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9 things learned from the Premier League weekend

Tuesday 29th August 2017
Premier League Match Day Three is in the books. Only a few clubs went into the international break happy. Here are nine mostly unhappy things we learned over the weekend.

1. Hard luck Bournemouth

For 96 minutes Bournemouth huffed and puffed. To a man, Eddie Howe's squad put in a tremendous shift. They gave a gritty, backs-to-the-wall performance that revealed another side to the Cherries. Dark Cherries, if you will.

Yet for all their hard work, they came up short. Raheem Sterling's deflected 97th minute winner was another reminder of the Premier League's cruelty. The south coast club is still seeking its first points in 2017-18 while looking up from the relegation zone at a Brighton squad that has yet to register a goal.

2. Criminalisation must stop

Sterling's winner sent Manchester City supporters into raptures. A video emerged after the game depicting Sergio Kun Aguero in a supposed spat with a steward, said steward holding down a City supporter. Aguero obviously took issue with the physicality of the force used by the steward, and good on him.

It is time we stop making football fans out to be hooligans and criminals. All he was doing, the man in question, was looking to celebrate with players he adores. Once we cut this connection from the game, it becomes emotionless. It's greatest selling point, the bond between club and supporter, will be gone.

3. Brighton struggle to find groove

Against Watford's ten men, Brighton really needed to win. Forget Marco Silva's well drilled, highly organised side. Put it out of your mind the Seagulls were away. If Chris Hughton's men want to survive this season, these are the advantages Chris Hughton's men must exploit.

With just one point--and no goals--to show for three games, Brighton desperately need to find a groove after the international break.

4. Unhappy Hammers

Slaven Bilic's job is supposedly under review. West Ham's is a disappointingly similar situation to last year, when the Hammers also endured a torrid start.

The side was taken apart at St James' Park. The 3-0 scoreline revealed it was Newcastle doing the hammering. Toon was a side that also had its manager under the spotlight after a poor start.

West Ham look a complete mess. Something needs to change. With an idle fortnight ahead, there may be no better time.

5. Ponderous Palace

Crystal Palace had no game plan. The Eagles lacked direction and purpose. They were utterly ponderous. Swansea took full advantage, claiming their first win of the season.

Frank de Boer's men have no points to show for their opening three fixtures, scoring zero while conceding six. There is far more talent in the squad than early results reflect. Still, the Dutchman will need to address a series of gaping weaknesses, including his own tactics, if he is to stay in this job longer than he managed at Inter Milan.

6. Swans bag vital points

On the other hand, those three points were vital for Paul Clement. Less than a week after Glyfi Sigurdsson's departure, the Swans boss needed Tammy Abraham to step up. The Chelsea loanee did just that, netting his first goal.

The burden of responsibility won't always fall on the youngster's shoulders. Nonetheless, Clement and Swans supporters will be relieved to see he can carry the load when called upon.

7. No stopping United

At times, Leicester City defended with the rigour and organisation that provided the backbone for their remarkable title surge. Perhaps, then, another three points is the biggest compliment Manchester United can be given. It took 70 minutes, but Jose Mourinho's men finally broke down the resilient Foxes' rearguard.

Is there any stopping United? Only a top-four clash will tell. If they continue playing like this in the interim, my money will be on Mourinho's men.

8. Wembley Hoodoo persists

Oh, dear. Spurs conceding in the last minute against Burnley was oh, so predictable.

Mauricio Pochettino's men needed to kill the game off. They did not, instead daring Burnley to come at them. Sean Dyche's Clarets complied.

How long until Spurs can finally win at Wembley?

9. Abject Arsenal

The way things are going, Spurs will again finish above Arsenal despite their Wembley curse. For all Liverpool's attacking verve, it was the Gunners who gifted them four goals and three points.

This was perhaps the most embarrassing display in Arsene Wenger's tenure. Utterly woeful. The complete lack of concentration was egregious. The players didn't look fit to wear the shirt. A certain hashtag is likely to start trending again. The club is rotting and needs saving.

 
Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97


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