Salah best in the world, Chelsea star’s harsh Ballon d’Or snub, Ole on thin ice – 5 things we learned from the Premier League on Saturday
With another Saturday of Premier League fixtures now rounded up, it has once again been quite an educational day for football fans.
Saturday saw a whole host of different narratives, with wonderful solo goals, brilliant long-range efforts, last-minute drama, and goalkeeping heroics.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at five things we learned from the Premier League this Saturday.
Salah is currently the best in the world
Mohamed Salah has been a top footballer for many years now.
Since returning to the Premier League in 2017, Salah has gone on leaps and bounds as a footballer, going from a player who struggled for game time at Chelsea to a player to a player who can now seemingly score whenever he wants – to paraphrase from the ‘he scores when he wants’ chant.
It really says something when the other two Liverpool scorers on the day both achieved something significant, but the headlines are still talking solely about Salah.
Sadio Mane joined the 100 club in the Premier League by scoring his 100th league goal, making him the 31st player ever to do so, only the third African player to ever do so and only the third to do so without scoring a single penalty along the way. Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino scored the second Liverpool hat-trick of his career.
Yet when Salah produced a simply marvellous bit of skill to break out of a three defender circle around him, to then cut back inside and shoot into the far corner, the adjectives to describe the Egyptian began to run dry.
Another Salah goal ? Peter Drury.
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) October 16, 2021
He is simply playing on a level beyond anyone currently in the world, perhaps only matched by Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland. But even that might be a stretch.
Mendy should have been in the Ballon d’Or list
Forget Jorginho for what Chelsea player deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, on current form, there should be an argument for another Chelsea player to be the overall winner.
Edouard Mendy helped to transform a Chelsea defence that had leaked a lot of goals under previous number 1 Kepa Arrizabalaga, and now boasts one of the best clean sheet records in the Premier League. Bettered only by the five held by Manchester City’s Ederson.
Mendy was the saviour for a below-par Chelsea performance. Admittedly they did heavily rotate so a less dominating performance may have been expected, but if it wasn’t for Senegal International’s goalkeeping heroics, The Blues would not have left with all three points.
He produced two incredibly important saves in the dying minutes of the game as Brentford pushed for an equaliser that would have been more than deserved. But that is what sometimes separates a good team from a great team, and a lesser keeper would have crumbled in the same situation.
The 29-year-old made the joint most saves in a game he has made in the Premier League, with two very fine stops near the end. Mendy is without a doubt a top-class goalkeeper, probably number one in England in terms of pure shot-stopping ability, so it beggars belief how he was not included in the Ballon d’Or shortlist ahead of some far less deserving players.
20 – Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy kept his 20th Premier League clean sheet in this game (38th start) – only Petr Cech (26), Pepe Reina (32), Alisson (36) and Roy Carroll (37) have needed fewer starts to reach 20 shut outs in the competition’s history. Saviour. pic.twitter.com/KT14xlFoAG
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 16, 2021
Patience is rapidly running out for Solskjaer
A lot has been said about the current form of Manchester United and about the future of current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Regardless, performances have been well below par this season for The Red Devils, and performances are now catching up to them.
While individual errors, chiefly from club captain Harry Maguire who had one of the worst games of his entire professional career, didn’t help in any way, the overall performance of the team was not good enough.