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Premier League: Paul Pogba’s dangerous flirtation, other talking points from Gameweek 2

The second weekend of the English top-flight brought drama aplenty!

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

The Premier League never ceases to amaze, always springing a surprise when you least expect it.

After a breathtaking opening weekend saw a bagful of  goals scored, the second gameweek had some noteworthy results and plenty of drama, with contentious issues sparking lengthy debates all across. If you had missed the intense football action on the weekend, The Statesman brings you the major talking points from Gameweek 2:

Lucky Paul Pogba

Yes, Manchester United swamped Swansea 4-0, but look closely and you’ll know it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests. Three of the Red Devils’ goals came after the 80th minute and had their star midfielder aka Paul Pogba been sent off in the opening half-hour, it may well have been a different result.

The Frenchman had an extremely poor start to the game and was visibly irritated with his side’s lack of progress in the final third. And as he committed a flurry of fouls, one of which got him cautioned, millions of United fans watching from across the globe were worried that the ‘red mist’ may descend on the 24-year-old. 

Fortunately for him and United, referee Jonathan Moss was in a lenient mood and didn’t give the Frenchman his marching orders, but on another day Pogba may well have gone in for an early shower.
For the moment the goals are flowing, but if Pogba truly wants to be world-class, the petulance will have to go ASAP.

Pogba certainly rode his luck on Saturday ! (Photo: AFP)

Huddersfield Town benefitting from summer acquisitions

Two wins from two, and Huddersfield Town are second in the league table at the moment.
For a side that most bookmakers had pegged as relegation favourites, that is certainly a sensational start.

Credit must go to manager David Wagner of course, but the club’s transfer policy has to be lauded as well. They broke their transfer record twice in the summer, in securing the services of Aaron Mooy (£7.5 million) and Steve Mounie (£11 million).

Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a world-class goal (Photo: AFP)
Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner (Photo: AFP)

Mounie noticed a brace on his debut as the Terriers swamped Crystal Palace on the opening weekend and Mooy scored a stunner as they edged Newcastle on Sunday to make them only the third team in the league to have a 100 per cent record.
Their defence hasn’t been bad either, keeping back-to-back clean sheets and a major reason they are miserly at the back is another summer-signing, albeit a temporary one.
Jonas Lossl, on loan from FSV Mainz, has been impressive between the sticks and with a relatively easy run of fixtures ahead, there’s no reason they can’t continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Bend it like Alonso

It’s not just about how Chelsea wing-back Alonso conjured a moment of magic with his left-foot on Sunday at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur.
Consider the circumstances.
After an opening-day loss to Burnley, Chelsea were under severe pressure and a loss to Spurs would have in all probability, got owner Roman Abramovich’s infamous trigger finger itching.

Up stepped Alonso and, despite the best efforts of the Spurs wall and Hugo Lloris, scored a free-kick David Beckham would have been proud of. And despite Spurs fortuitously equalising, the Blues showed true grit to find a late winner via familiar suspect Alonso again.

Photo of the weekend? (Photo: AFP)

Alonso may not be the best full-back in the Premier League and detractors will say Chelsea’s system makes him look good, but there is no denying that he is now a genuine threat from set-pieces and open play both.

Two forward system not working for Manchester City

In Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, Manchester City possess two of the most talented forwards in the Premier League.

However, the duo have notched a solitary goal in their opening two fixtures.
In a day and age where most sides favour a one-striker system, is Pep Guardiola’s 3-5-2 a luxury Manchester City cannot afford?

Jesus, hailed by some has Aguero’s successor at the Etihad, has been poor, so far and his strike-partner hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory either.

Much more is expected from the vaunted forwards if City are to seriously challenge for the title after a disappointing 2016-17 campaign.

In the current system, natural wingers are sacrificed for the extra forward and after Raheem Sterling came off the bench to score the equaliser on Monday, there is pressure on Jesus to keep his place in the starting XI.

The Sky Blues travel to Bournemouth on Saturday and should Jesus and Aguero fail to combine for a third time in a row, Guardiola may be forced into a rethink for Sterling and Leroy Sane are banging on the door.

Will City forward Gabriel Jesus be dropped from the starting XI this weekend? (Photo: AFP)

Alexandre Lacazette: Offside or not?

Officials and experts hailed the linesman’s decision to rule out Alexandre Lacazette’s equaliser for offside in their game against Stoke, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was having none of it.

Trailing to a superb debut goal by Jese Rodriguez, the Gunners were camped in the Stoke half and thought they had equalised when Lacazette finished well from a deft flick from Olivier Giroud, only for the linesman to raise his flag.

In the post-match press conference, Wenger clearly stated that his compatriot was onside when he scored at the bet365 stadium, but most were undecided on the call that was marginal, either way.

Lacazette sure can’t believe it (Photo: AFP)

Lacazette’s boot had strayed offside, according to television replays, but Wenger was adamant as were the Gunners faithful, who felt they had been robbed of a point.