Record-breaking Aguero shakes Villa Park, while Danny Drinkwater does exactly the opposite. Here are our Winners and Losers from the weekend’s Premier League action.
It’s unordinary to see a player claim two completely different records in the same game, but Sergio Aguero is no ordinary player. The Manchester City striker netted a hat-trick as the champions put a sorry Aston Villa side to the sword on Sunday, in the process becoming the first player to score 12 trebles in the Premier League. His second goal, which came after typical close control from the Argentine, was his 176th in England’s top flight, the most scored by any foreign player. He is some way off Alan Shearer’s overall record of 260 in the league, but Aguero’s achievements should rightly be celebrated.
What a month it has been for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side! The Saints have won four of their last five games in the league, the latest coming against Leicester as they went some small way to avenging a 9-0 defeat in October. Only Liverpool have taken more points in their last five games, while no player has more goals in their last ten starts than Danny Ings (ten). The result at the King Power was their second eye-catching away win in recent weeks following victory at Chelsea three weeks ago and moves them level on points with Arsenal! Talk of relegation seems a distant memory.
Chelsea’s English players
Frank Lampard started five English players in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Burnley, and none disappointed. Tammy Abraham, who had failed to find the net in his previous two games at Stamford Bridge, put the Blues two goals ahead as he converted a cross from Reece James. After the break it was Callum Hudson-Odoi’s turn to add his name to the scoresheet with his first Premier League goal. Mason Mount and Ross Barkley also played the full 90 minutes, while Fikayo Tomori was an unused sub. With Chelsea’s transfer ban lifted, it would be a shame to see any of these youngsters displaced by big-name signings.
The Gunners let another lead slip as they had to settle for a point at Crystal Palace, leaving them with just two away wins in the league this season. In truth the outcome could have been much worse as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was shown a red card following a VAR review of his late challenge on Max Meyer. However, although it didn’t cost Mikel Arteta’s side at Selhurst Park, it means that their star striker will miss their next three games. Considering he has scored 14 of Arsenal’s 29 league goals this season (48%), it will be a testing period for his side.
This weekend saw another defeat for Bournemouth, this time at the hands of fellow relegation candidates Watford. Although the Hornets are enjoying a new lease of life under the recently-appointed Nigel Pearson, the nature of the 3-0 defeat cannot be ignored. The Cherries have now lost nine of their last 11 league games, scoring six goals, and for the first time Eddie Howe’s position is in doubt.
Drinkwater’s debut for Aston Villa was one he will wish to forget immediately as the Villans conceded six goals to Manchester City. It was the Chelsea loanee’s second league start since March 2018 and, coincidentally, his third in a row against City following a 4-1 defeat while at Burnley last month. He was dribbled past on six occasions during this match and was culpable of losing possession in his own area for City’s second goal. After a disastrous start, he will have to work hard to win the Villa fans over.