English Premier League talking points

1. MIXED BAG FOR PROMISING CHALOBAH

Nathaniel Chalobah had an eventful match for Watford in their 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday. He was fooled by the Cherries' Harry Arter who screamed at him to "leave it" just as he was about to pull the trigger. The former Chelsea player let the ball run past him, only for Arter to clear the danger.

The England Under-21 midfielder missed two good chances to score but in only his second league start, Chalobah also led the statistics in both tackles and dribbles. It was his sprint that proved to be the catalyst for Watford's opener.

2. BAGGIES KEEP A TIGHT SHIP WITHOUT EVANS

Jonny Evans was missing with an injury - and not because the centre-back is agitating for a move to Manchester City as manager Tony Pulis insisted - but the absence of the Northern Ireland defender did not prevent West Bromwich Albion from producing another masterclass at the back.

While bad defending has been a theme in the first two weeks, West Brom remain reliably stingy. Their new Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazy impressed again and they have opened their campaign with two 1-0 wins in a row.

3. MAGPIES SHORT ON FIREPOWER

Alan Shearer thinks it is going to be another long season for Newcastle, and it is not necessary to be a scorer of his pedigree to see why.

For a club with a proud tradition of imposing centre-forwards, Rafa Benitez's side look alarmingly lightweight up front, and early indications are that the strikers who got them out of the Championship are going to struggle for goals - following their inability to find the net so far.

4. MANE THE MAIN MAN FOR REDS

In the continued absence of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane gave a timely reminder of Liverpool's threat in attack. His second-half winner was a gift by Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic but he still was in the right place to capitalise.

"Sadio is important, everybody can see now he can change a game and that's cool... Everyone thinks about how quick he is with his legs but he's quick in mind," said Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

5. HUGHES DEFIES THE ODDS

Before Saturday, Mark Hughes was many bookmakers' favourite to be the first manager sacked this season. But his Stoke team diverted pressure onto Arsene Wenger with a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Match winner Jese Rodriguez appears to be a delightful addition to the league.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2017, with the headline 'English Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe