This weekend marked the last round of fixtures before our first international break. Of course, there was plenty of action from this week, so let’s jump right into it! The first match of the weekend was an away day for Manchester United at St. Mary’s Stadium. Southampton did well to steal a point a man down, with United having more […]
This weekend marked the last round of fixtures before our first international break. Of course, there was plenty of action from this week, so let’s jump right into it!
The first match of the weekend was an away day for Manchester United at St. Mary’s Stadium. Southampton did well to steal a point a man down, with United having more possession, shots on target and of course being a man up. Daniel James continues to shine for the Red Devils, with the 21-year-old Welshman netting a sweet curling effort. United look to improve, scoring one goal from eight shots on target. With Anthony Martial hurt, the attack looks thin, which could prove to be devastating down the line. Southampton looked industrious at times, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oriol Romeu having a combined nine tackles and eight interceptions. Both teams will look to improve following the break.
Chelsea hosted new boys Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge, squandering a 2-0 lead at home to finish 2-2. Tammy Abraham netted twice, repaying the faith manager Frank Lampard has put in the young forward. The Blades did well to pressure the home side, scoring right after the halftime breakthrough new signing Callum Robinson. A Kurt Zouma own goal wrapped things up late, with Chelsea dropping points at home. Chelsea was clearly the better team, having 62.3% of the ball and registering 13 shots, five of which were on target. A lot of the passing was done from the Chelsea backline, which isn’t progressive enough for the Blues. Sheffield continues to show that their system can somewhat work at the top level and they will be hoping to get three points next time out against a struggling Southampton side.
Aston Villa went south to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with the home side registering a 1-0 win. Palace played with the momentum following their 2-1 smash and grab job at Old Trafford the week before. This was a scrappy affair, with six yellow cards and a red card given out by referee Kevin Friend. Villa had a goal disallowed for an apparent dive by captain Jack Grealish, which I thought was incredibly harsh. Palace continued a solid start to the season, with forward Jordan Ayew netting the decisive goal. Palace had the majority of the possession but was not getting the quality of chances. Villa continues to struggle, sitting 18th on the table with three points. They will look to regroup following the international break.
Leicester continued their strong start to the campaign with a 3-1 home win against Bournemouth. Jaime Vardy netted a brace, with one of his goals being an outrageous chip from outside the box. Clearly the better side, Leicester had 14 key passes, 55% of the ball and 751 passes. Their progressive development under Brendan Rodgers leaves them 3rd on the table going into the international break. Bournemouth continues to concede a lot of goals, continuing a bad trend from last season. They have scored in every match this season, so they will look to tighten things up at the back against a strong Everton side after the break.
Manchester City hosted Brighton on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet in a 4-0 win. Kevin De Brunye continues to shine, scoring the opener and taking his assist tally to five in four matches. Sergio Aguero netted a brace in this one, which makes him the top scorer with 6 going into the break. the big story was Aymeric Laporte going off injured after 37 minutes. Brighton has cooled off following their 3-0 start to the season, losing two weeks in a row without scoring. The visitors didn’t create much going forward but managed to pass the ball a lot better than the last meeting between the sides on Championship Sunday. Graham Potter will have a tough fixture after the break, with the Seagulls hosting a rough and physical Burnley side next.
It was a tight affair between Newcastle and Watford at St. James’ Park on Saturday, with the sides sharing the point in a 1-1 result. Will Hughes scored in the 2nd minute for the visitors, after a kind deflection from a shot from distance. Newcastle leveled from a Fabian Schar volley, with the big center back in the penalty area for the home side. There were plenty of chances for both sides, with Newcastle gaining momentum over the match in the second half. Watford continues to struggle going forward, with their captain Troy Deeney being sidelined for a few months due to injury. Joelinton continues to be isolated for Newcastle, having to do a lot of creative work for a center forward. Both sides will look to improve following the International break.
West Ham hosted newly-promoted side Norwich City on Saturday, winning 2-0 at the London Stadium. Seb Haller continues to impress following his big-money move from Frankfurt, scoring the opener for the hosts. The hosts had the better chances, registering eight shots on target. Norwich continues to play their style of possession-based football, leaving something to be desired at the back. The Canaries have conceded 10 goals in their opening four fixtures in the Premier League, while five of their six goals have been scored by Temu Pukki. Norwich has a difficult match ahead, facing off against the Champions Manchester City after the break. They will have to tighten things up at the back if they want to stay in that one.
Liverpool traveled to Burnley in the late game on Saturday, winning 3-0 at Turf Moor. Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to have opened the scoring with a cross, but that has since been changed to a Chris Wood own goal. Sadio Mane finished his chance coolly to go 2-0 up, using his electric pace on the counter. Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood provided the visitors with some discomfort, using their physicality to challenge the Liverpool backline. Liverpool controlled the match, with 63.8% possession and seven shots on target. Mo Salah continues to pull the strings, having four key passes and an assist. The Reds go into the international break with maximum points, having won all four of their league matches.
The early match on Sunday was a cracker, with Everton hosting Wolves in a five-goal thriller. The Toffees managed to grab all three points, winning 3-2 at Goodison Park. There were three goals within the first 15 minutes, with Moise Kean putting on the pressure for an early Wolves mistake. Richarlison capitalized, netting on a scuffed shot into the grass to open the scoring. Wolves were able to get on the score sheet through Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez, but Everton had more control over the match. Willy Boly got sent off after a cynical challenge late on, summarizing the poor form and fatigue for his side. This was the first home win that Marco Silva has ever had against Nuno Espirito Santo, which is a good mark to go into the international break with.
The final match of the weekend was the first North London Derby of the season, and it did not disappoint. Arsenal hosted their rivals, conceding two first-half goals. Granit Xhaka gave away a penalty after a rash challenge and Harry Kane netted, scoring in his 10th London Derby. Alexandre Lacazette scored a beautiful solo effort just before the break, using a sublime touch to get past Jan Vertonghen. Arsenal grew into the game more in the second half, with great performances from Nicolas Pepe and Matteo Guendouzi. Aubameyang leveled the scoring from a wonderful ball into the area, redirecting the cross into the back of the net. The game became increasingly open, with both sides desperate to find the winner. The final result was a 2-2 draw, with both sides still trying to fine-tune their squads.
There is no Premier League football for the next week and a half, but luckily you can catch all the highlights on YouTube. There are plenty of good matches still to come this season, so stay tuned!