As we head into the second international break, we look back on a topsy-turvy week that has the league in all sorts of commotion. Let’s just dive into the madness. Okay, so the first match was one of those results no one could have seen coming. Brighton hosted Spurs on Saturday, coming out with their first home win 3-0. Neal […]
As we head into the second international break, we look back on a topsy-turvy week that has the league in all sorts of commotion. Let’s just dive into the madness.
Okay, so the first match was one of those results no one could have seen coming. Brighton hosted Spurs on Saturday, coming out with their first home win 3-0. Neal Maupay capitalized on a Hugo Lloris mistake, which saw him leave the game early after an awkward landing on his elbow. Spurs just looked off the pace, conceding 10 goals in their last two matches. They had more of the ball, with 52.3% but looked poor in attack. Tottenham managed just three shots on target, half of what Brighton managed. Spurs’ defense continues to look porous, as Aaron Connolly scored a brace in his first-ever premier league start. He is the club’s youngest ever Premier League goalscorer and he looked like he wanted to run directly at the defenders. Both clubs have favorable matches after the international break, with Spurs needing a win against lowly Watford to start the bounce back in form.
The Toffees traveled to Turf Moor to face off against Burnley, with the home side taking a 1-0 in this one. Burnley stuck to their game plan, allowing Everton to have nearly 60% of the ball. Even with all that possession, Everton managed only two shots on target. To make matters worse, Seamus Coleman was sent off in the 56th minute. Marco Silva’s men look lost, barely scoring (six goals for), conceding 13, and have lost five games this season. This is bad news, considering how much money has been spent this summer. Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to start over Moise Kean, which in my opinion is going to cost Silva his job. Calvert-Lewin offers very little in attack, whereas the Italian Kean was brought in for nearly 30 million pounds, with the expectation of scoring goals. Burnley, on the other hand, continues to be successful with their old-fashioned approach, sitting 7th on the table. Both clubs will be looking to build up the momentum after the break.
The big match this weekend was Liverpool hosting Leicester at Anfield at the 10 am kickoff. A cagey affair, Liverpool took the lead in the 40th minute thanks to Sadio Mane, who was set up brilliantly by James Milner. Leicester, under former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, was able to stay in the match. James Maddison was able to equalize in the 80th minute, beating Adrian from inside the box. Marc Albrighton committed a late foul inside the area, which referee Chris Kavanagh awarded a penalty for the hosts. James Milner was able to convert, showing his cool temperament from the spot. Liverpool remains perfect this season, winning all eight of their matches. They have shown true mettle, being able to get over the line with all three points, even if they don’t play well. Leicester will feel hard done, especially after conceding a penalty deep into stoppage time. Liverpool plays dismal Man United after the break, which could be a lopsided victory. Leicester will look to beat Burnley at the KP Stadium on the 19th of October.
Up next we have a battle of two newly promoted sides, with Norwich hosting Villa. A great day for the Villians, smashing five past the Canaries. Wesley showed his attacking prowess, scoring two and assisting one. He could’ve had a hat trick, but missed a penalty against Michael McGovern. This game was wide open, with both sides combining for 43 shots, 17 on target. Norwich may have injuries, but their style leaves them exposed at the back. They have conceded 21 goals through eight matches, slightly over 2.5 per match. This match shows a lot about these sides, with Villa being able to counter-attack effectively and Norwich sticking with their attacking philosophy. This was also Villa’s first away win of the season. Both clubs have matches that they will view as favorable after the break, with Villa looking to smash a few goals past Brighton at home. Norwich travels south to face off against Bournemouth on the 19th.
Troubling signs for Watford, who hosted Sheffield United on Saturday. A 0-0 draw, Watford were able to hold on thanks to some good defending from Christian Kabasele. He managed a massive 10 tackles and interceptions, as well as eight clearances. Sheffield created their chances, managing nine shots (three on target), during this match. With this draw, Sheffield has dropped down to 13th, behind Manchester United on goal difference. Callum Robinson looks promising in his first season, getting both shots on target, as well as completing 91.7% of passes. Watford is dead last, with no wins and a minus 16 goal difference. Will Watford be able to bounce back against a struggling Spurs side? Or will they continue their downward spiral? As for the Blades, they will look to continue they’re a fine to start to the season against Arsenal on the 21st.
