The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

PL talking points: 'Match made in heaven' as Lukaku scores, Kane plays for Spurs, Ole cries foul

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Editor
22nd August, 2021
11

Romelu Lukaku scored 15 minutes into his Chelsea return to put the European champions on a 2-0 record alongside Liverpool, Brighton and Tottenham, while Manchester United were held at Southampton. Here are the Premier League matchday two talking points.

‘Marriage made in heaven’
Belgian ace Lukaka made it back to the Blues after stints at Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan and it took him just quarter of an hour to make a mark, shrugging off Arsenal defender Pablo Mari to turn in a Reece James cross from close range at the Emirates.

Only a brilliant save prevented him adding a second as Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 win to join Liverpool on top with a plus five goal difference. The teams will face off next week in what promises to be a belter.

Lukaku impressed everyone including himself.

Asked what he thought about his performance, Lukaku told Sky Sports: “Dominant, I would say.

“I try to improve every time. I have a long way to go but today was good to win.

“I worked hard throughout the week. We knew it was a big game and we did well. As an individual, I want to help the team and I want to continue doing that.”

Advertisement

“It was a very good start,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said of Lukaku’s performance.

“Of course, that is the best thing when your striker scores straight away an important goal – but on top of it he linked up very well with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz and gave something to our game.

“I certainly think that nobody likes to play against him, everyone is aware of his physicality and his link-up play and ability to attack the space. He gives another dimension to our game.

“It has only just begun. So it is not the time now for too much praise or celebration, we keep on going.

“He is a Chelsea fan and it was his dream to make it at the club, we felt that from day one.”

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, speaking on Optus Sport, said Lukaku’s addition made Chelsea ” a totally different” side this season.

“They have got a different option now … when they’re under pressure or building up pressure or even building up in the final third.

Advertisement

“They have never had someone when they’re building up play, who is safe. “Everything Thomas Tuchel would’ve been dreaming of (with) this new signing has come to fruition in this one game.

“He can build from that … already it looks like a marriage made in heaven.”

The outlook is gloomy at Arsenal, who must face Manchester City away on matchday three. This is the first time in their 118 seasons that they have lost their opening two games without scoring and they are in the relegation zone for the first time since 1992, apart from week one of a campaign.

Amidst the recriminations and calls for coach Mikel Arteta to make a tactical change to a back three, former Gunners defender Bacary Sagna delivered a withering verdict.

“When I watch Arsenal now, honestly, I know that they are going to lose the majority of the time, that something is going to happen, that we are going to concede a stupid goal,” Sagna told RMC Sport.

“How can you spend €150 million and only bring in young players?

“It might be good for the future, but someone has got to think about the present. When I was playing, anyone would be excited to join Arsenal, now we have lost our DNA.”

Advertisement

Ole cries foul
Man United needed a Mason Greenwood equaliser to get a point at Southampton in a 1-1 draw after Fred was credited with a controversial own goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bemoaned a refereeing decision to call play on in the lead up to the Fred goal which followed Che Adams’ first half strike and said his team “lost our heads when they scored”.

The boss was upset with a Jack Stephens challenge on Bruno Fernandes in the build up to Adams’ goal, deemed fair by referee Craig Pawson, much to the anger of Fernandes.

“It was 100% a foul,” Solskjaer said.

“But we should do better. If you don’t get a foul, we should make sure we block the shot, put your body on the line and make sure they do not get a shot on target. I’m a bit, not worried, but we have to look at it. We cannot go from one extreme [to the other], [from] volleyball or basketball to rugby. I like the more lenient way but it was a foul.”

Adams meanwhile felt he should have been credited with the goal, but joked the officials gave it to the Man United midfielder because he “doesn’t score many.”

Advertisement

Kane given warm welcome
Harry Kane was given a warm reception by travelling Tottenham fans as Spurs beat Wolves 1-0 at Molineux.

Kane’s future remains uncertain having made it clear he wants to leave and with Manchester City seemingly waiting to decide if they’ll match Tottenham’s massive asking price for the England captain.

He made a 71st-minute substitute at Molineux which Spurs won thanks an early penalty by Dele Alli.

Kane was applauded on to the pitch by the travelling fans, a gesture he reciprocated after the final whistle.

“He did well, he helped the team,” said manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

Kane had one big chance but had a shot saved by José Sá.

Advertisement

“He is still in the process of improving his fitness. But he is one of the best players in the world. You can see he helped the team in possession.

“He’s better today and he’ll be better tomorrow. He can still improve, we cannot put a bar on that.”

Nuno was pleased with the fans’ reaction: “We have to be together. We have amazing fans and have to be thankful for that.”

‘Everyone wants to talk about Elliott’

Liverpool’s 18 year old Harvey Elliot was exceptional in their victory over bogey team Burnley in front of a full Anfield.

Elliott holds the record as the youngest player in Premier League history and was on loan with Blackburn Rovers, where he contributed seven goals and 11 assists in 41 appearances.

He played on the right of the midfield three and was integral in Sadio Mane’s beautifully worked stike.

“Harvey was part of this performance,” manager Jurgen Klopp said.

“Everybody wants to talk to me about Harvey and I understand absolutely – when an 18-year-old boy plays such a mature game I can understand why everyone was asking, but I was not surprised he played like this.

“That is exactly how he has trained now for six or seven weeks since we are back, since he is back from loan.”

Elliott played 90 minutes, having 77 touches, three key passes, two shots, a clearance, an interception and completing 45 of his 54 passes.

close