We learnt in the Pre­mier League

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

PRE­MIER LEAGUE lead­ers Manch­ester City con­tinue to im­press un­der Pep Guardi­ola, but Jose Mour­inho has prob­lems at Manch­ester United af­ter a third con­sec­u­tive de­feat in all com­pe­ti­tions. Here are five things we learnt this week­end.

Pogba em­blem­atic of Man United’s prob­lems As the stan­dard-bear­ers of Jose Mour­inho’s Manch­ester United revo­lu­tion, it was in­struc­tive to note the dif­fer­ing re­ac­tions of Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic and Paul Pogba to their em­bar­rass­ing 3-1 loss at Wat­ford.

Af­ter a chas­ten­ing af­ter­noon that saw United suf­fer their third suc­ces­sive de­feat, Ibrahi­movic could barely dis­guise his dis­gust as he gri­maced and cursed at the fi­nal whis­tle.

Pogba, in con­trast, did not look un­duly both­ered by United’s trou­bles as he strolled off fol­low­ing another tepid per­sonal dis­play.

To date, Pogba has not come close to jus­ti­fy­ing the worl­drecord £89mil­lion (RM574m) fee United paid to sign him from Ju­ven­tus. He seems mis­used in a deep-ly­ing role and pro­duced just one mo­ment of note, rat­tling the cross­bar with a 25-yard shot.

If United are to chal­lenge for their first English ti­tle since 2013, Mour­inho must get much more from Pogba, as well as mak­ing sure Ibrahi­movic’s com­pet­i­tive streak rubs off on the rest of the team. De Bruyne plugs Aguero gap for Man City Manch­ester City have been with­out striker Ser­gio Aguero for their last two league games, but they have not missed him thanks to the su­perb form of at­tack­ing mid­fielder Kevin De Bruyne (PIX).

The Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional scored one goal and helped make another in last week­end’s 2-1 win at Manch­ester United and was equally in­flu­en­tial in the 4-0 vic­tory over Bournemouth.

He opened the scor­ing by clev­erly stroking a free­kick be­neath the jump­ing de­fen­sive wall and had a hand in all of City’s other goals. “Maybe Messi can sit alone at the ta­ble. But that ta­ble aside, Kevin can stay there,” said City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola. “He sees ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing.”

Things are hap­pen­ing at Ever­ton Ever­ton beat Mid­dles­brough 3-1, giv­ing them their best start to an English top-flight sea­son since 1978 and leav­ing them two points be­hind Manch­ester City in sec­ond place.

Man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man has hit the ground run­ning since suc­ceed­ing Roberto Martinez as man­ager and new sign­ings Ash­ley Williams, Idrissa Gu­eye and Yan­nick Bo­lasie are bed­ding in quickly. “(Koe­man) has kept things pretty sim­ple,” said mid­fielder Gareth Barry, who marked his 600th Pre­mier League ap­pear­ance with Ever­ton’s equaliser.

“We’ve taken on board the man­ager’s in­struc­tions this sea­son and the team is play­ing with con­fi­dence.”

The big teams need fear Liver­pool Liver­pool have wasted no time flex­ing their mus­cles this sea­son, beat­ing Arse­nal, Le­ices­ter City – last sea­son’s top two – and 2015 cham­pi­ons Chelsea in their first five games.

Fri­day’s 2-1 win at Chelsea was another les­son in as­phyx­i­at­ing in­ten­sity and breath­less en­deav­our. De­jan Lovren’s vol­ley and Jor­dan Hen­der­son’s su­perb long-range curler put the vis­i­tors in con­trol and

Stoke aren’t very Stoke any­more Stoke City man­ager Mark Hughes was ap­plauded for in­tro­duc­ing a slicker play­ing style at the club last sea­son, with tal­ented for­wards Xher­dan Shaqiri, Marko Ar­nau­tovic and Bo­jan Kr­kic de­light­ing neu­trals. They fin­ished ninth, but have made a dread­ful start to the cur­rent cam­paign and were left bot­tom of the ta­ble af­ter los­ing 4-1 at Crys­tal Palace. Palace’s first three goals all stemmed from set-pieces – ex­actly the kind of goal Stoke were renowned for not con­ced­ing un­der Hughes’s nonon­sense pre­de­ces­sor Tony Pulis. – AFP

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