Saturday, August 27, 2016

It Happened in England: Leicester, Arsenal earn first wins of the year

Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool were certainly the better side in the first half at White Hart Lane. Their reward for taking it strong to a sleepy Tottenham was a half time lead thanks to a 42nd minute penalty against Erik Lamela that allowed James Milner to give the Reds the lead. Liverpool was quick to resort to defending their way through the second half despite their slim lead. They weren't able to hold it as Danny Rose equalized after being left unmarked in the penalty area in the 72nd minute. There aren't many real chances after that and the match finished 1-1.

Chelsea 3-0 Burnley
Chelsea had no issue with Burnley whatsoever. From Eden hazard's ninth minute opener to Willian's doubler just before half time, it was all Blues all the time at Stamford Bridge. The visitors had trouble getting anything going all afternoon long as they mustered only six total shots on the day. Victor Moses finished off a counter attack in the penultimate minute to cap of the rather easy 3-0 victory for Chelsea.

Crystal Palace 1-1 AFC Bournemouth
Bournemouth opened the scoring through Joshua King in the 11th minute, but Palace came close to an immediate answer. A rather soft penalty was given against Bournemouth for a shirt pull on Christian Benteke. Unfortunately for Palace, the resulting PK was brilliantly saved by Artur Boruc. Palace would eventually get their tying goal, but it came at the death of the match. Scott Dann managed to head one in deep into stoppage time to salvage a point.

Everton 1-0 Stoke City
Everton probably should have won this by more than a goal to nil. In the 24th minute they had a shot robbed off the line by a well placed Eric Crouch. Kevin Mirallas nearly blasted one home ten minutes later. In the end, their lone goal came off a penalty from Leighton Baines that drilled the post before ricocheting off Shea Given for an own goal. Stoke could have equalized before the hour mark, by Marko Arnautovic only found the post and his club came up empty on the day.

Leicester City 2-1 Swansea City
Jamie Vardy got his first goal of the season in classic Leicester style, In the 32nd minute, he collected a long pass and streaked through on goal to bank a shot in off the near post. Wes Morgan would double the Foxes' lead on a 52nd minute corner. It looked like it would become 3-0 to Leviester in teh 56th minute, but Riyad Mahrez had his penalty saved to keep it a two goal game. A Leroy Fer header at the 80 minute mark gave Swansea some hope, but it was to no avail as Leicester held on for their first win of the year.

Southampton 1-1 Sunderland
Sunderland had the better chances early in the mach, but nothing was going on for them until late on. They would take the lead with a Jermaine Defoe PK in the 80th minute, but they wouldn't hold on. Five minutes after Defoe's goal, a devastating goalkeeping error by Jordan Pickford allowed a Jay Rodriguez shot to trickle in and result in shared points.

Watford 1-3 Arsenal
Arsenal finally looked like a team ready to play as they  took it to Watford in convincing style. Thanks to Alexis Sanchez taking an elbow to the head in the penalty area, Santi Cazorla opened the scoring from the spot in the ninth minute. Arsenal ruled the run of play for the rest of the first half and scored twice towards the end on a couple brilliant moves. The first was a thunderous shot from Alexis Sanchez that easily duped Heurelho Gomes. In stoppage time, Mesut Ozil darted into space to head home a perfect Sanchez cross for the third goal. Watford would get on the board during a 57th minute scramble that ended in Roberto Pereyra blasting home a shot, but that would be all the Hornets could muster for the day. 

Hull City 0-1 Manchester United
Rains dampened the attacking effectiveness in this match. The first half saw only free kicks as chances as neither side produced much of anything. Free kicks were still the best possibly scoring chances in the second half, although Marcus Rashford was a fingertip save away from getting United on the board in the 79th minute. United was creating more and more opportunities as the minutes wore on, but there was rarely a chance that made you jump to the edge of your seat. That was until the closing seconds when Marcus Rashford tapped in a low cross from Wayne Rooney on the doorstep to smash three points away from the Tigers.

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