Premier League Review Week 8

Crystal Palace 2 – 0 West Brom

Crystal Palace managed to retain their position in the top four of the Premier League with a deserved victory over a West Brom side who hadn’t conceded an away goal all season before this match.

Yannick Bolasie ended this run when he headed in a Yohann Cabaye cross halfway through the second half. Cabaye then turned scorer when he converted a penalty after Wilfried Zaha went down under the challenge of Chris Brunt. This marked a miserable day for Brunt, who had been constantly threatened by Zaha down the right wing.

Bolasie’s goal broke the deadlock after a spirited performance at the back from West Brom, and it marked the first time he has scored at Selhurst Park since the beginning of 2013. This sees Crystal Palace go into the international break in 4th position in the Premier League, whilst West Brom drop to 17th position.

Aston Villa 0 – 1 Stoke

Another miserable showing from Aston Villa saw them come away empty handed once again as Stoke got their second Premier League win in a row.

Aston Villa didn’t really look up for it at all in this game. They showed absolutely no desire going forward even when they were chasing the game after Marco Arnautovic exploited their defensive gaps early in the second half. The only other notable happenings were a typical Charlie Adam long range effort and another Arnautovic goal being disallowed.

This plunged Villa into the relegation zone after picking up just four points from their opening eight games. Stoke’s second win of the season takes them up to 14th in the table as they continue to improve.

Bournemouth 1 – 1 Watford

Bournemouth got off to a promising start after losing star striker Callum Wilson last weekend as they narrowly missed out on victory against fellow promoted team Watford.

Wilson’s replacement, Glenn Murray, opened the scoring and proved his credentials when he headed home a cross from Matt Ritchie. Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc gave Watford a helping hand though when he passed straight to Odion Ighalo, who took the ball round the humiliated keeper and slotted it. Matt Ritchie then had a penalty saved by the excellent Heurelho Gomes, who also tipped over an incredible overhead kick from Steve Cook.

This takes Bournemouth’s tally to eight points, putting them in 15th position. Watford hold a two point advantage over them and sit in a respectable 12th position.

Manchester City 6 – 1 Newcastle

The incredible Sergio Aguero marked his return to goalscoring form by pulling his side back from a goal behind to win emphatically in a flurry of attacks in the second half.

Newcastle took the lead in the 18th minute as summer signing Alexsandar Mitrovic headed in his first goal for the club, and Newcastle continued to threaten a Manchester City defence that looked all at sea without Vincent Kompany to organise things. But Sergio Aguero began an incredible afternoon three minutes before half time when he nodded in an equaliser. He gave City the lead four minutes after the restart, and then proceeded to score three more in the next 12 minutes along with a Kevin De Bruyne goal. The scoring was over when Aguero was taken off after his five goal haul.

This result took City to the top of the table ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal, whilst Newcastle move to the bottom of the table as Sunderland pick up a point.

Norwich 1 – 2 Leicester

Leicester continued their excellent start to the season as they narrowly beat the newly promoted Norwich to move into the top four for a short period of time.

Norwich controlled the ball for the opening periods of the match, but it was Leicester who struck first after Jamie Vardy was brought down in the box. With Riyad Mahrez inexplicably missing from the squad it was Vardy who stepped up to take the penalty, slotting it to continue his goalscoring run. Jeffrey Schlupp put Leicester two in front shortly after half time before Mbokani Bezua gave Norwich hope 20 minutes before the end. There was a late flurry of attacks from the hosts, but Leicester held on to take the three points.

This takes Leicester’s points tally to 15 from their first eight games, meanwhile Norwich drop to 13th position with their haul remaining on nine points.

Sunderland 2 – 2 West Ham

Sunderland remain winless after they let a two goal lead slip to a West Ham side who couldn’t reproduce the away form they have shown so far this season.

Steven Fletcher put the pressure on West Ham after just ten minutes when he put in a Yann M’Vila free kick, and Jeremain Lens dinked the ball over Adrian from 20 yards 12 minutes later to put the out of form Sunderland two goals in front. But Victor Moses and Dimitri Payet once again led their side as they returned to form. The former provided a cutback for Carl Jenkinson to pull one back, and then Payet capitalised on a mistake from Costel Pantilimon to equalise.

