Premier League winners and losers: Gabriel, Martial and more
Anthony Martial underlines growing importance and Gabriel Paulista suckered into Diego Costa's trap
Bournemouth make history
Bournemouth’s little piece of history was overshadowed on a weekend dominated by dramatic games at Stamford Bridge and St Mary’s. The Cherries recorded their first-ever Premier League (or top flight) win at Dean’s Court thanks to a 2-0 victory over strugglers Sunderland. For a club that was languishing in League Two just six years ago, it was a significant feat. Calum Wilson scored his fifth goal of the Premier League season before Matt Ritchie added a second with a goal befitting the significance of the victory. The Premier League campaign may be a mere six games old, but Bournemouth can savour sitting on top of Chelsea in the standings.
Pochettino and Son
Tottenham Hotspur were criticised for their failure to sign an out-and-out striker before the close of the summer transfer window. Daniel Levy met his match in the shape of West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace, who refused to sell want-away Saido Berahino. However, Spurs pulled off a masterstroke with their £21m signing of Son Hueng-Min. The South Korea international warmed up for his first Premier League game with a brace in the Europa League before he scored a 68th-minute winner against Crystal Palace. It was a clinical finish from the 23-year-old and he already looks like being able to complement Harry Kane.
Anthony Martial is already a key player in the Manchester United squad, according to Louis van Gaal. With Wayne Rooney is still without a Premier League goal this season, the France international is fast becoming United’s most-reliable goal-scorer. His quick-fire brace in a 3-2 victory over Southampton had the hallmarks of Nicolas Anelka’s performance for Arsenal in the early days of his career. Martial has underlined the fickle nature of British media, who are now hailing the United teenager as a bargain at £36m.
The Liverpool manager is under more pressure than ever before in his Anfield career after a 1-1 draw with Norwich City. Brendan Rodgers’s men have dropped to 13th place in the Premier League after a return of seven points in six games. The Reds are without a win since a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on the second weekend of the campaign. After an outlay of nearly £100m in the summer, it is a disappointing start. A difficult run on the road was always going to produce some unpredictable results but failing to beat West Ham United and Norwich is unacceptable. If Daniel Sturridge’s return from injury can’t inspire a sharp upturn in fortunes for the 18-time English champions, Rodgers could well be gone by Christmas.
Gabriel Palista was Diego Costa’s latest victim in the Premier League. The Brazil international showed his inexperience in the English top-flight to become embroiled what initially started as a confrontation between Costa and Laurent Koscielny quickly escalated into a disagreement between the two Brazilian-born players. While Costa is a shrewd wind-up merchant – he hasn’t been sent off since 2012 – Gabriel reacted and kicked out at the Chelsea striker. Under the watchful eye of the Premier League’s pernickety referee Mike Dean, the outcome was inevitable. Gabriel received a straight red and a harsh lesson on the occasional injustice of the Premier League. Costa has since been charged with violent conduct, but it is unlikely the Chelsea striker will change his ways.