The ups and downs of the Premier League’s high expenditure Heung-Min Son’s performance highlights Chelsea’s continued development

Football analysts from Sky Sports break down the weekend’s games, noting that high-spending Chelsea experienced growing pains in their home loss to Nottingham Forest and that Tottenham captain Heung-Min Son excelled in the No. 9 position in the Spurs’ victory away at Burnley.

It was reported in the Chelsea matchday programme that Mauricio Pochettino is “pleased with the progress” of his new side as they prepared to host Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge. The mood in west London had been raised by two successive victories after a sluggish start to his reign, against Luton and AFC Wimbledon.

Despite the lackluster outcomes, Pochettino still sees reasons for hope in Chelsea’s future thanks to a few positive developments in each match. That is why the shocking home loss to Forest on Saturday affected the former Tottenham manager so much. It’s a really big speed bump.

Chelsea are obviously still developing as a team. It will take some time for Pochettino to leave his mark on a young, inexperienced team. The Blues’ starting XI averaged 24.5 years old versus Forest, and the 51-year-old is unrivaled in his ability to nurture young talent.

Pochettino will arrive at Chelsea full of optimism about winning and eager to implement his attractive brand of play, but he won’t be naive. He is aware that Todd Boehly and the rest of the club’s management would expect to see immediate results after spending a record £434.5m in the summer transfer window.

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Since their return to the Premier League, Brennan Johnson has been one of Nottingham Forest’s most crucial players. His transfer to Tottenham on Transfer Deadline Day was a major loss, but Steve Cooper’s team appears more formidable without the 22-year-old’s presence.

Even more impressive is the fact that despite signing seven players on the final day of the transfer window, Cooper did not include any of them in his starting lineup as Forest upset Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

In west London, only fullback Nuno Tavares could make his debut. Forest already look much better equipped to deal with the rigors of the Premier League than they did when they were promoted to the top flight last year, and that’s before the likes of Nicolas Dominguez, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Odysseas Vlachodimos, Ibrahim Sangare, Divock Origi, and Andrew Omobamidele have even been integrated into the squad.

Cooper will be pleased with his summer sales despite the loss of Johnson, who was an important addition to his business. After orchestrating Forest’s first victory against Chelsea in more than 28 years, he was serenaded by the away fans at the final whistle. After suffering close losses against Arsenal and Manchester United, the Welshman deserved this triumph and now has the tools to continue his season after the international break.

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou made a bold move by starting Heung-Min Son at forward for the first time in his tenure, and it paid off nicely in their 2-1 win over Burnley.

Son’s superb hat trick at Turf Moor kept Spurs undefeated in the Premier League and got his season off to a strong start.

Before Spurs’ trip to Burnley, the South Korean had not scored, but he has flourished in this fluid “Angeball” system since being moved to the number nine position, which Richarlison had occupied in Spurs’ previous four games in all competitions.

In the 5-2 victory over Burnley, the captain led the team in both shots and shots inside the penalty area.

Manor Solomon, who started in place of Richarlison on the left wing, and Son worked together brilliantly, with Solomon setting up both of Son’s goals.

With Son proving he can replace Harry Kane in the starting lineup, Richarlison will likely start on the bench for the rematch against Sheffield United at home after the international break, despite the fact that he made the game’s most opportunities (5).

The Geordie kids and gals kept the party going even after their 3-1 loss at Brighton, which is unusual for an opposing crowd’s reaction to a game. They deserve praise for removing their caps. Despite falling behind 3-0 against the excellent Seagulls, their fans never stopped singing, even breaking out the ‘oles’ in the rather one-sided second half.

Match Recap and Highlights: Brighton 3, Newcastle 1
Match lineups & detailed stats
There doesn’t seem to be any unrest among the fan base despite three straight losses (against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Brighton). They are completely behind Eddie Howe. Howe acknowledges the increased pressure his team is under as a result of their recent success, saying, “We know the demands placed upon us will be extreme – this is a warning that we can’t be swayed in such a tough league.”

Even though Erling Haaland scored another impressive hat trick on this day, video assistant referees (VAR) continue to dominate discussion and headlines. The controversial VAR. The very mechanism designed to put an end to controversy is now itself contributing to the growth of it.

Match highlights and report: Manchester City 5, Fulham 1
The formation of the teams | Performance data from the match
In the dying seconds of the second half, there was nothing wrong with Nathan Ake heading Phil Foden’s corner into the back of the net. But Manuel Akanji was out of position when he attempted to score by leaping over the ball. Akanji was clearly “in the line of vision” of goalkeeper Bernd Leno, which is a clear infraction according to the rules. Michael Oliver, the on-field referee, completely missed the whole thing.

