Premier League weekend: Five talking points

Sports Mole picks out five of the biggest talking points to have come out of the 10 most recent Premier League encounters.

Title favourites Manchester City and Chelsea brought the curtain down on the fifth round of Premier League matches yesterday afternoon, with a 1-1 draw having been played out at the Etihad Stadium.

A total of 32 goals were scored in 10 matches, with eight coming in one encounter. There were also three red cards thrown into the bargain.

Here, Sports Mole has picked out five of the biggest talking points to have arisen from the latest round of fixtures.


1. 'Super Frank' haunts Chelsea

Manchester City's English midfielder Frank Lampard acknowledges the crowd after scoring his goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on September 21, 2014© Getty Images

During his post-match interview with Sky Sports News at the Etihad Stadium, Frank Lampard cut an emotional figure who looked on the verge of tears. Just 10 minutes earlier, the 36-year-old had scored an equalising goal for Manchester City against Chelsea - a club that he had served for 13 years with such distinction and where he enjoys legendary status.

Ever the professional, the goal in question was trademark Lampard as he arrived in the penalty area late, before showing great composure to volley in James Milner's cross. Out of respect to those that had once employed him, the New York City loanee refused to celebrate and after the final whistle, he approached the travelling supporters in an almost apologetic manner. In response, the Chelsea fans applauded their club's leading goalscorer of all time.


2. Strap in Man United fans

Leicester City's Argentinian midfielder Esteban Cambiasso scores their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at the King Power Stadium in Leicester on September 21, 2014© Getty Images

On a day that their former captain Bryan Robson joined Twitter, Manchester United could have done with the 57-year-old's battling qualities and tenacity. Leading 3-1 at the King Power Stadium, Louis van Gaal's side seemed to be cruising to a routine victory until referee Mark Clattenburg made an extremely poor decision that resulted in Leicester City striker David Nugent reducing the arrears from the penalty spot. However, rather than dig deep, the visitors imploded.

With such a porous defence and the lack of a genuine midfield general in the Robson mould, it may not be the last eight-goal thriller that United are involved in this season. In Angel di Maria, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney, United have arguably the most exciting attacking options in the Premier League. Yet, while there may well be plenty of fancy icing, the cake underneath it is nothing to write home about.


3. Allardyce delivering on promise

Diafra Sakho #15 of West Ham is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

When West Ham United owners David Sullivan and David Gold confirmed in the summer that Sam Allardyce was to stay on as the club's manager, it was not exactly the most popular decision as far as the Hammers faithful were concerned. They had grown fed up of Allardyce's direct style, which was built around the likes of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan, but the 59-year-old boss vowed during the pre-season break that his side would play a much more attractive brand of football this term.

Unsurprisingly, there were plenty of sceptics, but the doubters have been silenced in recent outings, culminating in Saturday's 3-1 home victory over Liverpool at Upton Park. With Stewart Downing converted from a winger into a more central attacking player, the East Londoners played the type of football that the home faithful had been yearning for. There is, of course, still plenty of room for improvement, but Allardyce is at least proving himself to be good to his word.


4. Saints continue to march

Southampton player Victor Wanyama celebrates with team mates after scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Southampton at Liberty Stadium on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

When journalists sat down to write their predictions for the season ahead, many tipped Southampton to be relegation fodder. The logic behind such a viewpoint is understandable when you consider that the likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw all headed for pastures new, while striker Jay Rodriguez is still sidelined with a serious knee ligament injury. Manager Mauricio Pochettino also jumped shipped to Tottenham Hotspur, leaving Ronald Koeman to pick up the pieces.

To the former Dutch international's credit, he's done a fine job so far. He has been shrewd in the transfer market, but it was one of last season's players - Victor Wanyama - that scored the only goal of the game at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Swansea City is never an easy trip, but the Saints won for the third time this season, which moved them up to second in the table.


5. Burnley crave clinical touch

Vito Mannone of Sunderland dives to make a save at the feet of George Boyd of Burnley during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

From their last three Premier League outings, Burnley have not conceded a goal. That goes to show just how well organised the newly-promoted Clarets are under the management of Sean Dyche. However, those clean sheets have only been rewarded with three points because up the other end, they have failed to find the net, with their latest shut-out coming in the 0-0 draw at the weekend against Sunderland at Turf Moor.

At their current rate, Burnley, who have not scored since their opening encounter of the campaign against Chelsea, will score just eight goals this term. That may be slightly dramatic, but it goes to show that even though the season is only five games old, they need to start finding the back of the net, and quick. Lukas Jutkiewicz had chances against the Black Cats, but he couldn't break his Premier League duck, while Marvin Sordell was on the periphery of proceedings. The sooner that Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, who scored 47 goals between them in all competitions last term, return from injury, the better.


Diafra Sakho #15 of West Ham is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on September 20, 2014
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