Saturday Night Takeaways: City's "blip" continues, Joe Allen's on fire, Bournemouth go Barcelona
Goals, reds, penos scored and missed, Saturday's games had it all19:25 Saturday 15 October 2016, 19:25 15 Oct 2016
It's days like this that justify the "most exciting league in the world" slogan the Premier League insist on attaching to any reference of the competition.
We saw Arsenal try and fail to do everything they could to throw away what looked like a gimme against Swansea, Man City had two players miss penalties as they added to their winless streak, Leicester gone stream-rolled again, and Joe Allen is the Welsh Messi.
None of those sentences do justice to today's events, so let's get right into the talking points of today's action.
Man City pen-alised for missed opportunities
Pep Guardiola's side drew at home with Everton, but they'll wonder how they managed to do so. Both Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero had their penalties saved by Everton's Maarten Stekelenburg as the City players passed up the chance to draw their side level following Romelu Lukaku's opener. The Belgian found himself in acres of space after City lost possession high up the field, and the league leaders cut cut apart as the Everton striker drove through their defence and slotted past Claudio Bravo.
City needed Nolito to come off the bench to get that goal back, which he did so within a minute of entering the fray. It's a bit soon to call it a crisis, seeing as Celtic, Spurs and Everton aren't exactly cannon fodder, but Pep's side is starting to get exposed a little more every week and that defence is a weakness every side looking to hit.
Allen key to Stokes success
Joe Allen is nothing if not maliable. A cult hero as a defensive pass-master at Swansea, both an underrated cog and laughing stock at Liverpool, and now he's a goal machine at Stoke.
The Welshman, who recently scored on international duty as well, has notched four goals in eight games for The Potters in the league this season. That's as many goals as he scored in four seasons at Anfield. Was he misused at Liverpool? Is he just finding his level as a big player for a small side?
The questions are never-ending, but either way he's laying down the law like a welsh Serpico this season. His brace inspired Stoke to a much needed 2-0 win over David Moyes' Sunderland in this week's bottom of the table clash.
Arsenal's defence loosen their Xhaka-les
The Gunners put an end to their clean sheet streak as they allowed Swansea in for two easy goals at the Emirates today. Arsenal hosted Swansea for new coach Bob Bradley's first Premier League game as they looked to make it both five wins and clean sheets in a row in all competitions. While they managed to get the win, they didn't make it easy for themselves, doing as much as they possibly could to gift the welsh side a draw.
Following two quick-fire goals from Theo Walcott(we really wanted to break out the Three-o headline, maybe next week) the Londoners looked like they were going to sail to an easy win, but Granit Xhaka wasn't in the mood for that. Caught in possession just outside his own box for Swansea's first, he compounded his off-day by kicking Modou Barrow cynically on the halfway line to receive his marching orders. Goals by Ozil then Borja occured in between those events, but all the talk tonight will be about how the red mist we've heard so much finally descended over the midfielder's eyes.
The final twenty minutes were nervy ones, but Arsene Wenger's men saw it through to join Man City on 19 points at the top of the table.
Bournemouth go full Catalan on Hull
Bournemouth just won a Premier League game 6-1. A side that were in the League Two six seasons ago have managed to not only survive the drop in their first Premier League season, but they look to have found their feet and want to impose their passing style on the league.
No doubt we're going to hear Eddie Howe's named mentioned in the same breath as vacant positions at the top of the club and international scene pretty soon, but selfishly we just don't want to see the Bournemouth team broken apart. A joy to watch.
On the other side of things, Mike Phelan's great start to life as a head coach in the league has taken a dramatic turn. That's one point out of twelve for Hull, and while they can chalk the Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool results up to "a shot at nothing", this result and performance will raise eyebrows from the head brass than gave the ex-United assistant a permanent contract just two days ago.
Chelsea give Leicester the Blues
While Chelsea look back to their best, having followed up their embarrassing display at the Emirates with back-to-wins now, Leicester just can't seem to find their rhythm.
There's plenty of theories as to why the champions have suffered a downturn in form. Whether it's down to their European exploits, the loss of Kante, or the sub-par performance of the players who have stayed, Claudio Ranieri's side are in danger of defining their whole season by their success in the Champions League.
Granted, a run deep into the Champions League would be a story we'd love as much as last season's league success, but if they keep performing like this at the weekend and they'll have a Harchester United-esque season on their hands.
Also, Wes Morgan isn't a very good defender.
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