Wednesday, 19 August 2015

City Remain Top As Benteke Downs Cherries

Two down, 36 to go as the new 2015/16 Premier League season is in full swing with a first ever Friday night game kicking off four days of action featuring all 20 sides.

The aforementioned Friday night opener saw Aston Villa hosting Manchester United with both looking to continue their perfect start after opening wins. However it was the visitors who ended the evening with six points from six after a winning strike from Adnan Januzaj on 29 minutes.

Saturday's early game saw Southampton host Everton with both sides looking for their first win after draws on the opening weekend. The Toffees opened the scoring through Romelu Lukaku on 22 minutes before the Belgian striker added a second just before the interval for a 2-0 lead.

The Saints failed to cut the deficit in the second half leaving Ross Barkley to confirm a 3-0 win with a strike six minutes from the end.

After both suffering defeats in the opening weekend, Sunderland hosted Norwich with both sides looking to avoid back-to back losses. The Canaries took control in the first half with a 26th minute opener from Russell Martin followed just 11 minutes later by a second from Steven Whittaker for a 2-0 half-time advantage. Sunderland looked to be on course for another defeat as the hour came as Nathan Redmond put the visitors three goals to the good on 57 minutes.

The only positive of the afternoon for the hosts came late on as Duncan Watmore scored a consolation for a 3-1 final score. 

Swansea hosted Newcastle in a game between two side searching for a win but unlike the Swans who had drawn their opener, the Magpies came into the game looking to avoid a second defeat. The hosts made a superb start with Bafetimbi Gomis scoring inside nine minutes for 1-0. Newcastle's task to level suffered a blow just before the interval as Daryl Janmaat was dismissed for a second booking on 41 minutes. Swansea took just 11 minutes to utilise their numerical advantage with Andre Ayew backing up his debut goal with a 52nd minute strike to secure a 2-0 win.

After both suffering opening weekend defeats, Tottenham hosted Stoke with both keen to register their points of the season.  The hosts struck first through Eric Dier on 19 minutes and went into half-time with a two goal lead after a strike from Nacer Chadli.

The Potters had a great chance to reply when they were awarded a 78th minute penalty which Marko Arnuatovic converted for 2-1 and their joy doubled just five minutes later when Mame Biram Diouf struck an equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw and a point apiece.

After drawing away to Everton last week, Watford hosted a West Brom side who were keen to register their first point after a heavy opening loss to Manchester City. The Baggies did just that as they held firm for a 0-0 draw against the Hornets who remain unbeaten after two games.

After a London Derby defeat to Arsenal, West Ham hosted a Leicester side who looked for back-to-back wins after a fabulous win over Sunderland. The Foxes struck first with a 27th minute opener from Shinji Okazaki before Riyad Mahrez struck his third goal of the season seven minutes before the interval. The Hammers responded with a first goal for Dmitri Payet on 55 minutes but with defeat on the cards, their afternoon got worse as in going up for a corner late on, goalkeeper Adrian was dismissed for a dangerous tackle as they lost 2-1.

Super Sunday began with a second London derby in a row as Arsenal made the short trip to Crystal Palace with both sides looking for back-to-back wins after opening victories. The Gunners struck first as Olivier Giroud opened the scoring on 16 minutes. The Eagles were soon level as Joel Ward equalised on 28 minutes but were unfortunate to go behind just 10 minutes after the restart as Damien Delaney's deflected an effort in his own goal to give the visitors a 2-1 triumph.

The second edition of Sunday's action saw the heavyweight clash between last season's top two as Manchester City hosted defending champions Chelsea. A tight first third from both sides was soon broken by a 31st minute opener from City striker Sergio Aguero for a 1-0 lead which lasted into the interval. Chelsea struggled to a 2-2 draw in the opening week but a first win was to elude them further as two goals in as many minutes for the hosts sealed a 3-0 win as Vincent Kompany (79) and Fernandinho (81) struck to continue the Sky Blues perfect start.

The weekend's action ended with the Monday Night Football offering from Anfield as Bournemouth travelled for their first ever top-flight away day at a Liverpool side buoyed by an opening win at Stoke. The two sides have met in both cup competitions in recent years with the Reds coming out on top and despite a number of great chances, the Cherries suffered their second defeat in a row as Christian Benteke struck a 26th minute winner.