Although the weekend was filled with some very promising fixtures and although very few expected the Manchester United/Stoke fixture to even be watchable, there was no doubt that the crown jewel of the Premier League weekend would be the showdown between Manchester City and Chelsea. Both teams currently find themselves fighting for Champions League places and both teams will still have aspirations to bring the title home at the end of the season. With United still looking like a shadow of their team last season, the door is definitely wide open for any of the deeper teams to bring home the EPL title.

What did we learn?

We learned that Torres is on the right track. I will not repeat the article posting within the last week and I will still not say that Torres is anywhere near his best. However, the Spanish striker is definitely doing all of the right things and he is playing in the manner that is necessary for him to start to silence his many doubters. His pace and movement finally looked as quick as Chelsea would have hoped when they purchased Torres and he even capped off his performance with a winning goal. He still is having a bit of a hard time finding the back of the net during open play (or, without defensive/goalkeeping errors), but his Liverpool replacement (Suarez) also struggled to finish for a short time and now it seems impossible for Suarez to NOT score…perhaps Torres can fix his issues (but to claim he is “fixed” now…that’s just ridiculous)…

Joe Hart has ZERO confidence in himself and in his defense. When you are a keeper in the Premier League, there will always be a defensive set-up that you prefer or a defender that always makes you feel comfortable in the line of fire. Joe Hart, currently, has none of those things. Pellegrini is juggling defensive sets like a performer in a circus and the dominating presence of Vincent Kompany is definitely lacking from the back four. Clichy looks like he has no clue why he has been included in the starting 11 and Yaya Toure seems to start to avoid his defensive duties the more frustrated he grows during a game. Until Joe Hart can become comfortable with his defense and until he is able to string a clean sheet or two together, City will struggle…Aguero can score at will, but you need to keep the score competitive…

Both teams will still see the Champions League as a very real possibility, but Chelsea will definitely feel more confident about bringing the title home at the end of the season. There are a lot of issues with some of the bigger English clubs this season that will make for an intriguing finish, and I am the first to mention that I thought City would win the title in a walkaway. However, with Arsenal actually rising to the occasion, Southampton playing like a top four club, Liverpool trying to resurrect the past, and United looking uncharacteristically poor, this EPL season is getting more and more intriguing…make sure you are watching the drama every weekend!


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