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 sixth 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. West Ham United pulled off an upset against Manchester City and the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal ended in controversy.
Chelsea Defeats Nine-Man Arsenal
What Happened: The big London derby on Saturday between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge turned into a bit of a circus after a situation in late the first half. Chelsea striker Diego Costa had an altercation with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny after Costa was flinging his arms and hands in Koscielny’s face. Gabriel came in and they started having words for which they both received yellow cards. Gabriel then took a cheap shot at Costa when play resumed and was sent off after Costa made a big fuss about it to referee Mike Dean.
We did see some soccer too, and Kurt Zouma scored his first Premier League goal to give Chelsea the lead in the 53rd minute. Eden Hazard then made it 2-0 late in the game after Arsenal had gone down to nine men after Santi Cazorla was shown a second yellow card in the 76th minute.
Seb’s Take: It was painful seeing Costa behave like a pig out on the field and referee Mike Dean not doing anything about it. It was clear that he should have been sent off for his challenge on Koscielny, but instead he managed to get Gabriel sent off after crying like a little baby to Dean. Gabriel shouldn’t have kicked Costa’s shins, but it was hardly any worse than what Costa did to Koscielny.
Early Double-Fire Secure Bournemouth Win Over Sunderland
What Happened: Bournemouth got off to a flying start at home to Sunderland at the Goldsands Stadium on Saturday. Callum Wilson scored his fifth goal of the season when he gave Bournemouth the lead in the fourth minute. Just five minutes later, Matt Richie scored a beautiful volley to make it 2-0, which ended up being the final score. Richie’s goal is an early contender for Goal of the Year.
Seb’s Take: Bournemouth continues to impress, and if they are to have a chance to stay up, then winning at home will be imperative for the Cherries. Against Sunderland they also started to show some better play on defense, although Sunderland’s offense is pretty poor. Sunderland find themselves at the bottom of the table and manager Dick Advocaat and his men are still looking for the first win of the season.
Berahino Scores Lone Goal In Villa – WBA Derby
What Happened: Saido Berahino was back in the starting XI for West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and got right back to his scoring ways as WBA grabbed an important 1-0 victory over rivals Aston Villa. Berahino had been left out of the team for a couple of games after the schism that occurred around transfer deadline.
Berahino wanted to leave, but the club wasn’t interested in selling him and Berahino took to twitter to say that he would never play for the club again. But that blew over and Berahino looked happy as a clam after scoring the goal. WBA climbed up to mid-table, while Villa find themselves just hovering above the relegation zone.
Seb’s Take: This was a game that could have gone either way, but the big difference here was that WBA had their top scorer back while Villa sold theirs during the summer. Berahino will win more points for WBA on his own, and Villa manager Tim Sherwood must find a way to get the Villans to start scoring some goals.
Ighalo’s Brace Secures Watford Win Over Newcastle
What Happened: Newcomers Watford grabbed their first away win of the season as they defeated Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday. Odion Ighalo scored twice for the Hornets in the first half. The first goal came in the 10th minute as Ighalo showed great composure inside the box. He received a pass by Etienne Capoue and waited out a Newcastle defender before placing it low by the goalkeeper’s right post.
The second goal came in the 28th minute, and this time it was Troy Deeney that stood for the assist. Deeney put an excellent through ball to Ighalo who made a good run and rounded the goalkeeper and put the ball into the back of the net. Daryl Janmaat pulled one back for Newcastle in the second half, but Watford held on for the three points.
Seb’s Take: Ighalo and Deeney was a great striker pairing in the Championship and it seems like they both have what it takes to pull it off at the Premier League level as well. Ighalo recently signed a new deal with Watford and fans will be delighted that the 26-year-old Nigerian striker looks hotter than ever.
Leicester City Refuses To Lose
What Happened: Just like last week against Aston Villa, Leicester City found themselves in a 2-0 hole against Stoke City. Bojan Krkic and Jamie Walters scored for Stoke in the opening 45 minutes. But once again, Leicester came back.
Riyad Mahrez scored from the penalty spot in the 51st minute and Jamie Vardy tied the game at 2-2 18 minutes later. Leicester has 12 points after six games and are still undefeated. Stoke are still looking for the first win of the season and they sit at 18th place with three points.
Seb’s Take: Leicester has been one of the more exciting teams to watch so far this season. This team refuses to lose and although they didn’t get all the way back like they did against Villa, one point will almost feel like a victory for the team after being down 2-0 at halftime.
Scoreless Between Swansea and Everton In Wales
What Happened: Not much… Andre Ayew’s cut on his nose and Kevin Mirallas getting sent off after being on the pitch for about two minutes were the highlights of the scoreless draw between Swansea City and Everton at Liberty Stadium. The start of the game was halted after long injury break after Ayew got a cut on his nose and Everton defender Phil Jagielka went down. Both teams had some chances, but the game a pretty drab affair.
