Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Match Week 8 Results: Gunners Swat Bees; Erling Haul Increases; Son Rises; Everton Nail Hammers; Cottagers Move Into Top Six; No Victors in Howe Derby; Villans Defeat Saints

Arsenal rebounded from their loss to Manchester United with a dominant 3-0 victory over Brentford. Fabio Vieira, signed this past transfer window from Porto, replaced the injured Martin Odegaard in the starting lineup and delivered his first goal for the Gunners. There remains uncertainty as to how well Vieira’s slight fame will hold up against Premier League physicality but Manager Mikel Arteta’s pairing of Vieira with the more bruising presence of teammates Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka provided a balanced midfield that was effective against the Bees.

Vieira’s 49th minute goal removed all doubt from a contest where the Gunners had taken a two-goal halftime lead on first half goals by Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba. Bukayo Saka was credited with the assist on both the Vieira and Saliba goals for Arsenal. Brentford and star striker Ivan Toney, meanwhile, were quieted by an Arsenal defense which registered its third clean sheet of the season. The victory kept Arsenal at the top of the table by a single point over Manchester City.

The Citizens had an easy time of it at Wolverhampton in a 3-0 win. Jack Grealish scored one minute into the match, getting onto the end of a well-placed ball across the box from Kevin De Bruyne. Erling Haaland would then score his 11th goal of the Premier League season for a two-goal lead before Wolves were reduced to 10 men in the 33rd minute on a dangerous challenge by defender Nathan Collins. Phil Foden added a third Manchester City goal in the second half as Kevin De Bruyne earned his second assist of the match. De Bruyne’s two assists moved him to within one of Manchester City career assists leader David Silva and tied the Belgian midfielder with Steven Gerrard for seventh on the Premier League’s all-time list. Haaland’s goal, meanwhile, made him the first Premier League player to score in his first four away matches. Wolves failed to score for a fourth time this season and have the joint lowest goal output this season with West Ham, each club having found the net just three times in seven matches. Boos raining down from the home fans at Molineux Stadium may not bode well for the job security of Wolves Manager Bruno Lage.

Tottenham Hotspur remained unbeaten and level on points with Manchester City after a 6-2 destruction of Leicester. Son Heung-min scored his first three goals of this Premier League season with a second half hat trick which broke open the match. The Spurs star had been removed from the starting lineup leading into the game and seemed newly inspired upon his second half substitution and goal explosion.

Leicester’s collapse saw the Foxes lose for a sixth consecutive match. The 22 goals they’ve conceded this season are now the most allowed by any Premier League side in history after seven matches. Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward has proved a poor replacement for club legend Kaspar Schmeichel as more than half the shots the Welsh goalie has faced have found the back of the net. Eleven of the 22 goals conceded by the Foxes have occurred in just the past two matches as the situation under Manager Brendan Rodgers continues to deteriorate.

Nottingham Forest are another club beset with a goal shipping defense as the promoted side has now conceded 14 goals over the last four matches. Forest, above only Leicester in the table, dropped a second consecutive match by a 3-2 score, falling to visiting Fulham on Friday. Fulham featured three different goal scorers, none named Mitrovic, in a six-minute burst of scoring beginning in the 54th minute. The Cottagers are proving they are more than a one-man team and have scoring options beyond prolific striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Fulham’s third win in their past five matches moved the Cottagers into the top six of the table.

Everton secured their first win of the season after drawing their previous four matches. The Toffees were able to grind out a 1-0 victory over West Ham as former Brighton striker Neal Maupay delivered his first goal as a Toffee in the 53rd minute. A rebuilt Everton defense has been paying dividends for Manager Frank Lampard as his attack continues to evolve. Newly signed center backs James Tarkowski and Conor Coady have formed a solid pairing and right back Nathan Patterson has become a supporter favorite with his hardnosed play which included his foiling of a late attempt by West Ham forward Maxwel Cornet which might have tied Sunday’s match. West Ham is yet to see returns from transfer signings such as Cornet, Gianluca Scamacca, and Lucas Paquet. With holdover attack options such as Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen also struggling, the Hammers have generated only three goals all season and remain in the relegation zone after losing for a fifth time.

Bournemouth captured a point at Newcastle as the Cherries faced former manager Eddie Howe for the first time. Despite tying Saturday’s match with a second half Alexander Isak penalty kick, Newcastle failed to win for a sixth consecutive match as Howe is coming under increased scrutiny for perhaps the first time in his Newcastle tenure. Bournemouth Manager Gary O’Neil remains undefeated in three matches since taking over following the Scott Parker sacking though his status remains very much interim as rumors of an ownership change swirl about the south coast club.

A Jacob Ramsey goal in the 41st minute provided the only score in a 1-0 Aston Villa win over Southampton. Southampton offered little in a dreary match where embattled Aston Villa Manager Steven Gerrard was more than happy to take the points for just Aston Villa’s second win of the season. The win moved the Villans level with the Saints on 7 points for the season. 

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