AND then there were two . . .
Only Chelsea and Liverpool have perfect Premier League records in what has been another great week for those two clubs and another horror show for Tottenham.
Jurgen Klopp’s men beat Spurs 2-1 away at Wembley – a scoreline that massively flattered the hosts. In truth the Reds could have won by five or six and only the most deluded Tottenham fan would say they deserved anything from the game.
It’s true Heung-Min Son should have had a late penalty but they say ‘what goes around comes around’ and Koppites will point to Eric Lamela’s dive at Anfield in February which earned an undeserved point and shout ‘karma’!
That game was the start of a nightmare run for Liverpool and next up were the nouveaux riche Paris Saint-Germain in what turned out to be a pulsating game won 3-2 by the men in red.
After snatching a draw from the jaws of victory, Klopp’s side then snatched victory from the jaws of a draw with Bobby Firmino’s dramatic injury-time winner. James Milner was immense and once again proved what a big-game player he is – scoring from the spot – while Daniel Sturridge headed in the opener.
If this was Liverpool’s opportunity to prove their mental resolve in their first European game since losing last season’s final, then they proved that the scars from four months ago have made them stronger.
After the game Kylian Mbappe got a famous Klopp hug and chat . . . something he did with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly in pre-season and before that with Sadio Mane when he was still at Southampton. Kop fans will be hoping this pattern of man love leading to new star donning a red jersey repeats.
The much lauded Neymar just got a perfunctory handshake. ‘Not interested son, too selfish, too important to track back, not for me’ screamed the gesture.
Mbappe on the other hand can run all day and doesn’t ooze arrogance from every pore like his Brazilian team-mate so very much a Klopp player. Watch this space.
Next up for Liverpool is Saturday’s home clash with Southampton and before Anfield supporters get too giddy remember if everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. Could that something be former player Danny Ings who is finally fit and finding form . . . ?
England’s other perfect posse Chelsea went behind to Cardiff before Eden Hazard hit a hat-trick in a routine 4-1 win.
The brilliant Belgium is fast becoming not just the Blues’ best player but one of the brightest stars in the football Galaxy. Hazard is the full package – he scores, he dazzles, he creates and his range of passing is masterful. The guy could find a whisper in a whirlwind.
And boss Maurizio Sarrie is well aware of his talisman’s importance – allowing him to stay home and rest while his team-mates flew to Greece for the relatively easy task of seeing off PAOK Salonika 1-0 in their Europa League opener.
Chelsea – who go to West Ham on Sunday – must finish top four as it’s unlikely Hazard will settle for another year in the CL’s uglier sibling but with him in their ranks they have every chance – bad news for Arsenal and Spurs you would think.
Onto Mauricio Pochettino’s boys who have now lost three games in a row for the first time under the Argentine and I’ve got to say he is to blame for a lot of this. He’s lost the plot. In the last four weeks Tottenham have had more formations than a motorcycle display team.
After taking the lead against a bang average Inter Milan side they managed to lose the game 2-1 in the final five minutes.
Harry Kane once again looked anything but a Golden Boot winner and Poch’s baffling decision to leave Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier at home raised more eyebrows than the combined world sales of Wunderbrow.
Mo Salah, like Kane, is currently a yard off the pace and needs to be rested. The dIfference is Liverpool have a rejuvenated Sturridge and raring to go Xherdan Shaqiri to step seamlessly in, while Tottenham’s decision to not buy a single player this summer looks sillier by the week.
Also suffering a shock loss in Europe were Manchester City who went down 2-1 at the Emptihad to Lyon.
Their fans still have beef with UEFA and many boycott games but they’re cutting off their own noses to spite their face as this is the trophy their billionaire owners really, really want.
If they are to succeed in this unforgiving competition tiny margins can make the difference . . . ask England’s most successful European team whose crowd sometimes seem to suck the ball into the net on those famous nights at Anfield.
And it was Man v Boys in Switzerland – Man United v Young Boys to be precise and Jose Mourinho’s side strolled to a 3-0 victory.
Skipper Paul Pogba scored a beauty and kept his cool from the spot but this is becoming a habit – turning it on against lesser lights.
The Red Devils midfielder needs to start performing in the big games for his club like he does for his country – not against minnows from Bern.
Pogba thinks he’s the main man, that he’s street smart – unfortunately for the immature Frenchman he’s Sesame Street smart.
AND finally Cristiano Ronaldo cried after being sent off on his European debut for Juventus against Roma.
Maybe it was because it was harsh – a gentle tap on the head deemed violent hair pulling – maybe it was because he knew it could rule him out of the Manchester United clash or maybe it was because arch-rival Leo Messi had pulled ahead of him by scoring a record eighth CL hat-trick?
Who knows? The fragility is deep within some.