They say that getting on top is not that difficult as compared to that you remain on top. This was the motto the top 4 sides of last season entered into the Premier League this season. After spending a lot in this transfer market and acquiring quality like Diego Costa, Mario Balotelli, Fernando and Alexis Sanchez, each of the top 4 side wanted to ensure yet another season among the English elite.
Liverpool are the most unlikely top spenders in the top 4 as well as in the League by spending close to 120million pounds in a matter of two months. Chelsea are ranked 2nd after they came true on their reputation of high spending with a 84million pounds spending and Arsenal are ranked 2nd after spending close to 72million pounds however it is the reigning Champions that have spent the least in top 4 with 49.8million pounds.
Here we look at how the top 4 sides fared up-till now:
After being given an easy list of fixtures early on followed by a difficult away trip to the Goodison Park, Chelsea made sure they carried enough tempo with them from the early 2 fixtures to sink a high flying Everton. After conceding 4 goals in the 1st three fixtures of the season, Chelsea have made clear they have changed as it took them 7 matches to concede that many goals last season. So with acquiring top quality force from all over the continent, Chelsea have emerged as a crushing force rather than one that liked to sit back and control every attack on their chin.
In 2013-14 season it took Chelsea 7 fixtures in the League to score 9 goals. In 2014-15 season, they achieved the feat within 3 games only. Certainly an improvement!
Ranked above Liverpool and Arsenal in the League now, Manchester City’s start of the season is a mixed bag of emotions. After crushing Liverpool with their ruthless approach towards the game after the 1st day of the new season, the Citizens felt betrayed as they suffered their 1st loss to Stoke City since 1980. With a fully fit squad in their ranks enhanced by new signings i.e. Fernando and Sagna, City still couldn’t get past the low living Stoke. Still, every team can’t defend like that and City are one of the top two contenders of clinching the title this season with Chelsea.
If any team has learned from its mistakes last season, it has to be Liverpool as shown by their defensive re-enforcements in the transfer window alone. They have spent 36 million on defensive signings, still 1 clean sheet in 3 games doesn’t look that good on paper. However, if you look at the opening three games of the reds, 1 clean sheet doesn’t look that bad considering they have to face teams like Spurs and Man City early on. They have seen off these teams really well albeit a trip to Etihad and 6 points in three games early on in the season isn’t something Rodgers might not have wanted before the start of this season after having a look at their fixture list.
After acquiring a marquee signing early on, Arsenal fans hoped it won’t be the U-turn of last season when they had gone for fantasies rather than priorities. In that case, it wasn’t as they grabbed Welbeck in a last ditch effort to save-face after being linked with players like Cavani, Balotelli and Falcao. Still, 1 win in the opening three games ranks them lowest in the top 4 of last season considering that they have only 1 tough trip to see of at Goodison Park with fixtures like Leicester City and Crystal Palace also on paper. Arsenal have to significantly improve their ability to put the games to bed if they want to have any chance of challenging for a title this season.
Amir Bashir follow him on Twitter.