Premier League Review - Matchday Two
As had been reported last week, this weekend marked the first occasion this season when the knee was not taken prior to kick-off. Most games this weekend were played in the continuing very hot weather, and drinks breaks were taken in each half. Many punters were also getting involved on the popular sports betting markets, with bonuses being offered at Goldenbet.
Here is a summary of this week's games.
Saturday 13th August, 2022
Aston Villa 2-1 Everton (12.30)
Inevitably the match was billed as Gerrard v Lampard. Lucas Digne was playing against his former team for the second time. Tyrone Mings was back in Villa's side, but McGinn has the club captaincy. Conor Coady made his first start for The Toffees after his loan move from Wolves. The Everton back three also included Holgate and Tarkowski. Godfrey and Mina were absent injured. Dele Alli was on the bench again and was not used until the 81st minute.
There had been no shots on target before Everton had a couple of corners preceding the first drinks break. The ball did hit the net after the second of these corners, but there had been an offside. Danny Ings gave Villa a 31st minute lead when he picked up a short pass by Watkins inside the area, turned, and fired home with a left foot shot. Everton's defensive line had been solid until this point but was caught on the hop by a long pass to Watkins.
An injury-hit Everton side was hindered further when Doucoure had to be replaced by Tom Davies. Everton's best legitimate chance of the first half came when Mings missed a cross by Iwobi, but new signing Kamara cleared off the feet of Demarai Gray.
Martinez s first save was from a Demarai Gray shot after 52 minutes as Everton picked up the tempo. Villa posed more threat though when a short pass across the area was nearly converted by Ings and Buendia (who had replaced Coutinho). Another new Villa man, Diego Carlos, had a powerful shot well blocked inside the Everton area by Patterson. Buendia had another effort which was half-blocked. The ball span towards the back post where Mykolenko cleared. Lucas Digne was offering a lot of threat against his former team.
New signing Onana was one of two brought on by Lampard, but he was overpowered in midfield and Buendia raced forward, feeding the ball to Watkins to his right before converting the returned pass. Everton (led by Onana) responded immediately when the new man (tall and powerfully built) got to the bye-line and crossed where Digne put the ball into his own net at the back post.
Suddenly, the action was end-to-end and Villa substitute Bailey offered Watkins a good chance which was well saved by Jordan Pickford. Everton s Gordon got the better of Cash and had a shot parried by Martinez. Rondon's follow-up was blocked. Villa defenders were going down like flies (Cash and Diego Carlos included) and Gerrard was wound up because he couldn t replace them quickly enough.
Onana went close again in an extended period of added time, but substitute Chambers made a good block. Gordon had one shot blocked, then another saved by Martinez.
It is 13 years since Everton lost their first two games. Next week, they host promoted Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal 4-2 Leicester (15.00)
Gabriel Jesus scored twice and had hat-trick chances as Arsenal's early season good form continued. "The Foxes" recovered to 3-2 down but only for a minute as Martinelli scored Arsenal's fourth goal.
Xhaka headed against Ward's right post early in the game before Jesus scored his first goal in the 23rd minute after he had been involved in an intricate approach with Martinelli and Xhaka. Jesus lifted a fine right-footed shot across goal and hit the net inside the far corner. It was 2-0 when Jesus headed home from close range at the back post after a corner was headed across goal by Jamie Vardy. (35 mins)
Vardy thought he had won a penalty when he brushed Ramsdale just inside the box, but referee Darren England was called to the monitor and reversed his penalty decision.
Leicester did have a goal in the 53rd minute thanks to a poor headed own goal by Arsenal new boy Saliba. It was 3-1 in the 55th minute when Ward dropped a Ben White cross and Jesus slipped the ball to Xhaka who had an easy finish. Leicester need to upgrade their keeper.
Maddison scored with a low shot through Ramsdale's legs in the 74th minute, but Martinelli beat Ward too easily to his left with a low shot after another Jesus assist a minute later.
Brighton 0-0 Newcastle (15.00)
Goalkeeper Nick Pope, signed from Burnley, made several good saves to enable Newcastle to leave The Amex with a point.
Neil Maupay was left out of the Brighton squad as Nottingham Forest and Everton were reported to be chasing his signature.
Pope needed a couple of touches and a little fortune to save a Trossard shot then to keep the ball away from Welbeck. He then got a hand on a shot by Solly March before Trippier cleared off the line. A 41st minute save from Lallana was straightforward.
