Talking points from the Premier League weekend.
Arsenal finally discover ruthless edge
After years of fragility, Arsenal finally appear to have rediscovered a ruthless edge as they claimed a third successive win to start a season for the first time in 18 years.
A 3-0 romp at Bournemouth on Saturday (Aug 20) sent the Gunners to the top of the table before Manchester City’s game on Sunday, and evidence is growing that they might be able to sustain a challenge.
The addition of forward Gabriel Jesus and wing back Oleksandr Zinchenko from champions Manchester City appears to have helped spread a winning mentality throughout the team.
A year after losing their opening three games, Arsenal are flying and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale explained the difference to last season, when they finished fifth.
“It’s crazy how our mentality has changed from the end of last season. We’re more ruthless,” he said. “We saw how close we came last season (to a Champions League place).
“Zinchenko and Jesus know how to win.”
Everton must face up to lack of firepower
They may have grabbed their first point of the new Premier League season at the third attempt, but if anything Everton’s lack of firepower was even more glaring in the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park.
The home side dominated for long spells and created plenty of chances, but all too often they relied on shots from distance as they lack a penalty-box predator who is ready to pounce at the whiff of a half-chance.
With their defence looking solid and their midfield beginning to motor, all that is missing is a reliable goal-scorer. If coach Frank Lampard can sort that out, Everton’s fortunes could quickly make a turn for the better.
Newcastle show how to shock City
Newcastle United’s 3-3 draw with Manchester City perfectly illustrated how to get at the champions, but few teams in the Premier League have a winger like Allan Saint-Maximin that will help them do so.
The French winger tormented City full-back Kyle Walker for much of the game at St James’ Park on Sunday, isolating him and either crossing the ball or slashing inside to cause chaos at the heart of the City defence.
City had enough firepower to deal with the danger and grab a point, but coaches of wingers around the league will take heart from Saint-Maximin’s success at exploiting one of City’s few obvious weaknesses.