Palace continues to steal points away from home, this time from West Ham. A 2-1 win for the Eagles, they continue to look solid this campaign. Van Aanholt scored from the spot, while new signing Jordan Ayew scored the late winner. Seb Haller scored for West Ham, continuing his good run of form. West Ham had 51.7% of the ball, completing 519 passes. Ryan Fredericks is another West Ham player that is doing well, having 4 key passes and an assist in this one. Palace continues to defy logic, scoring and winning away against bigger sides on more than one occasion this season. After managing to keep Wilf Zaha, the side has really come into their own, sitting 6th on the table in the early stage of the season. They will look to score more goals, as they are averaging just 1 goal per match.
The first of the Sunday fixtures we will be covering was Arsenal at home to Bournemouth. The game ended in a 1-0 victory for the Gunners, who sit 3rd on the table. This was an open match, with both sides having their chances. Both sides only managed two shots on target, but each had double-digit shots during the match. Both sides were able to defend well, with the only goal coming from an early set-piece. David Luiz, who has had a difficult start at the Emirates, headed in a corner from fellow new signing Nicolas Pepe. Bournemouth has struggled against some of the top sides in recent memory but will feel hard done to not score against an Arsenal side that looks porous in defense. Both sides will look to come back refreshed after the international break.
Champions Manchester City hosted Wolves on Sunday, ending in a 2-0 loss for the Cityzens. A dismal performance, City could not break down a stout defense from the visitors. Adama Traore had himself a day, scoring two breakaway goals on counter-attacks. His electric pace was too much for Nicolas Otamendi and makeshift center back Fernandinho to handle. City had more than three times the passes (714) and possession (76%) of Wolves, but just couldn’t get the job done. Wolves scored two goals from two shots on target and honestly will feel hard done they didn’t get a third. The chances were high quality for the visitors, leaving a blueprint for other sides to expose the City backline. I think that there is no excuse for Pep to keep the young academy talents on the bench anymore, with Eric Garcia and Phil Foden being two youngsters who could come in and make a difference. We will see how things pan out for both sides after the international break.
The Saints hosted Chelsea at St Mary’s on Sunday, ending in a 4-1 defeat for the hosts. Chelsea has been running rampant under Lampard, scoring goals for fun. They were clearly the better side in this one, having 7 shots on target to Southampton’s three. Chelsea also had more of the ball, with 56.7%. The talking point for Chelsea this season has been their youth, with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham having stellar starts to this campaign. They combined for six shots (four on target), three key passes and two goals in this match. I’m sure England fans will be loving this connection, hoping that one day it will guide them to a Euro or World Cup triumph. As for Southampton, they are awful. Ralph Hassenhurtl’s men sit 17th, scoring only eight goals in eight matches. They continue to get battered at home, having lost 3-1 to Bournemouth earlier this campaign. These sides will look to start strong after the break.
The last match of the weekend saw Manchester United visit St. James’ Park on Tyneside. There were some big storylines out of this one, with academy product Matthew Longstaff netting his first-ever Premier League goal. A special moment, as his brother Sean, was able to share the moment on the pitch with young Matty. This is a special moment for the club, as well as the family, so cheers to them. As for United, where do we start? The club is now a hollow shell of its former self. There is no direction in their play. Sure, they had 68.1% of the ball and more shots than Newcastle, but they continue to be dreadful. They sit 12th, on nine points, below the likes of Crystal Palace, Leicester, Burnley, Bournemouth, etc. They are only two points of the relegation zone! The club needs to have a serious reboot to get them back to the Sir Alex days, from the top down. Will they be able to score more than 1 goal in a game this season, or will they continue to lose to mid-table sides?
That wraps up this week’s review. The content will continue to come, so stay tuned!