Premier League hits and misses: David de Gea’s Man Utd redemption, Romelu Lukaku shows evolution

Redemption for De Gea

David de Gea had all summer season to stew over his fateful position within the conclusion to final season’s Europa League remaining.

With Manchester United and Villarreal’s penalty shootout locked at 11-10 after reverse quantity Geronimo Rulli had scored his strain penalty, up stepped the De Gea for a sudden dying spot-kick he could not afford to overlook…however miss he did.

De Gea wasn’t even afforded the possibility to take his thoughts off issues with an look for Spain at Euro 2020, as he watched the whole lot of their run to the semi-finals from the sidelines.

Given his long-term future at Old Trafford has been the topic of hypothesis for a lot of a yr, and the latest emergence of Dean Henderson, the way by which final season ended for De Gea might properly have spelt the start of the top of his time in Manchester.

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But United’s first 5 video games of the season have dismissed any lingering thought that De Gea’s days are numbered. The Spaniard returned for the brand new season with renewed vigour and goal – and is seizing the chance positioned in entrance of him.

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

It all culminated in a redemptive remaining phrase on the London Stadium as Mark Noble’s lengthy sequence of transformed penalties was dropped at an abrupt halt as De Gea saved his first in Premier League since 2014 having conceded his earlier 40.

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De Gea’s stoppage-time heroics, and his performances this season, weren’t misplaced on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who informed Sky Sports: “David is a different man. He asked to come back early for pre-season, he wanted to show how good he is and he’s been so focused. He saved two points for us today.”

Solskjaer has declared De Gea is again. With the in-form Spaniard again to his greatest between the sticks, Manchester United could be too.
Jack Wilkinson

Nuno’s honeymoon at Spurs ends abruptly

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Roy Keane was scathing in his evaluation of Tottenham’s high quality and need of their 3-0 residence defeat to Chelsea within the Premier League.

Roy Keane known as it “men versus boys”, and right here was proof of the work that lies forward for Nuno Espirito Santo, whose honeymoon interval as Tottenham head coach is now formally over.

As Thomas Tuchel took the reward for noticing how issues weren’t working for his aspect through the first half on Sunday, his reverse quantity stood immobile as Spurs have been swept apart.

Graeme Souness informed Sky Sports: “We talk about how wonderful Chelsea are but they’re also just doing the basics right. They’re playing like a team, stopping crosses, getting blocks in and pressing together – not individually.

“Spurs did not appear like a crew. They have been making elementary errors which led to objectives. At this stage, the very best stage, when you do not do the fundamentals proper you’re going to get punished.”

Tuchel might flip to a World Cup winner in N’Golo Kante however Espirito Santo’s patched-up Tottenham crew had no response. Having received his first three league video games by slender margins, back-to-back 3-0 defeats have put a really totally different complexion on the beginning he has made.

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Of higher concern might be that Tottenham have scored only one objective from open play of their first 5 league video games. Harry Kane has no league objectives and has tried simply 4 photographs in as many video games, and his physique language was questioned by Keane.

By the top of their defeat to Chelsea, Spurs had mustered simply 14 touches within the opposition field to their opponent’s 40 with simply two of their eight photographs being heading in the right direction. Chelsea had 10 heading in the right direction, all of them coming within the second interval.

Nuno remains to be within the early phases of his profession on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium however, having been dominated in the long run in each division, his August supervisor of the month accolade has turned rapidly right into a distant reminiscence.

Having appeared so toothless towards Chelsea, subsequent weekend’s North London derby at Arsenal could be the right time for Tottenham to rediscover their goalscoring contact.
Ben Grounds

No objective however Lukaku evolution evident

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Tottenham

There was no objective for Romelu Lukaku. But even so this was a efficiency to indicate simply how far he has come as a striker since his tough spell at Manchester United. There is rather more to his sport than scoring as of late and Spurs discovered that out on Sunday.

The Belgian was intently marshalled by Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for a lot of the afternoon on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, making certain he had few scoring alternatives himself, however that did not cease him inflicting the hosts issues.

Indeed, his mere presence was sufficient to distract Tottenham’s defenders from the opposite gamers round him and there have been quite a few events over the course of the 90 minutes when he confirmed the selflessness and creativity that’s now typical of him.

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Indeed, on one other day, the Belgian might need had a hat-trick of assists. In the primary half, he twice resisted the urge to shoot when others have been higher positioned, solely to look at Kai Havertz and then Mason Mount fail to attach correctly with their photographs.

