A weekly roundup of the games in the Premier League from Matchweek 1 – 38.
The third round of games got underway this weekend at the home of AFC Bournemouth as they hosted Manchester City in the early game on Saturday. The hosts still looking for their first point started well with a change in formation proving effective at nullifying City’s attack, at the other their own attack was working over City’s defence. The pressure was telling as The Cherries took the lead in the 13th minute in spectacular fashion. Midfielder Charlie Daniels rifled home Vincent Kompany’s headed clearance on the short hop, from an acute angle outside the box. Failing to double the lead through Jermaine Defoe, Ederson’s reflective save proved vital as Gabriel Jesus (21’) put City back on level terms. Jesus started the attack with a quick free kick before David Silva slid through his teammate from him to slot home despite being under pressure. Bournemouth had been in the game in an impressive showing and seemed set for a point until Raheem Sterling’s dagger in the 97th minute. The England international hit a deflected shot that looped into the net to steal 3 points from an unlucky Bournemouth side.
Two more teams looking for a first win, Crystal Palace and Swansea City squared off at Selhurst Park. Visitors, Swansea came away with 2 unanswered goals and 3 points as Palace continues the search for goals and points. Tammy Abraham (44’) and Jordan Ayew (48’) secured the points for The Swans, meanwhile The Eagles, under new manager, Frank de Boer are struggling to implement the Dutchman’s philosophy, with 3 defeats in 3.
Huddersfield Town’s start to life continues to be a positive for the newcomers. Playing host to Southampton who, like Town, are unbeaten; the home side would be happier of the two to come away with a point. The game ended 0-0 but not for a lack of trying. The Saints had an early chance when Nathan Redmond’s try for the far post rolled wide when he really should have scored. They also had late chance to grab the 3 points but for a clearance off the line. Ryan Betrand’s header was cleared off the line in stoppage time. Huddersfield had a plethora of chances that they failed to convert either via their own inability or excellent defending. Points shared in the end.
Watford and Brighton &Hove Albion played out a goalless draw as well in their game. The main talking point coming in the 24th minute when Miguel Britos was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Anthony Knockaert. The Seagulls couldn’t turn the man advantage into 3 points however. They managed to hit the post twice, once through Knockaert. Watford moved to 5 points from while Albion picked up their first Premier League points.
Under pressure bosses Rafa Benitez, of Newcastle United, and West Ham United’s Slaven Bilic went into Saturday’s game on 0 points from 2 games. That run continued for the visitors as Newcastle won 3-0 against a West Ham side lacking any driving force. Joselu marked first start with a goal in the 36th minute; after tenacious work from Matt Ritchie winning back the ball before crossing to Ciaran Clark to power his header home. Controversy as Aleksandar Mitrovic got the third after rounding Joe Hart to score into an open net; Mitrovic left an elbow on Manuel Lanzini minutes earlier – a red card offense that wasn’t given.
In the late game on Saturday Manchester United looked to maintain a perfect start to the campaign as they welcomed Leicester City. United were off to the races from the first whistle and began brightly. Leicester weren’t to be bested, at least until 70th minute. It should have been earlier though, as Juan Mata’s goal following a rebound from Kasper Schmeichel was ruled out for offside. Replies showed the Spaniard was level when Romelu Lukaku’s shot was fumbled by Schmeichel. The Dane was finally beaten, with a few excellent saves in between, by substitute Marcus Rashford. His industry won the corner, swung in by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, that found Rashford unmarked in the box and he directed a shot at goal from close range to break the deadlock. Then in the 82nd minute the other two subs linked up for the second. Jesse Lingard, making a first appearance for the season, set up Marouane Fellaini to steer the ball into the goal from about 3 yards to seal the victory.
Reigning champions Chelsea looked comfortable all through their game against Everton. The Toffees looked like a team that played 3 games in 6 days as Chelsea romped to a 2-0 lead before the half. Strikes from Cesc Fàbregas (27’) and Álvaro Morata (40’) and effectively ended the game as contest. Fàbregas played a quick 1, 2 with Morata be stabbing home for the first. Morata then headed home a superb cross from César Azpilicueta as Spaniards once again linked up for The Blues. Shrugging off a late flurry by Everton Chelsea breezed to their first home victory this season, now 6 points from 2 games, seemingly back on the right track.
Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion shared the spoils as their game at the Bet365 Stadium ended 1-1. The best of the action before the break came from a Kurt Zouma shot that deflected off Gareth Barry and was appearing to loop into the net; keeper, Ben Foster back-peddled enough to tip it over. The goals came in the second half from Jay Rodriguez (West Brom) in the 61st and Peter Crouch (Stoke) in the 77th following a defensive gifting veteran the simplest of finishes. West Brom missed the chance for 9 points from 3 but remain unbeaten so far.
Tottenham Hotspur were primed for some fortuity as Burnley came to town; potential just the team Spurs would hope for as they looked to break their Wembley hoodoo. The Clarets were resolute against a Tottenham side that one expected to dominate. If a record of 1 win in 11 games as Wembley wasn’t bad enough, there was also Harry Kane’s apparent ineptitude in the month of August. The Englishman was typically industrious at the weekend, but to no avail. The breakthrough came after the half from compatriot Dele Ali, who need two bites of the cherry before finally scoring. You would have been forgiven for thinking that was that, but with just seconds to go; an inexplicable lapse in concentration defensively let Chris Wood in. The New Zealander powered home from close range under pressure to rescue a point for Burnley in the death. Spurs were unbeaten at home last season, they are now 0 for 2.
Finally, in the marquee match of the weekend; Arsenal travelled to Liverpool in a game that promises excitement. There was plenty of that; but only one time was enjoying in. After The Reds supporters finished their obligatory rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, you get the sense Arsenal players were looking for the songbook to try and learn the song; because the certainly didn’t look interested in playing football. When Roberto Firmino headed home a Joe Gomez cross in the 17th minute Arsenal still looked likely to nick a goal despite a sub-par performance for most of the half. When Sadio Mané scored 5 mins from the interval, there already seemed no way back. Goals from Mohamed Salah, 57’ (rather comically) and Daniel Sturridge, 77’, ensured the victory. Meanwhile Arsenal hadn’t mustered a shot on target all game in yet another abject performance from the Gunners, now with 2 straight losses. Liverpool on the other hand are going well and look to maintain their currently level to come somewhere near the top by season’s end.
We’re eager to see what the next match day brings and how teams respond to the events of the preceding week.