Who says the Premier League is predictable? Saturday, Manchester United and Manchester City — the league’s last two champions — both lost on the same day for the first time since September 2008.
United suffered a legitimate shock 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford to West Brom. Saido Berahino’s goal above was your winner, offsetting Wayne Rooney’s free kick which tied the game at 1-1. The key man for the Baggies was on-loan Frenchman Morgan Amalfitano, who put them ahead 1-0 on an impressive solo effort — finished with a cheeky chip. It helped send United to its worst start to a season since 1989-90.
United is now 2-3-1 with consecutive defeats in the Premier League, slipping down to 12th in the table. It’s not time to panic or start burning David Moyes in effigy, but losing to a team like West Brom at home is quite worrisome. Moyes will draw the ire, but this is almost an unchanged side from the one that won the league last season. Imagine where the Red Devils would be if Rooney — who’s scored on three free kicks this month — forced his way out to Chelsea before the transfer window closed?
Equally stunning is Aston Villa defeating Manchester City 3-2, coming down from 1-0 and 2-1 … all without top-scorer Christian Benteke. City’s once air-tight defense has continued to show leaks this year. When Yaya Toure scored right before halftime, most figured this game was over so credit Aston Villa for fighting back.
Austrian striker Andreas Weimann split the City defense on a longball from American keeper Brad Guzan for the winner in the 75th minute.
It’s early in the year and the table is still bunched up, yet looking at the standings without Manchester United in the top half is remarkable.
Your move, Arsenal.
[GIFS via Faint Zebra]