City score eight and Liverpool win at The Bridge – PL 10
Liverpool continued their perfect start to the season with victory at Stamford Bridge, despite being put under considerable pressure towards the very end. Their rivals, Manchester City, responded furiously after defeat to Norwich City last weekend by scoring eight against a helpless Watford. It’s Jamie Braidwood with this week’s PL 10.
Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool finding the edge with set-piece quality
Liverpool’s march at the top of the Premier League continued with a tight win at Chelsea. The result was Liverpool’s 15th Premier League win in a row, but it wasn’t all easy for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Chelsea made Liverpool work for their 2-1 win, especially in the second half, and it turned into a real battle for the league leaders.
Ultimately though, Liverpool won the game thanks to two clever set pieces in the first half, the first allowing Trent Alexander Arnold to fire into the top corner from outside of the box and the second resulting in Roberto Firmino’s header from six yards out. Football is an unpredictable game, but Liverpool know they can control how they execute set piece opportunities – and it is winning them tight matches as a result.
Manchester City 8-0 Watford
City take their dominance to a new level in record win
The Premier League champions responded to their loss at Norwich last weekend in style, racking up the biggest Premier League win in almost five years and the club’s biggest ever in the English top-flight at home to struggling Watford on Saturday. The quality of some of City’s goals was stunning – particularly Kevin de Bruyne’s whipped cross for David Silva’s opener after just 52 seasons. City were 5-0 up after 18 minutes and were 7-0 up after 60, so it could have worse for Watford. Visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster said he was “over the moon” to get in at half-time with the scoreline only at 5-0, and said City will hit double figures against a team sometime soon. Scary stuff.
West Ham 2-0 Manchester United
Man United attack a sorry sight in West Ham defeat
I can’t remember seeing such a bottom-heavy eleven in the Premier League than the Manchester United team that finished their 2-0 defeat at West Ham on Sunday. Contrast the likes of David De Gea, Aaron Wan Bissaka and Harry Maguire at the back to a front three of Jesse Lingard, Daniel James and Andreas Pereira. Sure, United were already without Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba and lost Marcus Rashford to injury during the game, but the fact that at 2-0 down they were chasing the game with Lingard up front is a damning indictment of their transfer policy. United are already paying the price for not replacing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez with what could quickly turn into their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
Arsenal must learn after riding their luck against Villa
Arsenal and Unai Emery got away with one at home to Aston Villa on Sunday, and could easily be on eight points from their opening six games along with Tottenham, Chelsea and Man United. On one hand, Arsenal showed great character to come from behind with only 10 men and find a late winner through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
On the other, Arsenal conceded 14 shots to a team which only had 41% possession and were lucky Villa weren’t awarded a late penalty for handball. Only four teams have conceded more goals than Arsenal in the Premier League so far this season, and while the 3-2 win will bring smiles to faces in the short term, Arsenal fans should be more worried about their shaky defence.
Leicester 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs can’t just blame VAR for latest defeat
It’s been another weekend dominated by VAR discussion, with Leicester’s win against Spurs in Saturday’s early game kicking off the most recent debate. The topic was again focussed on whether VAR should be used in tight offside calls, as it was when Serge Aurier’s goal was disallowed because Tottenham team-mate was Son Heung Min was narrowly offside in the build up. And when I saw narrowly, I mean narrowly, like 1.3cm. There are lots of arguments and points of view flying around online, but my main takeaway is that there is a margin of error greater than 1.3cm for offside, and so there is no way of knowing if Son was offside or not. In that case, the original decision from the official should stand and the goal should have stood.
So Spurs should have been 2-0 up, but instead they found a way to lose 2-1, their third away game in a row where they have failed to win after being ahead at half-time. The offside call was unfortunate but that kind of form from a team as good as Spurs can not be ignored.
Everton 0-2 Sheffield United
Everton already staring down the barrel of a wasted season
Everton’s bubble seems to have completely burst with their second consecutive Premier League defeat coming at home to Sheffield United on Saturday. There was so much optimism following the 3-2 win over Wolves a fortnight ago, and with Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United misfiring there was a real chance for Everton to state their claim for the top six.
But Marco Silva’s side again conceded from a set piece as they crashed to their third defeat of the season. Manchester City are up next and if Everton were to slip to a fourth defeat, despite having one of the easier opening fixture schedules in the league, then there will be real pressure on Silva already.
Newcastle 0-0 Brighton
Newcastle’s drab draw compounds loss of Benitez
Rafael Benitez kept Newcastle in the Premier League against the odds for two seasons because he won games like this 1-0. Newcastle look incapable of doing so under Steve Bruce, despite a freakish 1-0 win at Spurs earlier this month, and were second best against Brighton on Saturday. Newcastle face a tough next three games with trips to Leicester and Chelsea either side of Manchester United – which would actually look winnable if Benitez was still in charge.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolves
Palace throw away three points in 95th-minute horror show
Crystal Palace carelessly threw away a precious three points when they conceded in the 95th minute at home to Wolves on Sunday. Wilfried Zaha needlessly lost possession high up the field when he should have headed straight for the corner flag, before Joel Ward’s error at the back post allowed Diogo Jota to rescue a point for the visitors. Palace had plenty of chances to win the game before then but will feel sick when they see that Jota’s goal again. Wolves remain in the bottom three but are incredibly fortunate they didn’t slip to a fourth defeat of the season.
Burnley 2-0 Norwich
Burnley excellent in both boxes as they brush aside Norwich
Burnley quietly put together one of the most efficient performances of the season in their 2-0 win over Norwich on Saturday. Sean Dyche’s side were utterly dominant at Turf Moor, restricting the dangerous visitors to little to no clear chances while creating plenty of opportunities themselves.
Burnley had six shots on target against Norwich, creating an expected goal rate of 2.44, which is more than their previous five halves of football combined. And with two excellent front men in Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, Burnley were always going to take their chances when they came their way.
Southampton 1-3 Bournemouth
Harry Wilson needs to add more than just goals to his game
Bournemouth briefly moved up to third in the Premier League following an impressive win at Southampton on Friday night. Among the scorers for Eddie Howe’s side was Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who netted his third goal in only his fifth Premier League appearance. It’s an impressive start for the forward, who proved he has an eye for goal while on loan at Derby County last season when he scored 18 in all competitions. The question mark for Wilson was his overall impact on games, and whether his impressive goal tally hides poor displays, which also seemed to be the case on Friday. But will Bournemouth really care if Wilson keeps finding the net?