Premier League Review - Matchday Four
Saturday 31st August, 2019
Southampton 1 Manchester United 1
Southampton had the disadvantage of missing Nathan Redmond (ankle) and new signing Moussa Djenepro, both of whom scored last week at Brighton. United were missing left back Luke Shaw and forward Anthony Martial, both with thigh injuries. Shaw's absence meant that Ashley Young came in for Shaw, and captained the side. Mata was selected in preference to Lingard, whilst Pereira replaced the injured Martial.
"Saints" had an early chance after 7 minutes after United failed to play out. Adams passed to Boufal who hit an angled shot just wide across De Gea's goal. Pereira was on target after a pass from Mata, but the shot was under-strength. James scored a stunning right foot goal in the 10th minute, coming into the area from the left before firing high into the net.
After a poor cross, Wan-Bissaka received a pass from McTominay and hit a good shot just over the bar, but he had been flagged offside. (18 mins) Three minutes later, Angus Gunn had to save a good rising shot by James after Rashford had passed to his left.
Southampton applied some pressure around the 35 minute mark, but could not find a way through the United defence. Adams had a chance after 54 minutes, but fired wide when he should at least have tested De Gea. De Gea was required to make a great save from a Danny Ings header following a corner, and Vestergaard did head home when the ball was returned to the centre in the 58th minute. It was Vestergaard's first Premier League goal for Southampton.
Southampton's left back Kevin Danso was shown a second yellow card after 71 minutes following a foul on McTominay. Following substitutions, Pogba was getting further forward for United and after his pass from the left, James forced another save from Gunn.
The ten men of Southampton were holding out well. Pogba picked up an errant ball and fed Rashford, but Gunn saved again. Substitute Lingard was given a chance from another Pogba pass, but the England man pushed his shot wide. Another substitute - Greenwood - hit a shot after a couple of stepovers but Gunn saved again.
United failed to force a winner and Southampton had a precious point. United have lost five points in two weeks against teams you would expect to finish in the bottom half this season.
Chelsea 2 Sheffield United 2
Tammy Abraham put Lampard's boys two up at half-time, but Sheffield United fought back, and got a late equaliser and a very creditable result.
Lampard gave another young player - Tomori - his first Premier League start at the back. Tomori played for Lampard at Derby last season, along with Mason Mount. Abraham's first was a second chance after an Azpilicueta cross; a header which goalkeeper Henderson failed to hold under pressure from Pulisic, and an easy follow-up shot. (19 mins)
Callum Robinson had a good chance for an equaliser with a low header from Basham's pass, but Abraham took advantage of a defensive mix up to make it 2-0 in the 43rd minute.
Robinson did have a goal in the first minute of the second half when Stevens crossed from the left and the Sheffield United forward fired the ball left of Arrizabalaga in front of the ecstatic travelling fans.
Henderson made a very good save low to his right to prevent an Abraham hat-trick, and also held a Barkley shot. United were worth their equaliser but it came late in the came, following a cross by Robinson from the left. It was Zouma who turned the ball into his own net with substitute Mousset putting him under pressure.
Crystal Palace 1 Aston Villa 0
There was controversy at the end of this game at Selhurst Park when Villa thought they had a legitimate equaliser. Grealish fell just outside the area (and he did have a nudge in the back), but still managed to release the ball to Lansbury who put the ball in the net. Referee Kevin Friend had already blown his whistle however, deeming Grealish's fall to be one of simulation. There were "scenes" as Grealish and his team-mates were livid, as were Villa's fans.
Palace had the Villa goal under some pressure towards the end of the first half, but couldn't break the deadlock. Villa's Trezeguet was sent off after 54 minutes for a second yellow card offence. Heaton had to make a very good save, diving high to his left to push away a long shot by Milivojevic.
Jordan Ayew scored the decisive goal in the 73rd minute receiving a pass from Schlupp, before breaking through two Villa defenders and shooting into the net left of the keeper.
Leicester City 3 Bournemouth 1
Jamie Vardy opened the scoring in the 12th minute, with a route one goal reminiscent of the Ranieri title-winning days. He ran onto a long ball over the top and hit an early shot with his right foot over the keeper and into the net. It was an excellent goal. Callum Wilson responded for Bournemouth within three minutes with a well taken left foot shot across Schmeichel.
Bournemouth's 21 year old keeper Aaron Ramsdale nearly gifted Vardy a second goal when kicking a back pass to the striker's feet, but Ramsdale managed to recover the ball. Tielemans made it 2-1 in the 41st minute. He received a low cross from Vardy near the bye-line after he had received a good long pass from Maddison.
