Bye Bye Mr. Shakespeare. Bye Bye Mr. Koeman. Hello David Wagner the Premier League's newest most adorable German (American) in glasses.
Chelsea's comeback against Watford, and Arsenal putting the sword into Koeman at Everton were both entertaining. But Tottenham vs. Liverpool in front of a Premier League record crowd of almost 81,000 was one of the games of the season so far. On the back of a positive result at the Bernabeu midweek, Spurs were flying, and the gulf in class between the two teams was undeniable. All the talk so far this season has been about which of the two Manchester clubs will lift the title come May. But Spurs get better and better each week, and on the back of this performance (and Man Utd's recent stutter) perhaps they are the most likely challenger to Guardiola's Manchester City.
What to make of Liverpool? So, so good going forward at times this season, but still so meager at the back. Klopp has had 4 transfer windows now with which to address his struggling defense and has yet to do so. I've never been convinced that his Heavy Metal Football would be sustainable over the course of a 38 game Premier League grind, and it will be interesting to see when the owners, and the fans start to ramp up the pressure on their beloved Mr. Klopp.
The best goal came in maybe the worst match of football I've ever seen. Sofiane Boufal picked up the ball in his own half and just bloody went for it, leaving 5, 6, 7 defenders in his wake, and then calmly slotted the ball past Ben Foster in the West Brom goal. It reminded me a little of a goal Hatem Ben Arfa scored for Newcastle a few years back. Just kept going and going and going.... brilliant finish.
Player of the weekend:
Harry Kane. One of my favorite things about watching Kane at the moment is how easy he makes things look. Yes his first goal came to him after a defensive calamity at the Liverpool back, but the way he charged into the box, lifted the ball over the on rushing Mignolet and spanked it home was incredible. Other players may have tried to squeeze in a shot early at the near post, or taken a touch along the ground around the keeper. But Kane just seems to always know the best way to get the ball in the back of the net. He is playing with an effortless and instinct to his game at the moment that reminds me of 13-14 Luis Suarez at Liverpool. Deadly from practically anywhere on the pitch.
Moment of the weekend:
Huddersfield beating Man United. What a result at the John Smith stadium. This had the feel of a cup tie, as the undefeated Premier League giants rolled into town. But 15 minutes in, it was Huddersfield who looked more like the team who sat in 2nd place in the table. Their performance had everything that Man United's did not: hunger, desire, energy, determination, concentration. They've had a few bad results in recent weeks, but if they can turn in a few more performances like that this season, I wouldn't be surprised to see them stay up.
As for United, this was a truly insipid performance. Yes they are missing Pogba and a few others, but injuries were not an excuse for such a pathetic showing at the weekend. They were flat, lethargic, made schoolboy errors all over the park, and seemed to be playing with something of a hangover from Mourinho's dour Anfield tactics. Their next Premier League match is against a rampant Spurs at home, and if they turn in showing like that I fear they may be in for a proper spanking.
Team of the weekend:
Smith Schindler Dunk Duffy
De Bruyne Alli Mooy Ozil