Premier League’s matchday four is in the books and as usual, some teams shone, some fell off, some new stars were created, and there were plenty of things to keep the fans interested.
Here are the top five things we learned from an exhilarating matchday four of the Premier League-
The illusion of competitiveness
Premier League is lauded as the most competitive league in the world but can that really be the case anymore? Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have won four out of the last five and the way this season has begun, will win four on the trot.
Guardiola has turned the most intense league in the world into Bundesliga/Ligue 1. You can attribute it to the vast money spent, cheating allegations, and much more, but the reality is, that no team in PL history has been as dominant as them.
There was another Erling Haaland hattrick this weekend as Fulham, by no means a minnow anymore, were brushed aside 5-1. After four weeks, they are the only side to have won every game. At this moment, it is difficult to see where their next loss comes from.
A squad is not equal to a team
Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest was a game between two teams who have overhauled their squad to a massive degree in the last year. Therefore, it was expected that it would be a less-than-fluent game with both teams trying to figure out their patterns of play with their new teammates.
What transpired was even worse than expected. Losing at Stamford Bridge would be no shame for Forest, but for Chelsea, the disasters keep coming.
They now have more signings than wins in the Todd Boehly era (17-16), a remarkable stat that underlines just how scattergun and directionless the recruitment has been.
Coaches have been recycled at a pace that would make Roman Abramovich blush. On the pitch, the XI looks like a bunch of unknowns thrown together at the last minute who are playing with each other for the first time. The scary thing is that it’s not completely false either.
Most of the Chelsea players look clueless on the field, especially in creating chances.
Pochettino has some job on his hands in trying to turn this squad into a team, otherwise, Graham Potter, Thomas Tuchel, and Frank Lampard can tell him what happens.
Brighton’s next big sale is here
Evan Ferguson stole the show against Newcastle, scoring a hattrick to increase the excitement surrounding his potential. The Irishman was turning heads last season with play beyond his age and he has started this season in the same vein of form.
The 18-year-old plays with the calmness and swagger of a seasoned professional, and the way De Zerbi sets his team up suits him perfectly.
Brighton have been the masters of buying low, selling high, and replacing better. Moises Caicedo has now become their record sale at £115 million and he was a defensive midfielder.
Ferguson’s ceiling seems even higher and at 18 years old, he is already an established Premier League talent.
Expect Brighton to cross the £150 million mark when other clubs come calling for Ferguson, and he might be worth every penny.
Arsenal are here to stay
After a stumbling couple of weeks for the Gunners, where the results were not convincing in any game, the game against United was a huge test. Even though United have been in a rut away from home, the players they possess always carry a threat of upsetting any team.
It looked like Arsenal would run over United but the Gunners’ habit of letting the opposition take an inch reared its ugly head again when Rashford took the lead against the run of the play.
However, Arteta’s men took control soon after. An equaliser came from the resulting kickoff, and they had arguably the better game over the 90. When they were let off after Garnacho’s goal was ruled offside, their clinical streak came to the fore as they scored two late goals to dispatch a top-six rival.
Manchester City might run away with it again, but Arsenal’s performances this season so far have shown that last season was no fluke. They are here to stay.
Relegation battle will be NERVY
So far, five teams look like they’ll be in the mix for relegation- Everton, Luton, Burnley, Sheffield United, and Bournemouth. Then, Wolves might join them, and Nottingham Forest’s good start needs to be sustained for a while before they can be declared sage.
This matchday was again not a good one for these teams. Luton look like the odds-on favourites to take one relegation place. Vincent Kompany’s progressive side is getting found out in the Premier League, Everton got their first point but discord is palpable.
Bournemouth came into the season with high expectations but have so far failed to hit the heights expected. Sheffield are honest and fight every game, but the quality might not be there.
The relegation battle will be nervy not because so many teams are good, but because the teams who aren’t might not get many points at all.
35 could be the magic mark this season instead of the usual 40. It remains to be seen who touches it.