In this week’s Premier League roundup, Chelsea seem the real deal, West Ham suffer heartbreak twice, and Pep’s plea to fans couldn’t inspire 3 points. James explains the highlights.
Newcastle 1-1 Leeds
With a winless Newcastle side facing an equally winless Leeds team, both managers needed 3 points to propel them up the table in its early standings. After criticism during the week, Steve Bruce was especially desiring a win, and with Raphinha’s goal in the 13th minute, his future looked bleak. After riding their luck, the Magpies’ star player Saint-Maximin lifted the mood to equalise for the side.
Wolves 0-2 Brentford
Brentford’s first Premier League away win was met by fan jubilation as Wolves once more looked toothless in attack – despite 11 shots, 0 were on target. Regardless of Ivan Toney’s impressive season last year in the Championship with 30 goals left some wondering whether he would be able to step up to the plate in the Premier League. However, with a goal and an assist, and some stellar previous performances, perhaps his stock is only going to rise.
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Capitalising on the previous gameweek’s first win and first goal against Norwich, Arsenal prevailed over Burnley through a Martin Odegaard freekick, with the £30 million man exhibiting why the Gunners wanted to make him a permanent signing all summer. Burnley’s poor start to the season was only compounded by this defeat – with 1 point out of a possible 15 – yet Sean Dyche’s ability to inspire the Clarets is something Premier League fans have got used to over the past decade.
Liverpool 3-0 Palace
fans can feel optimistic about the new manager and the much-revamped youthful squad
Title contenders Liverpool comprehensively defeated Patrick Viera’s new side, with Naby Keita’s late volley the goal of the lot. Crystal Palace’s bright start was to no avail after Sadio Mané netted his 100th goal for the Reds, and with some pleasing passages of play and despite the defeat to Klopp’s side, fans can feel optimistic about the new manager and the much-revamped youthful squad.
Manchester City 0-0 Southampton
While the biggest talking point was perhaps the overturning of Southampton’s penalty and a Kyle Walker red card, it cannot go unnoticed that Manchester City have taken a 2-point step back in the title race. Despite their 16 shots and nearly two thirds possession, only 1 shot on target lead to a 0-0 draw between the sides. Southampton’s low-ranking league standing and lack of a win may look bleak initially, but their tough run of fixtures and resolution to keep clean sheets to both Manchester sides must be applauded.
Norwich 1-3 Watford
In the battle of two promoted sides, it was the Hornets who succeeded with some excellent attacking play. Norwich fans will be disappointed to hear of the new records they have been breaking, with Farke the first manager to lose 15 consecutive matches in the English topflight and only the fourth to lose their first 5 games. Synonymous with Watford’s management over the past decade, the turnover of players after promotion has proven fruitful in the first games of the season.
Villa 3-0 Everton
A flurry of 3 goals in 9 minutes led to Everton’s strong start to the season face a bump in the road. With 10 points out of a possible 12, the Toffees capitulated in the second half, with Villa substitute Leon Bailey providing a goal and assist following his expensive arrival from Bayer Leverkusen. Benitez’s controversial arrival has still surprised some fans, and some of the performance could be linked to the absence of Pickford, Richarlison and Coleman – all key players. Dean Smith’s side will be pleased with their start to the season and Bailey and Buendia’s promising starts seem to make up somewhat for the loss of talisman Jack Grealish to Manchester City.
Brighton 2-1 Leicester
the Seagulls have overcome their troubles in front of goal
Graham Potter’s side were faulted last season for not being clinical despite being an excellent footballing team, yet this win over the Foxes with a minority of possession suggests that the Seagulls have overcome their troubles in front of goal and have a newfound grit. Vardy’s goal proved to be too little too late for Leicester, who have had a mixed start to the season.
West Ham 1-2 Manchester United
The match of the gameweek was to be in the London Stadium, with Hammers fans experiencing heartbreak twice. Deservedly taking the lead with an excellent display in the first half, Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact on the Red Devils since his arrival is undoubted. In a bout of comic irony, West Ham supporters had been chanting Jesse Lingard’s name throughout until the substitute scored a superb winner in the 89th minute. As if that wasn’t enough drama, West Ham won a penalty in the 95th minute and brought on club captain and legend Mark Noble to take the penalty. His first and only touch of the game was to be a penalty saved by David De Gea, with both sides deserving to share the points but it wasn’t to be.
Tottenham 0-3 Chelsea
What seemed to be a surprisingly equal first half, where one could argue Spurs had the better of the chances, was swiftly ended by their persistent inability to defend corners, and Chelsea being the more complete team. Tuchel’s reputation as one of the world’s best managers was proven following his decision to bring on Ngolo Kante to sure up an overrun midfield. Chelsea’s strength and confidence grew throughout the game, whilst Spurs remained toothless – spearheaded in attack by Harry Kane who looks disinterested following his failed move to Manchester City.
In-article image 1 courtesy of Brentford via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 2 courtesy of Manchester United via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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