Premier League Gameweek 6
Brighton 1 v Tottenham 2
A very entertaining and open game during a very rainy day In Brighton as visitors Tottenham looked to secure another three points and keep pressure on City, Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table.
Tottenham had control of the opening exchanges, with Brighton defending for their lives to not concede early on. Rose and Trippier had a lot of success down the wings, but the conditions made it difficult for either team to be clinical in the box.
The first goal came from a harsh penalty for a hand ball, which Kane was able to take full advantage of by sending the keeper the wrong way to give Tottenham the lead a couple of minutes before the half time whistle. So far the game was dogged but a very high tempo.
Brighton came out even quicker at the start of the second half, putting Tottenham on the back foot and preventing them from creating any clear cut chances early on. This led Tottenham to make several attacking changes, bringing on Lamela and Ali to add some more attacking press. This change paid off, a now energised Tottenham attack was able to counter Brighton clinically with Lamela finishing off a great attacking move to double the lead.
Brighton got a goal just before the full time whistle, but there was no more they could do to change the outcome and Tottenham took all three points.
Man United 1 v Wolves 1
Old Trafford saw the return of club legend Sir Alex Ferguson as the Red devils hosted newly promoted Wolves. The visitors had made a good first impression in the league, so Mourinho knew this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park by any means.
The game begun very openly, with Wolves testing Da Gea early from set pieces, however they were unable to secure a lead. United responded well, and a great touch from Pogba on the edge of the box set up Fred to slot home his first competitive goal for United, a drilled shot into the bottom left corner.
The game continued with both teams creating chances. Wolves sat a bit more defensively in their own half so to not concede another goal but also to provide countering opportunities. This tactic paid off, after a break from Wolves resulted in Moutinho receiving the ball on the edge of the box and placing it in the top left to draw level. After this, they parked the bus, meaning United had to resort to long shots and early crosses.
Lukaku will be disappointed from this game, with just minutes left he had a clear header from six yards but the ball wide. Fellaini also had a similar chance but this was saved meaning the game finished 1-1. United will be disappointed but they have to focus on the upcoming games mid-week, compared to Wolves who will be looking for redemption against Leicester.
Crystal Palace 0 v Newcastle 0
How this game remained goalless I’ll never know. Palace will feel unlucky not to get the win, or a goal even having taken 16 shots during the game. Townsend and Zaha got a lot of success down the wings, which led to the creation of several chances during both halves.
Newcastle’s only period of pressure came from defensive lapses from Palace, creating several corners and breakaway chances, however none of them very concrete and none of them really tested Hennessey.
During the last 10 minutes, Palace had several clear cut opportunities. A cross from Townsend provided a free header for Sakho who headed it wide, Dubravka had attempted to pick off the cross, however the ball went over him, giving Sakho an open goal to aim for. Possibly one of the worst misses we’ll see this season and definitely costly of the three points.
Leicester 3 v Huddersfield 1
A game that saw both managers under the microscope after less than impressive starts, both teams were desperately in need of a win. It was Huddersfield that got in front early. After only five minutes, a long throw was flicked into the box and Jorgensen slotted the ball away from six yards out.
From there on in, it was all Leicester. The midfield of Iheanacho, Maddison and Ghezzal seemed to have too much pace and quality for Huddersfield to deal with. The first Leicester goal came from a well worked break that saw every Huddersfield player in Leicester’s half. Leicester were able to capitalise on this, and a well worked series of passes saw Iheanacho one on one with the keeper, in which he calmly buried the ball into the net.
For all of Leicester’s dominance, they struggled to get too many open chances at the start of the second half. But in the 66th minute, Leicester were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Maddison stepped up and showed his quality to give Leicester the lead. Less than 10 minutes later, Huddersfield were caught on the break again, this time Vardy breaking away. One on one with the keeper, Vardy chipped the ball to double Leicester’s lead.
The score line finished 3-1 and Leicester will be pleased with their performance, as being honest, they could have had more goals. Huddersfield on the other hand, need to make some drastic changes. They’re struggling to create chances in open play and they switch off defensively which you just cannot do at the top flight. It’ll be interesting to see how they come back from this.
West Ham 0 v Chelsea 0
A great result for the Hammers who were looking to capitalise on their previous game in which they secured three points.
Chelsea started as everyone expected, controlling possession in the middle of the park and waiting for gaps to open up moving forward. However, West Ham’s organised defence limited any clean chances resulting in Hazard, Giroud and Willian taking shots early which didn’t really test the keeper.
West Hams biggest threat moving forward was definitely Anderson, who had a lot of success down the left hand side but unfortunately this didn’t materialise into any goals.
The second half was much more one sided with Chelsea dominating possession. Barkley and Morata were bought on to inject fresh legs to Chelsea’s attack. MOTM for me was Fabianski, who pulled off some amazing saves to deny David Luiz and Ross Barkley. It’s clear at the end of the game that a more clinical Chelsea would’ve run away with the game, however West Ham’s defence and keeper stood firm to give them a vital point.
