Erling Haaland and Phil Foden took center stage as the Manchester derby proved to be the highlight of the Premier League’s latest run of fixtures.
Norway international and England’s Foden both scored hat-tricks as City cruised to a 6-3 win over United, while north London bragging rights found themselves in Arsenal territory.
Here, the PA News Agency takes a look at what we learned from the weekend’s matches.
derby of destruction
Erik ten Hag knew on his arrival at Manchester United that there was a significant gap between the club he had inherited and rowdy neighbors Manchester City as he tried to turn them into a force at home and away. foreign. Less than 45 minutes into their first derby, he was in little doubt of the size of the chasm dividing the sides as creeping City, inspired by Kevin de Bruyne’s brilliance and Haaland and Foden’s deadly finish, tore them apart in a ruthless display that left them a 4-0 lead at the break and well on the way to a 6-3 win that was even more comprehensive than the scoreline would suggest.
Gunners go places
🎶 “We have, Granit Xhaka!” 🎶— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 1, 2022
Saturday’s North London derby may have been a closer affair, but Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Tottenham left them still top of the Premier League table and suggests they are just as well equipped that they have been for some time to meet a sustained challenge. Perhaps it was fitting that skipper Granit Xhaka, a man cast as an outcast by the club’s fans three years ago but now a cult hero, scored the goal that capped a deserved 3-1 victory.
VAR of the cheering crowd
VAR, or at least the way it is implemented, has already spent far too much time in the spotlight this season, and its success was mixed again this weekend. Tottenham boss Antonio Conte and his Fulham counterpart Marco Silva have questioned the red cards given to Emerson Royale and Nathaniel Chalobah, although their complaints appeared hollow given the evidence. However, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira’s astonishment that Chelsea defender Thiago Silva remained on the pitch after deliberately handling the ball to prevent Jordan Ayew from clearing seemed justified.
Maybe Southgate is right?
England boss Gareth Southgate’s assessment of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s qualities has prompted both numerous headlines and a strong defense from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. However, despite his impressive contribution in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Brighton, he was deemed insufficient for the three goals – admittedly he was not the only one – the Reds conceded in a poor defensive display.
The story of two attackers
Two clubs who have become reliant on one man for goals enjoyed differing fortunes when they faced off on Saturday. Despite their newfound wealth, Newcastle look much more powerful when Callum Wilson is in their ranks, while former Magpie Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goals have proved invaluable for Fulham and Serbia. The importance of the two was underscored at Craven Cottage when Wilson struck within 11 minutes of returning from a five-game layoff to set up a 4-1 victory – his club’s first in the league since day one of the season – while Mitrovic’s first-half exit through injury following the dismissal of Chalobah left the home side painfully toothless.