After a weekend of cracking goals, Mancunian losses, and even a scratch to the face, the Premier League offered up some surprising results, tipping the league table on it’s head.
The most anticipated game was Tottenham vs Chelsea, and although the three points were up for grabs for both teams, they were ultimately shared. The result however, in true Premier League style, was not the main talking point. After a good spell for 50 million pound man Fernando Torres, he was shown a second yellow after an arguably 50/50 aerial challenge, and therefore saw red. The controversial side to the story was a camera angle which seemed to show the Chelsea number 9 scratch the cheek of Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen. It could be said that if this act was committed by those known as more mischievous in the league, then there would have been more of an uproar. However, consequent of this, Torres is now rumoured to be facing a 4 game ban from the FA instead of his original 1 for the two yellow card offences. With this result not leaving either team with much joy, the top places of the table were there for the taking.
Manchester will be looking a sorry city after the weekend’s games. Neither Red nor Blue managed to claim a result, as both United and City lost to West Brom and Aston Villa respectively. After a Manchester derby that more than favored the Blues, it seemed that the ability to hold onto a lead was lost on Saturday afternoon, as City failed to retain it after being ahead twice in the game. A rather late winner from Weimann was enough to give Villa the three points. Although with only 33% possession overall, Villa managed to convert 3 of their 5 chances, leaving Manuel Pellegrini’s side with their meagre one point from their three away trips this season.
David Moyes is also having a hard time trying to get some points on the board; after a crowd-pleasing win midweek against Liverpool in the league cup, the second game in a week at Old Trafford wasn’t as much a happy occasion. West Brom managed to pull off a 2-1 win against a United side that now lie an astonishing 12th in the table. Although United retained 86% of the possession throughout the game, a composed move from Baggies striker Amalfitano was enough to claim the three points, and left David Moyes with only 7 points from his 6 league games in charge of the reigning Champions.
League leaders Arsenal were one of the only teams who managed to take advantage of four of the ‘top six’ teams losing points this weekend. Although a hard fought battle away to Swansea, the Gunners held on to a 2-1 win, and seemed to have no problems in creating chances. In the new system surrounding Mesut Ozil, Arsene Wenger’s side seem to be creating chances left, right and centre, and quite literally as they conjured up 9 chances in comparison to the home side’s 6. Aaron Ramsey managed to get his name on the scoresheet again, putting Arsenal 2-0 in the lead before Davies claimed what was a only a consolation goal to spoil an away clean sheet.
Norwich won what was a an important win away to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. A first half goal from Jonny Howson managed to seal the victory in the end for Chris Hughton’s side, at a place where even some of the top sides have struggled to get a result in the past few seasons. However, it seemed that Stoke just didn’t turn up this weekend, having only one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes. This result leaves both sides on the same points and goal difference in 14th and 15th in the table.
Southampton now have the same points as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, after winning 2-0 at home to Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace. Record signing Dani Osvaldo scored his first goal, before the ever-reliable Ricky Lambert provided a comfortable cushion for the home side early in the second half. Mauricio Pochettino’s side continue their impressive start to the new campaign, as they now lie 5th in the table.
New Dad Luis Suarez had a lot to celebrate after contributing with two goals in Liverpool’s 3-1 win away to desperate Sunderland. The Reds managed to finally break the curse of not yet being able to score a single goal in the second half of games this season, as Suarez bagged his second to seal the victory with just minutes remaining. His current strike partnership with Daniel Sturridge has looked exciting for Liverpool fans since the end of last season, and with Suarez now back after suspension, it’s looking to blossom again. With Suarez having a total of 7 shots throughout the game, and both of the strikers being involved in the goals, it looks like Brendan Rodgers has finally found the system to fit them both in effectively. Sunderland’s performance, however, did look an improvement on the first games of this season. A valiant effort in which interim manager Kevin Ball said that the result “flattered” Liverpool, as they managed to string together more final third passes than the away team during the 90 minutes, and creating 14 chances compared to Liverpool’s 9.
The Monday night football this week consisted of a Newcastle trip to Goodison Park, playing an Everton side in a current rich vein of form, having claimed 10 points from the last 4 games. After an admittedly disastrous performance from the away side in the first half, all 3 of The Blues goals were scored within the first 40 minutes. Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku were the standout pairing, as they both grabbed themselves goals, and having a total of 9 shots between them – 5 of which being on target. However, after an improved fightback with determination and desire from Newcastle in the second half, they had left themselves with too much to do, and Everton held on to claim the win, moving them up to 4th as their unbeaten start to the season continues.