Manchester City opened the weekends’ proceedings with what loomed to be a tough game at home to Liverpool, things turned out quite differently for Pep Guardiola’s side as they easily cruised to victory, and to the top of the table. The game began with a fast pace with both teams spreading the ball about well, with no real surprises in either starting line-up this was to be expected. It wasn’t long before the game sparked into life as Sergio Aguero put his team in front on the 24th minute with a cool finish from close range, the Argentinian continued to show his worth for the team that so heavily relies on him. Liverpool done their best to crawl back into the game and get an equaliser before half time but instead disaster struck, as Sadio Mane saw red for his attempt to take the ball past City goalkeeper, Ederson, 10 minutes from the break. Mane’s boot appeared to have clipped the goalie on the jaw when they met each other just outside the box, resulting in him being stretchered off and being replaced by Bravo.
The game was now going from bad to worse for the Merseyside club when Gabriel Jesus grabbed City’s second of the day in first half injury time with a fine header. Jurgen Klopp’s side seemed to fold in the second half being a man down, City showed just how ruthless they can be, Jesus went on to get onto the end of a pass from Aguero to put away his second of the game and put the sky blues firmly out of sight. German winger, Sane got two goals close to the end of the game to further rub it in Liverpool’s wounds and to finish the thrashing at the Etihad stadium. Despite some of the brilliant play displayed by City, the main talking point of the game was indeed the sending off, both managers agreeing that they thought the red card was harsh and unnecessary. Klopp pointed out that Mane shows no intention of injuring the Brazilian goalkeeper and that it was purely accidental.
At the other end of Manchester, the result wasn’t just as positive, with United’s winning ways grinding to a halt at the hands of Stoke City at the bet365 stadium. Up until this point United had enjoyed winning ways, having scored 10 goals in the first three games, they had played freely and with confidence to this point, but were not allowed the same freedom against Stoke. The match was fairly back and forth until Stoke found the net 2 minutes before half time when newly signed, Choupo-Moting polished off a well put together team move to send them ahead, the spoils were short lived however as Jose Mourinho’s men bounced back 3 minutes later when Paul Pogba’s goal-bound header was directed in by the back of Marcus Rashford’s head to level the game. The red devils came out running in the second part of the match, they went ahead not long into the half via a goal from head striker, Romelu Lukaku, but once again Choupo-Moting was at hand to upset things for United when he headed in a fine cross from Shaqiri on the 63rd minute to earn himself a man of the match performance. United dominated the game generally speaking in terms of chances created and possession, and it is fair to say that without goalkeeper Jack Butland, Stoke may have not come away with a point due to some of his fine saves. Mourinho’s defence wasn’t at its best, errors from Phil Jones and Eric Bailly lead to the two goals being let in, something the fans would have regarded as avoidable. Although whatever mistakes made at defence, United could have put the potteries away on numerous occasions, Lukaku being the biggest culprit of this on the 81st minute when he missed a chance from just inside the box, Rashford also had the opportunity to put another one away but squandered it.
Arsenal’s premier league campaign hasn’t got off to the greatest of starts having lost two and only won one game leading up to their test against Bournemouth in the Emirates stadium, Bournemouth were also hungry coming into the game as they were seeking their first win. With all of the recent transfer speculation on deadline day having passed, Alexis Sanchez remained a London man and started on the bench on Saturday, with club record signing Alexandre Lacazette coming in to take his place at striker. It didn’t take the Gunners long to start the scoring with Welbeck adding to his tally for the season by bagging a timely header past Asmir Begovic inside ten minutes. This lead didn’t stay the same for long with Lacazette doubling their lead just shy of the thirty-minute mark by curling one into the top corner from the edge of the box. The London side were firmly in control of the game at this stage and didn’t show any signs of letting up, something that they lacked in their previous games against Liverpool and Stoke. Bournemouth were lacking in passion so far in the game and didn’t really seem like scoring, creating very few chances in the first half, Jermain Defoe coming closest with a header against the post. After the break the game was put to bed when Welbeck then doubled his total for the day with a finish from a tight angle past Begovic. Arsene Wenger will be happy with how his team played, Welbeck and Lacazette linked up well and the back three of Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny proving effective at the helm of defence too.
West Bromich Albion travelled to Brighton at the weekend, the away side were in search of their first top tier win in almost four decades, Tony Pulis’ side also set out to tackle their recent scoring problem. Brighton showed great attacking promise starting the game and their efforts were rewarded on the brink of half time when Pascal Gross scored the opener through a close-range finish from a well-aimed cross from Solly March. He then made it two-nil to the home team 3 minutes into the second half when he sent a shot just marginally past West Brom keeper, Ben Foster. Their long awaited first goals of the season were met with great cheer from the fans, and it wasn’t over yet when Gross contributed yet again with an assist via a pitch perfect cross onto the head of Hemed to make it three for the day. The Baggies mustered up some drive towards the end of the game and put a lot of pressure on the newly promoted side, subsequently culminating in a goal from substitute James Morrison on the 77th minute, this wasn’t enough however as they fell short in the end. Both teams enjoyed a fair spell of possession each throughout the game and had their fair share of chances, however it was Brighton who were the more clinical side in the end up.
