Three talking points from the Premier League weekend

LONDON – Manchester United’s crisis mounted with a dismal defeat against Brighton as the Old Trafford atmosphere turned ugly.

Liverpool and Tottenham shrugged off sloppy starts to seal dramatic wins, keeping them in touch with Premier League leaders Manchester City, while Chelsea’s woes deepened after a lacklustre draw at Bournemouth.

AFP Sports looks at three talking points from the weekend’s action.

Troubled United must find cutting edgeChristian Eriksen surveyed the wreckage of Manchester United’s woeful 3-1 loss to Brighton and insisted his team’s problems can be cured if they find a cutting edge to their attack.

With the jeers from frustrated fans still ringing in his ears after a third defeat in five league games, United midfielder Eriksen tried to find a solution to his team’s crisis.

United have been beset by off-field issues that have seen Jadon Sancho exiled after a spat with boss Erik ten Tag and Antony given a leave of absence to fight domestic abuse allegations he strongly denies.

But Eriksen believes the team can lift the gloomy mood around Old Trafford by playing with a more ruthless approach, starting with the daunting Champions League group stage opener at Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

“You have to (fight). I still think we had enough chances to come back but we just didn’t take them,” he said.

“It’s been like this, the season so far. I think if we change that, I think a lot of the games will be a lot easier to play.”

Liverpool relish ‘fresh start’With last season’s turbulent campaign in the rear-view mirror, Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson believes his team are benefitting from their fresh start.

After trailing to Hwang Hee-Chan’s early opener at Wolves, Liverpool equalised through Cody Gakpo before Robertson scored his first goal since May 2022 to put the Reds ahead with five minutes left.

Harvey Elliott’s shot deflected in off Hugo Bueno in stoppage-time to wrap up Liverpool’s fourth successive win and extend their unbeaten run in the league to 16 games dating back to last term.

They finished fifth last season, 22 points adrift of champions Manchester City, but Robertson sees signs Jurgen Klopp’s third-placed team are capable of better this time.

“It’s a new start. We’ve got a lot of new players, kind of a new way of playing and things like that. So I think we just feel free,” he said.

Ice-cool Postecoglou lifts SpursDejan Kulusevski saluted Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou for inspiring a thrilling 2-1 victory against Sheffield United.

Tottenham were heading for a first Premier League defeat under the Australian after Gustavo Hamer put the Blades ahead in the 73rd minute.

But the hosts kept their composure and levelled deep into stoppage-time through Richarlison before Kulusevski rifled home two minutes later to fire them into second place.

Former Celtic manager Postecoglou has brought back the feel-good factor after a difficult period that saw his predecessor Antonio Conte depart by mutual consent last season before Harry Kane’s move to Bayern Munich in August.

Kulusevski paid tribute to Postecoglou following Tottenham’s fourth consecutive league victory.

“When Richy scored, we knew we’re not going to lose and then I got the ball and did my thing. I know I just need to make one good thing to score and that’s what happened,” he said.

“We have got to stay calm. You see our coach Ange, he is on the side always being very calm so we have to do that as players.

“Stay calm, trust in each other and play like a family. We can improve a lot.”


© Agence France-Presse