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Premier League Matchday 7: The Good, Bad And The Bizarre

Throughout the Premier League season, Sebastian Noren will provide analysis from the week of games, talking about the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

The seventh week of Premier League action is over and fans were treated to another round of some great games, some bad games and some bizarre situations. Tottenham handed Manchester City their second straight loss, and Manchester United went top of the table.

Spurs Hands City Second Straight Loss

What Happened: Tottenham made somewhat of a statement as they defeated Manchester City 4-1 at White Hart Lane on Saturday in the early game. Harry Kane finally found the back of the net, something that Spurs fans will be happy with. Spurs came back after falling behind 1-0 after Kevin De Bruyne scored for City in the 25th minute. Eric Dier tied things up just before halftime. Toby Alderweireld made it 2-1 before Kane scored his first league goal of the season. Erik Lamela then scored the final goal of the game in the 79th minute.

Seb’s Take: Several of the goals in this game were offside, as referee Mark Clattenburg and his linesmen had a poor showing. Spurs were effective in the final third, and City’s defensive effort on set pieces were not up to par, and the team got called out on that by manager Manuel Pellegrini. Yaya Toure left the game injured and City needs him to come back as soon as possible as the injury list at City is starting to get pretty long. 

Rooney Off The Mark As United Beat Sunderland

What Happened: Wayne Rooney was another star striker that got his first league goal of the season this weekend as he scored the second goal in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford. It was a dominant performance by United, who went top of the league as City lost to Tottenham. Memphis Depay opened up the scoring in stoppage time in the first half. Rooney then made it 2-0 early in the second half. It wasn’t the prettiest goal of Rooney’s career, as Anthony Martial’s square pass went off of Rooney’s knee and in, but I’m sure he’ll take it. Juan Mata scored the final goal of the game in the 90th minute.

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Seb’s Take: United put on a solid display against a team that is still looking for its first win of the season. Going top of the table will be a confidence boost for the team as you have to go back to August 2013 to find the last time United lead the Premier League. Sunderland seems to be doomed for relegation, sitting in last place, and manager Dick Advocaat looks more and more depressed after each loss.

Sanchez With Vintage Display As Arsenal Beats Leicester

What Happened: Alexis Sanchez became the first player to score a hat trick in the Serie A, La Liga and Premier League as he found the net on three occasions in Arsenal’s 5-2 on the road to Leicester. The Gunners played a really solid game against a Leicester team that has been a big surprise so far this season. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud also got on the scoresheet for Arsenal, and Jamie Vardy scored twice for Leicester.

Seb’s Take: City’s loss was great news for several teams that are hoping to be in the Top 4 when we sum up the season. The Gunners sits in 4th with 13 points, three behind new leaders United. Sanchez had a great game and looks like the player he was last season when he was the team’s best player.

Southampton Bounce Back With Win Over Swansea

What Happened: Southampton suffered a 3-2 loss to Manchester United last weekend, but the Saints bounced back with a 3-1 win over Swansea City on Saturday. Virgil van Djik scored his first goal for Southampton as the Dutch central defender headed in the ball behind fellow Dutchman Maarten Stekelenburg in the 11th minute. Dusan Tadic made in 2-0 in the 54th minute, and Sadio Mane then made it 3-0 seven minutes later. Gylfi Sigurdsson got Swansea on the board in the 83rd minute after scoring from the penalty spot.

 

Seb’s Take: Both teams have been a bit up and down to start the season. Swansea started strong, but has two losses and one draw in the last three league games. Southampton started off slow, but are starting to show that they are a quality side.

Mame Biram Diouf The Hero For Stoke Against Bournemouth

What Happened: Stoke City grabbed their first win of the season in the league after Mame Biram Diouf scored the deciding goal in the 2-1 over Bournemouth on Saturday. Jonathan Walters gave Stoke the lead in the 32nd minute. The game was halted for a while after Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson went down with a knee injury. Wilson looked to be in some serious pain, and it’s not known at the time of this writing how long he will be out. Dan Gosling tied the game in the 76th minute, but seven minutes later Diouf scored the winner for Stoke.

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Wilson’s injury will hurt Bournemouth moving forward.

 

Seb’s Take: It was clear that Wilson’s injury had a big effect on the Bournemouth players. It felt like the wind got knocked out of the team, and it was no surprise that Stoke ended up winning this one. It was a crucial win for Stoke who had gone six games in the league without picking up a win.