Arsenal 2 v Everton 0
A good result for Arsenal who were able to secure another three points against a team with the potential to cause them problems.
The first 35 minutes were very open with both teams having an equal number of clear chances to give their side the lead. Theo Walcott looked very keen to make a statement this game, linking up well with Richarlison to create several chances and forcing saves out of Cech.
However during the second half, Everton struggled to maintain possession and bring the ball up the pitch, resulting in additional Arsenal pressure. This pressure led to Lacazette receiving the ball on the edge of the box and clinically firing the ball into the top right corner to give Arsenal the lead.
The lead was eventually doubled, albeit controversially, after Ozil (surprisingly) was able to dispossess the Everton defence and break down the left. He then squared it to Ramsey who flicked it through to Aubameyang who slotted the ball into the net. However replays showed that Aubameyang was clearly in an offside position and should VAR have been in play the goal wouldn’t have stood.
An interesting game for all concerned, and one that technology would’ve been able to adjust should it have been implemented.
Cardiff City 0 v Man City 5
An emphatic and clinical performance from the visitors, in a game that had very poor weather conditions.
The first half saw a well organised Cardiff defence preventing City from getting any sort of clear chances, although City had complete control of the half, they struggled to make anything work in the final third. However as City settled, gaps started forming and City got their break after Aguero finished clinically to mark his 205th City goal in 300 appearances.
Gundagon was a standout performer. He got forward well and his link up play was exceptional. The second goal came from a set piece when a low cross was header over the keeper by Bernardo Silva, then soon after Gundagon got on the score sheet with an emphatic finish in the top right hand corner.
Cardiff offered little to nothing going forward. The high press from City meant they struggled to hold onto possession and they barely got a look in on goal. With City’s depth, the subsititutes offered the same quality as the first half. Foden and Mahrez got stuck in straight away, with Mahrez getting a brace to seal a solid 5-0 win for City. It was business as usual for the champions, and Neil Warnock will have to accept his team were outclassed during this game.
Liverpool 3 v Southampton 0
An expected and assured victory from Liverpool.
The game started off very openly with both teams looking to attack with pace. Shaqiri found a lot of success running from deep and getting behind the defensive lines, which is what led to the first goal, a fortunate deflection and own goal.
It didn’t take long for the second goal to come for Liverpool, as Matip fired home a good header to double their lead. Southampton did respond well and have several half chances, however nothing was on target of Liverpools goal.
The third goal came just before half time, when Shaqiri’s free kick ricocheted off of the crossbar, and Mo Salah put it into the net to put Liverpool 3-0 up just before the half.
The second half was similar to the first, however when Shaqiri was subbed off, it was obvious that Liverpool looked less direct and started going wide much more often, leading to more long range shots and a longer range build up play. Salah had a goal disallowed at the very end for offside but he definitely wasn’t and the game finished 3-0.
Burnley 4 v Bournemouth 0
A clinical performance from Burnley saw them take three points at home and their first win of the Premier League season.
A fairly equal game saw Bournemouth on the front foot and with several chances early on, however these chances were well defended and nothing came of them. As Burnley settled into the game, they managed to pin Bournemouth back into their own half with a high press, Aaron Lennon especially was very efficient in his pressing duties as well as injecting pace and width in attack.
Five minutes before the half time whistle, a Burnley chance was parried out towards Vryda whose volley gave Burnley the lead. Only two minutes later Aaron Lennon’s hard work paid off, as he got on the end of a far post cross to double the lead just before half time. Bournemouth responded well in the second half, coming close on several occasions. Burnley decided to drop a bit deeper and catch Bournemouth on the counter, which worked out well as the game went on.
As Bournemouth tired, Burnleys counter became even more effective. In the last ten minutes, two goals from Ashley Barnes saw the lead double to 4-0 and the game secured for Burnley. There was a penalty shout for Bournemouth but this was waved away by the referee. Overall a great win for Burnley who will now look to gain momentum from this improvement in form.
Fulham 1 v Watford 1
An even game saw both teams take a share of the spoils.
Watford started off at a high intensity, which resulted in the opening goal inside 2 minutes, as Andre Gray slotted home a squared ball from 10 yards to give Watford the early lead.
Fulham responded well, an obvious tactic was to spread the play wide and feed Mitrovic as the target man. This tactic worked quite well but Mitrovic didn’t have a clear opportunity in the first half, with both Watford centre backs contesting for every aerial ball.
The second half saw Fulham have the majority of possession, it took nearly 30 minutes for them to get their reward. After some great play around Watford’s box, a low ball was drilled across the six yard box, which Mitrovic was able to touch in with the outside of his boot to draw Fulham level.
Fulham nearly shot themselves in the foot though, several errors from the back line gave Watford chances to score throughout the game, but they weren’t able to convert. Overall a fair result for both teams who will look to get back to winning ways next game.