A pivotal weekend of Premier League action saw pressure heaped on one of the world’s most successful coaches, while a couple of other situations became vacant. Meanwhile, the shackles were torn off the top-flight’s top striker. Kureen looks at five things we learned from the past couple of days.
1. Aguero is back to his brilliant best
For 44 minutes Newcastle United more than matched Manchester City at the Etihad, leading 1-0 and spurning a trio of gaping opportunities to extend that lead.
Enter Aguero to bag a record equalling 5 goals in the 16 subsequent minutes of play, joining Messrs Shearer, Cole, Berbatov and Defoe in achieving the quintet. Disappointingly for home fans, the diminutive Argentinian forward was subbed off in the 62nd minute with the outright record seemingly within his grasp.
2. Aston Villa are now a club in crisis
The summer signings looked excellent on paper, and an opening day win at Bournemouth built up expectation. One point in seven games since then have provided a reality check for the Midland club, with only Rudy Gestede shining among the off-season acquisitions.
Manager Tim Sherwood faces the chop just eight games into a new campaign, with the next eight fixtures unlikely to ease that burden – trips to Chelsea, Southampton, Spurs and Everton, as well as home matches against Arsenal, Manchester City and Swansea are on the horizon.
3. The title race is wide open
The manner in which Arsenal dispatched Manchester United 3-0, coupled with three point hauls for a host of teams near the summit, once again highlighted the lack of consistency in the English top tier this term.
No team looks untouchable, with the returns to form of talismanic South Americans Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero probably sufficient to ensure some sleepless nights for opposing defenders.
4. The manager merry-go-round begins
Liverpool ditched Brendan Rodgers after a 1-1 derby day draw at Everton, with Dick Advocaat stepping away from his role at Sunderland after they let a two goal lead slip in their 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Plenty of other managers are under the cosh; Jose Mourinho, Steve McClaren and Tim Sherwood will all be crossing fingers, toes and tracksuit bottoms that their owners have more patience than the fat cats at Anfield.
5. Leicester and Palace could challenge for Europe
Two clubs that continued their wonderful starts to the season are Crystal Palace and Leicester City, both of whom find themselves in the top five as we head towards another international break.
The Eagles look the more complete group, with Yohan Cabaye pulling strings for the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie to prosper. The Foxes are full of confidence as well, but are less likely to remain as prosperous when they inevitably suffer a couple of injuries and/or suspensions.
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