Thu, 29 Oct 2020

The Premier League's raging penalty crisis dominated the weekend's headlines as title hopefuls Manchester City were outfoxed by Brendan Rodgers' rampant Leicester City.

Here Sport24 reviews FIVE highlights from the weekend's Premier League action:

Man City outfoxed by Leicester

Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers grabbed his first win in six attempts against the Pep Guardiola-led side. The former Liverpool boss also became the first manager to lead an away team to score 5 goals at Man City since Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in February 2003. With Leicester currently leading the standings after three rounds of matches, this victory seems significant in elevating Rodgers' status as an elite manager and also Leicester's pedigree as genuine top four contenders. The lack of a celebration by either Rodgers or his team signified this.

Premier League's penalty crisis

Leicester became the first team in Premier League history to score three penalties in one game. After the first three weeks of last season, eight penalties were awarded in 30 matches with 0 for handball. This season, in comparison, there have already been 20 penalties awarded in 26 games with 6 for handball. The increase in the handball category is down to FIFA now being in charge of implementing the VAR protocol to bring about consistency across the world. The handball rule hasn't necessarily changed, but the implementation of it has. This method has already been in use across other European leagues since last season with the number of penalties awarded for handball in La Liga (48) and Serie A (57) showing the direction the Premier League is now heading.

Chelsea's defensive frailties exposed

Frank Lampard's Chelsea are still showing obvious teething problems in the opening stages of this season. At the back especially, the Blues seem to be struggling to find any form of consistency in defence. It has to be taken into account that it was Brazilian Thiago Silva's first start - and he looked well short of match sharpness - since moving to the Premier League. Lampard will also be hoping to start new-signing Ben Chilwell at left-back after yet another Marcos Alonso shocker. With so many teams unable to undergo any sort of pre-season training, these sorts of erratic performances should continue for the next few weeks as teams get up to pace.

Vardy continuing goal-scoring form

The Leicester City striker has continued his goalscoring exploits after finishing last season as the golden boot winner. The 33-year old seems to be getting better with age after a clinical hat-trick, his second, against Man City on Sunday. Vardy is joined by Lionel Messi as the only players to have scored three goals against Pep Guardiola's Man City since doing it first back in 2016. A late bloomer, Vardy was 27 when he made his Premier League debut and has scored 108 goals in 214 appearances.

Leeds United best of the newcomers

Marcelo Bielsa's side have made an immediate impact after being promoted to the English top-flight. Leeds gave defending champions Liverpool an almighty scare in a thrilling 4-3 defeat before recording impressive wins over Fulham and Sheffield United, over the weekend. Bielsa has shown that his team won't be changing their entertaining brand of football against the top sides and if results go against them they'll at least be adding excitement.

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