There had been rumours of Dick Advocaat quitting as manager of Sunderland before the game, but he looked to be facing a tough decision once they went 2-0 up. But after eight games without a win, he has made a choice and stepped down from the struggling side. West Ham drop to 6th position in the table after Leicester and Crystal Palace both win.

Chelsea 1 – 3 Southampton

Saturday’s late kickoff saw Chelsea continue their dreadful start to the Premier League title defence as they let a one goal lead slip against Southampton to lose 3-1.

Willian scored for the fourth consecutive game with a direct free kick in the first ten minutes to give Chelsea an early lead, but apart from that they failed to threaten the Saints’ defence without Diego Costa. Steven Davis levelled the game shortly before half time, and then it was just a case of taking advantage of the catalogue of defensive mistakes from the faltering Chelsea back line. Sadio Mane put the visitors ahead after Cahill gave the ball away, and Mane turned provider as he guided a pass for Graziano Pelle to put Southampton 3-1 up after 72 minutes.

The post match interviews saw Jose Mourinho launch a barrage of attacks on the referee after he failed to award Radamel Falcao a penalty, but to be fair Southampton had two viable claims turned down as well. The pressure is showing in Mourinho’s actions, and he must be fearing that he will be facing the sack soon. They are currently in 16th position after picking up a measly eight points from eight games. Southampton move up to 9th place, and their early season poor form seems well and truly forgotten.

Everton 1 – 1 Liverpool

Failure to win in the all important Merseyside derby has led to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers getting dismissed after another disappointing start to the season.

It was Liverpool who opened the scoring when Danny Ings escaped at a corner to head in a James Milner cross, but Emre Can’s mistake let Romelu Lukaku fire home an equaliser just before half time. Everton had the better of it in the second half, and Romelu Lukaku constantly terrorised a nervy Liverpool defence. The home side were unfortunate not to win the game, but a point against Liverpool is always a decent result.

Rodgers was sacked just an hour after the final whistle was blown, and the dismissals live announcement on Sky Sports led to Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher’s reaction going viral. (keep your eye on Henry and Carragher.) The result leaves Liverpool in 10th position and Everton in 7th, and Liverpool are hoping to get a new manager appointed during the international break.

Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester United

A rampant Arsenal dismantled Manchester United as they earned a well deserved victory to keep them in the Premier League title race.

It took just six minutes for Arsenal to exploit the talents at their disposal as Alexis Sanchez took the game to Matteo Darmian to fire in his 4th goal in two Premier League games. Ozil added a second just 70 seconds after the first to shock the visiting support. They didn’t stop there though, with Sanchez netting the best goal of the game 12 minutes later as he tore Darmian apart to fire in from the edge of the area. Manchester United failed to play with any sort of pace or penetration throughout the game, and they were lucky to contain Arsenal to three goals. Darmian was absolutely terrorised by Alexis Sanchez and the defensive frailties of Daley Blind were made abundantly clear.

This lifted Arsenal above their opponents in the Premier League as they tie on 16 points, both two points behind leaders Manchester City. It will also leave Louis Van Gaal scratching his head as he comes to terms with a lacklustre performance from his squad, who didn’t show any form of attacking threat even when 3-0 down. Anthony Martial showed some more glimpses of quality though.

Swansea 2 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Dead ball specialist Christian Eriksen saved Tottenham Hotspur from defeat as Swansea returned to goalscoring form after a poor spell.

Andre Ayew put the home side in front within 20 minutes with yet another trademark header from a Jefferson Montero cross, but Eriksen levelled things ten minutes later with a swerving free kick. Harry Kane netted his second goal of the season when he sliced a Swansea corner into his own net half an hour in. This means he has scored the same amount of goals against his team as for it this season. But Eriksen produced a carbon copy of his first goal 65 minutes in to take Spurs’ unbeaten record to seven Premier League games.

Tottenham now sit in 8th position in the Premier League with 13 points, with Swansea trailing them by three points and three positions.

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