Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekends action – The Guardian

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekends action – The Guardian

1) Agüero has still got it but will City keep him?

Sergio Agüero’s comeback after four months out with a knee injury was a 65-minute cameo that oozed class and in which he was a vital link in Raheem Sterling’s winner. City’s record goalscorer is out of contract in June and Pep Guardiola stated the club will make a new offer if the striker continues to play well while also saying Agüero knows what he has to do. “We know what he means for us, we know how we appreciate him, but now he has to show like everyone of us – me first – that we deserve to continue here and are playing good and winning games,” the manager said. “After that the club and myself decide. When he is playing at his level and we don’t have any doubts [then] he is a player to stay until he decides [to go] because he is unique, the numbers [goals]. He is important for us, the fans and everyone.” Jamie Jackson

Match report: Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal.

2) Lampard must take some of the blame

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were outstanding, tormenting Southampton’s defence and scoring their first goals in the Premier League. Yet it was not enough to cover up for a malfunctioning defence. Once again Chelsea were a mess without the ball and, although Frank Lampard spoke about individual errors after his side’s draw with Southampton, it is hard not to wonder if they are down to structural failings. It is too easy to look at isolated moments such as the mistakes from Kurt Zouma and Kepa Arrizabalaga that gifted Che Adams a goal. If the slips keep happening the manager has to accept some blame. Southampton dominated the second half, outrunning Chelsea and capitalising on poor positioning from Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté. Lampard has to show that he can organise his team. Jacob Steinberg

Match report: Chelsea 3-3 Southampton.

Chelsea’s Lampard defends Kepa after latest mistake against Southampton – video

3) Bruce under pressure after United’s late show

Newcastle’s West End food bank had received more than £16,000 in match-day donations from fans of Steve Bruce’s team by Sunday morning, making an important stand. Those supporters had turned their protest against the imposition of a £14.95 pay-per-view fee for the match into an opportunity to do good. The money was duly redirected to the food bank as fans declined the chance to see Bruce’s suppression strategy come undone as United finally clicked. With Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, and, yes, even Harry Maguire all impressing, Ole Gunnar Solskjær earned at least a temporary respite from the sort of criticism now heading his Newcastle counterpart’s way. With discreet negotiations about reviving Newcastle’s mooted Saudi takeover going on, time could be against Bruce. Louise Taylor

Match report: Newcastle 1-4 Manchester United.

4) Pickford has become a liability

A reader on the Guardian website made an excellent point under the Merseyside derby report. “Hopefully this [Jordan] Pickford tackle will highlight the problem with the current decision to leave the flag down for as long as possible. Players are at risk of a serious and unnecessary injury if they’re playing as if the game is still on.” However, all the evidence indicates the new ruling would have made no difference to Pickford’s action or spared Virgil van Dijk’s cruciate ligament injury. Rushes of blood have embedded themselves in the keeper’s game. Yes he makes superb reflex saves – witness the one from Joël Matip – but the England man has become a liability. Carlo Ancelotti will know how close his team came to going 2-0 and a man down, although that is nothing compared to the problems facing Liverpool’s pivotal defender. Andy Hunter

Match report: Everton 2-2 Liverpool.

Jürgen Klopp exasperated by decision to rule out Henderson strike – video

5) Lallana could enjoy Indian summer on the south coast

Adam Lallana’s best years may be behind him but the former England midfielder’s performance against Crystal Palace suggested he still has plenty to offer after his move to the south coast from Liverpool. Alongside the excellent Yves Bissouma in midfield, Lallana was a vocal presence throughout as Brighton dominated their rivals and were eventually rewarded with Alexis Mac Allister’s late equaliser after the 32-year-old had been substituted. “Adam’s had two or three years where he hasn’t played as much,” said Graham Potter. “He’s playing a more influential role for us and is getting stronger. With time he will get better and better but he brings us a real personality on and off the pitch, which I think is important.” Ed Aarons

