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Sep 012014
Premier League

Burnley 0 – 0 Manchester United

It’s a dull goalless draw at Turf Moor as Louis Van Gaal extends his winless streak to 3 matches in charge of the Red Devils. It’s clear that the Dutch manager’s quest to rebuild the Red Devils is going to take a long time to get done. On Tuesday in the League Cup, they were absolutely humiliated 0-4 by Division One club MK Dons. The only good thing to be said about Saturday’s match was at least they didn’t concede. The one thing that has been killing United this season so far have been the injuries. The injury bug hit again as Juan Mata limped out of the match in the second half with a ham-string pull. New signing Angel Di Maria made his debut for United, but wasn’t able to do much and he to be replaced by Anderson due to a serious leg cramp. Burnley should have scored early in the third minute when David Jones’ free-kick rebounded off the bar over United keeper David Di Gea’s grasp. But that’s was about all there was to this one. It’s still early in the season, but one can confidently make the prediction that there will be no trophies at Old Trafford this season.

Manchester City 0 – 1 Stoke City

The Potters surprise the Champions at the Etihad Stadium. If Manuel Pellegrini expects to hold on the BPL trophy this season, these are the types of matches that Citeh cannot lose. This should have been an easy win for the champions. After all, they made it look easy when they played Liverpool on Monday. Sergio Aguero, who scored that fast and wonderful goal on Monday, started the match on Saturday. The home side should have opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Samir Nasri’s shot from a Bacary Sagna pass was saved by Potters’ keeper Asmir Begovic. Yaya Toure had a chance to score in the 25th minute when he has put through by a David Silva pass, but his shot went wide of the goal. Right at half time, Toure had another chance to score, but his shot from an Aleksandar Kolarov pass hit the bar. The Potters came out the more confident side as the second half started as Mame Biram Diouf’s shot from a Peter Crouch headed pass had to be blocked away be Citeh defender Vincent Kompany. Diouf would score in the 57th minute when the Potters were able to break through the Citeh defense and midfielder Erik Pieters set up the striker to hit home his right-footed shot past keeper Joe Hart. That prompted Pellegrini to replace Samir Nasri and Stevan Jovetic with Jesus Navas and Edin Dzeko. It was Dzeko who set up Aguero in the 65th minute, but the Argentine’s equalizer was knocked away by the Potters’ defense, and Dzeko’s rebound was also knocked away. The Potters nearly got a second goal in the 72nd minute when Crouch’s header of a Phil Bardsley cross narrowly missed the goal off to the right. Citheh thought they had a penalty shout in the 87th minute when Toure went down in the Potters’ area. But the referee ruled that the midfielder actually took a dive and was booked for the infraction. They had one more chance to level the score deep into stoppage time, but Dzeko’s header of substitute Fernandinho’s cross missed the goal off to the left. Is that Jose Mourinho I see smirking at this result?

Newcastle 3 – 3 Crystal Palace

Wilfred Zaha’s stoppage time goal is good enough to get Palace the draw. This was the sort of result that Palace need if they’re going to be able to salvage their season. They had hired old boss Neal Warnock as their new manager with the hopes that he would be able to do better than the 2010 season when they went into administration and were relegated. They got off to a wonderful start 30 seconds from the opening kick-off when they cut through the Toffees defense. Marouane Chamakh’s shot was saved by keeper Tim Krul, but the rebound was poked home by Dwight Gayle to put the visitors into the lead. It took the Toffees until the 37th minute to level the score. Defender Daryl Janmaat was able to score from an assist from striker Emmanuel Riviere. Palace striker Jason Puncheon broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when he was able to slot home a pass from Yannick Bolasie. The fans at St. James’ Park were not happy at how their side were doing. But in the 73rd minute Rolando Aarons was able to level the score again when he headed home a corner kick. The home fans were more excited in the 88th minute when midfielder Rolando Aarons’ shot rebounded off the post and was poked home by Michael Williamson to put the Magpies into the lead. But just as it looked like they would get the win, Palace would win a free-kick in the attacking half deep into stoppage time as defender Remy Cabella fouled Joel Ward. Scott Dann’s free-kick found Zaha unmarked and the midfielder’s shot found the bottom left corner of the goal.

