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Football: Premier League talking points

Football: Premier League talking points

Soccer Football - Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - August 29, 2021 Manchester United's Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

LONDON: Talking points from the Premier League weekend:

GREENWOOD FORM CANNOT BE IGNORED

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already has a wealth of forward options at his disposal before you factor in the impending return of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Norwegian coach heading for a selection headache in the coming months.

One young striker in particular is proving impossible to ignore. There has been much excitement around Mason Greenwood at United for some time, as he rose through the youth ranks at the club scoring goals for fun along the way.

Greenwood has taken to senior football like a duck to water. He has scored in all three of his games this season, including the winner as United earned a somewhat fortunate 1-0 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Proving equally adept in front of goal with his right or left foot, and able to play anywhere across the frontline, Ronaldo's spot in the first team wil not always be guaranteed, with Greenwood doing all he can to keep his place.

CITY JUST FINE WITHOUT RONALDO AND KANE

Manchester City missed out on Harry Kane and Ronaldo during the transfer window, with the hole left by all-time top scorer Sergio Aguero's departure yet to be filled.

But in their 5-0 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday, the champions' third successive victory by such a scoreline at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League, City proved they are far from short of firepower in attacking areas.

Ferran Torres again impressed in the central striker role, firing his first Premier League double for the club, Gabriel Jesus scored one and created another from wide right, while Jack Grealish also registered an assist.

Add to this that Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will soon return from injury, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling are waiting in the wings and Guardiola prefers a false nine formation without a central striker anyway, City will be just fine.

CHELSEA SHOW PRAGMATIC MATURITY

Being title contenders is not just about turning on the style and pulling off memorable victories - sometimes it is about being able to handle difficult moments and emerging unscathed.

At Anfield on Saturday, Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea showed exactly those qualities as they frustrated Liverpool for 45 minutes to earn a 1-1 draw despite being down to 10 men following the dismissal of Reece James just before the break.

The Blues had also lost key midfielder N'Golo Kante to injury at the interval and so had to completely re-organise with Brazilian Thiago Silva and Croatian Mateo Kovacic brought on.

The switch meant sacrificing the excellent Kai Havertz as Chelsea switched to a 5-3-1 formation, leaving Romelu Lukaku alone in attack.

It helped that Cesar Azpilicueta had the versatility to switch from the centre of defence to right back and that left back Marcos Alonso provided energetic support to the midfield and attack.

But what was most impressive was the mature and controlled way in which Tuchel's team coped with a situation which would have seen many other teams collapse to defeat.

WEST HAM WANT MORE

It is a sign of the times that West Ham United rose to the top of the Premier League, at least provisionally, and still were not happy following a 2-2 draw in the London derby with Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Two wins and a draw from their opening three games has the Hammers in the thick of things at the top of the table, but they really should have beaten a Palace side who struggled with the home side's press and physicality.

Afterwards boss David Moyes said his players were disappointed, indicating that West Ham will not be content to be among the also-rans this season.

Source: Reuters

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