3 things we learned from the Premier League
Manchester United burst Arsenal’s bubble as Antony grabbed a debut goal in his side’s win over the Premier League leaders.
Jurgen Klopp admits injury-hit Liverpool are not in sync yet, while VAR was widely panned after a rash of controversial decisions.
SuperSport.com looks at three things we learned from the Premier League this weekend:
ANTONY ADDS NEW DIMENSION TO MAN UTD
Antony’s Manchester United debut was only eight minutes old when the Brazilian introduced himself to Old Trafford in flamboyant fashion.
Backed up against the touchline by two Arsenal defenders and with seemingly nowhere to turn, Antony left his markers bewildered with a sublime backheel that picked out Diogo Dalot.
Dalot’s cross almost brought a goal for Christian Eriksen and Antony’s approval rating was already rising among the captivated crowd.
The 22-year-old was just getting started as he unfurled an array of tricks and flicks before marking his debut with a composed finish to put United ahead in the 35th minute.
Signed from Ajax for £82 million on Thursday, Antony already looks to the manor born.
It was Marcus Rashford’s second half brace that proved Arsenal’s downfall as the leaders were beaten for the first time this season, giving resurgent United a fourth successive victory.
But Antony was the player who United’s jubilant fans left talking about.
KLOPP FRUSTRATED BY LIVERPOOL MISCUES
Liverpool’s latest failure to take maximum points left Jurgen Klopp a picture of frustration after Saturday’s goalless Merseyside derby at Everton.
Klopp’s side have dropped nine points from their first six games after Everton keeper Jordan Pickford produced a series of fine saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Liverpool’s stuttering start has been fuelled by a fatal combination of midfield injuries and growing pains for an attack still getting used to life without Sadio Mane.
Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, and Naby Keita were among seven players unavailable for the derby and Liverpool’s midfield lacked cohesion as a result.
Although Liverpool scored nine against Bournemouth last month, their front three have rarely fired on all cylinders in the other games.
That was the case against Everton as some poor finishing from new signing Darwin Nunez – landed from Benfica to replace Mane after his move to Bayern Munich – proved especially costly for the Reds.
“We have to get through this period, how it is, because, yes, players are coming back but they have to be reintegrated. We cannot just bring them back to play 90 minutes or whatever,” Klopp said.
“I know that Darwin will score in these moments in the future, that is clear.”
VAR UNDER FIRE
The Video Assistant Referee system was back into the spotlight after a series of debatable decisions across the weekend.
Much-maligned ever since its introduction in the 2019-20 season, VAR is once again in the dock, accused of ruining matches and robbing teams with its constant nit-picking.
There was a fresh blow for VAR’s dwindling number of advocates on Sunday when referees’ body PGMOL effectively admitted the decisions to disallow goals at Chelsea and Newcastle on Saturday were wrong and promised to “fully co-operate” with a Premier League review of the incidents.
The Professional Game Match Officials’ Board took the rare step of “acknowledging” the specific controversies in a statement on Sunday, and accepted the Premier League’s request for an additional investigation.
West Ham were denied a late equaliser in their 2-1 defeat against Chelsea when Maxwel Cornet’s effort was ruled out for Jarrod Bowen’s soft challenge on Blues keeper Edouard Mendy seconds earlier.
Hammers boss David Moyes branded VAR official Jarred Gillett unfit for duty after confronting referee Andy Madley following the “ridiculously bad decision”.
Newcastle had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace after a Tyrick Mitchell own goal was controversially disallowed.