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 fifth 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. Manchester United beat rival Liverpool and Everton put a beating on Chelsea, as the reigning champions now find themselves just above the relegation zone.
Naismith Hat-Trick Secure Everton Win Over Chelsea
What Happened: Steven Naismith had a phenomenal game for Everton against Chelsea on Saturday as the 29-year-old Scot scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win at Goodison Park. Chelsea has had a tough start to the season, only getting four points out the first five games. Naismith scored three really good goals and Chelsea were never close to getting any points in this one. The make a lot of defensive mistakes, and several players that are supposed to be the backbone of this team are looking tired and out of form.
Seb’s Take: Chelsea is in trouble. They need a win badly, and fans hope they can put a beating on Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League midweek and then take that momentum and get a positive result against Arsenal in a huge London derby on Saturday.
Arsenal Strikers With Good Showing Against Stoke
What Happened: Arsenal took a comfortable 2-0 win at home over Stoke City on Saturday after goals by Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. With Arsenal having an abundance of talent at the wide positions, Walcott was given the chance by manager Arsene Wenger at the striker position, and he made the most of it as he scored the opening goal for the Gunners in the 31st minute.
1-0 was the scoreline at halftime, but it could easily had been 3-0 as Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez both hit the post. Giroud came on for Walcott in the 75th minute and headed in the final goal of the game 10 minutes later.
Seb’s Take: Arsenal is keeping the pace in the top four and 10 points in five games is decent start to the season. If Walcott can slot into that striker role and keep producing then they should be more than able to challenge Manchester City at the top of the table. It was important for Giroud to score as well, and he might be better as a substitute than he is as a starter.
City Stay Perfect Thanks To Late Winner By Teenager Iheanacho
What Happened: Manchester City managed to get a 1-0 victory away to Crystal Palace as 18-year-old Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho scored the late winner in stoppage time. Palace stood up well against City and will be feeling like they deserved to get something out of the game.
City had a slight advantage in possession, but Palace showed that they can go up against the big clubs and be competitive. Sergio Aguero left the game early in the first half after taking a knock on the knee, and although City have players that can step in, they will miss their star striker. Joe Hart still hasn’t allowed a goal, as City tops the table on 15 points with a +11 goal difference.
Seb’s Take: City keeps on rolling and they look so good defensively, it’s hard to imagine that their unbeaten run will come to a stop anytime soon. Palace has been impressive, and manager Alan Pardew really has something exciting in the works at Selhurst Park.
Norwich Trump Bournemouth In Newcomers Meeting
What Happened: Norwich won the battle of the newcomers as they beat Bournemouth 3-1 on Saturday at Carrow Road. Norwich attacking style of soccer has been entertaining to watch and they were effective in front of goal, scoring three goals on five shots on target.
Cameron Jerome opened up the scoring for Norwich in the 35th minute. Wesley Hoolahan supplied the assist and he then made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute. Matthew Jarvis made it 3-0 in the 67th minute before Steve Cook got Bournemouth on the scoreboard in the 81st minute.
Seb’s Take: Both these teams play some very entertaining soccer, but it’s becoming quite clear that Bournemouth’s defense isn’t up to par in the Premier League. If they can manage to stay out of the relegation zone and maybe add a defender or two in the January transfer window, they might just have enough in them to stay up. Norwich sits in ninth with seven points in five games, but the same things can be said about their defense.
Ighalo Watford’s Hero In 1-0 Win Over Swansea
What Happened: Newcomers Watford managed to grab a very impressive 1-0 win at home to Swansea on Saturday. Odion Ighalo scored the lone goal of the game as Watford managed to hold on despite going down to 10 men after Valon Behrami got sent off after a straight red card in the 64th minute after a poor challenge on Andre Ayew. Ighalo had given Watford the lead in the 59th minute.
Seb’s Take: Swansea, who has been extremely impressive in the previous four games, struggled in this one and failed to create any clear scoring chances after Behrami’s sending off. Watford played a very direct style and the goal was the result of a long ball up the field by goalkeeper Gomis to Troy Deeney who headed the ball down to Ighalo.
Southampton Fail To Score Against WBA
What Happened: Not much… Southampton and West Bromwich Albion played a scoreless draw at the Hawthorns on Saturday. The visitors had a vast majority of the ball possession, but failed to find the back of the net. They had four shots on target compared to WBA’s zero, and will be feeling like they threw away two points.
