Premier League Round-Up: Fixture 4
After a couple of years of ridicule and unfamiliar territories for manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans alike – due to their failed attempts to sign a striker who could emulate the success and natural goal scoring talent that Drogba had in the Chelsea blue shirt – they’ve finally found the answers they were looking for in Diego Costa.
The Spaniard has already broken records as he has become the first player to score 7 goals in their first 4 Premier League games. The £32 million striker bagged a hat-trick this weekend as Chelsea ran out a comfortable win over an in form Swansea side. The game ended 4-2 with Chelsea striker Loic Remy scoring on his debut to round off the victory for the blues.
After a shock move to arch rivals Arsenal on deadline day of the transfer window, Danny Welbeck started against the Premier League champions at the Emirates in an enthralling encounter this Saturday. After a shock defeat to mid table side Stoke City just before the international break, Manchester City were expected to come back strongly and possibly turn over an Arsenal side who have also had an indifferent start to the season, as Chelsea legend Frank Lampard was given the nod over key player Yaya Toure for his Manchester City debut.
After a mistake at the back, Welbeck was afforded the opportunity of a dream debut as the ball was fed through to him and he went one on one with Joe Hart. He clipped the post as he went for an audacious chip to beat the England number one and the chance evaporated.
The game ended with the two teams sharing the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Argentine striker Aguero opening the scoring, Jack Wilshire level pegging with an amazing finish, goals from summer signing Alexis Sanchez and City old boy Demichelis rounding off the scoring. The sky blues hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed late on as Arsenal struggled to defend.
Last year’s very strong title contenders and runners up, Liverpool, faced an Aston Villa side, seemingly a stronger side since their narrow escape from relegation last season. Villa opened the scoring early on at Anfield and, despite soaking up some consistent pressure from the home side, Liverpool failed to find a break through and were subjected to an unexpected defeat. Liverpool were without injured England striker Daniel Sturridge and decided to rest Raheem Sterling. £16 million summer signing Balotelli was less than impressive throughout, mostly due to an excellent defensive display from the away team.
Southampton took on Newcastle this weekend and were fired up from kick off as summer signing Shane Long came close to opening the scoring within a minute of the first whistle being blown. With he pressure mounting on Alan Pardew, it was important for Newcastle to get something out of the game to prolong their manager’s tenure at the club. However, the Southampton side unsympathetically thrashed the away team by 4 goals to nil. The home side’s team is rather different to last season’s as their players were poached by bigger clubs in the transfer window, but the new signings Ronal Koeman brought in seem to be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Tottenham were looking for a positive result against a side they completed the double over last season, while Sunderland were in search of a victory at the Stadium of Light to end a recent poor run of form against the away team of which has seen them go eight games without a victory. Spurs were clear favourites for this game on the front foot, taking the lead within the first two minutes. The game got extremely interesting when former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson skilfully skipped past two members of the Tottenham back line and beat Hugo Lloris with a deflected effort to equalise for the Black Cats two minutes later.
We then had to wait until two minutes into the second half for the North Londoners to strike again as their unrelenting pressure finally paid dividends. Sunderland pulled level on the 82 minute mark, as the home team stepped up towards the end of the game to enhance the incredible spectacle for the neutrals and fans alike.
West Bromwich Albion and Everton faced off at The Hawthorns with both sides still in search of their first win of the season. Both teams have had problems at the back, which in theory would set this game up to be a wonderful spectacle. Everton started the game strongly as the £28 million striker Lukaku opened the scoring within two minutes after an early mistake at the back by West Brom defender, Jonas Olsson. The home team had only managed to score twice prior to this match, but understandably took the game to Everton after conceding first. However, this left them open to counter attacks, and Naismith could and should have punished the home side when he hit a rebounded effort into row z. It didn’t make much difference in the end as the away team scored another after a mistake by Ben Foster, who let a tame strike from Mirallas roll underneath him just over an hour in. Both goalkeepers were called into action a few more times, but the game ended 2-0 to Everton.
Off the back of a brilliant victory against Liverpool last run out, Stoke welcomed newly promoted Leicester City to town this weekend. After a few penetrating runs and unsuccessful acrobatic efforts from the home side, Leicester took the lead after just under an hour when Stoke failed to deal with an incisive counter attack that left their defence wide open and ultimately cost them all 3 points as Leicester collected a 1-0 victory.
The Premier League clash between Burnley and Crystal Palace saw great entertaining football with a few penalty claims, bookings for diving, goal line clearances, near misses, direct, skilful penetrating runs, dribbling and passing and penalty misses/saves. Despite all of this goalmouth action, this was the only Premier League game that ended goalless this weekend as neither team could beat their opponents respective keeper.
Manchester United were still in search of their first Premier League victory of the season coming into their game against Queens Park Rangers (QPR) after the international break. After spending north of £145 million on new faces this summer, United critics and fans alike expect to see big things this season. United legend Rio Ferdinand returns to Old Trafford with QPR for the first time, and was cheated and awarded with a special presentation for the long serving former England international. Blind and Rojo made their debuts from the start as Shaw and Falcao lay in wait on the bench. United also reverted back to a customary 4-4-2. Di Maria ran the show as a lacklustre QPR allowed the Red Devils to run rampant. The opening goal came from the new No. 7 as his cross from a set piece found its way into the bottom corner. United created countless opportunities, running out victorious by four goals to nil with summer signing Herrera getting on the score sheet and customary goals from Rooney and Mata wrapping up the tie. Falcao made his debut late on and came close on a couple of occasions, but the moral of the story is: Manchester United fans can finally watch MOTD with some pride again!
Four games into the new season and Chelsea are the only team in the league to maintain an 100% record results wise. Though I must concede it is quite early to be looking at the table, especially considering Chelsea are the only side who finished in the top 4 last season that’s currently in the top 4 right now.