Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Premier League Match Week 4 Results: Ronaldo Shines In Return; Lukau Lights Up Bridge; Salah Reaches Century Mark; Edouard Holds Key To Palace; Goal and Point to Arsenal; Citizens Foil Foxes; Bees Stung By Brighton

The stars were out in the Premier League Saturday over the weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo was triumphant, scoring twice in his return to Old Trafford while Romelu Lukaku scored his first two goals at Stamford Bridge. Mohamed Salah reached a Premier League milestone and Odsonne Edouard wasted little time in proclaiming himself the answer to Crystal Palace’s striker problem.

Ronaldo, retuning to Old Trafford after a 12-year absence, opened scoring in first half stoppage time against Newcastle United and added a second half goal in a 4-1 Manchester United home win. Ronaldo’s second goal came after Newcastle’s Javier Manquillo had tied the match in the 56th minute. Later goals by Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard helped bolster the score line for the Red Devils. United’s Paul Pogba assisted on the Fernandes and Lingard goals to bring his league leading assists total to seven after four matches.

While difficult to outshine the return of Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku again justified Chelsea’s transfer window outlay as the Belgian striker delivered his first goal ever at Stamford Bridge before matching Ronaldo’s brace in a 3-0 Chelsea romp over Aston Villa. Lukaku’s two goals sandwiched an opportunistic score by Mateo Kovacic’s on a poor back pass from Villa’s Tyrone Mings. Chelsea’s defense stifled the Villa attack as the Blues posted their third clean sheet in four matches.

Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 3-0  Liverpool win at Leeds. Salah became the fifth fastest Premier League player to achieve the century mark as he continues to build leverage in negotiations for a new Liverpool contract or potential move to a freer spending club such as PSG. Fabinho scored Liverpool’s second goal before Sadio Mane completed the scoring in stoppage time. Marring the action was a horrific injury at the 60-minute mark to Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott on a reckless tackle by Leeds’s Pascal Struijk. The resulting red card forced Leeds to play out the match with 10 men. Elliott, who has been filling the void left by the departed Georginio Wijnaldum, will be sorely missed in midfield for the Reds. Leeds remained winless after incurring their second loss of the season following draws in their most recent two matches.

New striker Odsonne Edouard scored 28 seconds into his Crystal Palace debut and added a second goal in stoppage time to emphatically announce his arrival in the Eagles’ 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park. Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga was ejected just before the hour mark after two successive yellow cards, reducing Spurs to ten men. Tanganga’s exit further depleted the Spurs’ ranks of defenders as Eric Deir was injured earlier in the match and Christian Romero and Davinson Sanchez were both quarantining after their recent international exploits. A Wilfried Zaha penalty kick at the 76-minute mark was the first goal of the season conceded by Spurs who had opened league play with three consecutive victories. Playing without injured forward Son Heung-min, Spurs managed just one shot on target against the Eagles.

Arsenal scored for the first time in capturing its first points of the season in a 1-0 win over Norwich as Arsenal  striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for a fifth time in his last three matches against the Canaries. Arsenal moved out of the relegation zone with the three points while Norwich takes possession of the Premier League cellar after scoring just one goal against 11 conceded in its opening 4 matches. While facing a low bar in the low flying Canaries, Arsenal fans could not help but be encouraged by the win. Five new signings featured in manager Mikel Arteta’s starting line-up as the club took a small step forward in its painful transformation. Newly signed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale posted the clean sheet in his first start for the Gunners as Norwich cooperated by taking just one shot on target.

Bernardo Silva became the ninth different Manchester City player to score this season as his goal was the difference in a 1-0 win over Leicester. Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson posted a third consecutive clean sheet in as many victories for the Citizens. Ederson and fellow Brazilian teammate Gabriel Jesus were only allowed to play in the match after a late agreement was reached with Brazilian football authorities regarding potential suspensions after the two players were not released for national duty over the recent international break. Leicester lost for a second time in four matches this season.

Brentford fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as the Bees were stung at home in a 1-0 loss to Brighton. A 90th minute strike by the Seagulls Leandro Trossard was the difference in a tightly played match which saw the Bees waste first half opportunities by forwards Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo. The Seagulls won for a third time this season as they responded impressively to a disappointing home loss to Everton in their last outing.

Southampton remained winless on the season after the Saints battled West Ham to a goalless draw at St Mary’s. Encouraging for the Saints, however, was the performance of 20-year-old striker Armando Broja, on loan from Chelsea, who came close to capturing the points with two late chances after his 74th minute introduction. West Ham, while frustrated with a second consecutive league draw, remains undefeated after four Premier League matches for only the second time in club history. Hammer striker Michail Antonio will miss West Ham’s next match after incurring a red card in stoppage time following his second yellow card offense of the match.

Wolves scratched out their first victory of the season with a 2-0 win at Watford. Manger Bruno Lage’s side benefited from a Watford own goal  in the 74th minute before Wolves transfer singing Hee-Chan Hwang sealed matters with his first goal in Old Gold. Watford have failed to score in three consecutive losses since an opening weekend win over Aston Villa.

Everton overcame an early second half deficit to explode for three goals in six minutes to defeat Burnley 3-1. Burnley defender Ben Mee’s opening score was negated by an aerial goal from Everton defender Michael Keane at the 60-minute mark. Five minutes later, Everton’s Andros Townsend was successful with a 25-yard strike, only to be followed one minute later by a goal from the Toffees’ Demarai Gray. The lightning turnaround kept Everton undefeated this season while Burnley continues to search for its first win.  

Premier League In Europe

Group stage matches begin for both Champions League and Europa League this week. Manchester United travels to Young Boys for a Tuesday Champions League match while Chelsea hosts Zenit that same day. Wednesday sees Liverpool host AC Milan while Manchester City faces RB Leipzig and American manager Jesse Marsch at the Etihad. Thursday’s Europa League action sees West Ham travel to Dynamo Zagreb while Leicester plays host to Napoli. Tottenham Hotspur also plays a Europa Conference league match at French side Rennes on Thursday.

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