The Barclays Premier League is back in full swing as this weekend’s games were filled with the drama that makes our league the most exciting in the world. That’s if you weren’t at Old Trafford on Monday night.
Starting with the show-stopping fixture that is Manchester United vs Chelsea, neutrals were expecting the game to live up to past meetings, not the “bore draw” that we were eventually faced with. With the focal point limelight inevitably on Wayne Rooney, and the transfer saga that surrounds him and the two clubs, he was named MOTM at the end of the game, even though stats did not flatter him completely. Only 64% of passes were successful by Rooney in the final third, although he did seem to show his desire through assisting at times at the back for United, and perhaps reflected why there was no cutting edge in this game.
Another talking point would be the omission of Fernando Torres. Jamie Carragher did comment on how he felt that this would be “the end” for Torres as Mourinho chose to leave him out of the side for the second game running. The fifty-million-pound man was yet again looking unenthusiastic when he eventually did come on, only creating one off target shot in the thirty minutes he was involved. Yet again, the question arises of when or if we are going to see the former Liverpool superstar playing to his full potential.
In a game with the explosive nature that we naturally associate with the Premier League, newly promoted Cardiff vs Manchester City certainly didn’t disappoint. Manchester City’s creativity couldn’t be criticised with sixteen shots overall compared to Cardiff’s nine, although clinically, it was the home side who had the final touch. A lot can be said about Cardiff’s fans as a contributing factor to a first home win in the country’s top division, and with their impressive MOTM in Fraizer Campbell pulling off an impressive 80% shooting accuracy percentage, the Welsh side deserved their victory.
Liverpool and Tottenham are now the only remaining sides who keep their 100% league record in the early stages of the 13/14 season. Another Soldado penalty was the difference between Spurs and Swansea, with The Swans holding their own in what was a fairly even encounter. However, it was evident that the home side were the more creative, creating 11 chances in open play compared to Swansea’s 5, and hitting the crossbar on another occasion. Is Soldado’s penalty the early indications that life without Gareth Bale may not be as disastrous as it may seem? As a match-winner on both occasions, Saldado looks to keep the White Hart Lane faithful happy for the time being, as all we are waiting to find out now, is how much Spurs will get for their main man.
It was a battle of the Belgians at Villa Park, as the trilogy of Aston Villa’s impossible mission came to an end. An opening three games of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool ended with a win and two losses. After a first half dominated by Liverpool, it was a crucial save from Simon Mignolet from a Benteke shot that was the ultimate deciding factor. A total of three saves was enough to keep another clean sheet, and continue his great start to the season and Liverpool career. Liverpool fans will hope that he can carry these early signs of form into the next game; the most eagerly anticipated in the Premier League calendar-the visit of Manchester United.