He was at it once more within the second interval, when he slid a move by to the onrushing Timo Werner on the left-hand aspect of the Tottenham field. The substitute had a transparent sight of objective however couldn’t beat Hugo Lloris.

Lukaku’s objectives have been the main target of his Chelsea return. There have been 4 in 5 appearances to this point. But this was not the primary time he has offered ammunition for his team-mates too.

In reality, solely Reece James and Marcos Alonso are creating extra probabilities per 90 minutes amongst Chelsea gamers this season.

Lukaku has created as many scoring alternatives in his final 4 Premier League appearances (eight) as he did in his remaining 18 appearances for Manchester United.

It shows his evolution as a participant. Throw in his management as properly – observe how he supplied Werner encouragement fairly than berating him after his miss – and it’s clear that Romelu Lukaku is now a really totally different proposition.
Nick Wright

Rodgers’ Maddison problem

Leicester midfielder James Maddison is struggling for kind

Of all of the challenges dealing with Brendan Rodgers – negotiating accidents to key gamers, addressing his aspect’s vulnerability from set-pieces, managing workloads for the likes of Youri Tielemans as his aspect competes once more on a number of fronts, essentially the most delicate – and scrutinised – seems to be rejuvenating James Maddison.

Rodgers had each proper to really feel aggrieved at Stuart Attwell’s neglect to make use of the touchline monitor to evaluate a penalty awarded towards his aspect on the Amex. Also at Wilfred Ndidi’s disallowed objective with Harvey Barnes’ infringement doubtful.

But his aspect was for too lengthy second-best towards Brighton and the affect of Ademola Lookman within the second half solely highlighted how Maddison, hooked after struggling on the correct in a 4-3-3 formation, has misplaced his swagger.

Amid accidents and Arsenal hyperlinks, Maddison has not mustered a shot on the goal in any of his 5 Premier League matches this season and has not recorded a objective or an help within the high flight since February and so the post-match questions hold coming.

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How to get him again to his greatest?

“Time, patience, support,” Rodgers stated. “Understanding that no matter how confident someone is, and how good a player they are, you have to take them back to the basics: work your socks off, work even harder and when you do that, that gives you confidence.

“He’s an excellent expertise, he is simply in just a little second the place it is not fairly taking place however he will not really feel sorry for himself.”

The problem to get again to fundamentals is one Maddison – all the time refreshingly candid in entrance of the digital camera – should grasp himself.

But in Rodgers, he has a supervisor as attuned to the psychological as he’s to the tactical, a mentor who will afford him the situations to step again out of the shadows.
Kate Burlaga

Cucurella can hold Seagulls flying

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s win over Leicester

Graham Potter has already been impressed by Marc Cucurella’s linguistic abilities however the Deadline Day signing from Getafe appears to have tailored at velocity on the pitch within the Premier League in addition to within the dressing room.

The Barcelona academy product nicknamed ‘The Hair’ for his tight, flowing curls is studying English after his £15m transfer however right here, on this energetic residence debut in Brighton’s incident-packed win over Leicester, there have been loads of indicators of footballing telepathy along with his new team-mates.

Cucurella was influential all through – no Brighton participant had extra touches in Sunday’s sport, nor made extra correct passes – however notably within the first half the place the hosts dominated as he sparked a collection of assaults from the left.

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Marc Cucurella was Sky Sports' man of the match for Brighton towards Leicester

There have been a game-high 11 sprints in possession and promising patterns weaved with Leandro Trossard, Adam Lallana and the strikers in entrance of him however the verticality of Cucurella’s play caught the attention in addition to his tempo and penchant for a sort out.

One lengthy ahead ball, after an impudent nutmeg, gave Neal Maupay a high quality first-half probability and he supplied variation, too, a wise scooped ball affording Lallana one other alternative.

“He can play as a left wing-back, a left-back, wide left,” Potter had stated. “At times we missed this left-footed balance last season, especially from an offensive perspective. He gives us options. He’s a really intelligent player.”

Last season’s marketing campaign of promise carried frequent frustration for the division’s expected-goals darlings and whereas the brand new time period stays in its infancy, Cucurella seems to be to own the technical and bodily traits so as to add additional impetus to Potter’s progressive aspect.

With Tariq Lamptey lastly again within the fold after an agonising collection of damage setbacks, Brighton supporters ought to have enjoyable watching their aspect from each flanks.
Kate Burlaga

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