September 19, 2014 Leave a comment
September is no time to be making snap judgements about how a team will fair in the Premier League – although I am ready to abandon my ridiculous notion that Spurs will finish anywhere other than sixth – but Manchester City are in danger of falling behind on several front at this early stage. Last Saturday, they were outplayed for the first 25 minutes by Arsenal at the Emirates, who did everything except score, with Danny Welbeck guilty of missing a great chance on his debut. However, the Gunners’ own frailties were made clear when they were caught on the break and fell behind to Sergio Aguero’s goal, but they turned the game around with goals from Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez in 10 second half minutes. City came back to earn a draw thanks to a header from Martin Demichelis, but on the back of a defeat against Stoke in their previous league match and with Chelsea up next – who beat them twice last season – the reigning champions are in danger of being winless in three Premierhsip games, something they avoided for all of 2013/14. They have already reached three in a row without victory in all competitions as they were beaten 1-0 in Munich at Bayern, who were without Frank Ribery and could only use Arjen Robben off the bench.
What is particularly worrying for Manchester City – and the rest of the Premier League in general – is how good Chelsea already look and how well Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have slotted into the side. Going forward, Jose Mourinho’s side look unstoppable and that is clear from the fact that they have racked up 15 goals in their four Premiership fixtures thus far, but if there is hope for everyone else, it is on the defensive end. Last weekend against Swansea – who also entered the game on 9 points from their opening three matches – Chelsea fell behind when John Terry diverted the ball into his own net, but then a hat-trick from Diego Costa and a debut strike from Loic Remy helped the Blues ease to victory, even with Jonjo Shelvey claiming a second for the Welsh club before the end. The one worry for Mourinho – other than his back line – is the fitness of Costa, who has been struggling with a hamstring issue (which also forced him off after ten minutes of last season’s Champions League final) and he was reduced to just a substitute appearance in Chelsea’s first European match of the campaign, a 1-1 home draw with Schalke. However, with Remy and Didier Drogba available as well, it is unlikely that the Blues will have similar striking issues that they had last year, when a lack of goals from the forward men was what ultimately cost them the title. Read more of this post