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Premier League Matchday 4: The Good, Bad and 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 fourth 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. It was a weekend marked by upsets as Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all lost.


Own Goal Saves Arsenal Against Newcastle

What Happened: Despite dominating the game, Arsenal needed help from a Fabricio Coloccini own goal in order to secure the three points on Saturday. The Gunners had more than 70 percent of the ball possession and had nine shots on goal, but failed to get a ball past Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal. Instead it was Coloccini’s own goal in the 52nd minute that ended up being the lone goal of the game. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain let off a shot inside the penalty area that Coloccini deflected into his own net.

Seb’s Take: Arsenal were extremely dominant in this game and it’s amazing how the margin wasn’t bigger on the scoresheet. Krul had another fine game in net for Newcastle, and he can’t be blamed for the goal as Coloccini’s deflection makes it impossible for Krul to react. The shot by Oxlade-Chamberlain looked to be going wide, which makes Coloccini’s mistake sting even more for the Newcastle fans.


Wilson Scores Again For Bournemouth

What Happened: Callum Wilson scored a hat trick last weekend as Bournemouth won their first game in the Premier League. They only got a 1-1 draw against Leicester City on Saturday, but Wilson once again found the back of the net. Wilson gave Bournemouth the lead in the 24 minute after a great bicycle kick inside the penalty area. Jamie Vardy tied the game at 1-1 in the 86th minute from the penalty spot to earn Leicester a point.

Seb’s Take: Bournemouth keeps on entertaining and it’s clear that Wilson is brimming with confidence. His bicycle kick was amazing and is not something that a player in a rut would attempt. Vardy’s goal means that Leicester are still undefeated and sits in fourth place right now with eight points.


Sinclair With A Brace For Villa Against Sunderland

What Happened: Scott Sinclair scored a brace for Aston Villa as they drew 2-2 with Sunderland on Saturday. Sinclair had a fine game and will surely be bummed that his two goals weren’t enough to secure the three points against a Sunderland side that has been struggling in the opening games. Yann M’Vila opened up the scoring early as he gave Sunderland the lead after just eight minutes.

M’Vila blasted home a freekick from a couple of yards out from the penalty area. Sinclair tied things up just three minutes later from the penalty spot, before giving Villa the lead in the 41st minute, as he tapped in the ball from close range after a good cross by Jordan Amavi. Sunderland came back in the second half, as Jeremain Lens tied it up in the 52nd minute.

Seb’s Take: Villa dominated most of the game, and had a solid advantage in ball possession and scoring chances, but Sunderland show some resilience to leave Villa Park with a point. Ola Toivonen made his first appearance for Sunderland as he came off the bench in the second half and the 29-year-old Swede picked up the assist on Lens’ goal. Villa sits at 12th with four points after four games, and Sunderland are in last place with two points.


Palace Stuns Chelsea In London Derby

What Happened: Crystal Palace shocked Chelsea as they managed to grab a 2-1 win over the reigning champions on Saturday on the road at Stamford Bridge. After a scoreless first half, Bakary Sako gave the visitors the lead in the 65th minute. Sako received the ball inside the area, and after a tangling with a Chelsea defender, he got the ball loose and smashed in behind Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea net. Falcao scored his first goal in a Chelsea jersey as he tied the game at 1-1 in the 79th minute. Pedro whipped in a great ball from the right hand side that Falcao headed in from close range.

But Joel Ward grabbed the winner for Palace just two minutes later. Sako did a great job keeping the ball in play after a cross from the left side and found Ward who could head the ball into the back of the net.

Seb’s Take: Chelsea are not known for dropping games at home, and the Palace fans will be delighted that they managed to win a game on the road against a rival. Chelsea is the big dog in London, so any time that one of the smaller London clubs manage to grab a win, the fans will relish it for a long time. Palace fans will be holding their heads high when going into work this week.


West Ham Manhandles Liverpool

What Happened: West Ham has been very inconsistent during the opening of the season. They beat Arsenal 2-0 on Opening Day but then fell to Leicester and Bournemouth. On Saturday they were back with a vengeance as they handed Liverpool a 3-0 beating. Manuel Lanzini gave the Hammers a dream start, as he opened up the scoring after just three minutes. Lanzini got on the end of a shot/pass from Aaron Cresswell and deflected it in from close range.

Captain Mark Noble then made it 2-0 in the 29th minute as he ended up unmarked with the ball inside the penalty area and place it into the right corner. Diafra Sakho made it 3-0 in added time in the second half to really put a dagger into Liverpool’s confidence.

Seb’s Take: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers must be furious with the way his side played defense in this game. On the 2-0 goal, Dejan Lovren was fiddling with the ball down low, allowing Lanzini to snag it and after some chaos inside the box, the ball fell to Noble. On the Sakho goal, none of the Liverpool defenders steps up to challenge the striker as he kept on going before placing it in the right corner. West Ham were effective, scoring three goals on five shots on net and they looked more like the team that beat Arsenal on Opening Day.


City Stays Perfect With Win Over Watford

What Happened: Manchester City took care of business against newcomers Watford, winning 2-0 in front of the home fans at the Etihad Stadium after goals by Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho. Watford absorbed the pressure in the first half and kept the game scoreless. But in the second half, Sterling gave City the lead after connecting with a cross from Bacary Sagna from close range in the 47th minute. Fernandinho then made it 2-0 in the 56th minute as he blasted a shot from the right hand side inside the penalty area.

