Manchester City (1) vs. (0) Manchester United (Aguero 63’)
Controversy was rife in the first Manchester derby of the season, malady as a ten men Manchester United were defeated by their noisy neighbours. Numerous penalty claims were waved away by the referee for Man City, who despite their numerical advantage failed to control the game sufficiently against a makeshift United defence.
The game was open at the beginning of the first half, forcing saves out of De Gea and Hart. Chris Smalling picked up a yellow for blocking a Hart drop kick, before he clumsily dived in on James Milner on the edge of the United box, earning himself his second yellow in the 39th minute.
This sending off brought a different dynamic to the game. Michael Carrick was brought on for Adnan Januzaj to play in centre back. Marcos Rojo was stretchered off and replaced by 19 year old Paddy McNair in the 56th minute, forming a completely different centre back partnership than had started the game. City upped the pressure, and it was only a matter of time before a goal would come.
And who else would it be but Sergio Aguero, who slotted in his 10th Premier League goal in 11 games. City were content to sit back and do little to increase their lead, and it was an edgy finish to the game in the last 10 minutes as United increased the pressure. A vital three points for City, but United will be left wondering ‘what if?’ had Smalling kept his temperament in order.
Newcastle (1) vs. (0) Liverpool – (Ayoze Perez 74’)
A resurgent Newcastle side saw out their fourth win in a row in all competitions against a stagnated Liverpool side who slumped to their fourth loss in ten games, clearly mourning the loss of the contagious energy of Suarez and the clinical finishing of Sturridge. Spanish youngster Ayoze Perez scored his second winner in as many games.
An uneventful game in quality, this game is significant of its effect on both teams; Pardew’s job seems secure while Liverpool’s title chances seem in disarray. A Papiss Cisse shot was cleared off the line by Glen Johnson, while Martin Skrtel came close with a powered header from a corner kick.
The dull first half gained momentum mid-way through the second half, when poor defending from Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno allowed Perez to slot it in from close range. A two-on-one situation resulting from even more poor defending allowed Remy Cabella to nearly score, with Mignolet’s leg the only barrier to entry.
More questions were asked of Rodgers and his misfiring squad- in particular Mario Balotelli, and they face a tough task away to Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Arsenal (3) vs. (0) Burnley – (Alexis Sanchez 70’, 90’; Chambers 72’)
An Alexis brace, a first Arsenal goal for Calum Chambers and a first appearance since January for Theo Walcott were highlights in Arsenal’s victory over a spirited Burnley, who, despite a well orchestrated defensive effort and an ecstatic display from their ‘keeper Tom Heaton succumbed to an offensive master class from the Chilean.
For over 70 minutes, the Clarets offered a strong defensive effort to thwart the Gunners, who had over 68% possession and 32 shots. A strong penalty claim in the second half was ignored, while in the second half a goal-saving block by Michael Duff on a clear-cut chance on a placed shot by Santi Cazorla kept it at 0-0, before a relentless Sanchez leaped between the Burnley Centre halves to header in a Chambers’ cross.
Burnley’s resolve seemed to escape them after this, as just two minutes later a poorly defended corner was stabbed in by Chambers after a goal-line clearance from a Welbeck shot rebounded into Chambers’ path.
A stunning save from Heaton on a close range volley from Podolski added some drama late on, as well as another Podolski volley that thundered off the post. However, Sanchez bagged his second in the 90th minute with nimble footwork from a Gibbs cross. A fairly conclusive victory from the Gunners who recorded back-to-back wins in the Premier league for the first time this season.
Chelsea (2) vs. (1) Queens Park Rangers (Oscar 32’; Hazard (p) 75’: Austin 62)
The league leaders continued their undefeated start to the season with a victory over newly promoted QPR in the West London derby. However, Chelsea were made work for the three points as an impressive second half performance from the Rangers side who were hunting for their first away point of the season.
Chelsea started brightly, with a front post flick from Ivanovic hitting the side netting. In the 32nd minute, the Premier League’s assist leader Fabregas found Oscar on the right side of the box, who then unleashed a wonder strike, curling the shot with the outside of his right boot in to the left bottom corner.
Chelsea looked good value for their lead going into the second half; however, a Charlie Austin flick beat Thibaut Courtois from a wayward shot which sparked a Rangers revival. Close chances from both ends followed. A Sandro shot whistled past the post, while an Oscar free kick was tipped away by Rob Green.
The game was opened up by a clumsy challenge by Eduardo Vargas on Eden Hazard in the 75th minute, wherein Hazard slotted in the corresponding spot kick. Harry Redknapp spoke after of the penalty decision, calling it “harsh…our little guy was a bit stronger than their little guy”
Crystal Palace (1) vs. (3) Sunderland (Wes Brown O.G : Fletcher 31’, 90’; Jordi Gomez 79’)
Sunderland were looking to get all three points in this relegation dogfight after having a wretched last two games, losing 8-0 to Southampton and falling 2-0 to Arsenal, where both goals were from defensive errors.
Crystal Palace were the recipients of poor defending when they let Patrick Van Aanholt in a mile of space to pick out Steven Fletcher who back stepped his markers to send in an impressive header from far out, sinking into to the bottom corner.
In the second half, Wilfried Zaha’s trickery allowed him to send in a well placed cross which found Chamakh’s header which was cleared off the line by Costel Pantilimon. Campbell back heeled the ball back into the danger zone and Wes Brown clumsily hit it into his own net.