Bournemouth were aggrieved by a couple of VAR-backed decisions. Firstly Callum Wilson was subject to a nasty challenge by Tielemans, and then Wilson was booked for simulation in the Leicester area when he seemed to get a nudge in the back from Soyuncu.
Tielemans was the provider for Vardy's second goal in the 73rd minute with a pass from just inside the Bournemouth area and a deft finish by the former England man, now 32 but still going strong with three goals already this season.
By the way, Leicester still have those noisy "happy" clapping devices! Spurs are at The King Power on September 21st.
Manchester City 4 Brighton 0
City were on their way within two minutes. Zinchenko pushed a ball forward to David Silva on the left. Silva crossed and De Bruyne finished. After the game, Pep Guardiola complimented Brighton manager Graham Potter and his men, but the "Seagulls" suffered a big defeat.
Aguero and Mahrez had chances inside 20 minutes, and De Bruyne had another effort after a David Siva pass, but that was just outside the post. Silva pushed a shot wide across the goal, after Sterling's set-up. Laporte had to go off injured after he crashed into Brighton defender Webster who had successfully taken the ball into the City half.
Aguero made it 2-0 with a rising shot after De Bruyne passed from his right (42mins). Ederson did have to make a save from Brighton's Trossard before the interval. Trossard had another chance after 50 minutes and did hit a shot on target but substitute Fernandhino headed the ball clear.
Aguero scored a cracking right footed shot into the keeper's top left corner after excellent play, finishing with David Silva's pass. David Silva was replaced by Bernardo Silva, who scored the fourth goal in the 79th minute following Aguero's pass. It was his first touch to control the ball, and second to score.
Newcastle 1 Watford 1
Watford got their first point of the season, but are still bottom of the early Premier League table. Wearing a green strip, they scored early in the second minute when Cleverley's partly blocked shot fell to the feet of Hughes who put the ball past Dubravka at the Gallowgate End. Watford had managed what Spurs couldn't do last week.
Almiron had a great chance to equalise from Atsu's cross but fluffed his lines, and is still looking for his first Newcastle goal. Newcastle's equaliser came in the 41st minute and it was scored by Fabian Schar, who had instigated the attack when he carried the ball forward. Krafth crossed from the right, and the ball was headed down to Schar's feet by a Watford defender.
Hayden had a powerful shot well saved by Foster in the second half. Dubravka made a couple of saves, one from Success, and the other from Peyeyra. Foster came out with the ball in a goalmouth scramble and the score remained 1-1. Newcastle's Steve Bruce is still looking for his first home win.
West Ham 2 Norwich 0
I was counting on Norwich to get something out of this game, and even put Buendia and Pukki in my fantasy team in anticipation! Alas, it was to be West Ham's day. The first goal came after 24 minutes after a good run down the left by Masuaku, and an easy finish for Haller in the middle.
Cantwell somehow put a close range header over the bar when he should have levelled for Norwich. Yarmolenko hit a second half shot against the post, but did score in the 56th minute when he got a second chance at goal inside the area on the right. Krul made a good save from Lanzini after another Masuaku cross, and the keeper also saved from Anderson, then Haller's attempted follow-up.
Haller was denied a penalty by the referee and currently it seems that VAR is supporting referees' decisions on most occasions. Snodgrass, once a Norwich player, hit a weak shot at Krul after Anderson teed him up.
Burnley 0 Liverpool 3
After Man City's win, Liverpool needed to also win to regain their early lead of the table. Aaron Lennon made his first start of the season for Burnley. Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk was this week presented with the UEFA Player of the 2018-19 season award. Liverpool played towards their own fans in the first half for the second week running.
After only one minute, Burnley's Chris Wood was onto a long clearance; turned inside Van Dijk, and hit a shot which required a save by Adrian in the Liverpool goal. Salah hit the post with a shot after 4 minutes, having been supplied with the ball by Mane.
After 20 minutes Salah was into the area, and when goalkeeper Pope advanced to his feet the ball rebounded wide off Salah's feet, and not into the goal.
Liverpool took an unintended lead in the 33rd minute when Henderson passed back to Alexander-Arnold who hit an intended cross from over 25 yards when goalkeeper Pope was deceived by the flight of the ball. Pope has an excuse because the ball was slightly deflected by Chris Wood, and the goal was adjudged to be an own goal. Mane made it 2-0 three minutes later. Mee hit a bad pass to Firmino's feet and he teed up Mane who ran into the box before beating Pope.
Liverpool's next clear chance came after 57 minutes when clever play by Alexander-Arnold gave Salah a chance on the right of goal, but the shot was hit into the side netting. Burnley tried but could not get a foothold on the game. Liverpool substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain had a right foot driven shot held, after Salah teed him up after 78 minutes.
