Premier League Review – Matchday Three
Saturday 26th September, 2020
Brighton 2 Manchester United 3
This was a game of high drama. The first moment of danger came after 8 minutes when Trossard hit a shot against the outside of De Gea's right post from 20 yards. After a Brighton throw in their half, Lamptey made a mistake and passed inside to Greenwood, but the United man fired wide. Bruno hit a dangerous cross into the danger zone which had Ryan worried, but that too passed wide.
Trossard had another shot after 20 minutes which had De Gea stretching. The ball hit the outside of the keeper's left post. Maupay lifted a good cross from just outside the right-hand side of the area which was headed goalward by Webster hitting the top of the bar. Brighton were ahead on chances at this stage, and deservedly so.
United had the ball in the net after 32 minutes but Rashford had been offside before he passed inside to Greenwood, whose shot had beaten Ryan.
Lamptey went down inside the box under Bruno's challenge and VAR upheld referee Chris Kavanagh’s penalty decision. Maupay scored from the spot in style in the 40th minute with a panenka kick. United levelled the scores within three minutes after Bruno's free kick was pulled back from the back post by Matic. It looked as if Maguire had scored but defender Lewis Dunk hit the final touch and it was an own goal.
After only one minute of the second half, Connolly ran into the United area and went down under Pogba's challenge. The referee gave the penalty but was then advised to check the pitch-side monitor, after which the decision was reversed. United had the ball in the net again when Rashford converted a cross, but VAR correctly gave this offside too. Rashford had a legitimate goal in the 55th minute racing from his own half down the left flank before cutting inside with Lewis Dunk struggling to keep his feet. Rashford was able to pick his spot.
Brighton were unlucky not to equalise on the hour when March got on the end of Maupay's pass and beat De Gea only to see the ball rebound across the area off the inside of the post. According to the BBC (and OPTA) no team had hit the woodwork four times in a Premier League game since the 2003/04 season when OPTA began recording such statistics.
Trossard made it a fifth occasion (and the third for him in this game) when substitute Jahanbakhsh crossed and Trossard's shot rebounded off the bar. Brighton were going all out for an equaliser and a Trossard had another shot which took a slight touch and won a corner. Trossard had a great chance in added time but De Gea made a big save from close range.
Brighton got a much-deserved equaliser in the fifth minute of added time when Solly March headed home from the back post when Jahanbakhsh crossed from the right. However, there was more drama when United got an even later corner. Maguire headed goalward and March headed clear off the line, but there was a VAR review because Maupay had raised his arm and intercepted the Maguire header. A penalty was awarded, and Bruno Fernandes did not fail in the 100th minute.
This fixture is due to be repeated on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup 4th round!
Crystal Palace 1 Everton 2
This game was preceded by silence being observed in memory of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matiu Ratana who was shot dead whilst on duty at nearby Croydon Custody Centre. Local Police officers were present to observe the silence.
Everton had the lead inside 10 minutes. Rodriguez fed a pass to Seamus Coleman who was running into the right side of the area. Coleman teed up Calvert-Lewin for his fifth goal of this Premier League season, slamming a right-footed shot home from the centre of goal.
Palace had an equaliser from a Townsend corner in the 26th minute taken from the right. Kouyate rose to head home from the far side of the area.
There was a lengthy VAR review after 37 minutes when a ball headed down by Digne hit Ward's arm and after Kevin Friend went to the pitch-side monitor a penalty was given, and scored by Richarlison in the 40th minute.
Calvert-Lewin had already spurned a couple of opportunities to score earlier in the second half, and he only half got hold of a shooting chance offered by substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson after 77 minutes. Guaita was easily able to hold the shot.
Regarding the award of the Everton penalty, Roy Hodgson said :- "I predict what will happen is players will start flicking the ball on to a hand and screaming 'handball'.
"A really good game destroyed by a decision. I do not believe in the rule. People in football find it hard to accept. The referee doesn't think it is handball either. He doesn't want to give it but has to because that's what he is told to do.
"We have lost in a way I find totally unacceptable."
