Erik ten Hag in trouble, Tottenham show huge heart and Mohamed Salah is assist king – things we learned on Saturday

Erik ten Hag in trouble, Tottenham show huge heart and Mohamed Salah is assist king – things we learned on Saturday


It was yet another enthralling day of action as Premier League football returned on Saturday with a bang.

After a two-week absence due to the international break, seven matches were on show for fans – and boy were there some crackers.

Erik ten Hag is in trouble following Manchester United's defeat against Brighton


Erik ten Hag is in trouble following Manchester United’s defeat against BrightonCredit: Getty

In total, 21 goals were scored, with Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa all coming from behind to claim all three points.

Spurs somehow managed to turn their game against Sheffield United around in stoppage time to keep up their unbeaten start.

Meanwhile Manchester United have now lost three out of their opening five matches after being smashed by Brighton at Old Trafford.

And unsurprisingly there are plenty of takeaways from what was another hectic Saturday.

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Erik ten Hag is under huge pressure

It doesn’t rain at United, it pours.

After a week in which has seen Ten Hag ban Jadon Sancho from training and Antony taking a period of absence to address allegations of domestic abuse, this was not the result – or performance – Ten Hag would have been wishing for.

He was tactically outclassed again by the Seagulls, who have now won four successive Premier League games against United.

And he is now in danger of losing the support from the United faithful, who didn’t shy away in their view of the Dutchman and his squad.

United have lost three out of their opening five Premier League matches


United have lost three out of their opening five Premier League matchesCredit: Getty

Ten Hag’s decision to take off Rasmus Hojlund and replace him with Anthony Martial was jeered by fans, before Old Trafford erupted into a chorus of boos following the full-time whistle.

His positive reactions to defeats will also soon begin to infuriate the fanbase, with Ten Hag – just as he did after the previous defeat against Arsenal – insisted his side were unlucky to lose against Brighton.

Things don’t get any easier for United as they now turn their attention to facing Bayern Munich away in the Champions League.

Another loss will only further put the pressure on Ten Hag, and he knows he must start getting results – and fast.

Brighton are the real deal

Yes United are going through a hard time at the moment, but what a statement win that was from Robert De Zerbi’s men.

The Red Devils went into the match unbeaten in their last 21 top-flight matches at home – 31 games without a loss in all competitions.

But Brighton made United look like the away team, as they effortless carved through their opponents at will to keep up their fantastic start to the campaign.

It’s four wins out of five for the south coast outfit, with their only blip coming against West Ham when they lost 3-1 at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton continue to impress after blowing away United


Brighton continue to impress after blowing away UnitedCredit: Getty

And Brighton now have the chance to showcase their supreme talent on the European scene when they pit their wits against AEK Athens in the Europa League on Thursday.

De Zerbi started Evan Ferguson, Ansu Fati, James Milner, Billy Gilmour and Joao Pedro on the bench in anticipation of the game, showing their league rivals they can beat any team, with whatever line-up they desire.

Tottenham’s new never-say-die attitude

Manchester City may be top of the table, but Spurs have arguably been the story of the season so far with it being their best start since 1965.

No-one predicted the north Londoners would be competing for a European spot this campaign, let alone in a top four and title race as things stand.

And their dramatic victory over the Blades is the standout comeback this season – scoring in the seventh and ninth minute of injury time to win 2-1.

Make no mistake about it, Spurs were clear favourites to pick up the victory, but after falling behind in the 73rd minute, the side of old under Antonio Conte would not have picked up a point, let alone all three.

Spurs never crumbled or showed any nerves, they kept to Ange Postecoglou’s philosophy and continued their assault on the United goal.

Their heads also didn’t drop when Brennan Johnson had a late equaliser correctly ruled out for offside.

Spurs have shown they aren't a side to mess around with this campaign


Spurs have shown they aren’t a side to mess around with this campaignCredit: Getty

Postecoglou’s biggest test of his Spurs career comes next week when they face Arsenal in the north London derby at the Emirates.

Supporters may have feared the trip in the summer, but fans will be relishing the prospect of potentially winning their first game away at Arsenal in the league since the 2010/11 season.

If anyone should be worried about the match, it’s the Arsenal faithful, whose hopes of a Spurs downfall is now nothing but a pipe dream.

Mohamed Salah is an assist machine

He may be Liverpool’s Egyptian king, but the 31-year-old has turned in an assist one having broken a Premier League record.

The ex-Chelsea winger, who laid on two goals in the Reds’ 3-1 win away at Wolves, is now the African with the most Premier League assists in history.

He now boasts 63 assists in the English top-flight after overtaking ex-City and Leicester star Riyad Mahrez.

All but one of Salah’s assists have been for the Merseyside outfit, with his other coming during his brief spell at Stamford Bridge.

Salah was also unlucky not to have a hat-trick of assists at Molineux, with Harvey Elliott’s strike of his lay-off going down as a Hugo Bueno own goal.

The 2019 Champions League winner has primarily been a goalscorer during his time at Anfield, but with four assists already to his name this term, full-backs now will have an even harder time predicting his next move.

Salah starred in Liverpool's comeback win against Wolves


Salah starred in Liverpool’s comeback win against WolvesCredit: Getty

Erling Haaland is human after all

He may have scored in the 3-1 win at the London Stadium, but the Norwegian marksman took his time getting his customary goal.

The 23-year-old missed multiple chances in both halves in the capital as the Hammers threatened to get a result against the Citizens.

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In total, Haaland has now missed eight big chances in five Premier League matches – a division high so far.

But he did manage to tuck home his seventh of the campaign with a clinical strike in the closing stages to show he may be down at times, but he will never be out.

Haaland took his time to get his customary goal against West Ham


Haaland took his time to get his customary goal against West HamCredit: Getty

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