Tuesday, 29 September 2015

United On Top While Reds Edge Villa

After a mixed gameweek six for the top sides, gameweek seven saw a new record for the season as it became the highest scoring weekend so far as all but six sides registered two goals with two sides hitting nine between them.

The weekend began with the Saturday lunchtime game between Tottenham and current leaders Manchester City at White Hart Lane. City's perfect start had been ended against West Ham so when Kevin De Bruyne put City 1-0 up after 25 minutes, no one would have predicted what happened next hour as City were blown away by the Londoners.

Eric Dier equalised just before the interval for 1-1 before two goals in 11 minutes from Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane put the hosts 3-1 up. The hammer blow for the hosts came on 79 minutes as Erik Lamela struck to seal a famous 4-1 triumph.

Leicester looked to take advantage at the top as they hosted Arsenal at the King Power Stadium but despite the Foxes taking a 13th minute lead through Jamie Vardy, it was to be miserable afternoon for the hosts as Arsenal ran riot. Theo Walcott levelled on 18 minutes before an Alexis Sanchez hat-trick (33,57,81) put the Gunners in control at 4-1, Vardy scored his second on 89 minutes for 4-2 but it was in vain as Olivier Giroud restored the Gunners three goal lead as he sealed a 5-2 win in the final minutes.

The afternoon saw five 3pm games with so I will start alphabetically with the action from Anfield as Liverpool hosted Aston Villa looking to improve on a mixed start to the season. The Reds made a perfect start with James Milner striking the opening goal inside two minutes and Daniel Sturridge opened his account for the season just before the hour mark for 2-0.

Villa replied superbly with a five minute brace from Rudy Gestede (66,71) but his strikes sandwiched a second for Sturridge which proved to be enough for the hosts to secure a 3-2 win.

Manchester United had the chance to replace their city rivals at the top as they took on Sunderland at Old Trafford and they struck an opener late in the first half through Memphis Depay which was instantly added to after the restart by Wayne Rooney for 2-0. Sunderland have had a woeful start to the season and it got worse late on as Juan Mata slotted in a third for United to complete a comfortable 3-0 win.

Southampton looked to boost their mixed start to the season as they hosted Swansea City at St Mary's and they made a good start as summer signing Virgil Van Dijk opened his account for the club on 11 minutes. Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mané increased the lead to 3-0 either side of the hour mark and with the result sealed, Swansea had the last say on the score as Gylfi Sigurdsson slotted in an 83rd minute penalty for a 3-1 final score.

Stoke have had a strange start to the season as ahead of the hosting of Bournemouth at the Britannia Stadium they were inside the bottom three. Their pursuit to exit the relegation places was boosted on 32 minutes through Jon Walters' opener but with the win seemingly in sight, they were pegged back on 76 minutes as the Cherries equalised through Dan Gosling. The Potters did secure a passage out of the bottom three with seven minutes remaining as Mame Biram Diouf sealed a 2-1 win.

West Ham United have started superbly and had the chance to close up at the top as they hosted Norwich City but it was the Canaries who made the better start as they took the lead inside nine minutes through Robbie Brady. Diafra Sakho equalised for the Hammers on 33 minutes and as the sides looked destined for a draw in the final ten minutes, Norwich regained the lead with seven minutes remaining through Nathan Redmond but their joy was curtailed in the final minutes by an equaliser from Cheikhou Kouyate for a point each at 2-2.

The evening kick-off looked like a mismatch based on form but as Newcastle United hosted Chelsea at St James' Park, the Magpies opened the scoring as Ayoze Perez gave them a surprise lead three minutes before the interval. Georginio Wijnaldum doubled the lead on the hour and it looked like the hosts were on course for their first win of the season. However, it wasn't to be as the Blues firstly cut the gap through Ramires on 79 minutes before salvaging a point in the final minutes through Willian to leave the Magpies at the bottom of the table.

Sunday's action saw a London derby between Watford and Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road and it was the Eagles who came out on top as they secured a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Yohan Cabaye penalty in the 71st minute.

Monday Night Football saw a five goal thriller as West Bromwich Albion hosted Everton at The Hawthorns. The Baggies took the lead four minutes before the interval through Saido Berahino before doubling their lead just ten minutes after the restart through Craig Dawson. Everton have made a good start to the season so far and continued in that fashion with a superb comeback to secure a 3-2 win. Romelu Lukaku struck within a minute of Dawson's strike before Arouna Kone levelled on 75 minutes but the Toffees sealed the points with six minutes left of the 90 to move up to fifth. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Champions League/Europa League Matchday 1

City Slip To Hammers As Canaries Hold Reds

After the first week of European action for six of the 20 sides in the league, domestic duties resumed with the fabled 'European hangover' in the thoughts but despite surfacing, it only affected half of the sides.