Match report: Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton

6) Moyes deserves credit for adding steel to Hammers

Tottenham’s collapse will take up plenty of attention but the crazy final stages against West Ham demonstrated far more than the home side’s frailty at the back. For a long time the Hammers were a side that looked easy to play against and perfect fodder for opponents in need of a win. Since David Moyes’s return they have discovered steel and belief that were previously absent and it is to their credit that, after some promising early moments in the second half came to nothing, they kept plugging away. West Ham have tended to give a good account of themselves away at the bigger sides under Moyes but the manner of this performance was different given that, in the first 17 minutes, they looked soft-centredand showed why their manager has been desperate to sign a centre-back. The turnaround they mustered owed much to the confidence Moyes has instilled and perhaps it is time to give him the credit he deserves. Nick Ames

Match report: Tottenham 3-3 West Ham

7) Foxes debutant Fofana shows promise in defeat

Among all the new signings arriving in the Premier League this season, Wesley Fofana snuck slightly under the radar to join Leicester from St-Étienne. The teenage defender might not expect to be an instant starter under Brendan Rodgers but was forced into action against Aston Villa because of injury problems. Considering Villa came into the game after hitting Liverpool for seven, it might not have been a particularly enticing prospect for a player with 20 Ligue 1 games under his belt. The Frenchman looked calm and composed in possession, while ensuring Ollie Watkins was kept incredibly quiet. His ability to read the play helped to a number of interceptions and clearances to ensure the danger was removed without fuss. The £36.5m fee it cost Leicester to sign Fofana could eventually look like a bargain if he is at their heart of their defence for the next decade. Will Unwin

Match report: Leicester 0-1 Aston Villa

8) Adarabioyo makes his mark on debut for Fulham

Fulham made so many signings this summer, they could field an entirely new XI, if Scott Parker so chose. A few caught the eye on debut against Sheffield United: Ruben Loftus-Cheek was strong and assertive in midfield, while Ademola Lookman scored a wonderful solo goal to open the scoring for the visitors on his second appearance. Another excellent debutant (and Fulham’s best bit of business for £1.5m) was Tosin Adarabioyo. The centre-back is just 23 but a vocal leader on the pitch, just as he was on loan at Blackburn last season. He stands at 6ft 5in but, having learned his trade at Manchester City’s academy, is confident playing out from the back. If Fulham are to survive this season, they will need Adarabioyo to continue his form. Michael Butler

Match report: Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham.

Tosin Adarabioyo (right) looks to block a shot from David McGoldrick (centre). Photograph: James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

9) Baggies and Clarets face early six-pointer

From the opening seven games in which West Brom and Burnley have taken part, they have accrued a grand total of one point. The clubs currently occupy two of the three relegation spots and look likely to face a battle to stay up this season. West Brom have shown promise, even taking a three-goal lead against Chelsea before throwing it away. Whereas Burnley have offered very little to get excited about, as they failed to bring in many new signings in the window, with the prospect of a takeover quietly ticking over in the background. If either team wins on Monday night it will be much-needed boost and would kickstart a season, but for the losers, it could be early confirmation of what everyone already knew. WU

West Brom v Burnley (Monday, 5.30pm BST).

10) Nuno ready for ‘confrontation of ideas’ against Leeds

Wolves were the future once, landing in the Premier League two years ago a revitalised famous old name with an intriguing overseas coach and a swagger and style. For Wolves then read Leeds now, and Nuno Espírito Santo’s side will pitch up at Elland Road on Monday evening under a little pressure after a patchy start. “We have to improve, and we need time to do so,” said Nuno, acknowledging that Leeds are unlikely to give them that time. “The way that they defend and their aggressiveness in the way they react to the loss of the ball, it is almost unique in our day. It is a confrontation of ideas on the pitch.” Tom Davies

Leeds v Wolves, Monday 8pm.

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