Match Day three has passed us by, and we’re starting to see, at the most basic levels, what each Premier League team is made of. Four teams continued to take maximum points. Four players saw red. Jose Mourinho continues to be a pig-headed dinosaur stuck on his previous successes.
Let’s see how this week measures up against Ryan Matott’s Week 1:
And Dave Bolton’s Week 2:
Saturday kicks things off
The first match of the weekend saw title holders Manchester City marching into Molineux Stadium to face newly promoted Wolves. On paper, this match should have been a massacre. In reality, it was a tightly contested, slightly controversial affair that saw the champions limp out with one point.
City looked sloppy
They definitely didn’t deserve a loss, but I don’t know that they deserved a draw. The one Wolves goal was set up nicely, but Willy Boly scored with the back of his hand. During live play it was hard to catch, but upon seeing a replay, it was pretty obvious. This raises the question – “Does VAR have a place in the Premier League now?”.
After David Silva whining like a baby about a penalty that wasn’t (and I agree…it wasn’t), City was able to equalize through Aymeric Laporte in the 67th minute. City hit the woodwork numerous times, and had to settle for a 1-1 draw. It just wasn’t their day. That doesn’t change the fact that they are still favorites to finish top of the league for a second year in a row.
Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Everton, and Southampton all saw players sent off on Saturday, and none of them were able to collect three points.
A lot of bark, very little bite
Huddersfield was looking for their first points of the season as they hosted Cardiff. A scary moment came around the fifth minute when Cardiff’s Nathaniel Mendez-Laing barreled into Terriers keeper Ben Hamer. The two players were on the ground for the better part of five minutes. Hamer was able to stay in the game briefly, but ultimately gave way a few minutes later. Mendez-Laing was carted off the field on a stretcher.
This was the most action this match saw Cardiff had 14 shots, but only managed to put 4 of them on target, while Huddersfield only mustered 1. Jonathan Hogg was sent off in the 63rd minute, and ultimately Cardiff was unable to capitalize on it. This thriller ended 0-0.
10 v 10
Bournemouth and Everton played to a much more exciting 2-2 draw. Were you skeptical about the amount of money Everton paid for Richarlison? Same here. Did you go ahead and add him to your fantasy team after scoring 3 goals in 2 matches to start the season? Smart. Except for the fact that he got sent off for a stupid headbutt in the 41st minute. And that was about the only “exciting” thing that happened in the first half.
The second half saw two goals from each side, a red card shown to Bournemouth’s Adam Smith, and Michael Keane carted off on a stretcher after banging heads with Idrissa Gueye. All in all, a pretty exciting match.
Harry the Hero
No, not that one. The final red card of the weekend was shown to Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Hojbjerg was shown a second yellow in the 77th minute and subsequently sent off with the match level at 1-1. Ryan Bertrand and Demarai Gray scored 4 minutes apart to keep this nail biter…a nail biter.
It wasn’t until Marc Albrighton slotted the ball to Harry Maguire, who slotted a long range shot into the bottom corner of the net, that Leicester took the lead and secured victory at St. Mary’s. This match was truly even, with the Foxes lucky enough to take advantage of…their man advantage…and putting Southampton’s hopes for their first win on hold for at least one more week.
Red isn’t always a bad thing
Both Arsenal and Liverpool walked away with maximum points, but not without a fight.
The dirty London derby
Arsenal played host to West Ham, the only two teams I despise more than Chelsea. A match for the ages, really. Jack Wilshere returning home to play against the club who could no longer tolerate his smoking and long spells out with injury. Epic.
In all reality the match was crap. Arsenal snuck out with a victory between two clubs who forgot how to play defense. Petr Cech looks like a shell of his former self. Nacho, an own goal, and Danny freakin’ Welbeck led the goons to victory.
Reds continue to win
Liverpool had a tough match-up against a Brighton & Hove Albion club who are fresh off a victory against Manchester United in match day two. Mohamed Salah scored in the 23rd minute, and Liverpool skated through the rest of the match, winning 1-0.
The Reds have now scored 7 goals without conceding through their first few matches, and sit atop the very early Premier League table. They continue to grind out results, and look to be the biggest challenger to Manchester City.
