Premier League Wrap-up Week 3
Tottenham and Liverpool struggle to score
In this match-up of two of the highest scoring clubs from last season, the game turned out to be a low scoring affair. Liverpool dominated majority of play but could not find a way through the Spurs defense. With Hugo Lloris out with an injury, Michel Vorm took his role as the starting keeper. Vorm put on a fantastic display making very athletic and impressive saves to keep the ball out of the back of the net. This performance brings thoughts that Lloris may have to fight for his spot when he returns from injury.
A mistake from the Tottenham defense led to an early chance for Liverpool. Roberto Firmino crossed the ball to Philippe Coutinho, who was in a great position to score, but Vorm produced a brilliant leg save that stopped the ball from going in. Next it was Liverpool’s turn to defend when Christian Eriksen took a free kick and Simon Mignolet came up with an athletic save to put the ball out of harms way.
After more attacks from Liverpool, and more fantastic keeping from Michel Vorm, Liverpool earned a penalty in the 43rd minute. Erick Lamela tripped Firmino in the box resulting in a penalty called. Oddly, James Milner steps up to take the kick, but he calmly puts the ball in to the lower corner of the net, giving Liverpool the lead just before half time. Throughout the first half, Liverpool were the more dangerous side and Tottenham could have been down by many more goals had it not been for Vorm.
Coming out of half time, play continued in much the same way with Liverpool having majority of the chances and Tottenham playing on the back foot. In the 55th minute, Adam Lallana received the ball and swung in a wonderful cross to Sadio Mané who scored but Lallana was counted as being offside and the goal was disallowed.
After the disallowed goal, Tottenham picked up the pace and created more chances for themselves. The breakthrough came in the 71st minute when Eric Dier gets the ball near the corner flag and swings a cross into the box, after a deflection it falls to Danny Rose who puts the ball into the net, tying the game. The game would end this way with both teams earning a point. Despite being the better team for much of the game, Liverpool only earns a point. Tottenham squeak out another tie and have yet to look very impressive this season.
Chelsea dominate their game
After a couple of scares in their first two games, Chelsea took advantage of an easier opponent and completely took control of the game. Scoring started early as Eden Hazard puts together a fantastic run from midfield and caps off his solo effort with a goal in the 3rd minute of the match. The game would continue in much the same way for the rest of the ninety minutes.
The next goal would come in the 41st minute from a play started by Hazard. Hazard produced a great flick that made its’ way to Diego Costa who held the ball at the top of the box faking a shot. He then lays the ball off to Willian on the right side. He skillfully dribbles the ball and provides good footwork to eventually earn a shot and a goal from the play. The game was then out of reach for Burnley and they could not produce a good enough chance to score a goal.
In the 89th minute, Chelsea scores another late goal but this one was to put the nail in the coffin. Again it was a fantastic play that led to this goal starting with Oscar passing the ball to a sliding Michy Batshuayi who gets the ball to Pedro. Pedro then drives into the box, crossing the ball to Victor Moses who scores the third and final goal for Chelsea. This game was a master class of what Chelsea is capable of as Eden Hazard leads the way with a man of the match performance. Chelsea were firing on all cylinders and must keep up that skill if they want to win the league.
Arsenal and Leicester find their footing
Leicester City failed to find a win in their first two matches of the season but found their break against Swansea when playing at home. The match was back and forth for the first pat of the game but the first goal came when Jamie Vardy scored his first goal of the season. Daniel Drinkwater gets the ball in the Leicester half and plays a beautiful pass for Vardy to run onto. Jamie Vardy takes it from there, using his trademark speed, to run past the defender and put the ball into the net. This felt like not just a breakthrough for the game, but for their season to this point. With Vardy finally scoring a goal, Leicester hopes to regain their form from last season.
Leicester made the game even tougher for Swansea when a corner was taken and came off the heads of a couple players, everyone lost sight of the ball until Wes Morgan saw it and lashed his leg out at it. The ball went in and Leicester were up 2–0 in the 52nd minute. Swansea had a glimpse of hope when Modou Barrow crossed the ball to the waiting Leroy Fer who struck it well with his head to bring the deficit to one, but it was not to be and Swansea City lost the game.
