Premier League takeaways: Kane on trophy trail, Chelsea stars suffer, Ten Hag's big calls

The big talking points from the weekend games in the English top-flight

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Kane eyes goals and silverware with Spurs

It was only a year ago that the new Tottenam Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo left an unhappy Harry Kane out of his starting line-up for the opening game of the season against Manchester City – the team he was pushing for a move to. The England captain was desperately unhappy at the club's failure to win a Champions League spot with his hopes of securing silverware seemingly as far away as ever.

Fast forward 12 months and a very different picture has emerged for player and club. Nuno has long since been replaced with the ferociously ambitious Antonio Conte and a focused Kane is back firmly on the goals and trophy trail with a Spurs side set for top-tier European football this season.

His headed winner against Wolves on Saturday was goal No 250 for Tottenham and his 185th in the Premier League that saw him beat Sergio Aguero’s post-1992 record for the most at one club. Kane is also now just two goals behind third-place Andrew Cole (187) in the all-time Premier League scorers chart, with Wayne Rooney's 208 next in his sights.

Not so jolly Rodgers at Leicester

These are tricky times for Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City. The 2016 champions and 2021 FA Cup winners were beaten at home to Southampton on Saturday, leaving the Foxes without a win from their first three games.

Key defender Wesley Fofana was deemed not “in the right frame of mind” to play against the Saints, midfielder Youri Tielemans - linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium all summer – started on the bench, while the likes of Harvery Barnes and James Maddison have also been attracting admiring glances from Premier League rivals.

“There have been a few offers in for some players – nowhere near the valuation the club would want to sell,” said Rodgers. “None of them are for sale but I know how the game works. There are a few weeks to go, I don't know what's going to happen.”

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has seen his team take one point from a possible nine so far this season. Getty

Chelsea summer signings suffer at Leeds

In what will be their first full season post Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's new owners have forked out more than £170 million ($199.8m) on players and the London club are looking to strengthen further with Everton forward Anthony Gordon seemingly next on their wish list.

Manager Thomas Tuchel saw his team fall to a largely self-inflicted defeat at Leeds United on Sunday that began with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy gifting Brenden Aaronson the opening goal when he miscontrolled a back-pass.

But it was Chelsea's new boys that really suffered on a day to forget for the Blues at Elland Road. Attacker Raheem Sterling – their £50m signing from Manchester City – missed a great chance in the first minute, had a goal disallowed not long after and gave away the free-kick that led to Leeds' second. Full-back Marc Cucurella (£62m) missed two good chances to score, while £32m centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly was shown a second yellow with six minutes to go.

Newcastle no longer parking bus for Big Six

Judging by the thrilling draw with Manchester City on Sunday, the days of Newcastle United simply setting up their team not to lose against 'Big Six' opposition are seemingly now firmly in the past. Manager Eddie Howe stuck by his attacking 4-3-3 line-up against the reigning champions in a breathless six-goal rollercoaster of a game on Tyneside.

Both had kept clean sheets in their opening two games, only for Newcastle to concede after just five minutes at St James' Park and City before the half-hour mark. Winger Allan Saint-Maximin was virtually unplayable for the Magpies while City striker Erling Haaland scored one, hit the post and could easily have had a hat-trick.

Newcastle captain Kieran Trippier scored a brilliant 25-yard free-kick to put his team 3-1 up but also saw a straight red card for a foul on Kevin de Bruyne reduced to yellow after a VAR check. In the end, a draw was a fair result in what will certainly be one of the games of the season.

Dropping Maguire and Ronaldo pays off for Ten Hag

Manchester United manager Eric ten Hag showed he was not afraid of making the big calls ahead of his team's impressive win over Liverpool on Monday night.

United had endured a torrid start to the new campaign following defeats against Brighton and Brentford and their new Dutch coach decided captain Harry Maguire and attacker Cristiano Ronaldo would pay the price and start on the bench at Old Trafford.

It proved a bold decision as United fought from the first minute to the last as goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford secured victory against their old rivals, despite a late wobble after Mohamed Salah's scrambled header.

Updated: August 23, 2022, 1:52 PM
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