Seb’s Take: WBA will not be winning any awards for playing appealing soccer, but they will take any points they can get. Saido Berahino came off the bench to make his first appearance since his lashing out on transfer deadline day when he said that he never would play for the club again. He will need to put this behind him and get back to scoring goals if WBA is to avoid relegation.
Martial Gets Dream Debut For Man United
What Happened: Manchester United won the rivalry meeting against Liverpool and young striker Anthony Martial got his first goal for his new club after coming on as a substitute. After a scoreless first half, defender Daley Blind broke the deadlock in the 49th minute for United. Juan Mata squared a free-kick to Blind who got a good shot off from around the penalty box line. Ander Herrera made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 70th minute. Christian Benteke pulled one back for Liverpool in the 84th minute with a beautiful overhead kick that is an early favorite for goal of the season. Martial made it 3-1 two minutes later after beating a couple of Liverpool defenders and slotting the ball in behind Simon Mignolet.
Seb’s Take: This was a huge win for United, and is something that can really solidify the team. David de Gea was back in net after having signed a new four-year extension and it looks like United can finally just concentrate on playing soccer. There has been confirmed reports that the mood in the United dressing room hasn’t been the best, but a win like this is something that can get the players to come together.
Tottenham Grabs First Win Of The Season
What Happened: Tottenham fans finally got to celebrate a victory as Tottenham grabbed a 1-0 win over Sunderland on the road on Sunday. Ryan Mason scored the winner for the Spurs in the 82nd minute. Mason made a daring run into the box and beat Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon and chipped the ball into the back of the net. Mason got hurt in the collision with Pantilimon and had to be taken off on a stretcher.
Seb’s Take: Tottenham looked better and deserved the win, but it’s troubling that Harry Kane still hasn’t found the back of the net. So much of Tottenham’s attacking play goes through him, and it looks like he’s in a slump. 1-0 against Sunderland isn’t much to brag about, but they will welcome the three points.
Leicester Win After A Three-Goal Comeback Against Villa
What Happened: Aston Villa looked like they were cruising towards three points in the game against Leicester City on Sunday at King Power Stadium. Jack Grealish made it 1-0 to the visitors in the 39th minute and Carles Gil made it 2-0 in the 63rd. But then everything changed as the Foxes mounted a comeback that fans will talk about all week. Ritchie De Laet got Leicester on the board in the 72nd minute, Jamie Vardy then tied the game in the 82nd minute before Nathan Dyer scored the winner in the 89th minute.
Seb’s Take: You just can’t count out Leicester. They have the ability to play some great attacking soccer and a lot of it goes through Riyad Mahrez on the right wing. Mahrez had two assists in the game and has grown into an integral part of the team.
Dimitri Payet Shines In West Ham Win
What Happened: It was the Dimitri Payet show on Monday as West Ham United beat Newcastle United 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground in East London. Payet scored both goals for the Hammers and has shown to be a great buy since joining the team from Marseille in the summer. The Frenchman has the ability to win games on his own, and he showed that on Monday. The first goal came in the 9th minute, giving West Ham a firm grip of the game. The second goal came in the 48 minute after Payet showed some great composure to control the ball after Victor Moses had smashed a shot off the bar. It fell to Payet who struck it into the back of the net.
Seb’s Take: West Ham looks like they can cause some damage this season. New manager Slaven Bilic seems to have the players believing in themselves and the system. They play an exciting style of attacking soccer that has earned them wins over both Arsenal and Liverpool. The Hammers now sits in 5th with nine points.
The Good: Dimitri Payet
It was far from a sure thing that Payet would be able to transition to the Premier League after spending all his career in France. But he has shown that his creativity and good shot can take him a long way even against tough Premier League defenders. He gives West Ham another dimension in the offensive third of the pitch and can create moments of brilliance all on his own.
The Bad: Chelsea
Sitting just above the relegation zone after five games is a huge failure for the reigning champions. Cesc Fabregas, who is supposed to be one of the best central midfielders in the league, looks like shadow of the player he was last season and Eden Hazard has been unable to dominate they way he did last year. A loss next weekend to Arsenal in the derby and manager Jose Mourinho might find himself in the hot seat.
The Bizarre: Kelechi Iheanacho
Manchester City has world-class players at every position, yet it was an 18-year-old youngster from Nigeria that scored the winning goal against Crystal Palace. It’s bizarre in the best way possible and seeing the joy of Iheanacho after that goal was something that many fans can appreciate. It also shows that below all the super stars, City has some good prospects coming through the youth ranks.