I think the red was completely justified. There. Now that we’ve got the big sticking point out of the way, let’s get down to business and have a look at what the rest of the league was up to.
Manchester City: Keeping pace with their noisy neighbours after a ruthless thwacking of Liverpool, which might still not be enough to qualify as ‘entertaining football’ for one pretentious Portuguese.
City Youth: Obviously not the youth players from the City academy, but the ones brought in at great expense from far and away. Jesus and Sane each scored a brace, turning the Etihad into Eden for the City slickers.
Marco Silva’s Watford: In the words of the inimitable George Costanza, Silva is “sticking it” to the Mersons and Thompsons of this world every week, week after week. Watford are now as high as fourth in the table while the two pundits’ stock has been steadily falling since that stupid, obnoxious rant.
Harry Kane: After spending the entire month of August warming up, the Spurs striker is firing on all cylinders and directly crossing the ball into the net to make up for lost time.
Brighton: Three more points on the board to stave off relegation by another week.
Arsenal and Danny Welbeck: A win to make you forget all about the shambolic summer, the huge loss to Liverpool and subsequent deadline-day embarrassment. Oh, and Welbeck scored, too. Most people had forgotten that he was not injured.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: Two goals against ‘The Best Team In The League’ is ‘moting’ to be sniffed at. Geddit?
Jamaal Lascelles: In a Newcastle side accustomed to shooting itself in the foot, here’s a man fighting boldly against the tide. His timely intervention prevented a certain goal and if that wasn’t enough, he went and scored the winner at the other end. Usually Newcastle defenders (read Titus Bramble) would have prodded the ball home for an own goal and then got sent off for some reason or another.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: The bearer of bad juju and worse positional sense. The Ox moved to Liverpool after ‘playing’ (and I use that term very loosely) in the 4-0 defeat to the same team, then proceeded to participate in a 5-0 drubbing by Manchester City. If their next opponent beats them by six goals to nil, Klopp might want to get a witch doctor to take a look at his newest recruit, pronto.
Everton: “Money can’t buy you Stones,” went the chant when Everton played Chelsea after that acrimonious John Stones transfer tussle. Apparently, money can’t buy you a win against a side in the top-6 either.
The Nil Pointers: Some statto might be able to tell you the last time when three teams had ZERO points on the board after four games. Me? I’m waiting for the day when one of the owners pulls the trigger and parachutes in Harry Redknapp after a meagre return of two points from eight games.
Manchester United: Two points lost against a side that actually attacked them and tried to play football. Who would have thought!
Frank de Boer: The Dutchman’s Palace career is teetering on the edge of a precipice, just waiting for someone to do the decent thing and give it a push.
Renato Sanches: The anti-velcro. Kept losing the ball almost every time his teammates passed it to him. At this point, Swansea might be thanking their stars that it’s just a loan.
Sadio Mane: You can offer all the justifications you like, but if you want the laws of the game to be enforced, it’s a clear red. End of. It was a move WWE’s Shawn Michaels would have been proud of. The fact that some pundits tried to explain the thinking behind Mane’s attempt to get the ball is shameful and a lot of people would be happy to demonstrate the same tackle on them if they offer to play the goalkeeper.
Anger Management: After Mark Hughes pushed Mourinho away when the latter tried to enter his playpen (also called technical area), Jose responded in the only way he knows how to – by storming out in a huff and refusing to shake Hughes’ hand after the game. They ought to employ a babysitter to keep a lid on proceedings and smack a few bottoms if need be.