Thursday, 25 August 2016

Manchester Duo On Top While Clarets Deny Reds

Gameweek two began with the first Friday night game of the season as Manchester United looked for back-to back wins as they hosted Southampton. United struck an opener on 36 minutes as Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it two goals in as many games. He went one better by striking a second and his third of the season with a penalty on 52 minutes to complete a 2-0 win.

The early kick-off on Saturday saw Stoke City hosting Manchester City at the newly named Bet365 Stadium. Alike their first game, City took the lead with a Sergio Aguero penalty this time in the 27th minute before he struck a second just nine minutes later for 2-0. Bojan Krkic pulled one back for the Potters from the penalty spot four minutes after the restart but the hopes of a comeback never really surfaced and a late brace from Nolito in the final four minutes completed a 4-1 win.

Burnley hosted Liverpool looking to bounce back from their opening loss while the Reds hoped to extend their winning start. The Clarets made a stunning start as Sam Vokes fired them ahead inside two minutes. Liverpool dominated possession but were unable to make it count and when Andre Gray capitalised on a mistake, Burnley were 2-0 up on 37 minutes. The Reds were unable to strike back and suffered defeat despite ending the game with an enormous 80% possession.

Swansea City hosted Hull City with both sides aiming to make it two wins from two games. The sides were evenly matched for the majority of the game with the score blank long after the hour mark. Shaun Maloney put the visitors ahead with 11 minutes remaining before Abel Hernandez secured a 2-0 win in the final minutes.

A London derby at White Hart Lane saw Tottenham Hotspur host Crystal Palace with the Eagles looking to get off the mark for the season. They looked on course to secure their first point of the season as the sides remained level long into the second half but the hosts claimed all three points with an 82nd minute winner from Victor Wanyama.

Another all-London battle took place at Vicarage Road as Watford played host to Chelsea. The Hornets struck the opening goal of the game as Etienne Capoue made it two goals in two games in the 55th minute. Chelsea left it late to win in their opening game and did the same this time around with Michy Batshuayi levelling with ten minutes to go before Diego Costa sealed the 2-1 win three minutes from the end.

West Brom hosted Everton at the Hawthorns looking to record back-to-back wins with the Toffees looking to remain unbeaten. The Baggies started superbly as Gareth McAuley gave them the lead inside nine minutes. Everton went into half-time on level terms thanks to a late effort from Kevin Mirallas before Gareth Barry secured the points on the hour mark as the Blues won 2-1.

The evening kick-off saw a battle between last season's top two as champions Leicester City hosted Arsenal. The sides were evenly matched to the point that neither was able to mount a way to break the deadlock. The game ended goalless meaning both sides earned their first point of the season.

Super Sunday saw the Tees-Wear derby as Sunderland hosted Middlesbrough with the visitors looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Their pursuit was boosted early on as Cristhian Stuani struck an opener in the 13th minute. He doubled the lead just before half-time for 2-0 before Patrick Van Aanholt kept Sunderland in the game with a 71st minute strike. The hosts battled to try and salvage a point but to no avail as 'Boro made it four points from a possible six.

The final game of the weekend came from London Stadium as West Ham United hosted Bournemouth. The sides seemed to be evenly matched across the first hour or so and looked to be on course for a share of the points. However, the Cherries suffered a blow with the dismissal of Harry Arter 13 minutes from the end and the Hammers handed them further punishment five minutes from the end as Michail Antonio made it 1-0 and ensured that the hosts opened their league campaign at their new stadium with a win.

Premier League Gameweek One Review

A new Premier League season sees the resuming of this blog but due to a delay the opening two weeks will be outlined this week before the traditional review returns in gameweek three.

The season opener saw newly promoted Hull City hosting defending champions Leicester City and after the unpredictability of the previous campaign, the hosts taking the lead was not a real surprise as Adama Diomandé struck the first goal of the season just before half-time. Riyad Mahrez levelled with a penalty two minutes after the restart for 1-1 but Hull were not to be denied an opening success as Robert Snodgrass sealed the points with a strike on 57 minutes as the champions went down 2-1.

Burnley also started their season back in the top flight at home as they took on Swansea City at Turf Moor.  The Clarets looked to be on course for a point as the sides remained level deep into the second half but their hopes were dashed eight minutes from the end as Leroy Fer struck to seal a narrow 1-0 win.

Crystal Palace opened their campaign with the hosting of West Bromwich Albion at Selhurst Park but fell to a defeat as the Baggies secured a narrow 1-0 win with a 74th minute strike from Salomon Rondon.

Everton started their first season under the charge of Ronald Koeman with a hosting of Tottenham Hotspur and the Toffees got off to a perfect start with Ross Barkley firing them into a 1-0 lead after just five minutes. However, they were to be denied the win just before the hour mark as Erik Lamela struck to claim a point for the visitors in a 1-1 draw.

After seven years away from the top flight, Middlesbrough began their season with a visit from Stoke City to the Riverside Stadium. Summer signing Alvaro Negredo gave 'Boro an early lead with a strike inside 11 minutes but their hopes of a maiden win back in the big league were denied on 67 minutes as Xherdan Shaqiri levelled for 1-1.

Southampton hosted Watford at St Mary's Stadium looking to start on a high under new manager Claude Puel. However, they suffered an early blow as Etienne Capoue fired the Hornets ahead after just nine minutes. Nathan Redmond drew the Saints level just before the hour mark and their hopes of completing the comeback were boosted with the dismissal of Ben Watson for the visitors with 14 minutes to go but they were unable to make the extra man pay off as the sides drew 1-1.

The first evening game of the season saw Manchester City host Sunderland with both sides under new management in the form of Pep Guardiola and David Moyes, City struck early with Sergio Aguero converting from the penalty spot after just four minutes. The visitors drew level in the second half through Jermain Defoe but were denied a point late on as Paddy McNair hit into his own net just three minutes from the end to give City a 2-1 win.

Super Sunday opened with Bournemouth hosting Manchester United who were now under the charge of José Mourinho. The visitors struck first with Juan Mata giving them the lead five minutes before half-time before Wayne Rooney doubled the lead just before the hour mark. The win looked to be safe by the 65th minute as Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it 3-0 but the Cherries did have the last say on the scoreline with Adam Smith scoring for 3-1 on 69 minutes.

The second game of the afternoon saw a seven goal thriller between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. Theo Walcott slotted the Gunners into the lead on 31 minutes before a stellar free-kick from Philippe Coutinho drew the Reds level just before half-time.

Liverpool took control with goals from Adam Lallana and a second from Coutinho in the space of seven minutes for 3-1 before Sadio Mané looked to have sealed the win at 4-1. However, an instant impact from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cut the gap to 4-2 before Callum Chambers made it 4-3 with 15 minutes left.  Arsenal battled to try and draw level but to no avail as the Red held on for the win.

The final game of the opening weekend came on Monday night as Chelsea hosted West Ham United in a London derby at Stamford Bridge. The sides remained level across the first half with the first breakthrough coming two minutes after the break as Eden Hazard converted from the penalty spot. James Collins levelled for the Hammers on 77 minutes but their hopes of a point were dashed late on by Diego Costa's 89th minute strike to seal a 2-1 win.