Saturday's lunchtime game saw a fierce London derby at Stamford Bridge as Champions League duo Chelsea and Arsenal faced off. A tense first half saw the sides remain level but only in terms of the score as a scuffle between Diego Costa and Gabriel resulted in the latter being dismissed with his second booking. Chelsea took just eight minutes to utilise their numerical advantage as Kurt Zouma made it 1-0 on 53 minutes.

Arsenal's afternoon got worse rather than better as they were reduced to nine men on 79 minutes as Santi Cazorla received his second booking leaving the Gunners with a huge task to even salvage a draw, such an even was denied though as Eden Hazard secured a 2-0 win in the final minutes.

Another derby took place in the 3pm games at Villa Park as Aston Villa hosted close rivals West Brom. A close game overall saw the Baggies secure a narrow 1-0 victory as Saido Berahino struck a 39th minute winner.

Bournemouth looked to continue a fine start to the season as they hosted struggling Sunderland at the Vitality Stadium. The Cherries made a perfect start as they raced into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes with strikes from Callum Wilson and Matt Richie. Sunderland's afternoon continued to be a poor one as they went down to 10 men on 74 minutes with the dismissal of Younes Kaboul and it proved to be the last impact on the game as the hosts held on for the win. 

Newcastle's start to the season has been one to forget for the Magpies faithful so as they hosted Watford at St James Park, confidence was low as it proved to be correct after just 10 minutes as Odion Ighalo put the visitors ahead. He added a second goal on 28 minutes as it looked to be another bad day for the Magpies. Pre-match statistics saw Daryl Janmaat stand out as the best attacker for the hosts despite being the right back but he continued that streak by pulling a goal back on 62 minutes but it was just a consolation as the Hornets claimed a 2-1 win.

After a stunning start to the season, Leicester travelled to face Stoke at the Britannia Stadium looking to close up at the top. Stoke started the better of the two sides as Bojan Krkic opened his account for the season inside 13 minutes before Jon Walters did the same on 20 minutes for 2-0.

The Foxes came from two down to win 3-2 against Aston Villa last week and such spirit seemed to surface for a second time as Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy drew them level on 52 and 69 minutes. However, that was how it ended as the Foxes slipped to fourth after the 2-2 draw.

Swansea and Everton completed the 3pm kick-offs as they faced off at the Liberty Stadium but unlike the other games, this one failed to feature a goal as the sides drew 0-0. The only significant action came in the final minutes as substitute Kevin Mirallas lasted just over two minutes before being sent off. 

'Saturday Night Football' saw league leaders Manchester City host West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium with the Hammers looking to complete a trilogy of away wins after success at Arsenal and Liverpool. The started the pursuit to success superbly as Victor Moses opened the scoring after just six minutes to stun the home crowd and their despair grew as Diafra Sakho doubled the lead for the visitors on 31 minutes. City remained in the hunt as Kevin De Bruyne opened his account just before the interval for 2-1.

However, it was to be a famous day for both sides as West Ham held on for the win to complete a trilogy only three other sides have achieved and in doing so they condemned City to their first defeat in the league and their second in the same week after a loss in Europe to Juventus.

Sunday's early game saw Tottenham host Crystal Palace in a London derby at White Hart Lane with the hosts looking to improve on a mixed start to the season. They did just that as summer signing Son Heung-Min made it three goals in two games as he struck on 68 minutes to secure a 1-0 win after scoring a debut brace against Qarabag on Thursday night.

The late games began with Liverpool's hosting of Norwich City at Anfield with the Reds under pressure after resting several 'stars' in a 1-1 draw against Bordeaux on Thursday. A tight first half saw the sides remain level into the interval but an instant impact from substitute Danny Ings put the hosts ahead on 48 minutes.

However, the Reds had to settle for a point alike Thursday as they were pegged back on the hour mark by a Russell Martin equaliser as the Canaries made it 1-1.