This seems like an extremely simple mistake, no? Wrong. “He must have put the goalkeeper off, he must be interfering with the goalkeeper,” ex-ref Mike Dean remarked on Soccer Saturday. Remarkably, VAR did not agree.

The system is problematic at its core because it is based on subjective decisions that have little to do with the actual subtleties of a football game.

Against Fulham, Haaland had 17 total touches. There were three goals among them. Julian Alvarez helped out on one of them. This is a tremendous turnaround. All these thoughts, though, revolve around a problem that refuses to go away. Of course, Haaland will stick around for a while as well, but despite our admiration for his work, VAR remains a blight on the sport.

Too much time has passed since anyone stopped to ask what Everton does to score goals when Dominic Calvert-Lewin isn’t in the starting lineup. Maybe the Everton players have come to that conclusion at this point. With four goals in a week, Sean Dyche’s team appears to be finding more success in front of goal.

Match recap and highlights: Sheff Utd 2, Everton 2
The formation of the teams | Performance data from the match
After missing a number of first-half opportunities, Arnaut Danjuma and the Toffees seemed like they were in for a fantastic day.

Danjuma and Everton had trouble breaking through against Fulham and Wolves, but they were more successful in the end.

It’s important to keep in mind that Danjuma and Beto are new to this Everton squad, and that Dyche acknowledges improvements to “clarity” in attack still need to be addressed.

But if this is the beginning, the end result may be promising.

It’s hard to imagine a more successful introduction for him.

Paul Heckingbottom has been effusive in his praise of Cameron Archer, the club’s new goal-scoring prospect, and it will be crucial for Sheffield United’s survival aspirations to keep the forward fit and on target.

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Archer’s performance was brisk and incisive, like that of a player who had been waiting eagerly in the wings at Aston Villa. The 21-year-old took advantage of his newly liberated situation.

The fact that Archer scored and assisted on long-range stunners will thrill Sheffield United’s manager, especially considering Everton’s abundance of chances and two close-range goals from two yards out.

The Blades’ chances of survival increase as Archer becomes increasingly adept at producing these “magic moments.”

This group is immortal. Even though Thomas Frank’s team was held to a third straight home draw, he couldn’t contain his joy about the manner in which they salvaged a point.

Bryan Mbeumo finally showed the poise he and his team lacked to sneak in an injury-time equalizer after missing a number of easy opportunities and hitting the post three times.

Highlights and match report: Brentford 2, Bournemouth 2
The formation of the teams | Performance data from the match
The equalizer scored by Brentford was not unexpected, given the Bees have scored more goals in stoppage time than all but Manchester City and Brighton combined since they joined the Premier League.

Frank’s squad is currently undefeated in the Premier League and has lost only one of their last 18 home games this season.

As the latest side to learn this the hard way, Bournemouth recently lost to Frank’s Brentford.

With a 2-1 victory at Luton, West Ham extended their unbeaten start to the season. This victory was a testament to the team’s character and quality.

The team led by David Moyes was given a tough test by a Luton team that was playing at home for the first time this season. West Ham withstood an early onslaught against a spirited Luton side and eventually impressed Gary Neville of Sky Sports with their brilliance.

Highlights and match report: Luton United 2, West Ham United
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“I was really impressed with the spine of West Ham,” he said to Sky Sports. Aside from Lucas Paqueta, who is a free agent, the spine of the team consists of Michail Antonio up front, Kurt Zouma in the back, Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse in the midfield, and Michail Antonio in the middle. Last year, Moyes was under intense scrutiny. He appears to have a foundation upon which to construct a strong season.

After four games in the Premier League this season, the Hammers have already gained 10 points, matching their total from the 1999/00 season. It’s also Moyes’ greatest start to a Premier League season, tied with the 2006–07 campaign when he led Everton to 10 points after four games.

Everything seems to be in place for the Hammers to have another great season in east London.

Fans of Luton Town, who hadn’t been in the Premier League since 1992, soaked up every minute of the action. Quite a racket was made by them. While Rob Edwards’s team didn’t quite live up to the intensity of the Kenilworth Road crowd, they showed enough to suggest that they’ll be a tough out for anyone visiting the stadium this year.

There’s no denying that Luton faces an uphill battle in this season’s campaign. They haven’t spent tens of millions of dollars in the transfer market and don’t have a fancy stadium, but they make up for it with heart and determination.

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They aren’t filling seats for the sake of appearances. Luton hopes to compete at a higher level than they currently are, but they will soon have to face the harsh reality of the Premier League.

You get three games out of this. It’s a loss. But there’s no need to lose hope. The Hatters gave up control and territory for the majority of their match against West Ham, yet they still managed to score more than their opponents predicted they would. Don’t count out Luton just yet; Edwards has some housekeeping to do during the international break to prepare for the rigors of the Premier League. They have a lot more to offer.

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