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Premier League: Manchester City’s masterclass, other talking points from Gameweek 7

From the barnstorming Citizens to the stuttering Reds, we have it all covered!

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

Fast and relentless, the Premier League has legions of fans around the globe chiefly due to the frenetic version of the beautiful game that is employed by clubs of the English top-flight.

Unlike other leagues, there’s almost always a massive clash every week and controversy reigns regardless of an upset or a miraculous triumph.

With so much happening, it’s impossible to keep your finger on everything but worry not. The Statesman is at hand to collate all the data and give you the major talking points from the weekend’s action.

Harry Kane not world-class, but surely getting there

Theirry Henry and Jamie Carragher stirred a hornet’s nest when they asked which Premier League striker is truly world-class.

From the current lot, perhaps only the oft-injured Sergio Aguero has earned that distinction, but what about Harry Kane?

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Sergio Aguero
Is Aguero’s place as the premier Premier League forward under threat from Kane? (Photo: AFP)


The Tottenham Hotspur striker, winner of the Premier League Golden Boot for two years on trot, continues to bang in the goals for a side that are yet to prove they are truly elite.

Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Harry Kane
Kane has more Premier League Golden Boot awards (2) than any other active striker still playing in the English top-flight! (Photo: AFP)


Yes, Spurs play a style that suits the Englishman’s play but the likes of Aguero (Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) and Alvaro Morata (Chelsea) all play for sides that are brimming with quality in every department.

If Kane manage a hat-trick of Golden Boots at the end of the season, an incredible feat considering the form of Morata, Lukaku et al, will he be considered world-class then?

Premier League, Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur FC, UEFA Champions League
Tottenham’s golden boy has already noticed a hat-trick in Europe this season! (Photo: AFP)


Definitely. For the 24-year-old is all about goals and will soon be giving the likes of Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski a run for their money for a spot in the FIFPro World XI in the coming years if he keeps scoring at such a prodigious rate.

City dominant at Bridge in best-ever performance of Pep Guardiola era?

Kevin De Bruyne lapped up the plaudits after his man-of-the-match display and rightly so, but Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola was the real architect of the masterclass in London.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Kevin De Bruyne
Another player in the running to be categorised as world-class is City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne! (Photo: AFP)


City dominated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a feat few teams have ever achieved in the Roman Abramovic era, and their achievement was even more incredible considering left-back Benjamin Mendy, centre-back Vincent Kompany and top scorer Sergio Aguero all missed out due to injury.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Pep Guardiola, Chelsea FC
Pep’s style has always been good to watch but now the results are matching up as well! (Photo: AFP)


Aguero’s absence, arguably, proved to be a boon as Pep started in-form wingers Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling on either side of Gabriel Jesus and that all-out attack formation worked wonders as City were dictating the tempo of the game from the first minute itself.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Leroy Sane, N'Golo Kane
Leroy Sane (L) and co harried the home side from the start! (Photo: AFP)


Of course, Alvaro Morata’s injury early on helped matters but the stats don’t lie.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has started the season on fire and while he didn’t score against Chelsea, he was a major nuisance for the Blues! (Photo: AFP)


City had 62 per cent possession, five shots on goal (compared to Chelsea’s 2) and eight corners (Chelsea had four).

The Citizens manager has always been stubborn about dominating opponents and then winning. And with a stellar squad finally capable of playing the football he wants without losing their effectiveness, it looks like tiki-taka is here to stay.

So, the Pep Guardiola revolution has begun and fans of the Premier League best sit back and enjoy it (unless their team is on the receiving end, of course!).

And how good has Ederson been?

Eyebrows were raised when City paid £35 million to sign Ederson, making the Brazilian the second-most goalkeeper of all time, behind only Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Ederson
The Brazilian keeper has kept two clean-sheets in the Champions League as well! (Photo: AFP)


Any doubts fans and critics had have been firmly put down by the 24-year-old custodian.