In the second half, Pope had to dive to his left to push away a free header for Lallana. Veltman prevented Wilson from collecting a Saint-Maximin cross with a great clearance lifted over his bar.
Pope made a good reaction save from March's prodded shot, and again had a hand in clearing a Veltman shot following a Brighton corner. Schar cleared in front of the line this time. Gross put a shot wide after excellent play on his debut by Japanese player Kaonu Mitoma, who spent last season on loan in Belgium and came off the bench today.
Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth (15.00)
Bournemouth had lost every one of the ten preceding Premier League games against City and there have been four big defeats among those, so you could say normal service was resumed. Haaland had only 8 touches, but one of those was an assist. Kevin de Bruyne once again led a City masterclass, and the club took over at the top of the fledgling table.
Bournemouth keeper Travers made early saves from Mahrez and Foden before Haaland turned a ball to Gundogan who broke the deadlock after 19 minutes. It was 2-0 in the 31st minute after De Bruyne collected Foden's pass, jinked to his left and hit a delicate right-footed shot inside the keeper's right post.
Mahrez hit a cross-field pass to Mahrez, who this time provided for Foden to score from the left of goal, despite the keeper getting a touch. (37 mins)
City had to wait till the 79th minute for their fourth goal, and this was a Lerma own goal after good approach play by substitute Grealish and Cancelo, who crossed from the left for Gundogan.
Southampton 2-2 Leeds (15.00)
Southampton rallied and made a late comeback to rescue their first point of the season against Leeds, for whom Rodrigo scored both goals.
Rodrigo's first goal came in the first minute of the second half when he turned in Harrison's cross from the left at the near post. The second came on the hour from a corner which Rodrigo had won. Struijk headed the corner across goal from the right and Rodrigo found the target from close range with a header at the back post.
Aribo and Adam Armstrong had come off the bench for "The Saints" and Aribo collected Armstrong s cross from the left before beating Bazunu and a defender with a shot taken after a couple of touches inside the area. (72 mins) Kyle Walker-Peters scored the equaliser with a right foot shot across the goal, after he took Mara's pass. (81 mins)
Wolves 0-0 Fulham (15.00)
Aleksandar Mitrovic had a late chance to secure a win for Fulham from the penalty spot, but Sa saved, and the game ended goalless.
Wolves had missed good chances in either half. Fulham's penalty was awarded late in the game when Ait-Nouri fouled Decordova-Reid. Mitrovic hit his penalty too close to the keeper, who saved low to his right.
Brentford 4-0 Manchester Utd (17.30)
Ronaldo started this game in the middle of the front three. Ten Hag sought to play total football with a midfield of Eriksen, Fred and Fernandes. Eriksen, of course, was playing against the team which offered him his come-back opportunity last season.
Brentford took a tenth minute lead after they pressed in the United half after the visitors' throw-in. DaSilva hit a low, quite innocuous shot which De Gea fumbled and allowed to enter his net inside his left post. That was total embarrassment, not "total football"!
Jensen hit a free kick just over the bar from inside "D" after a foul by Harry Maguire, who was booked. Within a minute (17 minutes) Jensen did score after pathetic play-out play by De Gea and Eriksen, who lost the ball to the scorer. Ten Hag shook his head and must have wished he never left Amsterdam!
A clean song from the home fans directed towards United was, "Going down with the Fulham"!
Brentford won a corner on the half-hour, taken deep by Jensen and headed back across the goal by Toney. Former Burnley man Ben Mee headed into the net at the near post. Martinez was Mee's non-marker. United's defence was looking like lost boys. Their grief was exacerbated in the 35th minute. After stout defending in the Brentford area a Jensen long ball was sent down the left flank to Ivan Toney. United had over-committed and Toney passed into the middle to his strike partner Mbeumo who finished with a low left-footed shot.
United have never been 4-0 down at this stage of a Premier League match. When Spurs beat them 6-1 at Old Trafford and scored four first half goals, Bruno Fernandes had given them a second minute penalty lead.
United made three half-time changes. These were Malacia for Shaw, Varane for Martinez, and McTominay for Fred. Malacia was signed in the summer from Feyenoord.
Sancho gave away a cheap early second half corner, after which De Gea had to save a low shot by Hickey with his legs at his left post. Ronaldo had a couple of early headed chances, both of which were hit off target.
Elanga replaced Sancho in the 60th minute. United had been passing the ball better in this half, but Brentford's defence was strong. Rashford lifted a short cross from right of the area and Eriksen at least headed on target. Raya held comfortably.
