Saturday’s selection of Premier League games served us some really tasty affairs. Provisional relegation six-pointers, some great goals and some noteworthy performances.
So here’s five things we learned from the Premier League this Saturday.
Arsenal’s new signing can handle a physical battle
Arsenal’s new defender, Takehiro Tomiyasu looks to have settled like a duck to water in the Premier League.
The Japan International was a deadline day signing for the Gunners from Serie A side Bologna, and has since helped his side keep two clean sheets from two games, where previously they had conceded nine in only three.
Albeit, the first game was against a Norwich side many consider to be favourites for relegation, but his performance yesterday against Burnley was particularly impressive.
Takehiro Tomiyasu for Arsenal against Burnley:
? 100% aerial duels won
? 100% duels won
? 79 touches (most)
? 5 total duels
? 5 recoveries
? 5 clearances
? 4 aerial duels
? 1 interception
? 1 tackle
Mikel Arteta and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang were impressed. pic.twitter.com/bPq0lYEfIG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 18, 2021
For a new player to the Premier League, there are not many more physical battles than Burnley. But Tomiyasu dealt with the task astutely and if he is able to keep up his form at right-back then Arsenal will have solved a defensive problem that has plagued them for a number of years.
Manchester City need a striker
Following Pep Guardiola’s plea for more fans to attend home games following Manchester City’s blockbuster 6-3 clash against RB Leipzig, the Cityzens proceeded to sell out the stadium for the home game against Southampton.
However, no one would have expected that City would have only managed a single shot on target for the entirety of the game.
1 – Manchester City directed just one shot on target in the whole game against Southampton (via Phil Foden in the 90th minute), their lowest tally in a Premier League match since March 8th 2017 when they also managed just one, against Stoke City. Misfiring. pic.twitter.com/GG7OsSAC5S
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 18, 2021
City was without usual frontman Ferran Torres, but even he cannot be considered a genuine striker. Gabriel Jesus would normally be considered the only genuine striker at the club but he has found his home on the right-wing this season.
The Manchester City squad currently lacks a player who lives and breathes goals. Sergio Aguero will obviously be very difficult to replace following his departure for Barcelona this summer. But there are some high-quality options in the market that could be available next summer if City are willing to spend big on one.
Crystal Palace will be punished for their style
Crystal Palace has undergone somewhat of a makeover this summer. The club is trying to go in a new direction after years of just treading water under previous boss Roy Hodgson.
New boss Patrick Vieira is trying to implement a more positive style of play for the South London club and has signed players in accordance with those ideals. Odsonne Edouard, Michael Olise, Connor Gallagher, Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen are all a testament to this new positive style that Vieira wants to bring to the club.
However, with this new style comes the threat of being beaten quite badly at times, at least until the team are more settled with the way they want to play.
The Eagles have shown promise this season, picking up five points from four London derbies, including an emphatic 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. But on the other hand, they have also been convincingly beaten 3-0 by both Chelsea and Liverpool.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 18, 2021
Their new identity will take time to embed and there will be a good few bumps along the way, but Palace fans have reason to be excited for the rest of the season.
Norwich need to mix up their formula
As mentioned earlier, Norwich City are seen as relegation candidates by many people. And judging by the opening five fixtures of the Premier League, you would not bet against that happening.
Norwich are a team that want to play good football, but lack the necessary quality to do so. They are also nowhere near defensively solid enough to play for keeps in most games.
While it can be argued that The Canaries are simply operating within their means, many of their signings are simply not good enough for a team fighting to stay in the Premier League.
15 – Norwich have lost each of their last 15 @premierleague games under Daniel Farke; this is now the longest losing run by any side in English top-flight history under a single manager. Woes. pic.twitter.com/pnut2KOlwp
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 18, 2021
In addition, Norwich have now lost 15 Premier League games in a row under manager Daniel Farke, the longest streak from any manager in Premier League history.
If Norwich are not content with just being a yoyo club and actually trying to stay in the Premier League, something new and fresh is needed. And if they cannot change the players then the manager is the next logical choice to be on the chopping board, despite all his successes in earning two promotions with them.
Leon Bailey is a bit good
Aston Villa may have made one of the signings of the summer if they can at least keep him fit.
Leon Bailey came on as a sub against Everton and bagged a lovely goal to help his team get back to winnings ways after a 3-0 thrashing by Chelsea on the road last week.
Bailey, signed as part of Villa’s transfer strategy to replace Jack Grealish, has already contributed a goal and an assist to his new side, albeit both from the bench.
?? Man of the Match, @AVFCOfficial’s Leon Bailey
21 minutes played on home debut
All 3 Villa goals scored whilst on the pitch
Corner deflected in for an own goal by Digne
Scored 1st PL goal pic.twitter.com/4ZgeF60O1j
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 18, 2021
But the signs are there for Villa to reap the rewards of their expense on the Jamaica international, so long as they can keep him fit.