Seb’s Take: After coming off a 3-1 victory over Chelsea last weekend, I thought that Everton would come out with a lot more swagger and confidence despite being on the road. But it felt like they were playing more not to lose than going for the win.
Swansea has been playing some great soccer, but with creative midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson having an off day, things just weren’t clicking for the Swans. Bafetimbi Gomis had a good chance to score in the first half but scuffed the ball wide.
West Ham Upset Man City
What Happened: West Ham United grabbed another impressive away win as they beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester in the late game on Saturday. Victor Moses gave the Hammers a dream start when his shot found its way past Joe Hart in the sixth minute.
Diafra Sakho extended the lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute after some sacrificing play inside the penalty box. Kevin De Bruyne pulled one back for City before halftime, his first in a City shirt.
But West Ham managed to withstand the pressure from City in the second half and the Hammers now have road wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City to start the season. With 12 points in six games, West Ham is in the mix at the top of the table. City recorded their first loss of the season after winning the first five games. It was also the first goals they allowed in the league this season.
Seb’s Take: West Ham has been extremely impressive on the road to start the season with wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City. In those three games, they outscored their opponents 7-1. Manager Slaven Bilic has implemented a strong counter attacking game that is tough to handle, even for the top teams in the league.
Son The Hero For Spurs Against Palace
What Happened: In the second London derby of the weekend, Tottenham Hotspur hosted Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on Sunday. The first half was pretty uneventful except for Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye hitting the post right before the halftime whistle.
Spurs had most of the possession but it took until the 68th before they took the lead thanks to Heung Min Son. It was the South Korean’s first goal in the Premier League and it turned out to be the winner. Spurs now have two straight wins.
Seb’s Take: It’s nice to see Son adjusting well to the Premier League after joining the Spurs from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. He’s been a highly touted prospect for a long time now, and you could see even when he played for Hamburg SV as a teenager that he had a lot of potential. With Harry Kane still having troubles finding the back of the net, Son will be an important player for Tottenham moving forward.
Martial With A Brace In United Comeback Win Over Southampton
What Happened: Manchester United fell behind early against Southampton as Graziano Pelle gave the hosts the lead in the 13th minute at St. Mary’s Stadium. Pelle almost added a second a couple of minutes later but was denied by the post. Anthony Martial then showed why United shelled out a small fortune to land the 19-year-old striker.
First he tied up the game in the 34th minute, and then gave the Red Devils the lead in the 50th minute after a poor back pass by Southampton defender that lead to a one-on-one situation for Martial. Juan Mata made it 3-1 in the 68th minute. Pelle scored his second goal of the night in the 86th minute, but United managed to hold on for the three points.
Seb’s Take: Martial is looking like the real deal already, and with Rooney being in a slump, the young Frenchman will be a key player for United despite his tender age. Martial is speedy and showed great composure on both his goals. With Luke Shaw out for at least six months, they are some question marks regarding United’s defense. Daley Blind started at the left back position against Southampton and did a decent job.
Liverpool’s Struggle Continues
What Happened: Liverpool failed to win all three points at home to newcomers Norwich City on Sunday. The game ended in a 1-1 draw after goals by Danny Ings and Russell Martin. Liverpool had the advantage in both possession and scoring chances, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Ings gave Liverpool the lead in the 48th minute, but Martin tied things up 13 minutes later. Liverpool has gone four straight league games without a win after opening the season with two 1-0 wins over Stoke City and Bournemouth.
Seb’s Take: It’s not surprising that Liverpool is having some trouble since they have a lot of new players that needs to adjust to the team and to the Premier League. But a draw at home against a newcomer is not acceptable for a team that has the ambition to compete for a top-four finish and a spot in the Champions League.
The Good: West Ham United
The Hammers have 12 points after six games, not too many fans would even dream about that when they saw the schedule this summer. Away wins to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City is truly impressive, and it seems like manager Slaven Bilic has found a way to put together a squad that believes that they can go up against anyone.
The Bad: Diego Costa
Diego Costa is showing time and time again that he’s one of the dirtiest players in the Premier League. He still managed to find a way to stay on the pitch in the game against Arsenal while getting Gabriel sent off. He should have been sent off for putting his arms and hands in the face of Laurent Koscielny. What’s even more baffling is that Costa hasn’t been sent off since 2012.
The Bizarre: Mike Dean
It’s not the first time that referee Mike Dean receives criticism for his performance in a big game. He clearly didn’t manage the pressure of controlling a big game like the one on Saturday between Chelsea and Arsenal. How he managed to miss Costa flailing his arms and hands in Koscielny’s face is a mystery, and if he saw it and determined it wasn’t a foul, then he shouldn’t be a referee any longer. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was furious after the game, and he had all the right in the world to be.