Kouyate Salvages Point For West Ham Against Norwich

What Happened: West Ham were heading a for loss against newcomers Norwich, but Cheikhou Kouyate scored in the final minute to save a point for the Hammers. Robert Brady had given Norwich the lead in the 9th minute, after being given all kinds of space by the West Ham defense. Diafra Sakho tied things up in the 33rd minute. Nathan Redmond probably thought he had scored the winner as he got the ball past Adrian in the West Ham net in the 83rd minute. But Kouyate, who has been in good form for West Ham, spoiled the party for the visiting team as he scored in the final minute of the game.

Seb’s Take: West Ham have 13 points and sits in 3rd place after seven games. That is quite the achievement by manager Slaven Bilic and his team. The Hammers have been particularly impressive on the road, picking up wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. But if they are to stay at the top, they need to win games at home as well. A draw against a newcomer is not what the fans had in mind as they went to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

Chelsea Comes Back To Salvage A Point Against Newcastle

What Happened: Newcastle is still winless after seven games. At home against reigning champions Chelsea they had a great opportunity to pick up their first win of the season, but despite being up 2-0 with 11 minutes to go. Ayoze Perez gave the Magpies the lead in the 42nd minute and Georginio Wijnaldum had made it 2-0 in the 60th minute. Chelsea looked extremely poor, and it was thanks to two substitutes that they were able to leave St. James’ Park with a point. Ramires came on in the 73rd minute and in the 79th minute he blasted the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1. Willian had come on in the 61st minute, right after Newcastle had gone up 2-0. He scored the equalizer in the 86th minute after his free-kick went by everyone and went into the back of the net.

Mourinho

 

Seb’s Take: Newcastle were extremely unlucky not to win this game, but it’s typical of a team that is lacking confidence after a poor start to the season. Chelsea seems to be stuck in second gear, as several players just look uninterested and tired. Jose Mourinho has his work cut out for him, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he goes out and get a player or two during the January transfer window to inject some new life into the team. He must just hope that Chelsea will still be in contention at that point.

Palace Picks Up Another Road Win

What Happened: Crystal Palace won their third road game of the season after winning 1-0 against Watford on Sunday. It was a close game throughout with Watford having some luck in keeping the ball from ending up in the back of the net. But in the 70th minute Palace was awarded a penalty and Yohan Cabaye stepped up and scored the lone goal of the game.

Seb’s Take: Palace keeps fighting, and Alan Pardew’s men sits in 7th place with 12 points after seven games. It might not have been the prettiest of games, but the fighting spirit of Palace shows that they will be a handful for all teams and that they potentially could make a case for a Europa League spot.

Everton Up To 5th After Comeback Win Over WBA

What Happened: Romelu Lukaku scored a brace as Everton stood for an impressive 3-2 comeback win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday. Saido Berahino gave WBA the lead a couple of minutes before halftime, and Craig Dawson put the home side up 2-0 in the 54th minute. Former WBA loanee Lukaku got his first of the night just a minute later to get Everton on the board. That goal was the beginning of the comeback and injected some life into Everton. Substitute Arouna Kone tied the game up at 2-2 in the 75th minute after being on the pitch for just a couple of minutes. Lukaku then scored the winner in the 84th minute to secure the three points.

 

Seb’s Take: Everton moves up to 5th place with the win, and they are enjoying a much better start to the season compared to last year, where Everton were the big disappointment, finishing in 11th place. Lukaku had a great game, and Gerard Deulofeu picked up two assists.

The Good: The English Football Association/Alexis Sanchez

The English FA did the right suspending Chelsea striker Diego Costa for violent conduct after last weekend’s incident against Arsenal. Costa’s despicable style of play doesn’t belong on the soccer pitch, and it was long overdue that he suffered the consequences for his behavior.

I must mention Alexis Sanchez too, as his hat trick for Arsenal against Leicester was phenomenal and becoming the first player to have scored hat tricks in Serie A, La Liga, and the Premier League is something truly special.

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The Bad: Manchester City’s Defense

After not conceding a single goal in the first five league games, City has now allowed six goals in the last two games. The 2-0 loss to West Ham United last weekend was followed up with a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham. It should be noted that two of Tottenham’s goals were offside, but the way the team defended on set pieces were way short of expectations. Manager Manuel Pellegrini was upset after the game about the defensive effort, and if City is to have any chance at going far in the Champions League and contending for the Premier League title, then they have to shore things up. Being without captain Vincent Kompany and goalkeeper Joe Hart definitely didn’t help. 

The Bizarre: Bournemouth and Knee Injuries

Callum Wilson suffered a knee injury in Bournemouth’s 2-1 loss to Stoke City. Wilson went down early in the first half, and received lengthy treatment on the field. He then went back into the game but just a short while later he went down clutching his knee without being challenged, and that’s always when you know that something serious has happened.

Wilson is the third Bournemouth player that has suffered a knee injury this season, joining Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel on the injury list.

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