Arsenal also conquered their opponent for their first win of the season. After a high scoring loss to Liverpool and a tense tie against Leicester, Arsenal get three points at Watford. The first goal came early in the 9th minute as Mesut Özil swung in a cross to a jumping Alexis Sánchez, but before Sánchez could meet it with his head Nordin Amrabat rushed into a clumsy mid-air collision with Sánchez that the referee saw as a penalty. Santi Cazorla was the one to step up and end his goalless draught for Arsenal, putting them up 1–0.
After chances from both sides, Sánchez and Özil began to dissect Watford and would each earn a goal before the half ended. Sánchez scored from a cross delivered by Theo Walcott that just made it over the line before being cleared by the defender. Özil got his goal when Alexis Sánchez spots the German making a run into the box. With the Watford defenders flatfooted, Özil runs past them to score with his head.
Although Watford had chances of their own, the scoreboard showed that Arsenal dominated the first half of play putting themselves up 3–0 on the home team. The second half was much more even and Watford even found a goal for themselves in the 57th minute. Amrabat puts a cross into the box, which rattles around a bit until it comes to Roberto Pereyra who scores the goal for Watford. Arsenal wanted to take the goal back and Héctor Bellerín showed some great individual talent to create chances. The final stages of the game were dominated by Watford and Petr Cech was called on to make some great saves to keep the score 3–1.
United and City continue to impress ahead of the Manchester Derby
The first match was played between Manchester United and Hull City. Both teams played a fantastic match that featured brilliant attacking play by United and hearty, strong defensive play from Hull. United had the majority of chances led by their star players. Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimović were constantly involved in the plays in the final third and had many close chances.
Standing on the end of those chances the Hull keeper, Eldin Jakupović, produced some amazing saves and kept Hull in the game. Though Hull defended for a majority of the game, they did have some threatening counter-attacks that almost led to goals. Their most dangerous chance coming when Tom Huddlestone took a shot that deflected off Erick Bailly and completely caught David De Gea off guard, however the ball fizzled just wide of the post.
The game changed when Marcus Rashford was subbed on for United in the 71st minute. From the moment he stepped onto the pitch, Rashford pushed the tempo of the game up and created many fine chances for himself and his teammates. The game winner came from a Wayne Rooney low cross in the box that found its’ way to Rashford’s boot and went in. Both players could be considered man of the match, as they looked fantastic during the match.
Like the other team in Manchester, City controlled the ball and had the majority of chances in the game. However West Ham United were not up to the challenge, like Hull City were, and got ran over in the first half of the game. The first goal came from Raheem Sterling in the 7th minute. From there City continued to attack with West Ham only getting a few chances.
The next goal came when Kevin De Bruyne delivered a perfect free kick that fell to the head of Fernandinho in the 18th minute putting City up 2–0, which would be the score heading into half time. After the second half had started, City had an early goal that was disallowed because Nolito was offside when he scored.
West Ham was the next to strike in the 57th minute when Arthur Masuaku delivered a cross to Michail Antonio who headed the ball in at the far post to bring West Ham within one. But the comeback was not to be as Raheem Sterling put the game away in the 92nd minute after Sterling works his way around the keeper and slides the ball in.
Both Manchester teams are looking fantastic ahead of the derby. Mourhino and Guardiola will reignite their rivalry when they were both in Spain. The game should prove to be a fantastic, one with tons of attacking play and some of the best talents in the world going against each other.
Other scores from around the league
AFC Bournemouth earn a 1–1 tie against Crystal Palace. Ross Barkley impresses in a 1–0 victory over Stoke, in which Shay Given gave up an unlucky own goal. Southampton and Sunderland play to a 1–1 draw. West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough fail to score and end the game in a goalless tie.
This week is an international break, which means there will be no Premier League games over the weekend. This will give some players a chance to rest and for teams to look back at their first three games and assess their performances. Also this week is the deadline day for transfers. Deadline day is typically very exciting and there is the potential for a team to pull off a last minute deal for a great player. Some teams will bolster their squad, and some may lose a key play.
After three matches; Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea are all tied for the lead after winning all three of their games. Everton and the surprising Hull City are not far behind the leaders. Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Watford, AFC Bournemouth, and Stoke City all sit at the bottom with one point. Zlatan Ibrahimović and Sergio Agüero are both currently the top scorers in the league with three goals apiece.