Cape Town - Week 5 of English Premiership action has taught soccer fans about refereeing blunders, woes at both Manchester United and Liverpool and about the human side of Diego Costa.
EPL Team of the Week
SIX things learnt from Week 5:
1. Money can’t buy you happiness
Over 150 million spent and yet Manchester United still can’t find joy in the English Premiership – proof that money can’t buy you happiness. It will not be long before panic sets in at Old Trafford as the side finds itself in the bottom half of the league.
Is van Gaal the right man for the job? Can they stop leaking goals? Will they club remain in the European wilderness? If the Red Devils do not start winning, and winning consistently, van Gaal may too lose the dressing room in a similar way that his predecessor did.
2. Even the best get it wrong sometimes
There is nothing worse than a match being decided by a refereeing howler or contentious decision and unfortunately for Leicester City their famous win over Manchester United was tainted by a shocking performance from England’s best referee Mark Clattenburg.
Clattenburg failed to send Leicester City (and former Manchester United) defender Richie De Laet twice. De Laet shoved Angel Di Maria off the ball in the first while on a yellow for a shocking lunge on Jonny Evans and then again Clattenburg failed to dismiss De Laet after he cynically tugged Di Maria down just outside the box.
Clattenburg decided against awarding United a free kick after Jamie Vardy shoulder barged Rafael and then awarded a dubious penalty to Leicester when he adjudged Rafael to have fouled Vardy. There was little to no contact but Clattenburg pointed to the spot. Leicester scored the resulting penalty and the rest is history.
3. Diego Costa is human after all
Frank Lampard may have stolen the headlines at the Etihad but it was Diego Costa who failed to find the back of the net. Costa has been in phenomenal form, scoring at will but the Spaniard failed to beat Joe Hart.
Costa had several chances including one effort where he beat Joe Hart but was denied by the bar late on in the second half. Costa looks set to score 20+ goals this season but against City, he proved that indeed he is human after all.
4. Mesut Ozil has nothing to prove
"I don't play to prove anything to anybody, I play for Arsenal," Özil told German news agency DPA.
"I have the feeling that I am criticised more (than other players). That happened to me in the Bundesliga and also at Real Madrid.”
Criticis have been having a full go at a player that has been playing at the top level for six years now. He has been an integral part of the German national team since 2009, nominated for the Golden Ball in 2009, made the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament, won La Liga with Real Madrid, won the Ozil has won the FA Cup in England and capped off his CV with a World Cup winners medal after Germany won the 2014 Soccer World Cup.
Ozil is just 25 years of age and could potentially get even better. He scored a goal and set up Danny Welbeck against Aston Villa.
Mesut Ozil has nothing to prove.
5. Liverpool are fragile
Different season, same defensive frailties for Brendan Rodgers side as West Ham United blitzed Liverpool at Upton Park.
This was Liverpool's second successive league loss and third (very) poor performance. Luckily for the Reds, none of their rivals for the last European spot managed to win in week 5 but at this stage of the race, it seems pretty clear that Liverpool are fragile at the best and if they don't rectify the situation soon then they might be sitting out Champions League soccer next year.
6. The English Premiership is the most exciting league in the world
Don’t believe me?
Leiceister score 5 goals past Manchester United.
Liverpool concede 3 at West Ham.
Spurs and Everton lose at home to West Brom and Crystal Palace respectively.
Frank Lampard scored against Chelsea to earn 10-man Manchester City a draw.
Papiss Cisse comes on and scores two goals to save Alan Pardew’s job (for now).
Southampton sell £55 million worth of talent to Liverpool and find themselves second on the log while Liverpool are in eleventh spot.
The English Premiership is THE most exciting league in the world