It was a fight to get points on the board this weekend. Teams in the Premier League were searching for the consistency to take into the international break, as S.A.S and the United new boys stepped up for their sides.
Half time at The Stadium of Light and David Moyes may have been feeling a little queasy, 1-0 down to a bottom of the table side with a managerial crisis, wasn’t exactly what he had planned. A turbulent start to the season looked as if it was going to get even worse. A lacklustre performance throughout the 90 minutes was only saved by a brace from teenager Adnan Januzaj, as he converted 2 of his 3 shots on target to give United the lead in the second half. Although having 63% possession and 84% pass accuracy, the defending Champions struggled to find that cutting edge on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester City hosted Everton at The Etihad as the Merseysiders’ unbeaten PL run finally came to an end. Roberto Martinez’s side have been on an impressive streak, but the creativity and flair of Manchester City was too much to handle. Usual suspect David Silva was the most creative for the Manchester side, creating 6 goal scoring chances, 4 of which from open play, and he even managing to grab himself an assist. An eventual own goal from Tim Howard from a penalty, plus Alvaro Negredo also getting on the score sheet, sent Manchester City up to 5th in the table.
Liverpool returned to joint top of the table as Suarez and Sturridge continued to impress at Anfield. The first half consisted of three goals from two strikers and a Steven Gerrard penalty. Although Liverpool did seem to take their foot off the gas in the second half, it was in the end a comfortable win, with Jordan Henderson once again being the stand-out performer. The midfielder contributed in all areas of the pitch, winning back possession a total of 10 times in the defensive third while still maintaining a 92% of long ball accuracy. The main spotlight, however, was on the S.A.S partnership – as they are now referred to. Liverpool’s budding strike partnership continued to show a natural flair, and how they both performed statistically, against Crystal Palace, is displayed below:
Tottenham’s impressive run in the Premier League came to an almighty end at White Hart Lane on Sunday. Being beaten 3-0 by West Ham wasn’t in the script for AVB, however it could be said that it was a hangover result after Thursday night’s Europa League trip. Although having the best of the possession, West Ham had a total of 11 shots inside the box compared to Spurs’ 6, as Reid, Vaz Te and Morrison scored the all important goals.
Arsenal kept their place at the top of the table on Goals Scored, just above Liverpool. A Jack Wilshere goal was enough to give the London side a draw, only being able to manage a 1-1 away to West Brom. Although criticised for his performance in the first half, Wilshere kept his composure to drive in a slightly deflected shot and get Arsenal back in the game. After later chances to scoop the win were unsuccessful, the point keeps them at the top of the table as we go into the international break.
Chelsea left it late to claim all 3 points at Carrow Road. Goals from new signing Willian, and prized possession Eden Hazard in the last 5 minutes of the 90 where enough to seal a 3-1 victory. Although Norwich did manage to hold onto 44% of the possession, Chelsea seemed to have the star quality to pull the goals out the bag when they needed them most. The win puts Chelsea back among the league leaders – a welcome improvement for the fans as the Blues been struggling away from home in the early stages of the season.