West Brom 3 Chelsea 3
It was a game of two halves! It looked as if Frank Lampard’s team were going to lose a second consecutive league game, but they made a three-goal second half comeback to salvage a point. Thiago Silva’s debut (as Captain too) looked like turning into a disaster, especially after his howler let in Callum Robinson for a second goal midway through the first half. Frank Lampard chose to play Caballero rather than Kepa Arrizabalaga with new singing Mendy waiting in the wings. Chelsea played in a strip dominated by the colour pink, although it is apparently described as “ember glow”.
The "Baggies" had a fourth minute lead courtesy of a poor defensive header by Alonso allowing Pereira to take the ball away and to feed Robinson towards the left of the Chelsea area. Robinson scored with a shot across Caballero’s left hand into the far corner of goal. Johnstone pushed away a shot by Havertz before Tammy Abraham spurned a good chance from James’ cross. A Werner shot hit the top of the West Brom bar.
Silva’s 25th minute howler came as he allowed a simple sideways pass to roll under his foot. Robinson ran all the way to the Chelsea area before planting a right-footed shot right of Caballero. Things soon got worse for Chelsea. Diangana won a corner with a run down the left. The corner was headed across the Chelsea area by Furlong and Bartley finished with a shot back across goal from close range.
Frank Lampard made two half-time substitutions with Azpilicueta replacing Alonso and reclaiming his armband. Hudson-Odoi took over from Kovacic. Azpilicueta got the assist for his side’s first goal after 55 minutes, but the credit belongs to Mason Mount who hit a terrific unstoppable right-footed shot from over 20 yards out. Johnstone saved a deflected shot by Havertz, who was involved in Chelsea’s second goal twenty minutes from the end. Havertz fielded a wall pass for Hudson-Odoi to score across Johnstone’s left hand.
The "Baggies" didn’t stop going forward though and had a good chance when Sawyers pulled a shot just wide from 20 yards. They did have to deal with a lot of Chelsea pressure though, as Giroud was added to the attacking mix. Werner hit a shot over from the back of the area after a James cross was pushed away. The shot took a slight deflection and following a second corner three minutes into added time, Mount hit a cross/shot which Johnstone could only parry to the feet of Abraham who scored from close range. There was a VAR review of a possible handball by Havertz before Mount’s shot, but the latest rules dictate that this did not occur close enough to the goal-scoring incident.
Burnley 0 Southampton 1
Danny Ings scored his third goal in two games and won this game in the fifth minute. Kyle Walker-Peters played his part in the goal with a good threaded pass to Che Adams, who took the ball to the line before cutting it back for Ings to score with his right foot shot.
Burnley were denied a penalty after 28 minutes when Chris Wood went down after contact from Bednarek. Wood was seeking to score in a fifth consecutive Premier League game. Burnley were also not pleased when Bardsley suffered after an elbow by Djenepo.
Wood did have a good chance in the second half with a header across goal, but McCarthy saved comfortably. Wood had the ball in the net after 56 minutes, but the play was called back by the officials for an earlier offside. McCarthy saved Taylor’s low driven shot well at his right post. Ings had the ball in the net in added time, but he and another "Saints" player had definitely been offside.
Sunday 27th September, 2020
Sheffield United 0 Leeds 1
Yorkshire folk were excited about this match being the first derby in "God’s own country" since 2001. That game involved Leeds and Bradford. Leeds won 6-1 then with goals by Viduka, Harte, Bakke, Smith, Kewell, and Bowyer. These two sides have met 12 times since, but their last Premier League meeting was a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane in March 1994. Brian Deane, who had scored the very first Premier League goal when with "The Blades" in 1992, scored one of Leeds’ goals along with Gary Speed.
Leeds' positive brand of football was typified by Klich's pass to Harrison after only three minutes. Harrison did not make the best of the opportunities presented (to pass or shoot). Within a minute full back Luke Ayling forced a save by Ramsdale with a low 20-yarder.