Mauricio Pochettino made the journey to Goodison Park with his Tottenham side in the hope of sealing another three points, Ronald Koeman’s Everton also had a win in their sights having failed to do so since their opening day win over Stoke City. Having enjoyed a fruitful international break with England the weekend prior, Harry Kane continued his scoring ways in a fixture that they wouldn’t have taken lightly going into. It turned out to be a milestone day for the England forward when he opened the scoring with his 100th premier league goal on the 28th minute. The 24-year-old admits that he may not have exactly meant to score it but it counted none the less, “I got a lucky one but sometimes you need that … hopefully I can get a few more,” claimed Kane. The goal was a stunning strike from way out on the right-hand side, it is argued that he initially meant to cross it but it still sailed into the net regardless. Christian Eriksen ended his recent scoreless reign close to half time when he netted from close range to double Spurs’ lead. Harry Kane’s spoils were not over it seemed as he secured his brace in the second half with a delightful finish. Everton never really found their feet in a game that they continued to chase right to the end, it was a dominant display by Tottenham who applied constant pressure and played with speed and tenacity throughout.
Chelsea continued their attempt to climb back up the table after a poor start to the season when they made their way to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester. It was a strange day for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante as he made his return to his former club, the Frenchman enjoyed success with Leicester in 2016 when they won the premier league before making his move to the Blues that summer. Chelsea started the game positively, dominating possession for the main part of the first half and moving the ball around freely, it didn’t come until the 41st minute for the game to truly come into life, newly signed striker Alvaro Morata netted his third of the season to put Chelsea ahead. Leicester captain Wes Morgan tried his best to keep the Spaniard quiet and achieved this up until this point providing two vital blocks prior, however he couldn’t stop the former Real Madrid man when he made his way past the defender to divert a header past Kasper Schmeichel. Kante then provided the next blow for his former club when his striker went in to double his team’s lead just after half time, the centre-midfielder was humble after scoring, “It is always a pleasure to score but I keep my celebration inside because I want to respect my old team.” The game seemed to be out of Leicester’s grasp at this stage but Thibaut Courtois then gave them a lifeline when he brought down Jamie Vardy in his own penalty area, the English forward coolly slotted from twelve yards to bring the Foxes back into the game. However, this wasn’t enough for Leicester as they couldn’t seem to get their equaliser, with Willian coming closest to grabbing another goal when he curled a shot wide of the post when was introduced late on. Antonio Conte’s men don’t normally have a lot of luck in the month of September but put that previous doubt firmly to bed with a justified performance against Leicester.
Southampton have gotten off to a mediocre start to their season so far having won once and drawn twice, Mauricio Pellegrino’s undefeated streak ended abruptly thanks to two sensational strikes from Watford on Saturday. The first of which came on the 38th minute of the game, Abdoulaye Doucoure connected superbly with a half-volley around 25 yards out and sent it straight past Southampton goalkeeper, Fraser Forster. On a day that shots on target were few and far between, Watford made the most of their chances and just over 20 minutes into the second half they increased their lead with another incredible striker from substitute Daryl Janmaat. The Dutchman seen his teammates striker prior to this and decided he could do one better, he hit a well driven shot from 30 yards which burst the net and allowed Watford to firmly take control of the game. It was an impressive display from Watford, despite losing two important defenders, Younes Kaboul and Kiko Femenia, to injury in the second half they managed to hold their structure and prevent any real danger from the Saints attack. Marco Silva will be delighted with how his team has started the season and will be aiming to continue this form and hold onto that 4th place spot they currently possess.
Crystal Palace’s woeful start to the year has caused manager Frank De Boer to receive a lot of grief and uncertainty about his current role and his team’s performance against Burnley on Sunday certainly didn’t help matters. They went into the game without having scored a goal or having mustered a single point so far, and things didn’t change for the South London side when they travelled to Turf Moor. Recently signed Chris Wood started and made his full debut, it turned out to be a momentous day for him as he scored the only goal on the third minute, in what ended up being a rather lacklustre game. De Boer’s side lacked any kind of drive or confidence throughout the game, despite having an abundance of chances they couldn’t manage to put one away. They held the ball up well at times and controlled most of the possession in the game, but weren’t clinical and wasted any chance they had. Frank De Boer has now lost his job at the club after just four games in charge and has been replaced by former England boss Roy Hodgson.
Swansea played host to Newcastle United on Sunday, The Geordie club were without manager Rafa Benitez as he was recovering from an infection. This didn’t hold back the Toon army however as they went on to win their second consecutive league game of the season, centre-back and captain Jamaal Lascelles securing the win with a finely placed header mid-way through the second half. The first half prior to this was very uneventful and the game didn’t show any signs of sparking up until this goal, Newcastle had most of the chances throughout the game despite Swansea being in control of possession throughout. The Swans manager, Paul Clement, wasn’t pleased with the result claiming that the margins for defeat were small and it could have easily gone either way. They now drop down to 15th in the table and face a tough task ahead this season after selling big names like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente over the summer.
West Ham had a point to prove at the weekend when they were up against newly promoted Huddersfield, they hadn’t won a game up to this and were desperate to get points on the board. Huddersfield have endured a positive time during their return to top flight football, this was not to last though as Slaven Bilic’s men caused their first defeat on Monday evening. Mexican striker, Javier Hernandez had the first main chance of the game when he hit the bar in the first half, what followed was many flourished shots by both teams with neither really looking like scoring. This changed however in the second half when Obiang hit a strike from range that deflected off Hudderfield player, Mathias Jorgensen, over the goalkeeper and into the net to open the scoring. West Ham weren’t finished either, Andre Ayew then bagged another one from 3 yards just five minutes later. Michail Antonio earned himself the man of the match, he played with pace and desire from the wing, something that West Ham were lacking until this point. Andy Carroll was also introduced at a stage, however didn’t show any real sign of threat.