntled.
However one thing particular is brewing at Selhurst Park. Beneath Patrick Vieira, Crystal Palace are unbeaten at residence this season, together with a convincing 3-0 win towards Tottenham. Their solely defeats have been towards title favourites Chelsea and Liverpool.
Vieira has completed precisely what was requested of him in the summertime. He has introduced thrilling, attacking soccer to Selhurst Park, utilising younger expertise. Michael Olise – Palace’s first scorer on Sunday – is a 19-year-old summer season acquisition, arrange by the membership’s newest academy graduate, Tyrick Mitchell, himself solely 22.
However maybe essentially the most spectacular a part of the Vieira renaissance is the dedication, persona and need he has instilled in his aspect. They dominated the play all through, recovering from two defensive errors and a string of missed probabilities to take a deserved level.
Vieira as soon as once more made the correct selections along with his substitutions. His first two each scored – Jeffrey Schlupp after simply 48 seconds towards his former aspect – and it isn’t the primary time a participant he has introduced on has discovered the web. Odsonne Edouard – trying to be one other high quality summer season signing – did so after 29 seconds towards Spurs.
Dissenters might say that three of these outcomes at residence have been attracts, however let’s not run earlier than we are able to stroll. There may be actual change and enchancment being moulded and with the course Crystal Palace are shifting in for the time being, it won’t be too lengthy earlier than these three factors begin racking up properly.
Not often do promoted groups come and dominate a top-six crew in their very own again yard in the way in which Brentford did for 45 minutes at West Ham. The truth is, it would not be too excessive to declare that Thomas Frank’s crew’s first-half efficiency on the London Stadium was essentially the most full exhibiting ever seen by a newly promoted crew within the Premier League. Brentford seemed just like the crew with European credentials, not West Ham.
Frank’s males may have been 4-0 up inside 20 minutes, as an alternative, it was solely 1-0 courtesy of Bryan Mbeumo’s sliding end. Declan Rice was overrun, Michail Antonio silenced – it was staggering stuff from the west Londoners, who performed with such power, cohesion and high quality that the sport in all probability ought to have been over by half-time.
There was an inevitability concerning the Hammers bettering as the sport wore on nevertheless it nonetheless took a high quality end from Jarred Bowen, capping a spell of West Ham stress, to attract David Moyes’ crew degree. ‘Let’s take a degree and head into the worldwide break’ would usually be the case for many groups at 1-1 away at West Ham however Brentford aren’t most groups.
They staged one final hurrah and gave their away finish a momentous reminiscence to savour when Yoane Wissa hammered residence the successful purpose. The Premier League trip has been a particular one for these followers to this point.