Throughout the Premier League season, Sebastian Noren will provide analysis from the week of games, talking about the good, bad and bizarre.
The 10th 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. The Manchester Derby underwhelmed, Jose Mourinho saw red and Sunderland won a game.
Villa Go Bottom Of The Table With Loss To Swansea
What Happened: Swansea’s poor run of form was finally broken as the Swans pulled out a 2-1 victory away to struggling Aston Villa on Saturday. Jordan Ayew did give Aston Villa the lead in the 62nd minute, but he would overshadow by big brother Andre Ayew. Gylfi Sigurdsson tied the game up in the 68th minute, and then three minutes from the end, Andre Ayew scored the winner for Swansea.
Swansea sits in 12th place with 13 points. The win over Villa was the first win in the league since Matchday 4. Villa is now at the bottom of the table with a mere four points.
Seb’s Take: Villa is a team in crisis, and it didn’t come as a shock when the club announced on Sunday that they had fired manager Tim Sherwood. “Tactics Tim” only spent around eight months at the club, but the poor start to the season was reason enough to fire him.
Vardy Keeps On Scoring As Leicester Beats Palace
What Happened: Jamie Vardy continues to be the hottest striker in the Premier League as he scored the lone goal of the game as Leicester City defeated Crystal Palace. The Foxes has been a quality side all season long, and a lot of it is due to Vardy’s scoring. The 28-year-old Englishman has 10 goals in 10 games so far this season and leads the scoring race by four goals ahead of a trio of players (Sergio Aguero, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alexis Sanchez).
Vardy’s goal came in the 59th minute and was enough to secure the three points for the Foxes. Leicester sits in fifth place with 19 points, and is very much in the race for a spot in the Champions League.
Seb’s Take: Leicester continues to impress and it’s incredible to see the good run continue for the Foxes. A lot of people wrote them off ahead of the season, as they barely escaped relegation last season, but they went on an incredible run at the tail end of last season and they have carried that over to this season. And having a consistent scorer like Vardy will always mean a couple of extra points.
Rondon Goal The Difference In WBA – Norwich Matchup
What Happened: West Bromwich Albion has won back-to-back games for the first time of the season after the 1-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday. Salomon Rondon scored the lone goal of the game in the early stages of the second half. WBA now sits in 10th place with 14 points. Norwich is getting dangerously close to the relegation zone, as the Canaries sits in 16th place with nine points, three points ahead of chasing Sunderland and Newcastle.
Seb’s Take: WBA plays some of the least entertaining soccer in the Premier League, but they still sit mid-table after 10 games, so the fans will not complain too much. Norwich had a positive start to the season, but together with fellow newcomers Bournemouth they are now very much in the danger zone of relegation.
Watford Bounce Back With Win Over Stoke
What Happened: Watford were dominated last weekend when they suffered a 3-0 loss at home to Arsenal. The team bounced back with a 2-0 win on the road to Stoke City on Saturday. Troy Deeny scored his first goal of the season as he opened up the scoring for Watford in the 43rd minute. Almen Abdi then made it 2-0 in the 69th minute. Odion Ighalo had two assists. The win puts Watford in 13th place with 13 points, just ahead of Stoke on 12 points.
Seb’s Take: Watford is the best-placed newcomer and they are a lot more defensively sound than Norwich and Bournemouth. They also have a goalkeeper in Heurelho Gomes that wins them points all on his own. The Brazilian netminder has been outstanding in several games this season, but he didn’t have much to do against Stoke.
Mourinho Sees Red As Chelsea Falls To West Ham
What Happened: West Ham United took another impressive victory as they defeated reigning champions Chelsea 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground in East London. Mauro Zarate gave the Hammers the lead in the 17th minute. Nemanja Matic got sent off right before halftime after two yellow cards. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho got sent to the stands after remarks he had made to the referee after the halftime whistle.
Gary Cahill did tie things up for Chelsea early in the second half, but Andy Carroll headed in the winner for West Ham in the 79th minute.
Seb’s Take: Mourinho refused to speak to the media after the game and it’s pretty clear that he’s struggling with the situation. West Ham climbed up to third place in the standings, and the hire of Slaven Bilic is looking like a genius move by the West Ham board.
Arsenal Go Top Of The Table (For A Day..)
What Happened: Arsenal went top of the Premier League table for one day after beating Everton 2-1 on Saturday. The Gunners went top of the table as Manchester City was taking on rivals United on Sunday. Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny scored for Arsenal in the first half and Ross Barkley pulled one back for Everton before the halftime whistle blew.
Arsenal had some great opportunities to extend the lead in the second half with Giroud hitting the bar and Mesut Ozil hitting the post.
Seb’s Take: Arsenal keeps on getting the results and playing some very entertaining soccer. They have two good options at the striker position in Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. Ever since Walcott was moved up to play striker, both him and Giroud have elevated their play.
