Here’s what happened in the Premier League this weekend, in case you missed it…
READ ALL ABOUT IT
WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
West Ham United 2, Tottenham 3 || Burnley 0, Huddersfield 0 || Everton 2, Bournemouth 1 || Manchester City 5, Crystal Palace 0 || Southampton 0, Manchester United 1 || Stoke City 0, Chelsea 4 || Swansea City 1, Watford 2 || Leicester City 2, Liverpool 3 || Brighton & Hove Albion 1, Newcastle United 0
WHAT STOOD OUT
Morata making Chelsea fans forget all about Costa
Who needs Diego Costa? Not Chelsea. In the same week that Chelsea finally managed to sell off Costa to Atletico Madrid, Alvaro Morata underlined why the Blues no longer needed the want-away Spanish international who has fueled Chelsea’s attack for the past several seasons.
Morata was magnificent on Saturday away to Stoke City. The Spaniard scored on a cool finish to open the floodgates after only two minutes, then drove past a pair of defenders before curling a shot home to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead. His third goal was a simple tap it, but his movement off the ball to get into scoring position was sublime.
That makes six Premier League goals this season for Morata who many critics thought would have trouble adapting to the English game. Morata is nowhere near as physical of a forward as Costa, and he’s never been the main striker for his previous teams, having served as a complimentary player – albeit a very effective one – for Real Madrid and Juventus.
So far, Morata has handled the physical challenges and the pace of the English Premier League with aplomb, and he’s shown that he can be the main reference point of Chelsea’s attack.
Chelsea, Man City leading the pack early on
Craig Forrest and James Sharman talk about Satutday’s Premier League action, including dominating performances from Manchester City and Chelsea.
Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata took advantage of some poor defending by Stoke City to score his first hat trick for his new team.
“We’ve got to accept that we have been given a headache and we have to try to find the aspirin.” – Manager Roy Hodgson after Crystal Palace was thumped 5-0 by Manchester City.
Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho fires in his team’s second goal of the game off a perfectly executed free kick against Leicester City.
West Ham United and Tottenham put on quite the show at London’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday. When Harry Kane bagged a brace before halftime, it looked like Spurs were home and dry. Then Christian Eriksen added a third in the 60th minute. But Serge Serge Aurier was sent off, and the Hammers bagged two goals to make a contest of it, up until the final whistle, before falling just short of completing the comeback.
THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME
Manchester City boasts great speed, and they can hurt teams in transition and on the counter. But the Blues are also an incredibly patient side at times, and don’t rush things in trying to break down opponents. City’s fifth goal was the perfect example, as all 10 outfield players were involved in a 31-pass sequence before Fabian Delph finished it off. True, Palace were down 4-0 at that point, so you have to wonder how much they had their heart in it. Nevertheless, the buildup to the goal was a true testament to City’s patience and not trying to force things.
THE BIG QUESTION
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SIX PACK OF STATS
• Since joining Liverpool in 2013, Simon Mignolet has saved seven of the 15 penalties he’s faced, more than any other Premier League goalkeeper.
• Crystal Palace is the first side in English Football League history to lose their first six games of the season without scoring a goal.
• Alvaro Morata is the 17th player to score a hat trick for Chelsea. Only Arsenal have had more (19).
• Tottenham have won their first three away games in a top-flight season for the first time since 1991-92.
• Aside from Luis Saha, no player scored more goals in their first six games for Manchester United than Romelu Lukaku (six).
• Brighton & Hove Albion have won back-to-back home league games in the top-flight for the first time since November 1982.
Stats courtesy of Opta
1) Alvaro Morata, Chelsea: Scored his first Premier League hat trick as Chelsea shut out Stoke City.
2) Leroy Sane, Manchester City: Bagged a brace and set up another goal in Manchester City’s big win over Crystal Palace.
3) Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool: The Brazilian put in a man-of-the match effort vs. Leicester, scoring one goal and collecting an assist.