Published On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2016

Premier League roundup: Hull gets Rash treatment

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With the first round of Premier League action in the books, we take a look back at what happened in the English top flight this weekend.

Kane’s early-season torment not helped by new role

Like going into battle with an arsenal of the most fearsome weapons, but then instead opting to advance with a wooden spoon, Mauricio Pochettino has mindlessly chosen to blunt his attack by deploying Harry Kane in a withdrawn role.

True, his options were limited in Saturday’s 1-1 draw when Kyle Walker fell to injury, but Kane – still without an August goal in five-and-a-half years of professional football – trying to curate things deeper than acclimatising frontman Vincent Janssen has shown no early signs of success. Dele Alli storming through the middle behind Kane worked so well last term; it’s time to return to square one.

Liverpool, meanwhile, must be some way short of what Jurgen Klopp envisions. Philippe Coutinho shoots with great regularity since the German took over, but is inconsistent with his end product, and there is already an increasing reliance on the indefatigable Sadio Mane.

Somehow, Jordan Henderson is still this ambitious side’s leader.

Michail Antonio gets England nod

Sam Allardyce’s first England squad didn’t possess surprises of Tom Huddlestone proportions, but it did include the deserved selection of Michail Antonio.

Related: Allardyce names 1st England squad; Antonio receives surprise call-up

Although signed as a winger from Nottingham Forest last summer, the 26-year-old has been deployed in various positions for West Ham United. In that time frame he has scored more headers (eight) than any other Premier League player, and is joint-top leading scorer from English midfielders with Dele Alli (10), but in 389 less minutes.

Elsewhere, Luke Shaw was handed a return to the senior squad after his injury woes of last term, and Danny Drinkwater was added following his questionable exclusion from Euro 2016.

Jack Wilshere was notably ignored, along with Everton‘s upright midfielder Ross Barkley.

United cruelly nicks the points in Hull

Manchester United followed up two relatively comfortable wins over Bournemouth and Southampton with a last-gasp winner at Hull City.

It was a mean way to end Saturday’s match against a valiant Tigers’ team, but the build-up play coming through Wayne Rooney, the intervention of Marcus Rashford and the increased freedom shown by Paul Pogba is extremely promising for the Red Devils.

Rashford’s goal did spring up an alarming statistic, however:

Jose Mourinho may have landed at United at the right time. His win-at-all-costs mentality would satisfy the club hierarchy, and his preference in fielding experienced players works when the United youth system might not be churning out any great talent after Rashford for some time.

Around the grounds

Arsenal did all its work in the opening stanza to secure its first win of the season. Watford made a greater fist of things in the final 45 on Saturday, with Roberto Pereyra making an impressive goal-scoring debut off the bench, but it was ultimately an Alexis Sanchez-inspired Gunners that eased to a 3-1 victory.

Chelsea didn’t require any late strikes from Diego Costa, overcoming Burnley by a 3-0 scoreline at Stamford Bridge. Victor Moses scored following his introduction from bench, and has been a chief beneficiary of the Blues adopting a wider system under Antonio Conte. N’Golo Kante, deployed at the formation’s fulcrum, was sensational once again.


Crystal Palace 1-1 Bournemouth

Everton 1-0 Stoke City

Leicester City 2-1 Swansea City

Manchester City 3-1 West Ham United

Southampton 1-1 Sunderland

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Middlesbrough

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