Here’s what happened in the Premier this weekend, in case you missed it…
WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:
Chelsea 2, Arsenal 0 || Aston Villa 0, West Bromwich Albion 1 || Swansea City 0, Everton 0 || Manchester City 1, West Ham United 2 || Bournemouth 2, Sunderland 0 || Newcastle United 1, Watford 2 || Stoke City 2, Leicester City 2 || Tottenham 1, Crystal Palace 0 || Liverpool 1, Norwich City 1 || Southampton 2, Manchester United 3 ||
WHAT STOOD OUT
Costa is a cheap con artist: This is not to overlook the naivety of Arsenal’s tactics and performance at Stamford Bridge. Nor should it be even remotely suggested that Diego Costa is not a dangerous goal scorer. But let’s also not ignore the fact Costa is an unsavoury agitator who revels in trying to send opponents off. He got away with face washing and taking a swipe at Laurent Koscielny—had he been sent off, the course of the game could have even much different. Then he suckered Gabriel, who foolishly fell into the trap set for him by Costa, into taking revenge for the non-call on Koscielny, and orchestrated the Arsenl defender’s expulsion from the match. This sort of gamesmanship and chicanery shouldn’t be celebrated. It’s not “just part of the game”—just like diving to earn a foul or crowding the referee after a decision isn’t just part of the game. So let’s not portray Costa as some sort of loveable rogue or crafty maverick. For all of his wonderful talents as a goal scorer, Diego Costa also happens to be the biggest weasel in the Premier League. He’s a con artist of the highest order.
West Ham giant killers: The Hammers pulled off the result of the weekend by earning a win away to Manchester City, handing the Citizens their first loss of the campaign. City had not conceded a single league goal before Saturday’s match, but without injured skipper Vincent Kompany—and perhaps still stinging from their midweek Champions League loss to Juventus—they were outplayed by a West Ham side that has shown no fear on the road. Indeed, the London club have already earned three points at the Emirates and Anfield, making them only the fourth team in Premier League history to win away at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in the same season. Spanish keeper Adrian and centre-back Winston Reid were instrumental in thwarting City’s impressive attack and helped West Ham clinch their fourth win of the campaign.
Martial—The kid is alright: Look, Anthony Martial is not the next Thierry Henry, although his debut goal for United last week was rather Henry-esque. And it’s far too early to determine whether or not he was worth the massive transfer fee the Red Devils paid Monaco for his services. But the French teenager clearly has talent, and is exactly the type of player that United needs right now, especially with Wayne Rooney still looking for his first league goal. Martial led the line against Southampton and Rooney dropped back into midfield, a clear sign of how much faith Louis Van Gaal has in the Frenchman. His two-goal performance was impressive, but what was more impressive was the composure he showed in taking both chances. He displayed great footwork in a tight area when he turned Saints centre back Virgil van Dijk inside the box before firing home. On the second, he pounced on a terrible blind back-pass by Maya Yoshida before cooly slotting past Maarten Stekelenburg on a clear break. The kid can play.
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Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie scored a fabulous volley against Sunderland that had commentators declaring it the early favourite for goal of the year in the Premier League:
With Manchester United sitting on a precarious 2-1 lead, Southampton was furiously pressing for an equalizer and earned a corner kick in the 59th minute. Dusan Tadic whipped in an attempt that Jose Fonte got on the end of with a strong header at the near post, but David De Gea brilliantly clawed it away with one hand before crossing the goal-line as he was falling backwards. Robbery—pure robbery!
A classy move by Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min:
Braces by Anthony Martial and Graziano Pelle, some great saves by David De Gea, late tension and a lively atmosphere at St. Mary’s—Manchester United’s win away to Southampton was pretty entertaining.
“Winston Reid might have only cost £3m from Danish side Midtjylland but he has just produced one of the best individual defensive displays that I have ever seen.” –BBC Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson
SIX PACK OF STATS
• Arsenal have failed to score in their last 482 minutes of Premier League football against Chelsea.
• Watford striker Odion Ighalo has scored more goals (19) than any other player in the top four English tiers in 2015.
• There were 45 passes in the build up to Juan Mata’s goal for Manchester United against Southampton, the most in the Premier league this season.
• Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez has scored seven goals and assisted on two in his last nine Premier League appearances.
• Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min is the seventh different player from South Korea to score in the Premier League.
• Anthony Martial is only the third player to score in both of his first two Premier League appearances for Manchester United, alongside Louis Saha and Federico Macheda.
Stats courtesy of Opta
1) Anthony Martial: Bagged a brace in Manchester United’s win. A big game for the Frenchman, especially as Wayne Rooney still can’t find the back of the net.
2) Son Heung-Min: Scored his debut goal for Tottenham and impressed with his overall dynamic play up front in a win over Crystal Palace.
3) Riyad Mahrez: Converted from the penalty spot, then set up Jamie Vardy’s equalizer as Leicester City fought back from two goals to earn a point.