The weekend continued with 3 matches that weren’t much to think about on paper. Watford/Crystal Palace? Eh. Newcastle/Chelsea? Should be obvious. Fulham/Burnley? Maybe it would be a 1-0 at best. Welp…I was wrong.
Watford continue unbeaten run
A couple early yellow cards kicked off an exciting first half at Vicarage road. Visting Crystal Palace fell to Liverpool in week 2, but have already scored more goals than they did the first 7 weeks of last season. Which isn’t hard, given that they didn’t score a single goal in any of those matches. That said, Palace have a fight to them this year and they brought it to Watford.
Roberto Pereyra continued his scoring streak, making it 3 in 3 matches. Jose Holebas scored 18 minutes later, putting Watford up 2-0 with a bit under 20 minutes to go. Wilfried Zaha scored 8 minutes after that, and the game was back on. Joel Ward had an opportunity to equalize in stoppage time, but headed wide. Watford hosts Spurs next week in a battle of 2 of the 4 teams who have won out so far. And their first time facing a team likely to finish in the top half of the table.
Yedlin sets up a goal…for both teams
The first 75 minutes of this match was goalless, and Newcastle put up a good fight at home in the northeast of England. Chelsea threw a lot at them, but Rafa Benitez’s lads stuck in and played hard. Right up until Fabian Schar was called for a foul against Marcus Alonso in the box. Eden Hazard walked up to the spot and slotted home to give the blues the lead.
Then came DeAndre Yedlin’s turn from face to heel in a matter of 4 minutes. In the 83rd minute, he bombed to the right of the box, cheekily taking down the big bad Olivier Giroud with his elbow in the meantime. He cut in and fired a cross over the middle that Joselu was able to slot home with his head. The Magpies celebrated while Giroud complained to the ref about the fact that someone half his size managed to take him down with an elbow to the face.
But then comedy turned to tragedy and Yedlin accidentally deflected a Chelsea shot into the net in the 87th minute, ultimately keeping Chelsea’s perfect streak alive. (Boo)
Fulham put 4 past a normally defensively sound Burnley
Burnley finished last season 7th in the table, getting a European bid and giving up 1.02 goals per game. This season, Sean Dyche’s men have already given up 7 through 3 and they don’t look to be as solid as they once were.
Aleksander Mitrovic scored twice in 3 minutes, and helped lead Fulham to victory at home. Way to use your head, man! Jeff Hendrick and James Tarkowski scored for Burnley, but it wasn’t enough. As Burnley was trying to claw their way back to salvage a point, Andre Schurrle come on as a sub and scored within a minute. That sealed the deal for the Cottagers and certainly helps gain confidence by picking up their first 3 points of the season. Can they keep the momentum going at Brighton next week? We’ll have to wait and see.
Monday Night Football
The game of the week was saved for Monday, with Tottenham traveling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. After an embarrassing loss to Brighton & Hove last week, United needed to get their act together against a tough Spurs squad. In addition to that, speculation was growing over what Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was going to do about Hugo Lloris’ arrest for drunk driving a few nights before. Poch came out today saying he never considered stripping his captain of his armband, and Lloris started as captain as he normally would.
Not the Red Devils’ day
In response to last week’s loss, Jose Mourinho benched Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, continuing his quest to destroy his own players’ resolve and find a scapegoat who is anyone but himself.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling took their places, and did an okay job in the first half. Though that’s all that can really be said for anyone in the first half of this one. Romelu Lukaku failed to capitalize on a horrible back pass by Danny Rose. Jones followed up Rose’s blunder by escaping without a penalty after bulldozing Lucas Moura in the box. Lukaku missed another opportunity, and Dele Alli failed to capitalize on lazy defending because he was too selfish to pass across the box to an open Harry Kane.
Needless to say, we could have seen 5 or more goals in the first half, yet managed zero. Now it was down to which manager could make the most of the halftime break. I may be biased, but man did Poch not disappoint.
It took 5 minutes in the second half before Harry Kane scored his second ever goal in the month of August, lofting a header into the top corner past a staring David De Gea. Lucas Moura added one two minutes later, then another in the 84th minute to cement a Spurs victory and send Mourinho on a tirade about respect in the media.
At what point is it time to look in the mirror, Jose? Just sayin’.