Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday’s Premier League hits and misses

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 27 Sep 2015

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Leicester striker Jamie Vardy continued his good goalscoring run in the Foxes 5-2 home defeat against Arsenal

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy continued his good goalscoring run in the Foxes 5-2 home defeat against Arsenal

The Premier League has seen a rather strange start to the campaign, with a number of its stars from last season struggling to hit form.

A number of underrated players have stepped-up their game this season, and left those big names in their wake.

The likes of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Arsenal’s forward Alexis Sanchez have now got off the mark, much to their relief and that of their teams fans I would imagine. However, a number of underrated players have also impressed immensely.

There were some impressive displays this weekend, but there were some poor ones as well. Here are some of the hits and misses of Saturday’s games.

Hits

Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Despite Leicester suffering their first top-flight defeat of the campaign, Vardy kept up his good form by scoring a brace against the Gunners. The England international has now scored six goals in seven Premier League this season.

The former-non league star has been superb this season, and if he continues in a similar vein this season it will be hard for England boss Roy Hodgson to ignore his claims for a place in the England squad.

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

The Arsenal forward has struggled to hit top form in this campaign, but has been unlucky not to open his Premier League scoring account earlier this season. However, he did just that in spectacular style against Leicester, grabbing a hat-trick in Gunners 5-2 victory at the King Power Stadium.

The Chilean was behind his teammates fitness-wise, after helping his country to Copa America victory in the summer, but his treble in the Midlands could lead to the former-Barcelona star hitting top form.

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

The England international endured a frustrating campaign last season, spending much of it in the Liverpool treatment room. In just his second league start since his long-awaited return from injury, he fired home a brace in the Reds 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at Anfield.

His return could not have been timed better, with summer signing Christian Benteke currently sidelined through a hamstring injury. The brace was a timely one for under-pressure Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa)

His team may have lost 3-2 at Liverpool, but the striker should not shoulder any of the blame for the loss. The Benin international scored a brace for the Villans and looked a threat to the Liverpool defence for much of the game.

The French-born striker has not always started for Villa since his summer arrival from Blackburn, but maybe his double on Merseyside will have done enough to convince boss Tim Sherwood that he deserves more game time in the future.

Juan Mata (Manchester United)

The little Spanish maestro looks to be rediscovering the form which saw him pick-up the Chelsea Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons. He was superb in United’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland at Old Trafford, not only scoring, but also collecting an assist.

Misses

Willy Caballero (Manchester City)

The Argentinian ‘keeper endured a poor first Premier League start of the campaign in City’s 4-1 defeat at Tottenham. The veteran ‘keeper selected in-place of the rested Joe Hart looked very shaky, but was not helped by poor performances by the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis in front of him.

City fans will be hoping that captain Vincent Kompany recovers from the problem that kept him sidelined from this game in time for the midweek Champions League clash with German side Monchengladbach.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

This may be harsh, but the Argentinian superstar is still struggling to regain his best form. He scored in the midweek 4-1 win at Sunderland in the Capital One Cup, and that should have been a catalyst for a run of form.

However, he struggled to make an impact in City’s 4-1 defeat at Spurs. The striker looks to still be recovering from the injury he picked-up earlier this season. He is notorious for taking a while to recover from injuries, and that seems to be the case at the moment.

Aston Villa (except Gestede)

Aston Villa’s struggles continue. The Villans were beaten 3-2 at Anfield and have now collected just four points from their opening seven Premier League games. Boss Tim Sherwood recently told Villa fans not to panic about their clubs situation.

However, three consecutive defeats and seven goals conceded in those defeats will have Villans fans worried that their team is in for a very hard campaign ahead.

Who were the biggest hits and misses of Saturday’s Premier League programme?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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