3 January 2019
The fiery excitement all burst into flames when the English premier league resumed properly to the merriment of football lovers all over the world. By the end of the week, not all fans were smiling though. Conte and his Chelsea folks were starved of any joy by the end of their Burnley match. Klopp and his Liverpool cohorts could only gnash their teeth in despair as they miserably gave up their win. Mourinho seemed to have the biggest smile of the week as his team mauled a limping West Ham 4-0. There is a weekly round up of the major footballing events of the week.
1. Man United off to a blazing start with Matic seeming a big catch
Man United fans had their fans rubbing their stomachs in relish as they watched the match against West Ham. Every thing seemed to be working well. Their record man Lukaku was smashing in the goals. Rashford was forming a formidable understanding with Lukaku which seem a future golden relationship. Matic and Pogba were pulling the strings rightly in the middle. In all, it was the perfect start they had dreamt of, making the premier league title a very realistic ambition. By the time the ball had gone into West Ham’s net four times, it was clear Matic was a gem that was missing last season. What makes the gem more sparkling was that it was mined from their rivals, Chelsea. The first Man United goal was from his interception. Ask Mourinho why Chelsea would ever let a player of Matic’s quality leave. The Portuguese wizard was quite confused. “It depends on what is happening, or what was happening, behind doors and we don’t know,” he said. “The only thing I know is that, with Chelsea’s money, I brought him to Stamford Bridge because I thought he was a player with special qualities and ever since I left I always thought he could be a perfect player for us.” The Man United faithful wouldn’t want to wake up from this beautiful dream.
2. Familiar woes befall Liverpool…Oops, the defence again.
Liverpool fans are sick to tears of their infamous defence. It is a popular truth that the Liverpool back line gets feverish when called to defend against set pieces. Against Watford, it was the same story. Liverpool conceded twice from dead balls giving up two points late to finish 3-3 which is not impressive at all. Sides now know the defence is Liverpool’s soft spot which the helmet doesn’t cover. Watford’s Miguel Britos confirmed this. “Yes we knew [that Liverpool were poor at set pieces] . “Maybe it is their weak point.” For all the ferocity Liverpool attack offers, a weak Liverpool defense neutralizes the ingenuity of the blistering attack line. Since Klopp came on board, the defence has taken in 27 Premier League goals from set pieces alone. The transfer window doesn’t look to solve this menace this summer as the club seem to be on the wrong end of the table in discussions to bring De Vrij from Southampton. In addition, with Barca’s public hunting trip in Anfield targeted at poaching Coutinho, Liverpool fans can cry enough tears to fill their swimming pools.
3. Ugly signs at Chelsea…dark omen hovers
It wasn’t the dream start Conte would have loved for his title defence this season. Losing to Burnley was never the best opening paragraph of the story of the season. A lot of Chelsea fans had to put on sun glasses so as not to see the Chelsea bench which was ominously littered with youngsters, you are allowed to call them kids. Chelsea squad lacks depth, and Conte has repeatedly bellowed this over the loudspeakers. With major absentees like Hazard, Moses and all, the likes of Musonda and other young stars took their place helplessly on the bench. Even Boga had a surprising debut. It was only till Morata came on, that a little burst of life was injected into a devastated Chelsea site who struggled with the two red cards given to Fabregas and Cahill.