Premier League Matchday Five Review
Kyle Campbell recaps all the action from the fifth round of Premier League fixtures, which included drama at the London Stadium, a big derby win for Chelsea and a huge three points for Brentford.
De Gea’s Heroics Ensure Red Devils Take All 3 Points – West Ham United 1-2 Manchester United
Manchester United’s trip to the London Stadium was not short of drama, as a hectic final five minutes ended with Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men stealing all three points.
West Ham welcomed Manchester United to London on the back of an excellent 2-0 win in Zagreb on Thursday evening. The Hammers had talisman Michail Antonio leading the line midweek, but due to his red card in last week’s match against Southampton, it was Jarrod Bowen starting up front for the home side.
A dominant start for Manchester United had West Ham pinned in for the first 25 minutes, with Bruno Fernandes going closest to opening the scoring from a corner.
Despite consistent pressure being applied by the visitors, it was West Ham who broke the deadlock with 30 minutes on the clock.
A slick move down the right-hand side was finished off by Saïd Benrahma. His right footed shot just outside of the 18-yard box was deflected by Raphaël Varane and completely wrong-footed David De Gea, leaving the Spaniard with no chance to scramble back across his goal.
West Ham were only able to keep their lead for five minutes before Manchester United’s number seven was able to draw the visitors level.
The Hammers were unable to fully clear their lines from a corner and it was the creative mastermind, Bruno Fernandes, that found himself with time and space on the left-hand side. Cristiano Ronaldo was alert to the opportunity – as he often is – and his compatriot found him unmarked in the danger area with a beautifully measured cross. Ronaldo’s first shot was saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but the forward found the target with his second effort on the rebound.
A lacklustre second half found both sides struggling to create any clear-cut chances, with a controversial penalty decision not going Ronaldo’s way being the biggest talking point.
A slow second half was finally brought to life in the 89th minute.
Second half substitute Jesse Lingard faced up against Kurt Zouma in the box. A shimmy onto his stronger right foot was not matched by the French defender and gave Lingard enough room to fire a shot into the top right corner, right in front of the travelling fans. It was a muted celebration from Lingard due to his successful loan spell at West Ham last season.
The Hammers pushed forward looking to steal a point right at the death.
Andriy Yarmolenko’s attempted cross hit Luke Shaw’s arm from close range, but any claims of a penalty were shut down by Martin Atkinson. The London Stadium held its breath as the referee made his way over to the VAR monitor for a second look, inevitably overturning his original decision and awarding West Ham a penalty.
West Ham made an instant substitution, bringing on club captain and assured penalty taker Mark Noble in hope of slotting the penalty away. Noble did not appear as confident as he so often does, and his penalty was saved by David De Gea with seconds left to play.
Given the scope and timing of the opportunity, West Ham will have come away feeling like they wasted the opportunity to earn a valuable point against The Red Devils. On the other hand, Manchester United will be left with no qualms as another victory keeps their unbeaten record away from home intact.
Chelsea Dismantle Spineless Spurs – Tottenham 0-3 Chelsea
This weekend’s London derby was nothing more than a Sunday stroll for Chelsea as their comfortable 3-0 victory catapults them to the top of the table.
Spurs welcomed their city rivals to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, seeking to earn their first league victory over Chelsea since 2018.
After a disappointing draw in the Europa League on Thursday evening, midfielder Tanguy Ndombele was afforded a place in the starting line-up for the first time since Nuno Espírito Santo took the reins in North London.
Tottenham had a promising start to the game, putting Chelsea’s back five under pressure within the opening two minutes. An excellent low cross by Heung-Min Son fell to Giovani Lo Celso, but he was unable to sort out his feet and mishit his shot.
Tottenham continued with their high intensity start but never looked like seriously threatening Chelsea, as Thiago Silva was able to match Spurs’ attacking options.
Thomas Tuchel made a tactical change heading into the second half by bringing on N’golo Kanté for Mason Mount, as they looked to get a foothold in the game.
Chelsea came flying out of the blocks following the change and won a corner within three minutes. An excellent delivery by Marcos Alonso was met by the arriving Thiago Silva and he was able to direct his header past the outstretched Hugo Lloris.
Chelsea refused to take their foot off the gas and super sub Kanté made an instant impact when his low driven shot was deflected in by Eric Dier, leaving Lloris with no chance.
Chelsea took complete control of the game and bossed the Spurs midfield for the remainder of the match. Tottenham were there for the taking and their soft core was unable to match their opponent’s robustness.
The Blues made it 3-0 in the final moments after a great pick out by Timo Werner was finished off by Antonio Rüdiger, putting the final nail in the coffin.
Chelsea maintained their strong start to the season as Tottenham’s difficult week ends with a gutless performance, which found Harry Kane struggling to make an impact once again.
Nuno Espirito Santo will be looking to rectify their recent disappointment as they take on Arsenal in the North London derby next weekend.
Liverpool’s Intentions Look Crystal Clear as They Ease Past Palace – Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace
Liverpool’s strong start to the season continues as they seek to reclaim the Premier League title.
An impressive performance from start to finish against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace was deservedly capped off with a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Palace were unable to deal with Liverpool’s threat from set pieces, as all three goals came from poor organisation at corners.
The first of the three was scored by Sadio Mané just before half time, as he was on hand at the back post to slot the ball home. Vicente Guaita’s excellent save from a powerful Mohamed Salah header fell straight into the path of Mané to put the home side in front.
In the 78th minute, Salah helped himself to a goal at the back post, this time by smashing a volley past Guaita and ensuring Liverpool were leaving Anfield with the deserved win.
Naby Keita outshone Salah’s finish when he caught a perfectly timed volley from 20 yards out leaving Vicente Guaita helpless between the sticks.
Jürgen Klopp was delighted with the victory following their tough midweek game with AC Milan.
Best of the Rest
- Aston Villa got the better of Everton with a barrage of goals in the second half. Matty Cash broke the deadlock in the 66th minute before Leon Bailey stole the show, whipping in a corner that went in off Lucas Digne and then sealing the three points with an accomplished finish past Asmir Begović.
- Ismaïla Sarr starred for Watford as he scored two important goals to secure his side’s second win of the campaign. The Hornets came out 3-1 winners against Norwich as The Canaries still look for their first points of the season.
- Brentford’s impressive start to life in the Premier League did not slow down as they secured a 2-0 victory away at Molineux. Ivan Toney was, once again, a handful up top and caused issues for the Wolves defence all afternoon. Wolves have now failed to score in four of their first five matches as main goal threat, Raúl Jiménez, looks to return to full match sharpness.
- Brighton kept up their fine form with an important 2-1 victory against Leicester. Newcastle held Leeds to a 1-1 draw in the North East as they both remain winless this season. Arsenal held on to a 1-0 win against Burnley after Martin Ødegaard opened his account for the season, whilst Man City were left frustrated by Southampton, with the game finishing in a stalemate.
Player of the Week – Thiago Silva
The veteran defender had an immense game at the back for Chelsea. He ushered his defence through the game, kept Harry Kane quiet and even chipped in with an important goal. An almost perfect performance from the soon to be 37-year-old.