The televised game saw Southampton host Manchester United at St Mary's and the game proved to be the most exciting of the weekend as the sides played their part in a five-goal thriller. The hosts struck first as Graziano Pellé made it 1-0 after 13 minutes before Anthony Martial levelled for the visitors on 35 minutes. The United youngster doubled his tally just five minutes after the interval for 2-1 before Juan Mata extended the lead to 3-1 on 68 minutes. Southampton set up a frantic finish after Pellé made it 3-2 with 86 minutes on the clock but the visitors held on for the win.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Last Gasp City Stay Top As United Defeat Reds

Due to a delay in compiling the results, just images are included in this weeks post with the review summaries to continue in the next gameweek.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

City Extend Perfect Start as Hammer Thrash Reds

Already four weeks of the new Premier League season have passed with this week's action sadly having a focus on dismissals with six in total and four of those split between two games alone.

The weekend began with the early kick-off from St James Park as Newcastle United hosted Arsenal with the Magpies still awaiting their first win. An early blow for the hosts came inside 16 minutes as Aleksandar Mitrovic was dismissed and they contributed to their own downfall again on 52 minutes as Fabrizio Coloccini deflected into his own net to give the visitors a 1-0 win.

Bottom side Sunderland looked for their first win as they travelled to Villa Park to face Aston Villa in the first of six 3pm kick-off's.

A rapid start from the visitors saw Yann M'Vila put them ahead inside eight minutes before a quick reply from Villa saw Scott Sinclair equalise from the penalty spot three minutes later. Sinclair put the hosts ahead four minutes before the interval but an equaliser from Jeremain Lens on 52 minutes secured a draw for the visitors who remain bottom of the table with two points.

Leicester have started superbly this season and they travelled to Dean Court to face Bournemouth with the Cherries looking for back-to-back wins. The hosts opened the scoring on 24 minutes as in-form Callum Wilson extended his scoring streak for the season for 1-0.

The Foxes remained behind as the game entered the last five minutes but with their unbeaten streak under threat, Jamie Vardy ensured it would continue as he equalised with an 86th minute penalty for 1-1.

Chelsea have made a mixed start to the defence of their title and were set to be tested again as in-form Crystal Palace visited Stamford Bridge. A tight first half saw the sides remain level into the half-time break but a shock was on the cards when Bakary Sako put the Eagles ahead. The Blues levelled through Radamel Falcao on 79 minutes but were soon behind again as James Ward sealed a 2-1 win for Palace on 81 minutes.

After two wins and a draw, Liverpool hosted West Ham United at Anfield looking to continue their unbeaten start while the Hammers looked to replicate their away win at Arsenal. A stunning start saw Hammers debutant Manuel Lanzini open the scoring in the third minute. Marc Noble added a second on 29 minutes and left the Reds with a mountain to climb.

The task grew tougher just seven minutes after the restart as Philippe Coutinho was dismissed but the sides were level numbers wise again on 78 minutes as Noble was dismissed. West Ham confirmed the win though with a late third as Diafra Sakho struck in the final minutes for 3-0.

Manchester City put their perfect start on the line at the Etihad Stadium as they hosted a unbeaten Watford side who had drawn all three games so far. A tight first half saw the sides remain level into the half-time break before a first league goal for City for Raheem Sterling opened up a 1-0 lead on 47 minutes. City sealed the win with a second goal just nine minutes later as Fernandinho made it 2-0.

Stoke continued their pursuit of a first win as they hosted West Bromwich Albion who also hoped for a first victory of the season as they visited the Britannia Stadium. A double blow for the Potters saw Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam dismissed either side of the half hour mark with the Baggies taking advantage just before the interval through summer signing Salomon Rondon's 45th minute strike. The Baggies held on to their slim lead to secure their first success of the season with a 1-0 victory.

The evening game from White Hart Lane saw Tottenham look for their first win as they hosted Everton who looked for their second success. However, both sides had to settle for a point each as they played out a 0-0 draw.

Super Sunday began with Southampton's hosting of Norwich at St Mary's Stadium with both sides hoping to build on mixed starts to the season. The Canaries suffered a blow on 31 minutes with the dismissal of Steven Whittaker before a second blow came just before the interval as Graziano Pellé put the Saints ahead. Dusan Tadic struck twice in three minutes (64,67) to put the hosts in firm control as they eased to a 3-0 triumph.

The second game of the afternoon saw Swansea host Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium with the Swans looking for a third successive win over United who looked to prevent such a feat while extending their unbeaten start. The sides were level into the half-time break before a Juan Mata strike three minutes after the restart gave the visitors the lead. The previous two meetings had seen Swansea come from behind to secure victory and this time around they did just that as Andre Ayew equalised on 61 minutes before Bafetimbi Gomis secured a 2-1 win on 66 minutes.