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Five Things We Learned from Gameweek Two of the Barclays Premier League

By Periscope @periscopepost
Five things we learned from gameweek two of the Barclays Premier League Maraoune Fellaini. Photo credit: Nick Sarebi http://flic.kr/p/6shJ3X

The background

Chelsea are the early leaders of the Barclays Premier League after recording their third win on the bounce at home to Newcastle. Other teams to start fast with two wins are supposed slow starters Everton and surprise package Swansea. Aston Villa and newly-promoted Southampton are yet to record a point and prop up the table.

Manchester City must improve if they are to retain their title

Manchester City pipped bitter rivals Manchester United to the title last season but the Citizens have started only adequately by their high standards. They had to come from behind to beat Southampton on the opening day (3-2) and only earned a point at Liverpool thanks to a late equaliser from back-in-favour Carlos Tevez. The 2-2 draw at Anfield prompted City manager Roberto Mancini to call for urgent reinforcements in the post-match interview: “We need to bring players in and we have five days in which to do it. We have to work very hard in these four or five days. It will be a long week for us.”

“It’s the biggest threat to every title winner and is a serious danger to Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League crown. Complacency,” wrote Alan Hansen in The Telegraph.

Chelsea are cooking on gas

Before the season started, Chelsea weren’t fancied to challenge for the title but the Blues have recorded three impressive wins and do look a force to be reckoned with. Chelsea’s big money signing Eden Hazard terrorised Newcastle’s defence in Chelsea’s latest win and looks a shoo-in in for player of the month, having contributed four assists, one goal and two penalties already this season. Despite the hype, BBC Match of the Day pundits including Alan Hansen all continue to write off Chelsea’s title chances.

“Hazard has started the season like a house on fire and could be an early contender for Player of the Year,” suggested the TeamTalk blog.

Fellaini-fuelled Everton are on fire

Everton under David Moyes have been prone to sluggish starts to the season but the Toffees have kicked off this season in mightily impressive fashion. This weekend, they followed up on their 1-0 humbling of Manchester United at Goodison park with an emphatic 3-1 win at Aston Villa. Most of Everton’s best play has involved Marouane Fellaini, who has scored in both games and generally put himself about. The big-haired Belgium international is relishing in his new more attacking role and looks a outside bet for player of the month.

Swansea. Still the Barcelona of Wales

Swansea were expected to struggle this season but new manager Michael Laudrup has overseen a scintillating start for the Swans. The Welsh side whipped QPR 5-0 on the opening day and followed up with a 3-0 win over West Ham on the weekend. Rangy forward Michu, a £2 million capture from Rayo Vallecano, has already netted three times and already looks to be one of the best signings of the summer.

“So far, in what is supposed to be their difficult second season, Michael Laudrup’s side have scored eight in two games and retained the swagger that made them stand out in the last campaign,” praised David Hills of The Guardian.

A different type of Arsenal side emerging?

It was pretty predictable that Robin van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United would rob Arsenal of goal threat and so it has proved. So far, the north London side have been involved in stodgy goalless draws with Sunderland and Stoke. At The Telegraph, Alan Smith acknowledged that “of course it’s going to be difficult replacing Robin van Persie and his 37 goals. Any team would struggle to fill that kind of void.” But Smith said “I reckon Arsenal fans can look forward to watching a more organized unit, particularly in the way they react without the ball… It was obvious that the back four had been working on shape, and that the midfield was geared to offer better protection. Less gung-ho in search of a breakthrough, the side had clearly benefitted from specialized coaching.”

Grass not necessarily greener for QPR without Green

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green had a disastrous debut performance in his side’s embarrassing opening weekend 5-0 loss to Swansea. In fact, Green’s debut was so bad that some QPR fans called for him to be dropped after just one game. But ex-England keeper Green showed his worth in QPR’s gritty 1-1 draw at Norwich – he pulled off a string of smart saves to earn the Rs a much-needed point on the road.

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