Saturday, August 29, 2015

It Happened in England: Palace upset Chelsea, Man City remains perfect

Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal
Newcastle's early defensive strategy involved clatteringinto Alexis Sanchez any time he got free fown the flank. Their physical playu got a little bit out of hand in the 16th minute. Aleksander Mitrovic was sent off for an aggressive and late challenge on Hector Bellerin. All in all, Newcaste was issued three yellows and a red in the first half hour. Not that Arsenal was able to take advantage of playing most of the first half while up a man. Their finishing issues were on full display, culminating in Theo Walcott being unable to chip home a rebound off an Alexis Sanchez shot. Overall, the Gunners attack was lifeless against a shorthanded team that has been known to give up a few goals when at full strength.

The second half rolled around and Arsenal's goal finally came and they weren't the ones who scored it. Fedrico Coloccini's feet redirected an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shot into the Newcastle net to give the Gunners the lead in the 52nd minute. Arsenal took 24 shots on the day, with eight on target, and none of them went in the net. They need a new striker who is capable of beating a goalkeeper, because the Gunners couldn't score in a brothel right now.

AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester CIty
Callum Wilson gave Bournemouth a deserved lead in the 24th minute. It was a goal of the week as well.  Wilson executed a bicycle kick to send the smallest stadium in the Premier League into chaos. It looked like that goal would carry the Cherries through, but Jamie Vardy levelled from the spot for Leicester in the 86th minute to share the points between the sides. The Foxes are the surprise unbeaten team of the year. They have a pair of wins and a pair of draws on the young season.

Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland
There were plenty of early goals in this one. Yann M'vila came first for Sunderland in the eighth miniute with a stunning free kick, but the Black Cats' lead was short lived. Scott Sinclair buried one from the spot three minutes larer to level for Asto Villa.  Sinclair added a second with a sliding shot to complete a quick counter attack in the 41st. Sunderland's equalizer came in the 51st courtesy of Jeremain Lens and a nice move through the Villa defense. The scoring shut down after that and things stayed level at a pair of goals each.

Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace has always played Chelsea tough, and this time around was no exception. After weathering the Blues' strm for 65 minutes, Palace was rewarded when Bakary Sako blasted home a shot on a counter attack. It took Chelsea some time, but they did manage to tie the score. Radamel Falcao dove to meet the ball with his head in the six yard box for his first Chelsea goal in the 79th minute. Falcao's goal wouldn't stand for long. In the 81st minute, Joel Ward buried a diving header of his own to put Palace back in front. Chelsea threw numbers forward for the remaining nine minutes and five minutes of home field aided stoppage time, but couldn't push another goal through. It was Jose Mourinho's second ever home loss in the Premier League. Chelsea's early season struggles continue. They only have four points from as many games in what was expexcted to be a run at a repeat title.

Liverpool 0-3 West Ham
Liverpool went into this one having not conceded a goal in their first three matches. West Ham changed that two and a half minutes into this one. Manuel Lazini booted home a low cross to put the Hammers up early on. Even while the Reds were pressing forward down a goal, West Ham was still able to push a counter attack through from time to time. On one of these attacks, Mark Noble was able to bang home a deflection from the top of the penalty area to make it 2-0 to the visitors. Diafra Sakho ended any hope of a late Liverpool comeback with a goal right before the end of the 90 minutes.

Manchester City 2-0 Watford
After a first half that featured plenty of Watford defending with zero City goals, the second half opened up with a little more action. Raheem Sterling scored his first Manchester City goal a minute and a half after the restart to finally penetrate the Watford shield. Fernandinho made sure they didn't have to wait long for the second goal. He rifled a shot inside the far post in the 56t minute, doubling the CIty advantage. They didn't need anymore, but they probably could have scored more if they wanted to. City remains the only perfect club with 12 points out of 12 possible.

Stoke CIty 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
This one wasn't going well for Stoke right from the beginning. In the 25th minute Ibrahim Afellay was sent of for slapping Craig Gardner. Charlie Adam was also shown red in the 31st minute for stomping on a WBA player. It took West Bromwish Albion a while to capitalize Seconds before the halftime whistle, Saloman Rondon bounced home a header to put West Brom in the lead at the break. That was all they could muster against the nine man Stoke City squad. Which is kind of sad, even for West Brom.

Tottenham 0-0 Everton
This one ended as a scurried draw, but don't think that it wasn't for Tottenham's lack of trying. Possession may have been even based on the raw percentages, but it was Spurs with the better end of it. The took 20 shots on the day, but Tim Howard was up to each of the six on target. Everton will take the draw on the road in a hostile environment to bring them to five points in four games. Tottenham will continue to shower out of the gate with only two in there four matches.

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