The "Blades" were looking for their first league goal of the season, and also needed to end a run of five successive Premier League defeats. They were missing the suspended Egan and will also now miss Jack O'Connell for the season due to a knee injury. Ethan Ampadu made his first Premier League start for his new club.
The home side nearly scored after 28 minutes. Osborn advanced down the left wing and put in a good low cross which was flicked on by McGoldrick nicely into the path of Lundstram, whose shot was brilliantly saved by Meslier, diving low to his right. Bamford headed over at the other end after Harrison crossed from the left.
Leeds had another chance after 37 minutes when Stuart Dallas tried to beat Ramsdale to his right. The keeper made a good save diving to his right. Meslier had to make a good save at the other end from Baldock's shot after Osborn had got the better of Harrison. Ampadu claimed he was pushed to the ground following the corner, but nothing was given.
Leeds brought on record signing Rodrigo for Roberts at the start of the second half, and had an early chance following a corner when Ramsdale saved from Helder Costa. Stevens had a shot on target for "The Blades", but Meslier saved. Dallas was through after an hour after Sheffield United failed to clear a long ball. Dallas got around Ramsdale and Basham managed to clear the ball off the line, although for a moment it looked as if he was going to allow the ball to roll in.
It was not for want of effort that neither side had scored, but Leeds were looking dangerous on the break with Ramsdale saving from substitute Poveda after Bamford slipped him a pass. At the other end, a Baldock shot took a deflection and won a corner. Somehow Robinson pulled a shot wide from the corner, with substitute McBurnie in the mix.
Bamford gave Leeds a late win with a headed goal after 88 minutes from an excellent Harrison cross.
Spurs 1 Newcastle 1
Comment of the week:-
"It is indeed shocking the FA are hiding behind behind the inept referees. When a player like Dier doesn't know what is happening behind him when going up in the air to head a ball, a penalty like that kills not only the game but whether we fans would even want to see games with unbelievably unfair decisions! Spurs were robbed of 3pts by the FA. Well done Steve Bruce for what he said. Hojbjerg had good game......
There were more comments about the officials (and VAR) than I can recall. Most cannot be published on a page designed for family reading! Personally, I am surprised the officials scored 2 points on our spursometer
Son won the Spurs Odyssey man of the match vote, despite only playing 45 minutes, and dare I say despite his profligacy. He will be missed and we must hope he will be available after the International break.
Manchester City 2 Leicester 5
Even Pep Guardiola is short of players at the moment. He chose 19-year-old Eric Garcia as one of his centre-backs, next to recent signing Nathan Ake. City are missing both Aguero and Jesus, and 17-year-old Liam Delap (son of Rory) made the bench. Riyad Mahrez played against his old team. Leicester have their own casualties and the latest is Ndidi who had been covering at centre back. Brendan Rodgers went with a back three of Amartey, Evans and Soyuncu. There was a Mendy on each side. Benjamin was City’s left back. Nampalys was in Leicester’s midfield.
Nobody guessed what was to follow after Mahrez put his side in the lead inside 4 minutes. After a corner on the left the ball reached Mahrez inside the area towards the right and he hit an unstoppable shot inside Schmeichel’s right post. City had a couple of free kicks taken by De Bruyne from 30 yards out. The first was headed into Schmeichel’s arms by Fernandinho. The second hit the net, but Rodri was offside.
Leicester attacked within a minute of that offside goal and Kyle Walker committed a stupid foul on Jamie Vardy inside the box. Vardy hit the penalty high to the right of Ederson to level the scores in the 37th minute.
Liam Delap came on for a debut replacing City captain Fernandinho after 51 minutes. Vardy gave Leicester the lead with a quite exquisite finish after 53 minutes. Castagne got the bye-line and crossed to the near post where Vardy glanced the ball into Ederson’s goal with a flick off his back foot. Two minutes later Vardy went down under Garcia’s clumsy challenge and he had a hat-trick chance from another penalty. This time he drove low inside Ederson’s left-hand post.
Delap had a header land on the top of the bar after a cross by City’s Mendy. James Maddison has yet to start a Premier league game this season but came on for Praet. Maddison scored in the 77th minute with a superb right footed shot from outside the left edge of City’s box. It was Maddison’s first goal since January.