After a Brentford throw in the 80th minute, the ball fell to the feet of Henry, whose powerful shot was cleanly saved De Gea. Eriksen hit a left foot shot just wide at the other end. Brentford won another corner and De Gea had to make a decent save from a shot by Janelt.
Brentford not only defended their four-goal lead well, but also continued to carry a threat, particularly from corners and throw-ins. Their fans had a wonderful day, and the West London club deserves all the credit given.
United have now lost their last seven away games and conceded four goals in four of those! Their next game is at home to Liverpool!
Sunday 14th August, 2022
Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Ham (14.00)
Jesse Lingard was in the Forest team facing the team where he played on loan in the second half of the 2021/22 season. Lingard apparently preferred a move to Forest, rather than going back to "The Hammers". The West Ham side looked familiar, whereas Forest fans have to get used to a much-changed squad. Michael Antonio, now 32, was playing against the club which sold him to West Ham in 2015.
Forest were back in the Premier League and playing at home for the first time in 23 years. They featured on Sky's very first "Super Sunday" on August 15th, 1992, when Teddy Sheringham scored their first Premier League goal in a 1-0 win against Liverpool. Teddy, or Edward, as Brian Clough called him, would quickly move to Spurs.
After an early foul upon Antonio, Cresswell hit a 20-yard free kick only just over the bar at The Trent End. Forest had a free kick at the other end and Fabianski had to save a defensive header by his own player - Jarrod Bowen. Awoniyi had been the target and the danger on that occasion, and the new Forest striker subsequently went close with a header from a Neco Williams cross. Forest were giving a good account of themselves.
Benrahma forced a diving save from Henderson and Toffalo was on hand to clear the loose ball with Soucek ready to pounce. Soucek had a header on target after 24 minutes from a Cresswell cross, but that was an easy pick-up for Henderson. West Ham were offering more of a threat after the drinks break, but Bowen was unable to control a Benrahma cut-back and Antonio turned a shot wide across goal.
Fabianski had to close down Williams and conceded a corner at his near post. West Ham countered and Benrahma had the ball in the net from a pass by Rice, but after viewing the monitor referee Rob Jones cancelled the goal because of an Antonio foul on Mangala in the build-up. Fabianski had to save from Williams again at the other end.
Forest took the lead in first half added time and the assist nearly belonged to Lingard who prodded the ball forward. The ball bounced off the feet of Ben Johnson and Awoniyi's touch which put the ball in the net was also involuntary, but it was Forest's first Premier League goal since that of Chris Bart-Williams on May 16th, 1999!
Almost immediately after the re-start, Fornals hit a shot which bounced down off the underside of the bar and was met by Soucek's header which Henderson saved with a dive to his right. The ball then ran clear of danger.
Forest had been up against it, but Brennan Johnson thought he had given his team a sensational 53rd minute 2-0 lead, but VAR's offside confirmation put paid to those celebrations. Fabianski did have to save a header by Niakhate after a Forest corner.
Benrahma hit a free kick which beat Henderson but bounced off the underside of the bar in front of the goal-line. After a Benrahma pass, Soucek then had a shot which was blocked by McKenna. After a monitor review Mr. Jones awarded a penalty. Rice took a weak penalty kick and Henderson saved with a dive to the right. (65th minute)
After an 83rd minute West Ham corner, Neco Williams cleared a Zouma header off the line.
There were over 8 minutes of added time and Forest used every bit of skulduggery they could to eat away the time. They defended their slender lead, and had the rub of the green, but West Ham have lost their first two games.
Chelsea 2-2 Spurs (16.30)
Chelsea remain unbeaten across their last eight Premier League encounters with Tottenham Hotspur, taking 20 points from a possible 24 in this fixture (W6 D2).
Spurs have won just one of their last 38 away matches against Chelsea in all competitions (D13 L24), a 3-1 win in April 2018 in the Premier League.
Harry Kane has scored 42 goals in Premier League London derby matches, the second most of any player after Thierry Henry (43).
Harry Kane (for Spurs) has equalled Sergio Ag ero (for Manchester City) for the most goals scored for a single club in the Premier League (184). Kane scored his 13th 90th minute goal in the competition, second only to Jermain Defoe (15).
I made Cristian Romero my Spurs man of the match, and was pleased to see that the official site's voters agreed. Much was made of Romero pulling Cucurella's (long hair) in the build-up to an incident which led to our 96th minute winning corner, but the referee had ignored the event and VAR did not over-rule that decision. The incident might even have been before the ball was in play.