Queens Park Rangers 1 – 0 Sunderland

‘Appy ‘Arry Redknapp’s Rangers get their first win since returning to the BPL. Last time they were in the BPL, it took them until the middle of December to record their first win. That was the 2012-13 season, the season they were relegated. It looked like it might take the Rangers just as long to record their first goal, let alone their first win. Coming to Saturday’s match, they hadn’t scored a goal in three straight losses and were at the foot of the table. So one couldn’t blame the Black Cats for coming into Loftus Road feeling a little bit cocky. They nearly scored in the 11th minute when Steven Fletcher was put through on goal by Adam Johnson’s through ball. QPR keeper Robert Green was able to make the save. Patrick van Aanholt should have scored for the Black Cats in the 18th minute, but his shot was just over the bar. Jack Rodwell also missed a chance to score for the visitors when his header of a Johnson corner kick missed off to the right of the goal. QPR nearly scored themselves when Leroy Fer’s 30th minute shot from a Joey Barton pass rebounded off the bar. Junior Hoilett had his 40th minute shot saved by keeper Vito Mannone. But it was right at the stroke of half time when Charlie Austin’s left footed shot from a Leroy Fer pass found the back of the net past Mannone’s grasp. QPR should have gotten a second goal in the 50th minute when Joey Barton’s shot from a Jordon Mutch pass missed off to the left of the goal. The Black Cats tried to equalize, but shots from Jack Rodwell in the 51st minute and Santiago Vergini in the 53rd minute were both saved by QPR keeper Robert Green. Try as they might, the visitors just couldn’t score. Not even the late introduction of USA international striker Jozy Altidore in the 81st minute could do anything for the Black Cats. So Redknapp’s aim of keeping QPR in the BPL may actually happen.

Swansea 3 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

Nathan Dyer’s brace helps the Swans maintain their 100% BPL record and second place in the BPL table. Man, you’ve got to be impressed with the start that the Swans have made this season. Last season they struggled a bit and did well to finish in the middle of the table. This season, they’ve beaten the likes of Manchester United, so it shouldn’t have been any surprise when Nathan Dyer scored in the first minute from a Gylfi Sigurdsson assist. Jonjo Shelvey nearly made it two in the 10th minute when his shot from distance was saved by Baggies keeper Ben Foster. But Foster couldn’t do anything about Wayne Routledge’s shot in the 23rd minute as the ball went under the keeper and into the bottom right corner of the goal. The Baggies were never really in this match and nearly conceded again in the 31st minute when Sigurdsson’s shot was saved by Foster. Foster had to save again in the 60th minute, this time from Ki Sung-Yueng’s right-footed attempt. Dyer got his second and Swans’ third in the 70th minute when he and Sigurdsson ripped apart the Baggies’ defense again and the striker slotted his shot into the bottom right corner of the goal. The closest the Baggies would come to scoring came in the 82nd minute when Hames Morrison’s right footed shot was saved by Swans’ keeper Lukasz Fabianski. While Swansea boss Garry Monk does realize that there is a long way to go, he can’t help but be pleased with the start his club has mad. We shall see where they finish.

West Ham 1 – 3 Southampton

Morgan Schneiderlin’s two second half goals help the Saints overcome the Hammers’ first half lead. These are the sorts of matches that test the patience of Hammers’ fans. They were at home in at the Boleyn Ground and had taken the lead in the first half from Mark Noble’s 26th minute strike from a Mauro Zarante corner kick. But as half time approached, chaos in defense and a failure to clear a Saints’ free kick resulted in Morgan Schneiderlin poking home a loose ball to level the score. It all went downhill from there for the Hammers and Schneiderlin gave the visitors the lead in the 67th minute when he poked home another loose ball that the defense failed to clear. Graziano Pelle put the icing on the Saint’s cake in the 82nd minute when he was able to curl a shot into the top left corner of the goal. So not only was fortune hiding from the Hammers, it flat out ran away.

