The Premier League returned for its second set of fixtures this past weekend, along with further games in the football league, and with Manchester United playing on Monday evening, I was forced to look elsewhere for things to take the mick out of in this week’s super six. Still, there were plenty of laughable moments from this weekend’s action, and I’m going to take you through my top six.
#6 – Adrian’s mixed start
When Liverpool signed Adrian on a free, I doubt he will have expected to have been in the first team so quickly. Following the injury to Alisson in the Red’s opening game victory over Norwich, Adrian was quickly called up to deputise. He was the hero in their Super Cup penalty victory over Chelsea, in which he was reportedly injured in the celebrations by a fan.
As much as I wanted to see third-choice keeper Andy Lonergan start in their Saturday game away at Southampton, Adrian passed a late fitness test to start the game. His side were cruising at 2-0 until the Spanish keeper inexplicably passed the ball directly at former Liverpool forward Danny Ings to reduce the arrears for the home side. Had his mistake proved more fatal, and Liverpool not held on for all three points, this might have been further down my list.
#5 – Arguing Aguero
There is no doubt that Sergio Aguero is one of the greatest strikers to ever grace the Premier League. His side were completely dominant against Spurs in the Saturday evening kick-off but were surprisingly far from clinical in front of goal. This spurred manager Pep Guardiola into a change, in which Gabriel Jesus replaced the Argentinian upfront.
Aguero was far from happy with the decision, looking like the star player for the u’13s team when he’s replaced by the manager’s son. In this case, however, the manager’s son is an immensely talented Brazilian forward, who came on to offer a lot upfront for the Citizens. When Jesus looked to have won it, Aguero was quick to apologise to Guardiola for his little strop, appreciating that it may have actually been the right decision. Of course, Jesus’ goal was disallowed, but more on that later.
#4 – £80 million man?
Crystal Palace made a serious statement of intent in slapping an £80 million price tag on star man Wilfried Zaha over the summer, despite the Ivorian’s clear desire to leave. Palace clearly felt that keeping Zaha was the key to them staying up, but after their first two games, they might be thinking they should have cashed in. After a goalless draw against Everton in their opening game, the Eagles travelled to new-boys Sheffield United on Sunday.
In a game in which Palace seemed happy to settle for a 1-0 loss, Zaha was kept completely quiet by a Sheffield United back-three that together cost less than £5 million, including 31-year-old former-McDonalds employee Chris Basham. No disrespect to those Blades defenders, they’re great players, but if Zaha is genuinely worth £80 million (spoiler he isn’t) then he should be just a tad more impressive in these sorts of games.
#3 – Bradford’s programme mix-up
A lot of preparation goes into making a programme these days, and when Bradford were preparing to face Oldham on Saturday, I’m sure the publishers agreed that forward Eoin Doyle was an excellent candidate for the front cover. Doyle is a natural goal-scorer at League Two level and was up against his old team in Oldham. Little did they know, however, that Doyle was about to sign for league two rivals Swindon on loan a day before the game. Whoops.
To make matters worse, he went and scored for Swindon on his debut. At least Bradford won 3-0 for their first three points of the new campaign.
#2 – Ceballos’ gestures
Dani Ceballos impressed fans and pundits alike with his stellar performance against Burnley on Saturday, but it was his comments to team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan that impressed me most. After his man of the match display, Ceballos was captured by cameras seemingly commenting on Burnley’s unique style of play, mouthing the words “boom boom boom”, perhaps in reference to their route one approach. Imagine if Crouchy hadn’t retired, then Ceballos would have experienced the true definition of English football.
The new Arsenal midfielder was clearly less than impressed with Burnley’s play, but this is England pal, you’re going to have to get used to it.
#1 – Déjà vu
For me, there was only ever going to be one winner here. Manchester City, cruelly denied by VAR against Spurs in last year’s Champions League quarter-final tie, were once again left rueing the technology in Saturday’s game. The home side completely dominated proceedings, but somehow found themselves level with Spurs heading into injury time. It seemed as if the home side would get their just rewards however when Jesus fired in from a corner with just a couple of minutes remaining.
Alas, no. VAR reviewed the goal because that’s its job, and the replays showed that the ball flicked off defender Aymeric Laporte’s arm before reaching Jesus. Therefore, as per the new rules, it had to be ruled out. Harsh, but fair, but also extremely funny. Don’t worry City fans, you’ll probably still win the league.