The Premier League is back with all its wonderful controversies from red cards to handshake-gates and a first managerial casualty of the season...
Manchester City 5- Liverpool 0. It would be easy to point to Saido Mane's red card as the turning point in the game, but at the time of the sending off Liverpool were only 1-0 down, and had had arguably the better chances so far. Mane has become Liverpool's talisman this season, and it was as though seeing him trudge off the pitch sucked the life out of his teammates, and they gave up hope of being able to get something from the game. It was an embarrassing capitulation, especially on the back of their impressive dismantling of Arsenal last time out.
All that being said, City were rampant. Liverpool could not handle the movement of Aguero and Jesus, who are starting to look like a formidable partnership, and the guile in midfield of Silva of the David variety and De Bruyne was a joy to watch. Mendy and Walker continue to impress on the flanks, and Sane provided added pace and quality from the bench. They started superbly last season as well however before hitting a mid-year dip in form, but Pep's boys look like they are really starting to purr this time around.
Leroy Sane's second for City-- a spectacular dipping drive that left Mignolet absolutely no chance as it flew past him into the top corner.
Player of the weekend:
Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian Iniesta. On his day, he is up there with the very best in the world in his position. Is there a better passer of the ball in world football at the moment? The vision he displayed, and the weight on the pass for Aguero's goal was simply sublime, and he alongside Silva tore Liverpool to pieces with intelligent movement and delivery all game long.
Moment of the weekend:
Saido Mane's red card. He can perhaps count himself a little unlucky, he didn't mean it, but the rules say nothing about intent. Ex pros and those in the media have been very split on this decision, with the likes of Gary Neville, and Jermaine Jenas among others, arguing that it was not a red, while plenty of pundits arguing that it was the right decision. The rules on charging an opponent clearly state that a sending off should occur if a player charges an opponent with "excessive force using a manner considered to be careless or reckless." Mane's challenge on Ederson was late, extremely high, and unquestionably endangered the safety of his opponent and so was a justified sending off.
Bye, bye Frank de Boer:
Poor old Crystal Palace fans. 4 games, no points, no goals, and now no manager with rumors of Roy Hodgson on the horizon. I do feel for de Boer, 4 games is hardly any time to stamp your authority on a team. But it seems like his appointment was doomed from the get go. There have been noises for weeks about disenchantment at board room level with de Boer's dictatorial management style, and his reluctance to adapt. But with that, fingers should be pointed also at Palace's senior executives who were responsible for bringing de Boer in in the first place. Clearly someone did not do their homework on what kind of manager they were bringing in.
The silver lining for Palace fans is that whoever replaces de Boer has a squad at their disposal with undoubted talent in it: Benteke, Zaha, Cabaye, Townsend, and even Scott Dann (who's open goal miss may have just saved his beleaguered Dutch manager) are proven Premier League quality. It is still so early in the season, and if they get someone in quickly, there is plenty of time for this season to still be a success for Palace.
Team of the weekend:
Janmaat Lascelles Tarkowski Mendy
De Bruyne Eriksen Gross Choupo-Moting