London vs Manchester. Blue vs Red. Old hat vs young punk? It was the Super Sunday to rival any Super Sunday, as the biggest names and bigger egos clashed in the Premier League. Meanwhile, the rest of the league puttered along, as usual, giving us just about enough material to point and laugh. Or chuckle. Or shake our heads at the absolute tedium that most of Saturday’s games churned out. Nevertheless, let’s get on with it.
Antonio Conte: Everyone’s favourite hot-headed, fake-haired Italian finally lost patience with Instagram’s David Luiz and kicked him out of the squad for the Manchester United game. The tie ended 1-0 in Chelsea’s favour, which should give Conte some respite from the constant speculation about his future. At least until Tuesday.
Alvaro Morata: He tried to make Phil Jones score a goal for him, but the ref said no dice. So he went and scored one himself.
Manchester City: Another day, another win. Another nose bloodied, another ego bruised. It’s all getting a bit boring now, don’t you think? I wish Pep decides to make things interesting by bringing back Bravo for a few games. That should see City’s lead evaporate faster than water on a hot pavement.
Mohamed Salah: By the time I finish writing this sentence, Salah would have run the length of the pitch, scored a goal and started another counter. Liverpool have pulled a fast one.
Everton: Just when it looked like they’d finally drowned under the weight of expectations, a poor transfer strategy, and Wayne Rooney, a hand emerges from under the water. It’s David Unsworth! And guess which finger he’s holding up.
Peter Crouch: With a head that magnetically pulls any football within five yards of it, Peter Crouch is an excellent option to have when your only option is to ‘lump it up to the big man’.
Sean Dyche: Despite that chip on his shoulder, Sean Dyche is flying high and so are his Burnley side. By the time Everton decide to make a move for him, he might be well beyond their reach.
The Promoted Teams (Not You, Newcastle): The other two promoted sides – Brighton and Huddersfield – are not going down without a fight. In fact, seeing how rotten some of the established Premier League teams are, they might not go down at all.
Jose Mourinho: Moan about injuries. Check. Claim other team was defensive. Check. Insist that the game was evenly matched, by describing an alternate reality that bears hardly any resemblance to actual events on the pitch. Check.
Romelu Lukaku: The big Belgian found himself lying on the floor of the home dressing room at Stamford Bridge, having fallen out of Andreas Christensen’s pocket as the defender changed out of his kit. There seemed to be a slight crack in the tile where he dropped, which turned out to be the biggest impact he made all day.
Arsenal: One step forward, two steps backward. Repeat ad nauseam, ad infinitum.
Slaven Bilic and West Ham United: A loveless marriage that keeps pushing the limits of how miserable one could make the other, and still not part ways. Probably involves several “I hate your guts” messages followed by “Stay together for the kids”.
Tony Pulis: As the magic of his baseball cap grows weaker, West Brom supporters are slowly coming out of a daze and letting Pulis know exactly how they feel about his brand of ‘football’. The Pulisball era might be coming to an end.
Swansea: Get caught in a relegation battle. Survive because other teams are far worse. Learn nothing. Repeat everything.
Tom Cleverley: His Watford teammate put it more eloquently than I ever could. Cleverley ‘lacks cojones’ to score a penalty in the dying moments of a game.
Francis Coquelin: Take a player who is not good enough to play in midfield. Put him in central defence against the best attack in the division. Watch, as he is dragged all over the pitch, with any remaining confidence being torn to shreds. Take him off after 56 minutes to complete the humiliation. If you enjoy such a spectacle, you must be Arsene Wenger. Or everyone except Arsenal fans.