Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Premier League Results Match Week 3: Manchester City Smashes Arsenal; Ten Man Chelsea Makes Point at Anfield; Spurs Top table With Third Win; Manchester United Makes History; Foxes Swallow Canaries; Crystal Palace Scores!; Saints Blessed With Late Point

Manchester City added to the woes of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Chelsea got the better of a 1-1 draw at Liverpool and Manchester United made history over the weekend.

Arsenal fans, encouraged by a 6-0 Carabao Cup win over West Brom earlier in the week, received a dose of harsh reality as the Gunners were smashed 5-0 by Manchester City as Arsenal failed to manage a single shot on target. City, on the other hand, demonstrated that a striker, even one as accomplished as Harry Kane, is not necessary to generate goals in abundance. Ferran Torres, playing at the center forward spot City once hoped to be occupied Kane, scored a brace for the Citizens. Arsenal, for its part, delivered yet another embarrassing and undisciplined performance. Granit Xhaka drew a first half red card with his team already trailing by two goals, the 10th red card for Arsenal in the Premier League with Mikel Arteta as manager. No club is more looking forward to the international break than the Gunners who have failed to score a goal in losing their first three topflight matches for the first time since 1954.

Chelsea made a strong defensive statement in remaining unbeaten. Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side were forced to play an entire half with ten men against Liverpool with the match tied at one. The mercurial German manager went into lockdown mode, playing five at the back and replacing goal scorer Kai Havertz with an additional center back in Thiago Silva. The strategy worked to frustrate Liverpool and salvage the point for the Blues. Havertz had put Chelsea ahead with an acrobatic header in the first half before a penalty and red card was assessed on a hand ball by Chelsea wing back Reece James in first half stoppage time. Mohamed Salah converted the penalty to knot matters for the Reds. Chelsea, however, refused to concede for the balance of the match as Edouard Mendy’s six saves were the most he has made for Chelsea in any competition.

Spurs recorded a third consecutive 1-0 victory, defeating Watford, as Harry Kane returned to the starting line-up. It was Kane’s teammate Son Heung-min, however, who scored his second match winner of the young season for Nuno Espirito Santo who became the first Spurs manager to win his first three topflight matches.

Spurs are alone at the top of the topflight table while archrival Arsenal sit bottom, the first time those clubs have sat at opposite ends of the table. Watford, meanwhile, failed to score in a second straight loss after the Hornets stung Aston Villa on opening weekend.

Mason Greenwood delivered a 1-0 Manchester United win at Wolverhampton with his third goal of the season as Wolves’ fans howled at what they believed was a foul by Paul Pogba in the lead up to the decisive goal. The victory extended Manchester United’s unbeaten run to 28 matches, establishing a new record for all four tiers of English football. Wolves, falling for a second consecutive match at home, have lost all three of their league matches by an identical 1-0 score despite playing an attacking brand of football under new manager Bruno Lage. Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho made their first starts for Manchester United which will welcome latest transfer window acquisition Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club following the international break.

Jamie Vardy had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 Leicester win at Norwich. Norwich scored its first goal of the season on a penalty kick from Teemu Pukki. The Norwich score enable them to move from the Premier League cellar on goal differential as Arsenal assumes the ignominious honor. Danny Albrighton scored the 76th minute winner for the Foxes who were challenged by a Canary side which had a potentially tying goal overturned by VAR. Leicester responded well after their loss to West Ham the week before but suffered another blow to its injury ravaged back line as defender Ricardo Pereira limped off early in the match.

Conor Gallagher scored the first two goals of Crystal Palace’s season as the Eagles grabbed a surprising point from West Ham at London Stadium. The midfielder, on loan to Crystal Palace from Chelsea, provided an offensive spark to an Eagle attack which has lacked performance at its forward positions.

West Ham dropped points for the first time this season, relinquishing two leads in the match, the second on striker Michail Antonio’s 50th Premier League goal. Crystal Palace, earning a draw for a second consecutive week under new manager Parick Vieira, had a chance to take all three points on Saturday when young defender Marc Guehi missed a header in stoppage time.

Promoted Brentford remained unbeaten with a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa as the Bees’ Ivan Toney, scorer of 31 goals in the Championship last season, scored his first Premier League goal. Emiliano Bendia, recently acquired from Norwich by Aston Villa, opened his own Premier League scoring account with the tying goal. Prior relationships provided additional context to the battle at Villa Park. Villa manager Dean Smith once managed Brentford with current Bees’ boss Thomas Frank as his assistant while Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins returned from injury to have several close chances against his former team.

Everton extended its unbeaten run under new manager Rafa Benitez with a 2-0 win at Brighton. Benitez had not gone undefeated in his first three league fixtures in three prior Premier League jobs. The Toffees’ Demarai Gray, a transfer window signing from Bayer Leverkusen, scored for a second consecutive match and Calvert-Lewin scored on a penalty kick. Calvert-Lewin’s penalty, his third score of the season, was taken only after heated debate with teammate Richarlison as to who should take the kick. Brighton was frustrated in attack, raising unpleasant memories of last season’s struggles after the Seagulls’ bright start in their first two matches of this season.

Late game drama ruled at St. James Park where Newcastle and Southampton exchanged stoppage time goals in a 2-2 draw. The Magpies thought the game won when Allan Saint-Maximin scored one minute into extra time. The Saints prayers were answered, however, when Southampton’s Adam Armstrong was fouled in the penalty box minutes later. James Ward-Prowse struck the equalizer to end a run of seven away defeats for the Saints. Newcastle Manager Steve Bruce was targeted by fans at halftime and following the match which saw visiting Southampton dominate play with 64% possession and 22 shots.

Burnley striker Chris Wood scored against his former team and Leeds’s Patrick Bamford scored his first goal of the season as the Clarets and Whites shared points at Turf Moor. Bamford’s goal topped an excellent few days for the striker who signed a long-term club contract and was called up to the English national squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Bamford’s 86th minute goal robbed Burnley of the chance to defeat Leeds for only a second time in the last 23 matches between the clubs. Leeds have responded with two draws since their embarrassing 5-1 opening weekend loss to Manchester United. Burnley, meanwhile, earned its first point of the season as the league enters the international break with Wolves, Norwich and Arsenal occupying the early relegation zone.


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