Liverpool made it 3-0 in the 80th minute. Firmino hit a long ball for Salah to run onto, and the Egyptian returned the ball to the advancing Firmino to score. Liverpool were heading to a record 13th consecutive league win.
Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez came close to scoring late in the game, but goalkeeper Adrian smothered his shot at close range. Rodriguez had received a through ball by Westwood and managed to turn inside Van Dijk. Pope made a similar save at the feet of Wijnaldum at the other end.
Mane when substituted late in the game was apparently upset with Salah because he did not pass to him instead of trying to score, basically suggesting that Salah was guilty of selfish play at times, I suppose. Peacemaker Firmino gave a wry grin to the cameras which caught the players exiting up the players' tunnel at the end of the game.
Is any team going to stop Liverpool and Man City dominating again this season?
Sunday 1st September, 2019
Everton 3 Wolves 2
Wolves have won all 6 of their Europa League qualifying games and have reached the group stage, but they still seek a first Premier League win of this season. Nuno gave 21 year old Italian striker Patrick Cutrone a first start, playing next to Jimenez.
Richarlison gave the home side a 5th minute lead after a mix up between Rui Patricio and Conor Coady allowed Moise Kean to set up the former Watford player. Wolves were level four minutes later. Adama Traore seems to be having a new lease of life so far this season and crossed from deep on the right, after beating Digne, for Saiss to finish from close range. Seamus Coleman had failed to deal with the cross which left the ball standing still for Saiss to score.
The goals were coming thick and fast as Iwobi headed home Sigurdsson's cross in the 12th minute. Both Neves and Jimenez passed the ball from the right across the Everton area, but Cutrone's shot was saved. Cutrone had another on target shot blocked.
Wolves equalised after 75 minutes. The goal followed a long throw by Bennett from the left, which was headed on by Boly, allowing Jimenez to head home bravely getting a foot in the face in the process.
Richarlison headed home the winning goal after 80 minutes rising to meet Digne's well placed cross. Richarlison had another well placed shot saved by Rui Patricio diving to his right. After an Everton corner, the Wolves keeper made another good save from Yerry Mina's header. Boly got a late second yellow and will miss Wolves' next game against Chelsea.
Arsenal 2 Spurs 2
For the second consecutive game, skipper and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has won your Spurs man of the match vote. Last week it is fair to say he was the "least worst" player against Newcastle. this week, Hugo is a genuine winner because of his terrific saves, ultimately preserving us a point. Voters do not like the short passing game from the back though! See the spursometer in full.
Fernando Llorente, whose contract with Spurs expired in the summer, has signed for Napoli. Spurs fans were relieved to find the only player to leave the club on the last day of the European transfer window was Marcus Edwards, who has signed for Portuguese club Vitoria Guimares, who will play in the same Europa League group as Arsenal.
Leading Premier League scorers after four games:-
1. Aguero (6)
2. Pukki and Sterling (5)
3. Ashley Barnes and Abraham (4)
Fixtures & Results 31.08-01.09.19
S'hampton 1-1 Man Utd
Chelsea 2-2 Sheff Utd
C. Palace 1-0 A. Villa
Leicester 3-1 B'mouth
Man City 4-0 Brighton
Newcastle 1-1 Watford
West Ham 2-0 Norwich
Burnley 0-3 Liverpool
Everton 3-2 Wolves
Arsenal 2-2 Spurs
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 4 4 0 0 12-3 9 12
2. Man City 4 3 1 0 14-3 11 10
3. Leicester 4 2 2 0 6-3 3 8
4. C. Palace 4 2 1 1 3-2 1 7
5. Arsenal 4 2 1 1 6-6 0 7
6. Everton 4 2 1 1 4-4 0 7
7. West Ham 4 2 1 1 6-7 -1 7
8. Man Utd 4 1 2 1 7-4 3 5
9. Spurs 4 1 2 1 7-6 1 5
10. Sheff Utd 4 1 2 1 5-5 0 5
11. Chelsea 4 1 2 1 6-9 -3 5
12. Burnley 4 1 1 2 5-6 -1 4
13. S'hampton 4 1 1 2 4-6 -2 4
14. Newcastle 4 1 1 2 3-5 -2 4
15. B'mouth 4 1 1 2 5-8 -3 4
16. Brighton 4 1 1 2 4-7 -3 4
17. Wolves 4 0 3 1 4-5 -1 3
18. A. Villa 4 1 0 3 4-6 -2 3
19. Norwich 4 1 0 3 6-10 -4 3
20. Watford 4 0 1 3 2-8 -6 1