We learnt from EPL
Frenchman was given an extra rest after Euro 2016, and upon his return to the side, he picked up a red card in Europe as well as a toe injury to hamper his playing time. But Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Sunderland proved to be the Arsenal striker’s moment to shine, as he scored goals with his first two touches to put the Gunners out of sight moments after Jermain Defoe had pegged them back with a penalty. The conundrum now for Arsene Wenger is that Alexis Sanchez continues to flourish in a central role, so can he move the Chile international to accommodate Giroud? Chances are he won’t, but Giroud’s already proven a handy option to have on the substitutes’ bench.
Fabregas’ time at Chelsea is up
Karius continues to fall short in proving he has what it takes to be a No 1 goalkeeper in the Premier League. Dejan Lovren was at fault for both of Palace’s goals, with his scooped clearance gifting McArthur a headed chance that led to Karius rushing out of goal only to leave his hands by his side and not raised to try and block the shot. The second saw Lovren pay too much attention to former Reds striker Christian Benteke, allowing McArthur to gain a step and level the scores for a second time. Liverpool are breathtaking to watch right now, but you can be sure that Jurgen Klopp would rather see Lovren defending properly than going up the other end to score.
Nolito lucky not to see red
If there’s one thing that can end a career under Pep Guardiola, it is a failure to learn from your mistakes. Nolito fell short of this on Saturday as Manchester City thrashed West Brom 4-0, as he could have been sent off for a second head butt this season. Nolito has already seen red for headbutting Bournemouth’s Adam Smith, and when he reacted badly to a fair challenge from Craig Dawson, he again thrust his head into the face of an opponent. He was lucky to receive only a yellow card, and Sergio Aguero’s reaction to calm him down immediately shows even his teammates have concerns about his temper.
Ramirez finally turns on the style for Boro
The one team beyond Sunderland to have disappointed so far this season has been Middlesbrough, following a string of turgid displays. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as Gaston Ramirez scored a wonderful goal in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth. Picking the ball up in his own half, the Uruguayan ran past three defenders while outpacing Jack Wilshere, and coolly lashed the ball past Artur Boruc to open the scoring. If Boro can come up with play matching the wonderful strike in terms of quality, then maybe there will be plenty to cheer at the Riverside after all this season.
Can Barkley add consistency to his undoubted talent?