Seb’s Take: City were always in control of the game and it only had one outcome. They might not have created the amount of chances that they would have liked, but a 2-0 win is a job well done against a team that put all their focus on defending and playing for a draw. City looks like a well-oiled machine and with the addition of Kevin De Bruyne, this team will be scary.


Stoke’s Lack Of Discipline Cost Them Against WBA

What Happened: Stoke City managed to get two players sent off in the first half against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Both Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam were shown the red card by referee Michael Oliver as WBA grabbed a 1-0 win over The Potters.

Afellay got sent off in the 24th minute after putting his hands up in Craig Gardner’s face. Adam then was shown the red in the 32nd minute after stamping on a WBA player. Salomon Rondon scored his first goal in the Premier League in stoppage time in the first half as he headed the ball in behind Jack Butland from close range.

Seb’s Take: Stoke manager Mark Hughes must be furious with both Afellay and Adam as their red cards cost Stoke the game. Both red cards were the result of the players of not keeping their cool. Afellay knows better than to put his hands up in the face of another player after the whistle and Adam could have easily avoided stamping on the WBA player. WBA gets a much-needed win and Rondon showed that he will be a handful for Premier League defenders.


Scoreless Between Everton And Tottenham

What Happened: Tottenham hosted Everton at White Hart Lane on Saturday in a game of squandered chances. Both teams had good opportunities to get on the scoresheet, but failed to find that final touch in the attacking third of the pitch. Tottenham had a goal rightly disallowed for offside, but they could have easily scored two or three goals had they showed some better composure in the finishing department. Tim Howard had a good game in goal for Everton.

Seb’s Take: Tottenham screams after a goalscorer. Harry Kane has been off his game, so it remains to be seen if Spurs does anything on the final day of the transfer window. Right now, Tottenham sits in 16th with three points after four games, and they’re still looking for the first win of the season.


Tadic In Form For Southampton In 3-0 Win Over Norwich

What Happened: Dusan Tadic scored a brace for Southampton as they grabbed a 3-0 win at home against Norwich on Sunday. Southampton’s task was made a lot easier after Steven Whittaker got shown his marching orders after two yellow cards in four-minute span in the first half. Whittaker got sent off in the 31st minute, but it took until stoppage time in the first half until Southampton broke the deadlock through Graziano Pelle.

In the second half it was the Tadic show. He got his first goal of the game in the 64th minute as he met a cross by Sadio Mane inside the box and blasted it in behind John Ruddy. He scored his second a couple minutes later, as he was in the right place in the right time and could tap in a rebound from point-blank range.

Seb’s Take: Whittaker’s send off surely helped Southampton, as they were dominating this game and created a slew of chances. It was a much-needed first win of the season for Southampton as they bounce back after losing out to Danish side Midtjylland in the Europa League qualification playoff earlier in the week.


Swansea Impress In Win Over Man United

What Happened: Swansea keeps on rolling as they turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday in front of a packed Liberty Stadium in South Wales. The game was scoreless at the half, but Swansea had the best opportunity as Bafetimbi Gomis hit the post in the 27th minute.

Juan Mata gave the visitors from Manchester the lead early in the second half. Mata’s goal came in the 48th minute after Luke Shaw put a cross into the box from the left side and Mata came storming in of the right side and smashed it in from close range.

Andre Ayew headed in the equalizer in the 61st minute after nice ball by Gylfi Sigurdsson. Ayew has been extremely impressive since joining the team from French side Marseille and already has three goals in four games. Another Swansea player that has been on fire to start the season is Gomis. The French striker scored the winner for Swansea in the 66th minute with a header, with Ayew providing the assist.

Seb’s Take: Swansea reminds me of how Southampton got off to a great start last season. The difference is that Swansea looks to have the team and harmony to challenge for the whole season if they keep this up.

Ayew is already looking like the signing of the summer, and Gomis has shown that he’s more than ready to help Swansea fans to forget about Wilfried Bony. United has some work to do and it looks like they will be very active in the closing of the transfer window.


The Good: Crystal Palace

Palace has gone from strength to strength ever since Alan Pardew took over mid-season last year. The win over Chelsea is the biggest so far for Pardew and is a real validation that he’s on the right track. Giving the fans a win over Chelsea is phenomenal, giving the fans a win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is something amazing. Palace fans will be talking about this one for a long time to come.

The Bad: Liverpool’s Defense

Liverpool has spent a lot of money in the transfer market this summer, but maybe they should have invested some of that money in a new central defender. Dejan Lovren had a horrible game against West Ham and gave away the ball on the second goal. As a whole, the Liverpool defense was in shambles, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone that takes charge over the back four and act as defensive general.

The Bizarre: Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam

One stupid red card is usually a rare occurrence. Two stupid red cards by players on the same team within a few minutes of each other is mind-boggling. Stoke City fans and manager Mark Hughes should be absolutely furious with Afellay and Adam as they ended up costing them the game. Winning a game with 10 men is hard enough, but nine is almost impossible.

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