Premier League weekend review: Return of the ‘Old Arsenal’

The panel talks about the social and athletic impact of Cyrille Regis, a pioneer for black soccer players, after his passing this week at the age of 59.

Here’s what happened in the Premier League this weekend, in case you missed it…

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Analysis: Martial makes case to Mourinho ahead of Sanchez’s arrival
Saturday: Hazard hits 100 goals, Man City back on track and more
Sunday: Spurs settle for draw away to Southampton
Shake-up: Watford fires manager Marco Silva

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Brighton & Hove Albion 0, Chelsea 4 || West Ham United 1, Bournemouth 1 || Arsenal 4, Crystal Palace 1 || Stoke City 2, Huddersfield Town 0 || Burnley 0, Manchester United 1 || Leicester City 2, Watford 0 || Everton 1, West Bromwich Albion 1 || Manchester City 3, Newcastle United 1 || Southampton 1, Tottenham 1

WHAT STOOD OUT

The Arsenal of Old
It was a throwback to the “Arsenal of Old,” to the Invincible side that featured that incomparable Thierry Henry, the one player who more than anybody else embodied the spirit of the team – a team that stylishly disposed of opponents with ruthless attacking aplomb and fearlessness.

The Gunners ran absolutely rampant at the Emirates on Saturday, scoring four goals in the opening 22 minutes en route to a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace. Of note, Arsenal’s three goals in the first 13 minutes was the fastest a side has gone 3-0 up in the Premier League since the Gunners did it away to Newcastle in 2011. On that day, the Magpies famously came back from a 4-0 deficit to earn a 4-4 draw.

There would be no collapse this time, though. Arsene Wenger’s side, without Alexis Sanchez, held their nerve in what was one of their best and most complete displays of the campaign. The deployment of Mohamed Elneny as defensive stopper in front of the back four allowed Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka to pursue their attacking instincts, and provided the platform by which Arsenal dominated possession and dictated the pace of the match.

Arsenal smashes Palace amid negativity
James Sharman, Danny Dichio and Craig Forrest break down a big win for Arsenal, who powered through a difficult situation with distractions off the field.

BEST MOMENT

A classy move by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard:

BEST GOAL

Chelsea’s Willian finishes off a fantastic passing sequence with a great finish vs. Brighton:

BEST QUOTE

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger explains why Alexis Sanchez wasn’t with the team for Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace:

BEST MATCH

It wasn’t very competitive, as the game was essentially over at the midway point of the first half. Still, it was pretty awe-inspiring to see Arsenal explode for four goals and pick apart Crystal Palace the way they did.

CRISIS CLUB OF THE WEEK: WATFORD

Watford sits four points above the relegation zone, and could be in big trouble if they continue their slide.

BEST TWEET

West Bromwich Albion fans pay tribute to Cyrille Regis ahead of Saturday’s game vs. Everton at Goodison Park:

THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME

Eden Hazard bagged a brace on Saturday in Chelsea’s 4-0 win away to Brighton & Hove Albion. But beyond the goals, the Belgian was involved in much of what the Blues did, and was a consistent driving force behind the attack:

THE BIG QUESTION

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SIX PACK OF STATS

• Willian has been directly involved in seven goals in his last five Premier League starts for Chelsea (three goals, four assists).
• Excluding own goals, Alexandre Lacazette’s strike on Saturday was Arsenal’s 500th in the Premier League scored by French players.
• Since the start of 2014-15, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has won more penalties (13) in the Premier League than any other player.
• Jonjoe Kenny registered Everton’s first shot on target in 251 minutes of Premier League action (38 minutes into the first half on Saturday vs. West Bromwich Albion).
• Sergio Aguero on Saturday scored the first “perfect” hat-trick (one goal with his left foot, one with his right, and a header) in the Premier League since the Argentine scored one against Newcastle United in October 2015.
• Harry Kane has scored nine goals in his last five starts in the Premier League, with all nine coming from inside the box.
Stats courtesy of Opta

THREE STARS

1) Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: The Argentine was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring all three goals in City’s win over Newcastle United.
2) Eden Hazard, Chelsea: The Belgian put in a man-of-the-match effort, bagging a brace in the Blues’ big win.
3) Nacho Monreal, Arsenal: The Spanish defender was only on the field for 34 minutes as he limped off with an injury, but not before scoring the opener and setting up two other goals.

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