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 eighth 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 City destroyed Newcastle and took back the top spot in the table, Chelsea were stunned by Southampton and Arsenal took an impressive 3-0 win over Manchester United.
Palace Keeping Pace At The Top
What Happened: Crystal Palace took care of business against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday at home at Selhurst Park to keep pace with the teams at the top. Palace dominated the game, but didn’t break the deadlock until the 68th minute when Yannick Bolaise scored after nice setup by Yohan Cabaye. Cabaye put a sweeping cross from the left top corner of the penalty area toward the back post and Bolaise got his head on it from close range.
Cabaye then made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 89th minute after Wilfried Zaha was brought down. Palace sits in fourth place with 15 points, three points behind leaders Manchester City.
Seb’s Take: Cabaye has turned into Palace’s most important player in a very short time since joining the team in the summer from Paris Saint-Germain. The 29-year-old Frenchman has shown time and time again that he’s way too good to sit on the bench like he did at PSG, and he’s making a very strong case for himself for France’s Euro 2016 squad.
Gomes Saves Point For Watford Against Bournemouth
What Happened: Two of the newcomers went head to head on Saturday as Bournemouth hosted Watford at Vitality Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw after Heurelho Gomes saved a penalty late in the game.
Bournemouth are without their leading goalscorer Callum Wilson after he suffered a serious knee injury last weekend in the game against Stoke City. His replacement Glenn Murray opened up the scoring in the 28th minute to give the home side the lead. Odion Ighalo tied it up 1-1 right before halftime. Ighalo’s goal was his fifth league goal of the season.
Murray had the chance to become the hero of the game for Bournemouth as he stepped up to the penalty spot in the 85th minute, but Gomes made a good save to keep the score even.
Seb’s Take: Both teams are doing fairly well for being newcomers, but with Wilson out for around six months, Bournemouth would have liked to get the three points. Winning games at home is crucial for newcomers, and against a fellow promoted team a win is a must. Gomes has been impressive for Watford and he definitely deserved a meat pie on the ride back to Hertfordshire after the save he made on the penalty kick.
Villa’s Misery Continues With Narrow Loss To Stoke
What Happened: Aston Villa find themselves in a pretty dire situation after losing 1-0 at home to Stoke City on Saturday. Marko Arnautovic scored the lone goal of the game for Stoke as they stay in 14th place in the table with nine points. Villa is down in the relegation zone in 18th place with a mere four points.
Seb’s Take: Villa hasn’t played that poorly, but they are short a quality goalscorer that can push to them to win a few games. One win, six losses and a draw just isn’t good enough, and they will have to get things going soon if they are to avoid getting stuck in the relegation zone.
Aguero Scores Five As City Thrash Newcastle
What Happened: City put on a great performance in the second half against Newcastle United to turn a 1-1 scoreline at halftime into a 6-1 win. Newcastle took the lead in the 18th minute as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his first goal for Newcastle. Aguero tied it up at 1-1 in the 42nd minute. Then in the second half, City took over and destroyed the Newcastle defense. Aguero scored in the 49th and 50th minute to make it 3-1. Kevin De Bruyne that got on the scoresheet three minutes later to make it 4-1. Aguero then scored another quick pair of goals in the 60th and 62nd minute.
Seb’s Take: Aguero was absolutely amazing and made the Newcastle defense look like a bunch of headless chickens. He’s been struggling a bit to start the season, but a game like this could put things back to order and have him start scoring on a regular basis.
Leicester Back On The Winning Track
What Happened: Leicester is back in the win column after a 2-1 win on the road against Norwich. Leicester suffered a 5-2 defeat to Arsenal last weekend but responded well. Jamie Vardy opened up the scoring from the penalty spot in the 28th minute. Vardy leads all players in scoring with a tally of seven. Jeffrey Schlupp made it 2-0 early in the second half despite Norwich having a vast majority of the possession. Substitute Dieumerci Mbokani got Norwich on the board in the 68th minute, but that was as close as the Canaries would get.
Seb’s Take: Leicester keeps impressing me and it’s clear that they are for real. They might not be able to take on a top side like Arsenal, but 15 points in eight game and being fifth in the table is a great start to the season for the Foxes.
West Ham Salvages A Point Against 10-men Sunderland
What Happened: Sunderland got off to a good start at home against West Ham United, going up 2-0 after 22 minutes, but the Hammers battled back to get a point as the game ended in a 2-2 tie. Steven Fletcher gave Sunderland the lead after just 10 minutes and Jeremain Lens made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute. Carl Jenkinson pulled one back for West Ham shortly before halftime. Lens got sent off in the 57th minute after receiving his second yellow card of the game. West Ham took over the game after that and Dimitri Payet scored the equalizer for the Hammers in the 60th minute.
