Many football fans were grateful for the return of the Premier League following the first international break of the season, and with good reason as Rhys explains.
Crystal Palace delivered a fantastic 3-0 win over Spurs in the early kick-off, with deadline day signing and debutant Odsonne Edouard scoring twice, the first within his first 30 seconds in a Palace shirt (a Premier League record). These goals followed a calmly slotted Zaha penalty. Tottenham’s were lacklustre throughout the match, though their woes began just before the hour mark when centre back Jasprit Tanganga picked up a reckless second yellow and had to walk. Patrick Vieira’s Eagles side are now eleventh, a decent start to the season.
There was further debut joy this weekend, this time at Vicarage Road, where new Wolves signing Hwang Hee-Chan scored late on to secure a 2-0 victory over Watford. This put to bed a painful opening 3 games in which Wolves lost 1-0 each time. They took the lead for the first time this season through a Sierralta own goal.
Arsenal avoided defeat at the fourth attempt, with a 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Norwich. In a bottom of the table clash, the Gunners managed to grab the win they desperately needed via Aubameyang’s second-half strike. The Emirates atmosphere at full time was one of relief rather than jubilation, though, and Mikel Arteta will need sustained successes to get fans to believe in his project.
the most anticipated event of the weekend was the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford
Leandro Trossard bent in a late winner for Brighton over Brentford, who couldn’t quite avoid the first defeat of their Premier League return. The Bees suffered similar issues that Brighton did last season in front of goal, as their failure to convert several chances proved costly.
The most anticipated event of the weekend was the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford following his transfer from Juventus. And the big occasion did not disappoint, as the iconic figure netted two goals as Manchester United stormed to victory over strugglers Newcastle. Fellow Portuguese international Fernandes scored sublimely before returning Jesse Lingard further punished Newcastle in added time. United’s strike force certainly looks like it will only continue to bulldoze defences this season, and they currently sit top of the league on goals scored.
West Ham and Southampton played out a 0-0 draw which saw the Hammers continue their unbeaten start. Despite there being no goals, the sides managed a combined 24 shots. That said, the main action came in second-half stoppage time when Antonio – who has started the season so strongly – was sent off for a second bookable offence to the dismay of thousands of Fantasy Premier League managers, as well as his actual manager David Moyes. He will be hoping he can extend his side’s unbeaten run to five games against Manchester United next week, a club where he famously struggled to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. Southampton are still winless and would do extremely well to change that next week away at the champions.
Speaking of, Manchester City continued their recovery from their surprise opening day defeat by overcoming a challenging Leicester side. Although the Foxes could not repeat their Community Shield success of a few weeks previous, Rodger’s side performed well to push City and limit them to a one-nil victory. Rodgers credited City keeper Ederson – one of several Brazilian players cleared to play just before the match week began – with a heroic performance to prevent Leicester from getting anything from the game.
Romelu Lukaku impressed once again as Chelsea triumphed 3-0 over Aston Villa, a scoreline which perhaps flattered the fairly rotated London side. The first goal in his brace came in the fifteenth minute, and it was his first at Stamford Bridge: a moment he had “dreamed” of. Kovacic capitalised on a Mings’ loose pass – something that seems to happen too often from the England international – to put Chelsea in a comfortable position. In the final minute, Lukaku rifled home into the top corner to put a clinical topping on the Blues’ evening.
goals from Salah, Fabinho and Mane… were marred by what looked to be a horrific injury sustained by teenager Harvey Elliott
Liverpool continued to match Chelsea’s results by easily breaking Leeds down in a bittersweet 3-0 victory. Goals from Salah, Fabinho and Mane – the final goal coming after the Senegalese winger had missed several clear-cut opportunities – were marred by what looked to be a horrific injury sustained by teenager Harvey Elliott. Elliott has come straight into the Liverpool team after his successful loan spell at Blackburn and impressed until an unfortunate challenge dislocated his ankle. Although not as bad of an outcome as first feared, Elliott is still likely to miss a decent chunk of the season, another blow to Liverpool’s already weak attacking depth.
An entertaining second half at Goodison Park saw four goals as Everton came from behind to dismantle Burnley. After a sedate first half, Ben Mee’s header put the physical Claret’s side ahead. Fellow centre-back Keane pegged them back, though, before a wonderful long-range effort from resurgent Andros Townsend put the Toffees ahead. Everton split the Burnley defence apart once more a minute later, and Gray was on hand to score his third goal of the season.
Another Premier League weekend of action comes to a close with the table beginning to take shape. Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool are all joint top on 10 points, with City, Everton, and Spurs just behind on 9. Norwich are firmly bottom with 0 points, with Newcastle and Burnley also struggling early on.
Featured image used courtesy of Mike Beales via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 1 courtesy of @cpfc via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 2 courtesy of @manchesterunited via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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