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A chaotic week

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If game week one of the Premier League provided a stellar start to the new season, the second round of game made it even more interesting. We saw incredible goals, a plethora of red cards, one postponed game and lots of actions. There were the underrated teams who have started the season with a bang making their intentions clear. On the other hand, we have clubs that have been spending a lot but have somehow become even worse.

While we are only two games into the season, the prediction about it being the most competitive currently holds true, with nothing guaranteed, even for the best of teams. The second round of games has also further highlighted the fact which team has already built the squad needed for the season and which teams still need to pull up their socks and venture into the murky world of the transfer market.

So, what did we learn from Gameweek 2 of the Premier League?

Brighton are the dark horses

Two games, six points, most goals, most expected goals, most shots, most shots on target and most tackles won. Within two games, Brighton have shown that any team will have to be at their best to even have a chance to take points away from the Seagulls.

The club earned around €186.75 million from selling players and have wisely invested in acquiring top young talents such as Joao Pedro, Bart Verbruggen, and Adrian Mazilu. And their strategy looks to be working perfectly, with the team winning both games 4-1.

Brighton are working in perfect tandem with Pascal Gross, Joao Pedro, Kaoru Mitoma, Pervis Estupinan and top scorer Solly March among the top performers. Mitoma has come in for special praise, with the Japanese topping the charts in Expected Offensive Value Added (xOVA), open play, Expected Assists, and chances created. Estupinan, on the other hand, is the league’s best player in terms of Expected Threats (xT) and one-two opens.

Defending champions Manchester City nick an ugly win 

After winning their first game against Burnley, defending champions and treble-winner Manchester City played their first game at the Etihad Stadium. And the team were made to work hard for the three points by a highly motivated Newcastle United.

Without the services of Kevin de Bruyne, the task was made more difficult, and it was a good finish by Julian Alvarez that made City keep their 100 per cent winning record intact. While this may be a narrow win, it highlights the fact that the club still has the ability to grind out a win.

In a 38-game season, no team, however talented they might have at their disposal, will struggle across several games where they will struggle to score or create chances. During these games, teams must keep a clean sheet and nick a goal through even the smallest of opportunities.

Chelsea, Manchester United have many questions to answer

After two games, both Chelsea and Manchester United are now facing more questions than answers. The Blues, who have spent close to €1 billion, somehow seem in an even worse situation, especially after their dismal outing against West Ham United, where they lost 3-1. This is even though West Ham were playing with 10 men for the last 30 minutes.

To make matters worse, their top two costliest signings had an outing to forget as Enzo Fernandez missed a penalty while Moises Caicedo, on his debut, gave a penalty. Chelsea’s lack of a world-class striker is clearly visible during their first two games.

On top of that, their defence has also been shaky, with Robert Sanchez also having a poor outing against the Hammers. The pressure on Mauricio Pochettino will be huge, and he needs to start delivering soon if he wants to stay in his job.

On the other hand, Manchester United looks like a good team but are two or three signings away from being a credible top-four challenger. Their game against Tottenham Hotspur brought out the same problems they have been facing for years.

Playing Marcus Rashford as the striker has not paid dividends, and the injury to Rasmus Hojlund injured the Reds desperately needs another forward. They also need a midfielder to cover for Fred’s departure and an additional centre-back to improve the squad depth.

Erik Ten Hag, though, has shown that he can dig himself out of a strict situation, and if Robert Sánchezmanage gets Sofyan Amrabat and Benjamin Pavard, then he will have the option to rotate the squad and give him far more options to organise his team.

Liverpool need a number six 

Liverpool have had a disaster of a transfer market, with the clubs missing out on several targets, especially for the defensive midfield position. However, despite that, the team have performed well, earning a draw on the road to Chelsea before defeating Bournemouth 3-1 despite being a man down. Signing Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai has strengthened their midfield, but signing a number six will make them a team that could challenge for the Premier League title.

Liverpool’s attack does have the firepower to win them several games, but it is on those days when they are not at their best that the lack of a world-class number six will come back to haunt them. Even in the two games, the Reds have struggled massively, especially against line-breaking passes between the middle and attacking third of the pitch.

Arsenal are even better this season 

Like Manchester City, their rivals Arsenal also completed a narrow victory over Crystal Palace that saw Takehiro Tomiyasu receive a red card (the fifth such sending-off in gameweek 2. Both teams had 14 shots on target but failed to find the required finishing to open the scoring.

However, the only goals came in the 53rd minute after Arsenal won a penalty when Palace’s goalkeeper Sam Johnstone brought down Eddie Nketiah inside the box. Martin Odegaard stepped up to score. However, the match took a dramatic turn when Tomiyasu was sent off. It all began in the 57th minute when the Japanese received his first yellow card for taking too much time while taking a throw-in.

Ten minutes later, he received his second yellow after fouling Jordan Ayew. Despite being a man down, the Gunners preserved their lead to take home all three points.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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