After Tottenham’s devastating 3-3 draw against West Ham, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was asked what happened to his team.
Another crazy weekend of games and at this point, I am running out of adjectives to describe this absolutely insane Premier League season.
So, I’ll start this recap by repeating Mourinho’s profound statement which pretty much sums up match week five: Football happened.
Merseyside Derby Does Not Disappointment
Saturday started off with a bang as the 235th Merseyside Derby was played at Goodison Park. Everton was unable to keep up their hot start to the campaign but did manage to steal a 2-2 draw against Liverpool in a match filled with controversy.
Everton GK Jordan Pickford’s reckless slide tackle into Liverpool CB Virgil Van Dijk was probably the most talked-about moment of the match. The tackle was worthy of a red card for Pickford, but due to the fact that Van Dijk was offside, no foul was given. To make matters worse for the Reds, Van Dijk suffered an ACL injury on the play, one that will keep him out for 8-9 months, according to ESPN.
It is a devastating blow to a Liverpool defense that has looked shaky early this season. Now, they’ll be without their best player for the rest of the season. The controversy didn’t end there as MF Jordan Henderson’s late winner for Liverpool was wiped off for a questionable offside call on FW Sadio Mane in the lead-up. Mane looked to be onside but the goal was disallowed by VAR, leading to an exciting yet eventful draw.
Tottenham Collapses Yet Again
I have not been shy in my criticism of Tottenham’s defense and once again my words hold true. The Spurs jumped out a 3-0 lead against West Ham before collapsing in the final ten minutes of the match in a way only Tottenham can pull off.
West Ham’s first goal was off an easily clearable free-kick into the box that no Spurs defender got their head-on. West Ham’s second goal was actually an own goal by CB Davinson Sanchez.
And West Ham’s third goal, well, take a look at this absolute beauty by MF Manuel Lanzini.
— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) October 18, 2020
Once again Spurs’ defense just couldn’t hold up across 90 minutes. I stand by my prediction that they won’t finish in the top 4. Their backline is just too shaky.
Arteta Fails to Get Statement Win Against His Old Boss
Arsenal hasn’t beaten a big six club on the road in the Premier League since the 2014-2015 season (29 matches to be exact). Once again, the Gunners shriveled in the spotlight, losing 1-0 to a depleted Manchester City side who were without their best player, MF Kevin De Bruyne. Tactically, Arsenal was a mess. Arteta did not start newly acquired MF Thomas Partey and only brought him on with 10 minutes left to go in the match.
Not only that, he put FW Willian in the middle of Arsenal’s front three, a decision that is one of the most baffling I’ve seen all year. Willian, at age 32, has no business being a false number 9 on a team with ST Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and ST Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal’s front three were non-existent throughout the match and combined for 0 shots on goal. Doesn’t take a genius to know that is not a winning formula.
Aston Villa Stay Perfect and Chelsea Falter
There is only one perfect team in the Premier League and it’s who everyone thought it would be: Aston Villa. The Lions beat Leicester 1-0 thanks to a late winner from Chelsea loan MF Ross Barkley. Villa are off to a tremendous start and will look to keep it up next week against Leeds. Chelsea, on the other hand, dropped points yet again, this time at the hands of Southampton. ST Timo Werner scored his first EPL goal but it wasn’t enough as Chelsea conceded late in a 3-3 draw.
The outlook of the season looks much different even after just five match weeks. With Van Dijk out, the title race is wide open, especially with the likes of Everton and Aston Villa off to blazing starts.
Next week looks to be just as riveting with Chelsea v. Manchester United and Arsenal v. Leicester on the fixture list.
Featured Image: Oliver Dawnay/talkSport