City’s goal has been breached only twice, one being Charlie Daniels’s stunning contender for goal of the season-in seven Premier League games. Granted, their defenders have finally learnt how to defend, but their 6’2 shot-stopper deserves a major share of the praise.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Ederson
A pair of safe hands, is Ederson! (Photo: AFP)


Ederson’s bravery (against Liverpool and Sadio Mane, in particular), his ball-playing qualities and calmness while collecting crosses have been nothing short of impressive.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Ederson, Crystal Palace FC, Christian Benteke
Ederson (bottom) is quick off his line and his presence between the sticks is a major reason why the Citizens are topping the league! (Photo: AFP)


David de Gea (Manchester United), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) and Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) are widely regarded as the best three keepers in the English top-flight, but how long before the Citizens have a representative in that debate?

Hamstring injuries becoming fashion now?

First it was Paul Pogba, then on Saturday it was Morata.

Premier League, Manchester United FC, FC Basel, UEFA Champions League, Paul Pogba, Paul Pogba Injury
Pobga has been put in the long-term casualty bracket by his manager (Photo: AFP)


Usually, hamstring injuries occur when a player has not sufficiently warmed up but at that level with such high-stakes, it is difficult to believe that professional athletes are sent out to play without proper precautions taking place.

Premier League, Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Alvaro Morata, John Stones
Morata (L) had been giving John Stones and co a tough time before being forced off on Saturday! (Photo: AFP)


And both Pogba and Morata’s managers have repeatedly claimed that the Premier League puts demands of the broadcasters ahead of the players health.

Premier League, Chelsea FC, Alvaro Morata, Atletico Madrid, UEFA Champions League
Morata scored a vital goal in Chelsea’s thrilling Champions League victory at Atletico Madrid (Photo: AFP)


Is it a coincidence that after starting for the first time in the Champions League mid-week, Morata started the Premier League fixture against City and injured himself by the half-hour mark?

Premier League, Chelsea FC, Stoke City FC, Alvaro Morata
The Spaniard notched a hat-trick at Stoke last week! (Photo: AFP)


Perhaps, had Chelsea played City on a Sunday instead of a Saturday, the injury wouldn’t have cropped up and maybe the show runners need to pay heed to the growing lot of disgruntled managers.

Merseyside in shambles: Tale of two clubs

One can’t defend, the other can’t score.

What is happening in Liverpool?

First, the club reeling from severe pressure and criticism after finding themselves nearer to the relegation zone than the summit.

Despite losing top scorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, the Toffees made serious acquisitions to their squad in the summer and spent well over £100 million, a considerable sum even by today’s inflated standards.

Premier League, Everton FC, Burnley FC, Ronald Koeman, Sean Dyche
Is Ronald Koeman nearing the sack at Everton? (Photo: AFP)


Yet, the Toffees, after a bright start, are flirting with disaster despite it being early days. They have scored just four goals in their opening seven games. With a tally like that, it’s no wonder Everton are languishing in 16th place in the table.

Premier League, Everton FC, Burnley FC, Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi Sigurdsson (L) is yet to score in the Premier League since his arrival! (Photo: AFP)


It seems club icon Wayne Rooney and club-record signing Gylfi Sigursson cannot play together, for one obvious reason-lack of pace-and Ronald Koeman best pick one before he loses his job.

Premier League, Everton FC, Burnley FC, Wayne Rooney
Is Wayne Rooney to slow to play in Everton’s starting XI? (Photo: AFP)


Coming to the red half of Merseyside, who have scored 13 goals in seven league games to suggest their attack is finally clicking but the fact that they have conceded 12 times suggests something ain’t quite right at the back.

Premier League, Liverpool FC, Newcastle United FC, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho (R) scored a stunner, but Liverpool were unable to hold on for a win at Newcastle! (Photo: AFP)


Reds fans may not like it, but it’s time their beloved Liverpool took a leaf out of arch-rivals Manchester United’s book.

The Red Devils were in free-scoring form when they took on Southampton away in gameweek 6 and after nabbing a first-half opener, defended resolutely to clinch an invaluable three points.

Premier League, Liverpool FC, Newcastle United FC, Jordan Henderson, Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp is at a loss for words to explain why his side are finding it so difficult to not concede! (Photo: AFP)


Some days, you just can’t outscore the opposition and need to shut shop after taking a lead.

Mr Klopp, are you listening?