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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Picture: MOLLY DARLINGTON/REUTERS
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Picture: MOLLY DARLINGTON/REUTERS

London — Much of the talk after the weekend’s Premier League matches was the contrasting performances between the blue and red clubs of Manchester.

City cruised to a 3-1 win over West Ham United where prolific striker Erling Haaland missed a bucketful of goals, but still scored his seventh goal of the season. It was City’s fifth victory on the bounce to keep them top of the log.

At the same time, Manchester United are 13th on the table after losing 3-1 at home to Brighton. United manager Erik ten Hag insists there is no crisis at Old Trafford after three defeats in their first five games of the season. Not many United fans would agree with Ten Hag.

Here are these and other talking points from the fifth weekend of the Premier League season.

Haaland misses chances but still gets a goal: For 85 minutes on Saturday Manchester City’s Haaland looked less like a goal machine and more like a normal human being as he wasted a slew of gilt-edged chances against West Ham.

He missed two close-range efforts in the first half with the goal at his mercy and forced a superb save from Alphonse Areola in the second with a tremendous hooked volley, but the Norwegian was not to be denied.

In the 86th minute he struck another patented left-foot drive that flashed across the keeper and into the net for his seventh of the league season so far as West Ham learnt that just because he has missed a few that does not mean you can take your eye off him.

Ten Hag says no crisis, but results say otherwise: After all that has gone on this season, on and off the pitch, Manchester United needed to get a victory under their belts to appease disgruntled supporters against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

But United were not just beaten, they were outplayed by Roberto de Zerbi’s impressive side in a 3-1 win for the Old Trafford visitors.

United have suffered three defeats in their first five matches of a league campaign for the first time since 1989-90. This loss also ended their run of 20 home league matches unbeaten since their last defeat, also to Brighton.

There is no crisis, according manager Ten Hag, despite his side languishing in 13th place in the standings, already nine points behind leaders Manchester City.

Goal-shy Chelsea struggle to get going again: Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal continued in a goalless draw with Bournemouth on Sunday as Mauricio Pochettino’s side created plenty though failed to get on the scoreboard for the second game in a row.

It was not as embarrassing as the 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest before the international break, but it was still bad.

Striker Nicolas Jackson hit a post, Conor Gallagher wasted a great chance and Raheem Sterling rattled the woodwork with a free kick, but in truth Chelsea created nowhere near enough scoring chances with the attacking riches at their disposal.

With five points after five games, the pressure is mounting on Pochettino to find a way to get his attack to start firing on all cylinders.

Trossard is Arsenal’s trump card: Leandro Trossard showed again his penchant for making an impact off the bench as he sealed three points for his team with a clinical 69th-minute strike in the 1-0 win at Everton on Sunday.

Arsenal were dominating without being able to pick through Everton’s defence until Trossard, who replaced the injured Gabriel Martinelli in the first half, struck a first-time effort in off the post after some intricate passing.

It was his third goal for Arsenal since moving from Brighton and Hove Albion, with all three coming as a substitute.

Richarlison gets a boost: Tottenham Hotspur’s flying start to the Premier League season has earned rave reviews, but until Saturday Brazil forward Richarlison had cut an unhappy figure.

Short of confidence and reduced to a bit-part player, Richarlison even spoke of needing some psychological support after being substituted for Brazil.

But he joined the party as a substitute against Sheffield United, scoring an equaliser deep in stoppage time and then setting up a winner for Dejan Kulusevski.

Manager Ange Postecoglou has lifted the mood at the London club who are enjoying their best start to a Premier League season after five games, and if he can start to get a tune out of Richarlison then Spurs could be serious top-four challengers. 

Reuters

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