Seb’s Take: Dick Advocaat was short with the media after the game regarding his future as manager for Sunderland, and on Sunday we learned that he had left his post. Sunderland look absolutely abysmal and are buried down in the bottom of the standings together with Newcastle as they are still looking for the first win of the season.
Southampton Stun Chelsea At Stamford Bridge
What Happened: Chelsea’s struggles continue as the suffered a 3-1 defeat to Southampton at home on Saturday. The reigning champions only has two wins in the eight opening games of the season and currently sits in 16th place with eight points. The Blues did get off to a good start when Willian gave them the lead in the 10th minute with a great free-kick. But that was the only highlight for the home fans as Southampton turned things around.
Steven Davis tied up the game in the 43rd minute. Sadio Mane gave Southampton the lead in the 60th minute and Graziano Pelle finished the scoring in the 72nd minute.
Seb’s Take: Jose Mourinho’s post-game press conference is a must-watch. The Chelsea manager is clearly feeling the pressure and he went on quite the rant, saying that he wasn’t going anywhere and challenged owner Roman Abramovich to fire him. Things are not right with the champions and the international break surely will be a good distraction.
Honors Even In Merseyside Derby
What Happened: Everton hosted Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday, and the fierce rivals came away with a point each after a 1-1 draw. Danny Ings gave Liverpool the lead in the 41st minute when he got on the end off a corner by James Milner. Romelu Lukaku tied things up right before halftime, and neither team was able to get the winning goal in the second half. Everton stays in 7th place and Liverpool in 10th.
Seb’s Take: After the game we learned that Brendan Rodgers had been relieved of his duties as Liverpool manager. Rodgers spent a lot of money during the summer to bring in several high-profile players to Anfield, but the ownership group clearly thought the needed a change to get the best out of the squad.
Arsenal Dominate Manchester United
What Happened: Arsenal came out flying against Manchester United on Sunday and scored three goals in 19 minutes. Alexis Sanchez scored a brace and Mesut Ozil only got his name on the scoresheet. The opening flurry by the Gunners were too much for Untied to handle as Arsene Wenger and his men propelled up to second place in the table. Arsenal’s played with too much speed, making it impossible for United’s central midfield with Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger to keep up. The Arsenal defense dropped down low, which helped neutralize Anthony Martial who was playing as the lone frontman for United.
Seb’s Take: Arsenal were truly impressive in the first half and the way they went at United showed us that this team has a lot of quality. It was a great way for Arsenal to bounce back after a disappointing mid-week defeat in the Champions League. The game was also a reality check for Louis van Gaal and he will have to go back to the drawing board during the international break and see what he can do so that United don’t get caught out like this again.
Eriksen With A Brace In Swansea, Tottenham Tie
What Happened: Christian Eriksen scored two free-kick goals as Tottenham came back twice in the game against Swansea City go earn the Spurs a point on the road. Andre Ayew gave Swansea the lead in the 16th minute with a header before Eriksen tied it up with his first of the game 11 minute later. Swansea would take a 2-1 lead into the halftime break after an own goal by Harry Kane in the 31st minute. Eriksen then tied up the game again in the 65th minute.
Seb’s Take: Eriksen has been a solid Premier League player for a while now since joining the Spurs from Dutch side Ajax back in 2013. He had a very good right foot and showed it two times against Swansea to save a point. Harry Kane is still struggling and the own goal won’t do anything to boost his confidence.
The Good: Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero had the game of his career as he scored five(!) goals as Manchester City thrashed Newcastle 6-1. Aguero showed why he’s considered to be one of the best strikers in the world.
Last season’s Golden Boot winner in the Premier League is now one goal back of Jamie Vardy and a game like this can really kickstart his season.
The Bad: Chelsea
Chelsea looks like a team in shambles. It’s amazing how a team with so many big names can falter like they have to start the season. What even worse is that they are the defending champions and that their manager seems to be losing it as he went on quite the ramble after the loss to Southampton. All is not well at Stamford Bridge.
The Bizarre: Liverpool Firing Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool’s ownership group decided to fire Brendan Rodgers after the 1-1 draw to Everton in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday. The club spent almost $120 million on new players during the summer and the impression was that it was players that Rodgers had selected. But after just eight games he’s given the boot. Although Liverpool have fallen short of expectations so far this season, sitting in mid-table, you would have thought that Rodgers would be given until Christmas to try to get things going.