May 25, 2022

PL hits and misses: No Auba, no drawback

No Auba, no problem

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over West Ham

Mikel Arteta’s choice to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy and depart him out of his squad once more dominated the pre-match dialogue as Arsenal confronted West Ham. Occasions on the pitch, nonetheless, confirmed the membership’s future lies not with him however with their younger gamers.

The two-Zero victory was secured because of targets from Gabriel Martinelli, 20, and Emile Smith Rowe, 21, and included a man-of-the-match exhibiting from Bukayo Saka, 20. It allowed Arsenal to maneuver into the highest 4 and supplied vindication for Arteta’s boldness within the course of.

“It was an announcement,” mentioned a smiling Arteta afterwards. A press release, maybe, that Aubameyang is now not the essential determine he as soon as was. The 32-year-old has solely scored 4 targets in 14 Premier League appearances this season and he was not missed.

Alexandre Lacazette stuffed in ably, each as striker and captain, but it surely was the younger tyros buzzing round him who actually flummoxed West Ham. Saka was a relentless supply of hazard and so too was Martinelli, who’s recapturing his greatest type at precisely the appropriate time.

The Brazilian’s clinically-taken opener, along with Smith Rowe’s breakaway second, imply that 10 of Arsenal’s 23 Premier League targets this season have been scored by gamers aged 21 or youthful. It’s the most by any aspect within the division and underlines the vibrancy and pleasure inside their ranks.

Certainly, Saka, Smith Rowe and Martinelli aren’t the one ones impressing. In opposition to West Ham, Arsenal saved their eighth clear sheet of the season because of a five-man defensive unit with a median age of simply 23. For context, solely Manchester Metropolis and Liverpool have saved extra within the Premier League.

It stays to be seen whether or not Aubameyang will be reintegrated after his newest misdemeanour. However maybe the extra pertinent query is whether or not this thrilling, younger aspect actually wants him in any respect.
Nick Wright

All hail King Kevin!

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester Metropolis’s win over Leeds

When you consulted the Premier League desk earlier than this newest spherical of fixtures, it will have been a stretch to succeed in the conclusion that Manchester Metropolis had missed Kevin De Bruyne.

The reigning champions have juggled the accidents and Covid-induced spells on the sidelines endured by their talisman, and kicked off some extent clear on the prime of the desk, whereas crucially taking part in forward of their major challengers to their crown, Liverpool and Chelsea.

The go to of Leeds offered Pep Guardiola with the prospect at hand De Bruyne his first Premier League begin since November’s Manchester derby. The Spaniard claimed Marcelo Bielsa’s aspect represented a real take a look at of precisely the place the Belgian’s health ranges had been – and we got a truly-emphatic reply.

After Phil Foden had opened the scoring with the 500th Premier League aim of Guardiola’s Metropolis reign, and Jack Grealish nodded in his first Premier League header, De Bruyne stole the present, spearheading a scintillating attacking show as Metropolis hit seven.

De Bruyne was answerable for two of these, ramming house the hosts’ third with an unerring near-post drive, but it surely was his second which made everybody – Metropolis, Leeds, and the Premier League as a complete – arise and take discover.

Seconds after Foden was denied a second by the offside flag, Ilkay Gundogan’s easy go inside discovered De Bruyne. It was from there the place the Belgian produced one other classic second, unleashing a thunderous drive, the sort solely he appears in a position to produce, which almost ripped the online off the Leeds aim.

Two beautiful targets stole the headlines, but it surely was his imperious man-of-the-match efficiency which can have excited Metropolis, who, with ‘King Kevin’ again on the helm, have the prospect to kick on on this congested Premier League title race.
Jack Wilkinson

Ramsey brings away comfort and joy for Gerrard

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa’s win over Norwich

Simply 38 days after he was let go by Aston Villa, Dean Smith noticed the gulf in school between the aspect he has inherited and his former employers as Villa received 2-0. It was the fourth time in six video games that Norwich had failed to attain beneath new boss Smith, who’s beneath no illusions as to the dimensions of the duty he faces.

As he vanished down the tunnel at Carrow Street, he might have afforded himself a wry smile on the small however not insignificant position he performed in his personal workforce’s newest demise.

It was totally becoming that it will be Jacob Ramsey – a participant he developed at Villa – who had the ultimate say on this closely one-sided affair in East Anglia as his snapshot was batted down by Tim Krul within the closing act.

The 20-year-old has performed in 14 of Villa’s 16 Premier League video games this season, and after religion was initially instilled in him by his earlier supervisor, Smith’s loss is now Steven Gerrard’s acquire.

Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey (right) celebrates scoring their opener with Matty Cash

Jacob Ramsey celebrates scoring Villa’s opener

Villa reinvested the £100m acquired for Jack Grealish on the likes of Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia, however it’s Ramsey who appears to have benefited essentially the most from final summer season’s switch exercise.

Fittingly towards Arsenal earlier this season, Ramsey turned Villa’s youngest Premier League scorer since Grealish netted in September 2015.

Whereas they’re very totally different gamers and this was a poor Norwich efficiency, the early indicators are that he’s going to profit tremendously from working beneath Gerrard, with Smith’s foundations firmly in place.

Ramsey mentioned afterwards: “I have been watching clips of the gaffer and he was among the best goalscoring midfielders and that is what I need to be.”
Ben Grounds

Neves maturing into all-action midfielder

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win over Brighton

Ruben Neves is flourishing for Bruno Lage at Wolves. Now not is he simply all in regards to the long-range stunners. After a season of stagnation in Nuno Espirito Santo’s regimented system, the Portuguese midfielder appears comfy taking part in a extra all-action model alongside Joao Moutinho.

Within the 1-Zero win over Brighton, the midfield duo had been excellent with out the ball, crashing into tackles and breaking apart play when wanted. Solely Declan Rice and Rodri have received possession again for his or her aspect greater than Neves this season as he appears to be relishing the ugly a part of the sport.

However what Neves brings to the social gathering, which stands him out as a midfielder with the flexibility to go proper to the highest, is his imaginative and prescient. He supplied the match-winning second of high quality on a night the place it was missing in most areas of the pitch when discovering Roman Saiss with a beautifully-chipped go that took the Brighton defence out of the sport.

At full-time, the away finish, packed to the rafters with Wolves followers, sang his title. In this sort of type, he’s their most necessary participant.
Lewis Jones