Monday 15th August, 2022
Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace (20.00)
Liverpool were missing Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott started in midfield. Darwin Nunez made his first start, and Nat Phillips played in Matip's place. Palace lined up in a 5-4-1 formation.
Milner had a chance in the first minute when Guaita panicked and punched out an Alexander-Arnold cross aimed for Nunez. The Liverpool veteran player (and captain for this game) fired over at the Anfield Road end. There was a delay whilst Guaita received treatment. Harvey Elliott had a shot blocked by Andersen after a good move featuring Van Dijk's long ball to Alexander-Arnold and the resulting cross. Nunez lifted the loose ball high over the target.
The traffic was in one direction and Salah put a shot wide midway through the first half after receiving a pass from Alexander-Arnold. Elliott, who this week signed an extended contract, was in good form and after he passed to Alexander-Arnold, the right back lifted a ball to Salah, whose shot was held by the Palace keeper.
Zaha gave the Anfield crowd a nasty shock in the 32nd minute when he picked up a short pass by Eze just inside the Liverpool half, then left Phillips behind before beating Alisson with a low shot inside the keeper's left post.
New signing Cheik Doucoure put Zaha through after 40 minutes and Alisson had to save the shot. Elliott headed a ball straight at Guaita, who couldn t hold the ball. Liverpool won a fruitless corner. In first added time, Nunez mis-hit a shot after a Harvey Elliott ball and the ball rebounded out off the far post.
Palace held a surprise first half lead.
Liverpool became more and more frustrated by Palace's delaying tactics. Darwin Nunez was rightly shown a red card when he head-butted Andersen after the Palace centre-back shoved the striker in the back. There will be no appeal regarding the resulting three-match suspension. Andersen was shown yellow by referee Paul Tierney for his part in the incident. (57 mins)
Luis Diaz scored a brilliant solo goal in the 61st minute, coming inside from the left and passing several Palace players before unleashing a 20-yard shot inside Guaita s left post.
10-man Liverpool kept the pressure on Palace, but Zaha missed a good chance from Doucoure s cross after 77 minutes. Salah put a shot just wide of the post after a cross by sub Tsimikas was half-cleared.
Another substitute- Liverpool s Fabio Carvalho - pulled a shot wide with added time approaching. Andersen hit a shot wide after a rare Palace corner with less than two minutes remaining.
Palace did more than just hold on in the closing stages, but to a man they had defended stoutly throughout. Liverpool are already four points behind Manchester City.
Fixtures & results - 13-15.08.22
Saturday 13th August, 2022
A. Villa 2-1 Everton (12.30)
Arsenal 4-2 Leicester (15.00)
Brighton 0-0 Newcastle (15.00)
Man City 4-0 B'mouth (15.00)
S'hampton 2-2 Leeds (15.00)
Wolves 0-0 Fulham (15.00)
Brentford 4-0 Man Utd (17.30)
Sunday 14th August, 2022
Nottm F'st 1-0 West Ham (14.00)
Chelsea 2-2 Spurs (16.30)
Monday 15th August, 2022
Liverpool 1-1 C. Palace (20.00)
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Man City 2 2 0 0 6-0 6 6
2. Arsenal 2 2 0 0 6-2 4 6
3. Brentford 2 1 1 0 6-2 4 4
4. Spurs 2 1 1 0 6-3 3 4
5. Newcastle 2 1 1 0 2-0 2 4
5. Leeds 2 1 1 0 4-3 1 4
7. Chelsea 2 1 1 0 3-2 1 4
8. Brighton 2 1 1 0 2-1 1 4
9. A. Villa 2 1 0 1 2-3 -1 3
10. Nottm F 2 1 0 1 1-2 -1 3
11. B'mouth 2 1 0 1 2-4 -2 3
12. Liverpool 2 0 2 0 3-3 0 2
13. Fulham 2 0 2 0 2-2 0 2
14. Wolves 2 0 1 1 1-2 -1 1
15. Leicester 2 0 1 1 4-6 -2 1
16. C. Palace 2 0 1 1 1-3 -2 1
17. S'hampton 2 0 1 1 3-6 -3 1
18. Everton 2 0 0 2 1-3 -2 0
19. West Ham 2 0 0 2 0-3 -3 0
20. Man Utd 2 0 0 2 1-6 -5 0