Manchester Derby Not Living Up To The Hype
What Happened: The Manchester Derby was the top billing of the soccer weekend in Europe, but the game failed to live up to all the hype. The game ended in a scoreless draw, despite United having a couple of good chances. There was a cry for a penalty for the home side as Raheem Sterling seemed to foul Ander Herrera inside the penalty box, but referee Mark Clattenburg didn’t seem to agree.
Jesse Lingard hit a shot that went off the bar late in the game, but that was the closest we got to see a goal. United were clearly the better team in the second half, but there’s no shame in drawing against the league leaders.
City are still top of the table, but the Citizens are now level on points (22) with Arsenal. United slipped down to fourth and remain two points behind City.
Seb’s Take: Why Clattenburg keeps getting to referee in big games like this is beyond me, as he seems more focused on being in the spotlight than doing a good job. If United can build on the second half performance, they should be able to contend for the title. A scoreless draw can be a great game, scoring doesn’t always mean that it’s a good game, but the first half of the Manchester Derby wasn’t something that will go down in history.
Sunderland Victorious In Tyne-Wear Derby
What Happened: Sunderland picked up the first league win of the season in the Tyne-Wear Derby against Newcastle on Sunday. The Black Cats took a comfortable 3-0 win over the Magpies, who played with 10 men for the whole second half as Fabricio Coloccini was sent off right before halftime. Adam Johnson scored on the ensuing penalty kick to give the home side the lead. Billy Jones and Steven Fletcher scored in the second half to give Sam Allardyce his first win as Sunderland manager.
Seb’s Take: The dynamic of the game changed after Coloccini’s send off. Newcastle played a pretty decent first half, but going down to 10 men and conceding the penalty took all of the air out of the team. Sunderland were desperate for a win and they now sit in 18th place with six points, level with Newcastle in 19th.
Kane With A Hat Trick As Spurs Thumps Bournemouth
What Happened: Harry Kane only had one league goal to his name heading into Matchday 10. After the 5-1 win over Bournemouth, the Tottenham striker now has four. Kane’s hat trick gives hope to the Spurs faithful that the England international finally is back. Kane had 21 goals last season in the league. Mousa Dembele and Erik Lamela also got on the scoresheet for Tottenham.
Bournemouth took the lead after just 50 seconds as Matt Ritchie placed a shot from inside the penalty area. Kane tied things up eight minutes later from the penalty spot. Dembele then gave the visitors the lead in the 17th minute. Lamela then made it 3-1 in the 29th minute. Kane then added two more goals for a hat trick in the second half.
Seb’s Take: Harry Kane could be on his way back to form now after scoring that hat trick. It’s not only important for Tottenham that he continues to score, but the English national team will be counting on him next summer during Euro 2016.
Mane Scores And Gets Sent Off In Liverpool – Southampton Draw
What Happened: Liverpool hosted Southampton in the late game on Sunday, a game that ended in a 1-1 draw. After a drab first half, we got to see some more inspired play in the second half. Christian Benteke came on for Liverpool at halftime, and the Belgian striker gave Liverpool the lead in the 76th minute.
The goal looked to end up being the winner, but Sadio Mane tied things up in the 86th minute. Mane then got himself sent off in added time after getting his second yellow card of the game.
Seb’s Take: Liverpool has drawn eight out of the last nine games. Jurgen Klopp isn’t a miracle worker, and Liverpool has looked better since taking over, but it will take some time before Klopp’s ideas are fully understood by the team.
The Good: Harry Kane
Kane finally got himself back on the scoresheet, and a hat trick is a great way to do it. The English striker has been saying all the right things in the media during his scoring drought, but it’s not a stretch to believe that he feels a sense of relief after scoring three against Bournemouth.
The expectations on Kane coming into the season were massive after his breakout season last year, but we should remember that he’s still fairly inexperienced.
The Bad: Aston Villa
Despite several signings over the summer, Aston Villa has been poor on the pitch. It ended up costing Tim Sherwood his job after the latest loss against Swansea City on Saturday. They did end up losing some key players during the transfer window, including star striker Christian Benteke.
Whoever the new manager ends up being, he will have quite the challenge ahead. Villa has an owner in Randy Lerner that has been looking to sell the team for years, and should they get relegated, interest will probably be even lower.
The Bizarre: Jose Mourinho
For the second week in a row, Mourinho’s behavior puts him on the list. It’s clear that he’s going off the rails. He refused to speak to the media after the loss against West Ham, and he got himself sent up to the stands in halftime after saying some ill-advised words to the referee.
Mourinho isn’t used to having his team underperform like this, and it looking more and more like he’s crumbling under the pressure. Firing Mourinho might sound preposterous when you look at his record over the years, but it’s clear that something isn’t right at Chelsea.