Here’s what happened in the Premier this weekend, in case you missed it…
READ ALL ABOUT IT
• Friday’s roundup: Man United tops Villa for 2nd win of season
• Saturday’s roundup: Leicester wins 2 straight to open season
• Sunday’s roundup: Man City blank Chelsea in marquee clash
WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:
Manchester City 3, Chelsea 0 || Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2 || Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 1 || Tottenham 2, Stoke City 2 || Swansea City 2, Newcastle United 0 || Sunderland 1, Norwich City 3 || Southampton 0, Everton 3 || West Ham United 1, Leicester City 2 || Watford 0, West Bromwich Albion 0
WHAT STOOD OUT
A statement win by Man City: The majority of the talk in the build up to the season focused on Chelsea and Arsenal, dubbed the two leading title contenders, and Manchester United, who spent big on several big name recruits. Manchester City was almost forgotten—aside from Raheem Sterling the Sky Blues really didn’t strengthen their roster. But City showed they are far from a spent force by thumping Chelsea at home on Sunday. Such was City’s dominance in the opening 45 minutes that Jose Mourinho substituted captain John Terry out at halftime in an attempt to shake things up. It didn’t work. City built on their 1-0 lead through Sergio Aguero and forced the champions on the back foot for the majority of the second half—Chelsea was so lethargic that it didn’t register its first shot on target until the 70th minute. This was a statement game by City, who sit atop the table following a pair of shutout wins after totally dominated their opponents.
Big rebound win for Arsenal: Arsenal’s victory at Selhurst Park was far from convincing. It wasn’t vintage Gunners, with their slick passing game and exquisite ball movement. Instead, Arsene Wenger’s men were made to gut it out against a counter-attacking Crystal Palace who could be this season’s Southampton. That’s not to say there weren’t moments of class by Arsenal—watch the video of Olivier Giroud’s marvellous strike below. But the Eagles proved to be very tough to break down, forcing Arsenal to grind it out and win “ugly,” something they’re not used to doing. This was exactly the type of victory they had to earn after last week’s debacle at home to West Ham United—a result garnered due to a workmanlike effort against a very formidable Crystal Palace that forces opponents to earn three points.
Lovely Leicester: Make it two wins in a row for Leicester City, the hottest team in the Premier League. Don’t believe us? Consider that the Foxes have won nine of 11 games and collected 28 out of a possible 33 points since April—more victories and more points than any other Premier League team in that same time frame. Eyebrows were raises when Claudio Ranieri was hired to replace Nigel Pearson. The Italian has a reputation of tinkering with his line-ups, hence the nickname the “Tinker Man.” But he’s done little tinkering at Leicester—maybe because he has limited options—and has put his faith in a small but talented roster led by the mercurial talents of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez and Japanese international Shinji Okazaki. The result? Convincing wins over Sunderland and West Ham United that produced six goals. Eventually, the Foxes will be found out. In the meantime, enjoy their fearless brand of soccer.
MAN UNITED: PERFECT START, IMPERFECT PLAY
For the second week in a row Leicester City put on a show with their dynamic attack in earning a valuable road win over West Ham United.
Chelsea’s Asmir Begovic made a number of crucial stops in the first half against Manchester City. But his best came in the opening minute when Sergio Aguero tried to beat him through the legs from inside the penalty area. Begovic closed the gap and used his calf to deny the Argentine of a sure goal.
Everton forward Romelu Lukaku climbed into the stands to check on a fan after hitting her with a stray shot during the warm-ups. Classy move.
SIX PACK OF STATS
• Tottenham have conceded more penalties (eight) than any other Premier League side since the start of last season.
• Sunderland have conceded seven goals in their opening two league games for the first time since 1970-71.
• No Premier League player is currently on a longer run of starts for one team than West Ham goalkeeper Adrian (58 consecutive starts).
• Romelu Lukaku is now the top scoring Belgian in Premier League history with 44 goals, two ahead of Christian Benteke.
• Arsenal has won 19 out of 21 points in their last six Premier League away games (six wins and one draw).
• John Terry on Sunday was substituted in a Premier League game for the first time since May 2013 and for the first time under Jose Mourinho.
Stats courtesy of Opta
1) Romelu Lukaku: The Belgian bagged a brace for Everton and spearheaded the Toffees attack in a convincing rod win over Southampton.
2) Shinji Okazaki: The Japanese international was absolutely buzzing for Leicester City, scoring one goal and setting up another.
3) Sergio Aguero: Scored the opening goal that sent Man City on its way over Chelsea at home.
LOOKING AHEAD TO MONDAY
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