As always, the Premier League Matchweek four delivered a fascinating weekend of action. Here is five things Last Word On Football learnt from Premier League Matchweek four.
Five Things We Learnt From Premier League Matchweek Four
Tammy Abraham is Improving With Every Game For Chelsea
The 21-year-old’s goals against Sheffield United represented his poacher instinct. He found himself in the right areas for both goals in their 2-2 draw with the Blades, latching onto mistakes from defenders on both occasions.
In Chelsea’s previous game against Norwich City, Abraham showed off even more traits to demonstrate that he is a complete striker. For the opening goal of the 3-2 win, Abraham manoeuvered himself into space before firing home on the half-volley. His second was arguably better, firing home past Tim Krul from 25 yards.
If the 21-year-old can maintain this form, then there is no doubt that he will be the number one striker at Stamford Bridge this season.
Chelsea Need To Shore Up Their Defence
At the other end of the pitch for Chelsea, it is not so great. Another two goals were conceded in matchweek four, this time to Sheffield United. It means that they have conceded nine goals so far this season in the Premier League, their joint worst figures in history.
How it is cured is a difficult problem. There are possible solutions, but none of them may answer the question. Does Reece James replace Cesar Azpilicueta – who has looked off the pace so far this season – when he returns from injury? Is Antonio Rudiger going to be the cure? Will N’Golo Kante returning protecting the defence who resume in a role further forward, similar to how he was used under Maurizio Sarri?
Chelsea need to act quickly on their defence before it becomes too late.
Jamie Vardy: Best Premier League Striker Outside of the Top Six?
Consistency is the key with Vardy. During his seven full seasons with the club, there has only been two occasions where he has not registered more than 15 goals across the campaign – a sensational record for any striker, let alone a Premier League striker.
The 32-year-old is a handful for defenders, playing off the shoulder of the last man, maintaining his pace even as he begins the twilight of his career. He scores goals of all kinds, and his brace against Bournemouth in matchweek four showed that. An exquisite half volley that lobbed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale opened the scoring before he found himself in the right area to round off the victory for Leicester.
Liverpool and Manchester City are the Only Two Consistent Sides in the Premier League
It is hard to argue against the idea that Manchester City and Liverpool will finish in the top two. It is almost guaranteed that they will, it is just which way round they finish that is the question.
How the rest of the Premier League shapes up, however, remains to be seen. Currently, no side is consistent enough to match – or even come close to – Manchester City or Liverpool. It is why they will sit perched at the top of the tree for the foreseeable future.
However, the fact that no side is consistent will make for a fascinating year in the Premier League. There are no certain relegation candidates, a number of sides who can break the top six and several who will be up and down the table throughout the season. It will certainly be an exciting season.
VAR is Still Inconsistent
Four weeks in and every week VAR has dominated the headlines. Its usage is inconsistent, and the clarity over when to use it is the problem.
A number of decisions were arguably incorrect in matchweek four were incorrect. For example, Youri Tielemans can count himself fortunate that he was not sent off against Bournemouth for Leicester, as replays showed that his tackle landed high on Callum Wilson.
Perhaps VAR’s most controversial moment of the weekend was when it was not used. Aston Villa scored what they thought was a last-minute equaliser away at Crystal Palace. However, Jack Grealish was deemed to have dived in the build-up, and the referee blew his whistle before Henri Lansbury‘s strike found the back of the net.
Due to Premier League rules and usage of VAR, the new technology could not be used as the referee blew his whistle before the goal was scored. However, replays showed that Grealish was fouled.
There certainly needs to be improvements in the use of VAR over the coming weeks.