The game was there for the taking for Crystal Palace but they couldn’t capitalise on their chances. From a simple pass from Buckley, Gomez hit a lovely low ball from 20 yards to give Sunderland the lead. A frustrated Jedinak lashes out and earns a second yellow, while in the dying moments Fletcher finished from a Bridcutt pass to seal the deal.
Aston Villa (1) vs. (2) Tottenham (Weimann 16’: Chadli 84’; Kane 90’)
After nine hours and 7 minutes without a goal, Aston Villa finally scored, but were unable to hold on after a terrific last 10 minutes from Tottenham saw them get two back and win the game.
A frenzied opening to the game saw Benteke hit the cross bar with a thundering hit and Soldado come close with a shot that whiskered past the post and a quick reacting header that just went wide. All the signs were there, and Weimann latched onto an N’Zogbia cross to slide the ball in.
A scuffle broke out between Benteke and Mason. A shouldering contest broke out between Lamela and Benteke, to which Mason pushed Benteke in retaliation. A hand was raised to Mason’s face by Benteke, and although nothing more than a slight slap, the red card was given.
Dubious decisions for bad tackles on Westwood by Chadli and Vertonghen would cause alarm post-match from the Aston Villa camp. A Lamela corner in the 84th minute was converted by Chadli at the back post, before a 90th minute deflected free-kick by Harry Kane won it for Spurs.
Everton (0) vs. (0) Swansea
A goalless draw was not without its drama and excitement as Antonio Alcaraz ‘saved’ a shot from Shelvey, and Shelvey was later sent off for two bookable offences. The Swans have yet to beat Everton in a league game.
Everton started stronger, while an early volleyed shot from Eto’o might have had more impact if it had been struck with more power; however it went safe into Fabianski’s hands. A McGeady shot was powerfully struck, but was straight at Fabianski.
A poor pass opened up a chance for Shelvey on the edge of the box, who shot it low, only to be blocked by a diving Alcaraz using his outstretched hand. Shelvey’s protestations were waved away. Shelvey then gave away a foul against Barkley, before needlessly kicking the ball away, receiving a yellow for his efforts.
Shelvey skewed a curled shot wide when a viable option was open to his left after the break. Shelvey then blocked a running McCarthy with his body, receiving his second yellow after only returning from a one game suspension. A Lukaku chance in the dying embers of the game was just missed, but wouldn’t have counted anyway due to the Belgian’s offside position.
Leicester (0) vs. (1) West Bromwich Albion (Cambiasso O.G. 47’)
Esteban Cambiasso’s first own goal in 362 league games gave W.B.A. the three points, with Albion’s talisman Saido Berahino not scoring but looking dangerous. This was Leicester’s first home loss of the season.
A relatively uneventful first half showed good play by Berahino, who forced a save from Kasper Schmeichel. Berahino then set up Chris Brunt late on in the half, who hammered the ball just over the bar.
Just after the start of the second half, the deadlock was broken. A hopeful Berahino cross was cleared by Wes Morgan straight onto the knees of the retreating Cambiasso, which snuck in under Schmeichel’s hand.
Leicester piled on the pressure, with a hopeful through ball met by Jamie Vardy who shot in to Foster’s hands. Marcin Wasilewski seemingly elbowed Berahino in the face, but nothing was given. Further chances by Andy King were casually saved by Ben Foster.
Stoke (2) vs. West Ham (2) (Victor Moses 33’; Diouf 56’: Valencia 60’; Downing 73’)
An in-form West Ham, on the back of their win against the champions last week, came from two behind against Stoke at the Britannia. An inspired West Ham were driven forward by Valencia and Downing, who got an assist and a goal each.
A bright start from Stoke saw former Barcelona wonderkid Bojan Krkic nearly gifted a goal lest for an important block from James Collins. Stoke’s resilience paid off as Moses was granted a scrappy goal from a deflected shot.
A Cresswell mistake allowed Walters to shift his weight and gain the ball in a dangerous position, which he whipped into the path of Mame Biram Diouf who headed it past Adrian. Stoke looked solid with their lead in a game they were dominating.
However, a poor pass from Moses after a brief advantage found the feet of Downing, who dribbled down the flank and delivered a curling cross which bounced before finding the head of Valencia. Valencia then turned provider for Downing, as a pass to the edge of the box was met with a thundering strike from Downing’s right boot.
Hull (0) vs. (1) Southampton (Wanyama 3’)
A wonder strike from Victor Wanyama was enough to secure the win for Southampton in a game rich in chances. This was Southampton’s sixth clean sheet of the season, who have also only conceded five goals.
The game opened with a forty-five yard screamer from Wanyama, who capitalised on a lack of communication between the Hull keeper and defender to drill the ball over the ‘keeper and into the net.
The young keeper, Eldin Jakupovic started nervously on his home debut, firstly gifting the goal to Wanyama before nearly allowing Shane Long to dink the ball over him after he indecisively under committed to a through ball.
Later chances for Southampton were stopped by Jakupovic who gained in composure, and a perfectly aimed cross by Tadíc was somehow missed by Sadio Mané at the near post. A late Steven Davis chance in stoppage time whistled over. A poor game overall for both sides but the three points were wholly welcomed.
Written by Fionnbarr Thompson