Tuesday, 22 September 2015

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.