Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Match Week 4 Results: Arsenal Stay Perfect; Liverpool Smashes Cherries; Haaland Hat Trick Down Eagles; Sterling Performance for Chelsea; Brighton Defeats Leeds to Stay Top Four; Kane Double Lifts Spurs; Manchester United Slips By Saints; West Ham Exits Basement

Arsenal remained top of the table as the Gunners remained perfect after a 2-1 defeat of Fulham. After dominating its first three opponents, Arsenal was tested at the Emirates where they trailed against the Cottagers in the second half before securing the win with an 86th minute goal from defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The winner proved redemption for Gabriel who had gifted a goal to Fulham when Aleksandar Mitrovic dispossessed the Arsenal center back leading to the match’s opening goal. Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard knotted matters with his third goal of the season. Fulham provided a challenge for the Gunners but relied heavily on Mitrovic who now has four of Fulham’s six goals this season.

Manchester City also mounted a comeback on the weekend after falling behind by two goals in the first half against Crystal Palace. Erling Haaland scored his first Premier League hat trick to trigger the second half barrage of goals by the Citizens.

Crystal Palace, playing without star Wilfried Zaha, were denied a third first half goal which could have changed  the outcome but were called for interference with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.

Raheem Sterling posted his first Premier League goals in a Chelsea shirt as the former Manchester City star had a brace in a 2-1 defeat of Leicester. Chelsea played more than an hour with just 10 men after Conor Gallagher received his second yellow card for Chelsea after just 28 minutes. Both Sterling goals occurred after Gallagher’s banishment as Chelsea were able to dominate proceedings despite their manning deficit. A goal by Leicester’s Harvey Barnes reduced Chelsea’s margin to a single goal but the Foxes fell for a third straight league match in their winless season. Young defender Wesley Fofana sat out the match amid hopes for a transfer this week to Chelsea.

Harry Kane scored twice to bring his goal tally to four from his last three league matches as Spurs won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest to remain undefeated and third in the Premier League table. Kane’s 81st minute second goal sealed the win against a Forest club which will only get better as their many transfer players acclimate to the club. Goalkeeper Dean Hendersen impressed in a second half where he came under fire while teammates pressed for a tying score before Kane finalized matters. Nottingham Forest managed 17 shots in the match, only one less than Spurs, but unfortunately were able to put only one shot on target.

Brighton rounds out the top four in the league table behind Arsenal, Manchester City and Spurs. The Seagulls nipped Leeds 1-0 on Pascal Gross’s third goal of the season. The victory extended Brighton’s unbeaten run in the league to nine consecutive matches, a club topflight record. Leeds went down to defeat for the first time this season.

Liverpool tasted victory for the first time this season as the Reds demolished Bournemouth by a 9-0 final. Luis Diaz and Bobby Firmino had braces but ironically Mohamed Salah was scoreless against Bournemouth for the first time in his career. Bournemouth look in deep trouble and have invested little to try to maintain their top-level status.

Manchester United, left for dead just two weeks ago, climbed to eighth in the table after a second straight win. Bruno Fernandes delivered the winner in a 1-0 defeat of Southampton.

The Red Devils ground out the victory with their revitalized defense. Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane again teamed well at center back as Harry Maguire was a non-participant for a second consecutive week. Former Real Madrid defensive midfielder Casemiro made his debut for Manchester United in the 80th minute. An exceedingly young Southampton club acquitted itself well in defeat and were warmly applauded by supporters at match end.

Aston Villa supporters, meanwhile, showered their players and especially Manger Steven Gerrard with catcalls after a 1-0 home defeat to previously pointless and goalless West Ham. The Hammers captured their first result of the season when Pablo Fornals scored in the 74th minute. Despite some flashes from Philipe Coutinho in the first half, Villa’s other attacking players failed to create opportunities and criticism is mounting of Manager Gerrards’s narrow formational setup. Coutinho left the match injured and his absence could prove lethal for Gerrard as the Villans enter a difficult part of their schedule. West Ham was buoyed by both its first win of the season but also an indication from Manager David Moyes that Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta from Lyon was close to joining the Hammers from Lyon. The club later confirmed the signing of the Brazilian international on Monday. Paqueta is a coup for the Hammers as Arsenal and Tottenham were also reported to be in hot pursuit of the starter for the Brazilian national team. Sunday’s win moved previously basement bound West Ham out of the relegation zone and up to 16th place in the table.

The relegation zone still claims Everton as an occupant despite the Toffees picking up a point on Saturday at Brentford. Everton got a first half goal from Anthony Gordon and held on against the swarming Bees attack until Vitaly Janelt equalized in the 84th minute. Brentford holds onto 10th in the table despite the dropped home points. Everton faces more difficult times, particularly if a rumored transfer of Gordon to Chelsea comes to fruition.

Wolverhampton share the relegation zone with Everton and Leicester after a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Sunday. Wolves held a lead for 52 regulation minutes after a goal by Ruben Neves. Manager Bruno Lage’s men were then victimized by a tying goal from the Magpies’ Allan Saint-Maximin goal in the 90th minute.

Unbeaten Newcastle, seventh in the table, drew for a third consecutive match. Saint-Maximin’s first goal of the season ensured Newcastle remained undefeated after four matches for the first time in a decade. 


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