Five talking points from the Premier League this weekend

The Premier League returned after the international break with some high-scoring matches. Here’s some of the biggest talking points from the weekend …

1. Mourinho still has much work to do

Jose Mourinho may be the manager Manchester United desperately needed after a turgid time under Louis van Gaal but the derby defeat showed it may not be a quick fix.

Despite spending £145 million strengthening the spine of his team they were rendered impotent by a spell-binding first-half City performance at Old Trafford. Had they not been handed a way back into the game at 0-2 (more of that later) the result could have been much worse.

Having just scraped past Hull with an added-time winner in their previous game it is safe to say United are a long way from their best form.

2. No three cheers for Bravo

Claudio Bravo was hailed as the solution but actually turned out to be the problem at Old Trafford. The new Manchester City goalkeeper’s debut did not go entirely to plan as his flap at a free-kick allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to put United back in the game.

However, Pep Guardiola brought him in at the expense of Joe Hart to be a ‘sweeper keeper’ and be good with his feet – which he was for the most part as City dominated the game – so maybe the City boss can overlook minor issues like not being able to catch a ball.

3. Hell hath no fury like Premier League footballers scorned

The honeymoon period at the former Olympic Stadium is well and truly over as the party atmosphere generated by moving into a state-of-the-art ground and paying just a fraction of its cost got the better of West Ham.

Cruising at 2-0 against Watford the home side, with all their flicks and tricks, were accused by Troy Deeney of trying to “mug off” the visitors. It produced a devastating response with Watford running in four unanswered goals.

Coming so soon after a home defeat to Romanian’s Astra Girgui resulted in a Europa League exit the Hammers’ bubble has been burst.

4. Can Liverpool find some consistency?

Last season Jurgen Klopp’s side showed they can be good and bad in equal measure and so far this season a similar pattern has developed. However, their win over Leicester showcased all their very best elements and, on the back of a win at Arsenal and a decent performance at Tottenham early indications are the team is on a better upward curve.

But Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Friday will be the test of that.

5. Have Stoke gone soft?

Mark Hughes’ reinvention of the Potters had them re-christened Stokealona because of the quality of their football but something has not clicked this season and they are bottom of the Premier League with one point, having lost their last three and conceded 10 goals already.

The desire to add more flair has seen an erosion of what got – and kept – Stoke in the top flight. If they cannot rediscover some of that steel it could be a long season as no-one will fear the bet365 Stadium, not even on the proverbial wet and windy Tuesday night.

More in this Section

Is there a dawn to follow the darkest moment?Is there a dawn to follow the darkest moment?

A victory for bravery, a defeat reeking of stagnationA victory for bravery, a defeat reeking of stagnation

Emery believes Arsenal can achieve something important this seasonEmery believes Arsenal can achieve something important this season

Real Sociedad return to winning ways to go fourth in LaLigaReal Sociedad return to winning ways to go fourth in LaLiga


Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner