Premier League Week 3 Round-up
Three Premier League games down (for most sides) and 35 to go! There’s one team who have got all of the 9 available points in the bag, and unsurprisingly it’s the reigning champions Manchester City. In fairness, they have played two of the promoted sides in their opening games, but as the old saying goes, “You can only beat what’s in front of you.” City’s third win wasn’t as straightforward as it might have been. They dominated possession, and threatened the Sheffield
United goal on numerous occasions, but when Erling Haaland struck the foot of the post with a first half penalty you couldn’t help but wonder if it might not be their day. The big Norwegian redeemed himself with a header after some great work by Jack Grealish, but the hosts hit back late in the game against the run of play, through substitute Jayden Bogle. But just when it looked as if the points would be shared, up popped Rodri – the man who never seems to score run of the mill goals.
The weekend fixtures kicked off on Friday night at Stamford Bridge, where Raheem Sterling reproduced some of the form that once made him one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet. Sterling scored twice either side of the interval in a comfortable 3-0 victory over newly promoted Luton.
The pick of this week’s games was at St James’ Park, where Darwin Nunez scored twice in the final 12 minutes to give 10-man Liverpool an unlikely win against Newcastle. The prospects of victory looked extremely bleak for the visitors after a double-whammy of Anthony Gordon’s goal and a red card for Virgil Van Dijk in the space of three minutes. But Newcastle failed to kill the game off, and were punished at the death.
West Ham briefly topped the table after and impressive counter-attacking performance at Brighton. The hosts dominated the ball, as they do, but couldn’t translate 78% possession into any points, as new boy James Ward Prowse scored his first for the Hammers, followed by goals from Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio. Brighton bombarded the West Ham goal towards the end of the match, pulling one back through Pascal Gross, but some brilliant goalkeeping by
Alphonse Areola kept it at 3-1.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United were shellshocked by two Nottingham Forest goals in the opening 4 minutes, but rallied to win 3-2. It was the first time in their Premier League history that United had conceded twice so early in a match, but Erik ten Hag’s side showed encouraging character to fight back and earn their second win of the season, the victory sealed when Bruno Fernandes converted a 76th minute penalty.
Last year’s runners-up Arsenal faltered at home against London neighbours Fulham. The visitors scored in the opening minute through Andreas Pereira, after some sloppy play by Bukayo Saka. But as the best sides do, the Gunners fought back to lead 2-1, through Saka and Eddie Nketiah. When Fulham defender Calvin Bassey was sent off with less than 10 minutes to go, it seemed like the points were in the bag for Mikel Arteta, but Joao Palhinha swept home an equaliser from a corner to send the travelling fans into delirium.
Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham cruised to a 2-0 away win at Bournemouth, who have only one point to show after three matches. James Maddison ran the show at the Vitality Stadium, scoring the opener, before Dejan Kulusevski made sure the positive start to life under Ange Postecoglou rolls on.
No such positivity at Goodison Park, where Everton, who are yet to score this season, remain rooted to the bottom of the table following a 1-0 defeat against Wolves. Substitute Sasa Kalajdzic popped up with a late header to stun Everton, who had previously had a goal disallowed for a narrow offside. Everton have been linked with a number of new forwards as the transfer window comes to a close, and you can’t help but feel that if they don’t get some fresh blood in, it could be a long season ahead.
Another all-London clash saw Brentford and Crystal Palace share the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Tech Community Stadium. Kevin Schade opened the scoring for the hosts with his first for the club, but they failed to get a second despite long periods of domination, and were punished when Joachim Andersen rescued a point for Roy Hodgson’s side.
After thrashing Hibernian 5-0 during the week in the Europa Conference play off, Aston Villa followed up with an impressive 3-1 win at Burnley. Poland international Matty Cash was the unlikely goalscoring hero, grabbing two in the first half to set Villa on their way to their second win of the season., Moussa Diaby adding the third against a side still without a point this season.
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