With another Premier League weekend in the books, theScore looks at some of the winners and losers following the second Sunday in England’s top flight.
Winner: Rehearsed set pieces
Everton’s opener against Southampton was a fantastic endorsement of set-piece compositions born on the training grounds, routines that have grown rare in recent memory. The quick combination of Leighton Baines, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Theo Walcott may not produce the same jaw-dropping reaction as David Silva’s or Kieran Trippier’s direct free-kicks over the weekend, but the sense to carry it out highlights the creative approach of new boss Marco Silva.
Loser: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Heading into Unai Emery’s first season in charge, Arsenal’s star-studded attack was supposed to be the least of the Spanish gaffer’s worries. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t help the manager’s cause by missing two sitters against Chelsea, the first of which landed in Row Z and the second an uncharacteristically limp, inaccurate effort. Those campaigning for Alexandre Lacazette may want to study his giveaway on Chelsea’s winner.
Winner: Harry Kane
Finally! Not only did Harry Kane’s goal Saturday against Fulham cap a dominant second-half showing for Tottenham, it was also the England international striker’s first tally in the month of August. The 25-year-old’s deft touch (which got the better of familiar foe Calum Chambers) and subsequent right-footed finish produced Kane’s lone marker in 15 August matches with Spurs. That’s now two wins in two for Tottenham.
Loser: Jose Mourinho
There was no late winner for Jose Mourinho’s men this time around, as Manchester United were caught flat-footed by an inspired Brighton & Hove Albion squad in a shocking 3-2 loss. Despite an encouraging win over Leicester City in the season opener, this week’s defeat is the second eye-opening episode of turbulence in the past seven days for the Portuguese gaffer following Paul Pogba hinting at lingering unrest with the Red Devils. Cue the “Mourinho’s third season” alarm bells … again.
Winner: Sergio Aguero
A free-flowing Manchester City potentially would have waltzed past Huddersfield Town even without Sergio Aguero’s three-goal performance, though the Argentine’s hat-trick was still noteworthy for individual reasons. With nine Premier League hat-tricks now under his belt, Aguero moves level with Robbie Fowler. It may only be a matter of time before he equals record-holder Alan Shearer’s 11.
Loser: Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy’s name is rarely attached to adjectives such as “levelheaded” and “tranquil,” though the Leicester City purveyor of Skittles vodka set a new standard against Wolves, catching defender Matt Doherty with a horror tackle. Doherty was lucky to limp off with little assistance. Vardy will miss the next three matches, and he’s now joint-tops with the likes of temperamental tackler Miguel Britos for most in the EPL since 2015-16.
Bournemouth’s summer window was relatively silent compared to their Saturday opponents in West Ham, but the Cherries scored twice just past the hour mark to nullify Marko Arnautovic’s first-half penalty and grab a perfect six points from their opening matches. It also marked 19 points from losing positions in 2018, the most of any Premier League club in the calendar year. There’s still football aplenty to be played, but Eddie Howe’s squad sits neatly in the top five (though will likely get bumped once Liverpool and Crystal Palace round out the matchday Monday).
Brazilian winger Kenedy had a historically poor showing during Saturday’s drab goalless draw with Cardiff City, and while it started miserably enough, the ending was catastrophic. The 22-year-old became the first player since Nikola Kalinic for Blackburn Rovers in March 2010 to fail to complete a single pass in a half of Premier League football, and his limp 96th-minute penalty take was the effort of a player completely lacking confidence.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)