Saturday Night Takeaways: City reign in Manchester and Leicester finding life more than difficult

Hull are also continuing their positive start to life in the Premier Leage

BY Chris Jordan 19:49 Saturday 10 September 2016, 19:49 10 Sep 2016

Nigel French / PA Wire/Press Association Images

City reign in Manchester

The most eagerly anticipated Manchester derby in years certainly didn't disappoint, as the Premier League's early Saturday fixture produced a breathless encounter at Old Trafford. 

City took control of the game from the early stages and deservedly led by two goals before a Claudio Bravo howler handed United a way back into the contest. 

It meant that Pep Guardiola now has nine wins against Jose Mourinho teams, while it was also give City a massive psychological boost against their title rivals going forward. 

Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (left) and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on the touchline.

It will be interesting to see how United will recover from this defeat, as a clearly frustrated Mourinho took aim at some of his underperforming players after the game. 

“We started the game with some players really below their normal level in terms of their concentration and mental availability to play a game of this speed.

“You need to be sharp the way you think and the way you play.

“One or two players were below that level and the team paid for it.

“Honestly, I have two or three players in the first half who, if the game is now and I know what is going to happen, I don’t play them, but this is football and sometimes players disappoint managers and sometimes players give us great surprises.”

Difficult start to life as champions for Leicester

The fairy tale of last season has been well and truly left in the past as champions Leicester have been brought crashing down to earth following the start of this season. 

The Foxes have won just one of their opening games, against fellow strugglers Swansea, while they have suffered humbling defeats to Hull and to Liverpool today. 

Today they were comprehensively outplayed at Anfield and only managed to get on the scoresheet thanks to a howler from Lucas Leiva. 

Perhaps most worryingly for Leicester, is that last year's Player of the Season, Riyad Mahrez, has failed to fire so far, with the Algerian often cutting a frustrated figure near the touchline as opposition defenders are paying him extra attention. 

Up next for Leicester is Club Brugge in the group stages of the Champions League, which could provide a welcome relief from domestic football and help ignite their season.  

Spurs finding their stride

Tottenham Hotspur put in a devastating performance as they crushed a hapless Stoke at the bet365 Stadium this afternoon, with Son Heung-Min bagging a double. 

Harry Kane and Dele Alli also netted in what was a clinical, counter-attacking display that sent a message out to the rest of the league.

It brings an end to a difficult run of form for Spurs, as they won just one of their previous seven Premier League fixtures since April, a run of form that saw their title challenge fade toward the tail end of last season. 

While much of the pre-season title talk has revolved around the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, this game serves us as a gentle reminder that a youthful but dynamic Spurs remain in the mix. 

Dave Thompson / PA Wire/Press Association Images. Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal of the match with team mates during the Premier League match at The Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent.

On the other hand, it has been a horrible start to the campaign for Stoke, with today's rudderless performance compounded by the fact Mark Hughes was sent to the stands. 

Losing can become a difficult habit to shake, with this being the third loss on the trot for the Potters, as they remain rooted to the foot of the table. 

Although still early in the season, Mark Hughes may need to remedy the situation soon or risk undoing the positive progress made with Stoke in his three seasons in charge.

Tigers continue to claw their way up the table

Pre-season relegation favourites Hull have taken everybody by surprise with their early season form, finding themselves sitting just outside the European places in sixth position. 

Granted there have only been four games played but its still an encouraging sign from their perspective as they have show their will to fight for their Premier League status. 

Today was another example of that, as Robert Snodgrass' last minute free-kick ensured that they took a point home from Turf Moor to continue their fine start to the season. 

Clint Hughes / PA Wire/Press Association Images. Burnley's George Boyd (right) and Hull City's Adama Diomande battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley.

After their well documented pre-season difficulties, they finally dipped into the transfer market to sign six players in order to boost the quality of their small squad, while they still don't have a full-time manager, with Mike Phelan expected to take the position full-time. 

Its been a fine start for the Tigers, with today's result meaning they equaled their best start to a Premier League campaign, which was back in 2008-09 where they managed survival by a single point, a feat which most Hull fans would probably be happy to match come the season's end.  

Premier League Results:

Arsenal 2-1 Southampton

Bournemouth 1-0 West Brom

Burnley 1-1 Hull

Middlesbrough 1-2 Palace

Stoke 0-4 Spurs

West Ham 2-4 Watford



WATCH: Freak horse-racing incident sees jockey unseated by a flying golf ball

18:20 Friday 9 September 2016 0 Minute Read

NFC South Preview: It's all about Cam but can the Saints or Falcons spring a surprise?

09:25 Thursday 8 September 2016 0 Minute Read

Oisin Langan's view from Rio: 'You learn to accept early on you can’t do it all on your own'

20:21 Friday 9 September 2016 0 Minute Read

Rio Paralympics 2016 As It Happened: Day Three

10:00 Saturday 10 September 2016 0 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week