After six games in the 2023-24 Premier League season, we now have a clearer picture of which club will likely go in which direction. Coming into the gameweek six, the Premier League had already given us some season-defining moments, be it goals, assists, red cards, and much more. And this week just added some more moments of madness to the list.
After six games, we now have only four teams undefeated, with one team holding a 100 per cent winning record. This shows us how competitive the league will be. Another thing that has become more clear is that there are a couple of teams who, despite not having the stage of a big team, are heavy top-six contenders, which means that no matter how strong a team might be on paper, it must do the talking on the pitch to thrive.
So, what do we learn from gameweek six of the 2023-24 Premier League season?
Dominik Szoboszlai could be the signing of the season
Throughout the entire transfer window, Liverpool were more in the news for the players they missed out on signing rather than one that eventually joined. It was one of the reasons why brilliant signings such as Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai went under the radar. However, after six games, Szoboszlai has shown that he is worth every penny spent.
Without the presence of a proper number six, Liverpool’s midfield has been under severe pressure. While Curtis Jones and MacAllister have had some underwhelming displays, the Hungarian has been consistently good.
The game against West Ham United was another example where he had a passing accuracy of 93 per cent, creating four chances, 102 touches, one clearance, and one tackle while also completing five out of seven passes.
And if Liverpool manage to finish in the top four or even win any trophy, expect Szoboszlai to play an integral part.
Nothing can stop Manchester City, not even red cards
A sixth consecutive win has cemented Manchester City’s quest for a sixth Premier League title under Pep Guardiola. And this one came despite City being a man down for almost half of the game. One of the significant improvements that Guardiola has made this season is to get other players in his attack to score more goals, thereby lessening the burden on Erling Haaland.
And they were at their ruthless best against Nottingham Forest, racing to a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes. However, the hosts found themselves one man down after Rodri was sent off for grabbing the throat of Morgan White.
City managed to win the game after substituting Kalvin Phillips in for Jeremy Doku. However, Rodri is banned for three games, which means he will miss the pivotal clash against Arsenal, which will be a major worry for Guardiola.
Draws hurting Arteta’s Arsenal
After finishing second last season, Mikel Arteta was looking to take his team one step up to win the Premier League. And the team has played brilliantly this season, but their inability to finish games or to win them when they are not at their best is concerning.
Their recent draw at home against Tottenahm Hotspur exposed the same old problems. The Gunners let the visitors equalise twice after taking the lead. However, Arsenal had plenty of chances to put the game to bed, which they failed to take, an issue acknowledged by Arteta at the post-match conference.
The same issues were evident as Arsenal failed to take all three points against a ten-man Fulham. Champions take their chances and win even on a bad day. For now, Arsenal are exhibiting neither of the two qualities.
Stamford Bridge is falling down
We have run out of words to describe Chelsea’s season, as they deliver the same disappointment each week. They did start the game against Aston Villa with Mykhailo Mudryk, creating an excellent chance that Nicholas Jackson missed. Despite this, they entered the first half knowing a goal was coming.
All the hope ended in the 56th minute when right-back Malo Gusto was sent off after a VAR intervention, which pushed Chelsea to defend. And Aston Villa made their one-man advantage count as Ollie Watkins scored the game’s only goal from a tight angle.
For Mauricio Pochettino, it was another week of frustration as Chelsea slipped to 14th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle come back in style
Before their game against Sheffield United, Newcastle United had only won one out of five games. This is why Eddie Howe badly needed a win on the road against Sheffield United. And his team responded in style, scoring eight past a hapless Wes Foderingham in the hosts’ goal.
The show’s star was Bruno Guimaraes, who scored one and provided another. Another notable stat from the game was that no player scored more than one goal. Guimaraes also won every tackle and duel he made. The Brazilian was also awarded a rating of 0.87 on the Expected Offensive Value Added (xOVA) by data analytics site Soccerment, the most by any player in this gameweek.
After their ownership change, Newcastle United built a team signing players with potential rather than splurging cash on top signings. The motivation was that Howe wanted a complete squad that was not solely dependent on one individual. And this win was a perfect example of that.
Manchester United win unconvincingly
Manchester United were on a three-game losing streak before travelling to Burnley. And while their performance against Burnley was far from perfect, they escaped with three points, which will relieve Erik Ten Hag, who is already facing massive problems at the squad.
With Antony unavailable and Jadon Sancho froze out of the squad after his altercation with Ten Hag, the squad was pretty thin. However, Hannibal Mejbri and Facundo Pellistri have put their hands up. And Ten Hag will need these players to step up if they are to salvage something from the season.