Everton 3 – 6 Chelsea

A nine goal thriller sees the Blue take over the stop spot of the BPL table. Well, once again Jose Mourinho makes a great move that pays off instantly. He had loaned out striker Fernando Torres to AC Milan and made new signee Diego Costa the number one striker. And sure enough, the move was a stroke of genius as Costa scored right from the kick-off as he was put through on goal by a brilliant Cesc Fabregas through pass. The Blues scored again in the third minute when Ramires’ through pass was finished off by Branislav Ivanovic. The Toffees did get a goal back right at half time when Kevin Mirallas headed in Seamus Coleman’s cross. As the second half got underway, Costa nearly score twice when in the 52nd minute and 53rd minute USA international keeper Tim Howard came up big for the Toffees and saved twice from the Blues striker. But Howard couldn’t do anything in the 66th minute when Coleman’s attempt to clear another Blues’ through pass ended up in the back of the Toffees’ own goal. But to their credit, the home side didn’t quit and got a goal back in the 69th minute when Steven Naismith knocked home an Aiden McGeady assist past Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois. But that was as close as they could get and they conceded again in the73rd minute when Nemanja Matic finished off a pass from Ramires. Former Blues’ and new Toffee’s striker Samuel Eto’o got the margin back to one for the Toffees when he headed in a Leighton Baines free-kick. But Matic and Ramires would combine again for the Blues and the Brazilian international would slot home his shot into the bottom left corner of the goal to make the score 3-5. Costa would finish off the scoring in stoppage time when he would power home a John Obi Mikel pass into the bottom right corner of the goal. It was an inspiring performance that would have made famous Blues supporter Sir Richard Attenborough proud of his boys. May he rest in peace.

Aston Villa 2 – 1 Hull

Gabriel Agbonlahor and Marcus Weimann score as the Villains move up to third place. While they were knocked out of the League Cup by Leyton Orient, this has been a great BPL start so far for the Villains. Gabriel Agbonllahor got them going in the 13th minute when he finished off an Andreas Weimann assist for the first goal. Fabian Delph nearly made it two in the 27th minute when his shot missed off to the right of the goal. Weimann would get the Villans’ second goal in the 35th minute when he scored from Kieran Richardson’s assist. Philippe Senderos should have gotten a third goal for the Villains in the 47th minute when his header from Ashley Westwood’s cross was saved by Tigers’ keeper Allan McGregor. The Tigers would get a goal back in the 74th minute when Nikica Jelavic would head home from a Stephen Quinn assist. But that was as close as they would come. So the Villains remain undefeated after three matches. Can they maintain the streak?

Tottenham 0 – 3 Liverpool

The Reds give Spurs a reality check at White Hart Lane as their new striker, Mario Balotelli makes his debut. There were quite a few Liverpool fans who were wondering how boss Brendan Rodgers was going to replace last season’s golden boot winner Luis Suarez who had been sold to Barcelona. When it was announced that Balotelli would be joining the Reds, there were mixed emotions and messages. Such was the apprehension on Sunday as the match got underway. Balotelli nearly scored in the second minute when his header of a Daniel Sturridge cross was saved by Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris. But the one strength the Reds have this season is that they are not about one scorer and Raheem Sterling proved that in the seventh minute when he slotted home a Jordan Henderson pass for the first goal. Balotelli should have made it two in the 13th minute when his header from a Steven Gerrard free-kick missed the goal off to the right. The Italian international created a great chance when he put Sturridge through on goal and only a brilliant save from keeper Lloris kept the England striker from scoring. The second half saw Spurs make a horrific brain cramp when defender Eric Dier brought down Reds’ midfielder Joe Allen in the penalty area. Gerrard scored the spot kick to make it 2-0 to the visitors and they continued to dominate the match. Although Spurs Emmanuel Adebayor would have a moment or two in attack, they never really troubled the Reds’ goal. They conceded the third goal in the 59th minute when the visitors cut their defense apart again and Alberto Moreno eased in his shot. Balotelli was taken off in the 61st minute, but one can say that his debut was successful since he nearly scored and did NOT get booked. Could this be the player to help bring the BPL Trophy to Anfield?

Leicster 1 – 1 Arsenal

The Foxes hold the Gunners to a draw at King Power Stadium. I am betting that Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger is happy that the international break is coming up. His boys did not play that well on Sunday. Perhaps they were taking the newly promoted side a little lightly. Perhaps they just aren’t quite good enough. Whatever it might be, something needs to be done and quickly. They did manage to score first in the 19th minute from Alexis Sanchez. But then they conceded two minutes later when Leonardo Ulloa headed home a Jeffrey Schlupp cross. Lots of folks are wondering if Mesut Ozil might still not have recovered from the World Cup. It was also quite obvious that the Gunners are missing Olivier Giroud who is out until January with a broken leg. Let’s see if his transfer market moves will work or will the Gunners go another year without winning the BPL.

Lanny Short

  2 Responses to “Barclay’s Premier League Wrap-up Week 3”

  1. Nice nod to Sir Richard in your analysis. I think United may surprise everyone this season. Cheers Lanny!

  2. Thank Jens. The man was a classy act. Glad I was able to properly pay tribute.

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