City got a goal back when Ake headed home from an 84th minute corner, but the "Foxes" had a third penalty when Maddison went down after a light touch by Benjamin Mendy. It could be argued that each of the penalty decisions followed light contact, but such actions give officials easy decisions. Vardy had been replaced by Iheanacho by now and this spot-kick was converted by Tielemans who placed his shot to the left of the keeper, who had dived the wrong way.
This was the first time in 686 games that a side managed by Guardiola has conceded five goals, and also the first time in 438 games at Etihad Stadium that City have let in five goals. Leicester are the first Premier League side to score three penalties in a game.
West Ham 4 Wolves 0
On a weekend of surprises and VAR controversies, no-one expected this result! David Moyes was self-isolating at home, but managing the game via his assistant Stuart Pearce, who was in the stand. Alan Irvine was the man in the dug-out. Nelson Semedo made his Wolves debut at right wing-back. His last game was in Barcelona’s 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in August.
West Ham opened the scoring after 17 minutes. The goal followed a counter-attack when Antonio was fouled near the half-way line. Referee Martin Atkinson allowed a quick free kick (taken a few yards in front of the location of the foul) and Wolves were caught out with Bowen hitting a left-footed shot beyond Rui Patricio. Masuaku made a good run down the left on another counter by "The Hammers". Tomas Soucek received his cross and hit a low prodded shot which Rui Patricio saved. The goalkeeper had to save another effort by Soucek after Antonio’s lifted cross. This effort was a header.
Fornals missed a sitter after the Wolves keeper could only parry a shot by Antonio. Wolves’ first chance of note came just before the break with Fabianski holding Neves’ right footer at the second attempt near his left post.
Fornals did better after 57 minutes. He received the ball from Antonio and hit the bottom of the Wolves right post with his shot. Bowen snapped up the rebound. Bowen wanted a corner when he met a Masuaku cross yards from goal, but the shot went over the target. It was 3-0 to West Ham after 66 minutes. Soucek thought he had a second goal when he glanced a header from a corner at the near post, but the ball actually went in off the unfortunate Jimenez.
In added time Masuaku crossed from the left and late substitute Haller headed his first league goal since February across the keeper’s right hand. Haller has scored two gols in each of the two league cup games he has played so far this season.
With this win, and their first points of the new season, West Ham climbed out of the bottom three to 11th place!
Monday 28th September, 2020
Fulham 0 Aston Villa 3
Villa had the lead inside 4 minutes when Grealish was onto McGinn's pass and hit a right foot shot past Fulham keeper Areola. It was 2-0 ten minutes later after a Villa throw on the left. Grealish carried the ball inside and McGinn got a touch before Hourihane finished from close range. A cloud of depression fell upon Scott Parker.
Mitrovic had a couple of headers in the early stages. One was held comfortably by Martinez. The second was went wide of the near post after a cross from the left.
Villa had a free kick out on the left following a Grealish run and foul by Odoi. Hourihane took the kick. Mings had timed his run well and scored from close range.
It looked as if a rout was on the cards when McGinn met a Grealish pass for the left with a shot that was saved by the Fulham keeper. Fulham had the ball in the net when Martinez spilt a Kamara shot and Decorva-Reid followed up, but referee Stuart Attwell was encouraged to check the monitor and the goal was chalked off because Mitrovic had fouled Konsa as the ball had been crossed. Had he not been fouled Konsa might have prevented the follow-up shot.
Mitrovic had two more headers off target. Dean Smith was confident enough to give 19-year-old Jacob Ramsey a Premier League debut after 76 minutes, in place of Hourihane. Recent signing Bertrand Traore also got on for a Villa Premier League debut. Signed from Lyon, Traore was previously on Chelsea's books.
As the game entered added time Bryan hit a left foot shot which hit the top left of Martinez's bar.
Villa have maximum points from their first two games and hadn’t won two league games on the trot since last October. They also have two clean sheets. Fulham are rooted at the bottom of the table.
Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1
Liverpool's side had a familiar look about it. Thiago Alcantara was not fit to play, and Diogo Jota only made the bench. Arteta went with a back three of Holding, David Luiz, and Tierney.
Mane got an early yellow card when he raised his arm dangerously towards Tierney, but not quite in "red card" territory.
Liverpool dominated possession for the first ten minutes, but there was little action of note until after an 11th minute corner the ball was returned into the area from the right by Alexander-Arnold. Van Dijk's header back across goal caused a little panic and David Luiz cleared for another corner. Leno saved well from Mane's shot after another cross by the Liverpool right back.
After a corner taken by Robertson, Alexander-Arnold hit a shot from outside the box which was deflected up onto the bar and cleared. Arsenal made a mess of playing out from the back after 23 minutes, but Leno held Wijnaldum's shot. Arsenal persisted and actually took the lead in the 25th minute when Maitland-Nile raced down the left flank and crossed. The ball was played backwards by Robertson, allowing Lacazette to score having been in an offside position. This was the 100th goal of the Premier League season.
Liverpool were level within two minutes. Keita was fouled but referee Craig Pawson waved play-on. Firmino fed the ball to Mo Salah who ran into the area from the right and hit a cross/shot. Leno got a touch, but pushed it to the feet of Mane, who made no mistake. Keita hit a rising shot from an angle on the right which was beaten away by Leno.
Robertson made up for his earlier mistake when he gave his team the lead in the 34th minute. A cross by Alexander-Arnold reached his opposite full back in the centre of the area where had scored with ease.
Van Dijk had the first big chance of the second half after 61 minutes, hitting a low shot from outside the area which was batted away by Leno. Lacazette had a chance to score a second at the other end, but this too was saved.
After 63 minutes Firmino pushed a short ball into the area. Mane swivelled and shot, but the ball was wide.
Diogo Jota made his Liverpool debut after 79 minutes, replacing Mane. Two minutes later he had a shot, but it was well off the target. Jota had another chance, presented by Salah, but this one hit the side netting. Jota certainly had plenty of late action and had one chance stolen off him by Salah before he did score after 87 minutes, following a cross by Alexander-Arnold headed out to the former Wolves man by David Luiz. Jota fired across Leno with his right foot.
Liverpool join Leicester and Everton on maximum points after three games.
Liverpool host Arsenal again on Thursday in the Carabao Cup 4th round!
Saturday 26th September, 2020
Brighton 2-3 Man Utd
C. Palace 1-2 Everton
West Brom 3-3 Chelsea
Burnley 0-1 S'hampton
Sunday 27th September, 2020
Sheff Utd 0-1 Leeds
Spurs 1-1 Newcastle
Man City 2-5 Leicester
West Ham 4-0 Wolves
Monday 28th September, 2020
Fulham 0-3 A. Villa
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Leicester 3 3 0 0 12-4 8 9
2. Liverpool 3 3 0 0 9-4 5 9
3. Everton 3 3 0 0 8-3 5 9
4. A. Villa 2 2 0 0 4-0 4 6
5. Arsenal 3 2 0 1 6-4 2 6
6. C. Palace 3 2 0 1 5-3 2 6
7. Leeds 3 2 0 1 8-7 1 6
8. Spurs 3 1 1 1 6-4 2 4
9. Chelsea 3 1 1 1 6-6 0 4
10. Newcastle 3 1 1 1 3-4 -1 4
11. West Ham 3 1 0 2 5-4 1 3
12. Brighton 3 1 0 2 6-6 0 3
13. Man City 2 1 0 1 5-6 -1 3
14. Man Utd 2 1 0 1 4-5 -1 3
15. S'hampton 3 1 0 2 3-6 -3 3
16. Wolves 3 1 0 2 3-7 -4 3
17. West Brom 3 0 1 2 5-11 -6 1
18. Burnley 2 0 0 2 2-5 -3 0
19. Sheff Utd 3 0 0 3 0-4 -4 0
20. Fulham 3 0 0 3 3-10 -7 0