The 8th round of the English Premiere League has passed. There were almost no sensations, but many matches unfolded in an unpredictable way. But all in order:
Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester City
This match was billed as the central one, which is not surprising, since both teams were rushing for the title last season. Unfortunately for football fans, there was no interesting shootout in the game. Both teams showed their tactical mastery, which is why the struggle was mainly in the middle of the field, where the referee’s questionable decisions helped the Cityzens avoid a red card in two episodes with Kovacic. In my opinion, City was closer to scoring, although the stats are on Arsenal’s side. City shot from more dangerous positions but could not get the ball in. Even when the Arsenal keeper, Raya, decided to show that he plays with his feet no worse than Ederson, the City players hit the outer side of the net. So the tactical confrontation continued until the 86th minute, when Gabriel Martinelli decided to take a shot from outside the penalty area, first hitting Ake’s head and then the goal, outplaying Ederson with this ricochet. The final score is in Arsenal’s favor, congratulations to them. The season is just heating up, and it will be interesting to see if Arteta’s side will repeat the end of last season, when they ran out of strength and luck for the final games.
Luton 0 – 1 Tottenham
Another Tottenham win in the league, their 6th in a row. Going undefeated, they share first place with their city rivals Arsenal, but are above the Gunners on goal difference. Tottenham pressed from the first minutes and had excellent chances to open the scoring early in the game, but great play by Kaminski in Luton’s goal prevented that. Spurs’ advantage ended by the middle of the first half, when Bissouma earned his first yellow card in the 38th minute and his second for simulation just 6 minutes later, right before halftime. In the second half, the obvious advantage went to Luton, with many beautiful and dangerous attacks, but failed to translate them into a goal, the team’s finishing needs work. Tottenham, after scoring from a corner in the 52nd minute, mostly defended. It will be very interesting to see how Spurs will continue to play and if they can hold onto 1st place in the table for long, and if so, Kane may regret leaving for Bayern.
Man Utd 2 – 1 Brentford
Man United still fails to impress. The start of the match was even, without a strong advantage for either side. However, Brentford’s goal changed the situation on the field dramatically. A misplay by Casemiro and another incoherent performance from De Gea led to the conceded goal. After conceding, United attacked more actively. Marcus Rashford deserves special mention, his solo runs created dangerous chances. However, apart from that and a couple of free kicks, the Red Devils did nothing meaningful. Meanwhile, the Bees could have scored more but lacked finishing. Salvation for Manchester came from an unexpected source – substitute central midfielder Scott McTominay pulled off a beloved “Fergie Time” and scored two goals in stoppage time. But the realities are that United was close to a 3rd fiasco in a row. And 10th place in the standings is clearly not what fans and management expect.
Burnley 1 – 4 Chelsea
Is Chelsea finally emerging from the crisis? This win over Burnley was their 3rd in a row. Burnley scored an early goal in the 15th minute and then lost the initiative. The Aristocrats attacked a lot and sharply, leading to an own goal by Burnley in the 42nd minute. Chelsea came out just as determined in the second half, and a penalty was scored by young talent Palmer in the 50th minute, after which Sarri’s team methodically pressed their opponent and managed to score two more goals. The 4-1 scoreline definitely pleased Chelsea fans.
Brighton 2 – 2 Liverpool
A match between table neighbors, with Liverpool ahead by just one point, promised to be interesting. Brighton scored first, capitalizing on a mistake by Van Dijk and McAllister. After that, Liverpool livened up and scored two goals at the end of the half – one from open play, the second from a penalty which occurred after a failed play between Brighton’s defender and goalkeeper. In the second half, Liverpool had excellent chances to increase their lead but lacked finishing. And from a free kick in the 78th minute, Brighton’s captain took advantage of the defense’s slowness to equalize. The result – equal stats in shots and equal score. We will continue following the teams…
Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Nottingham Forest
A goalless draw at Selhurst Park. In theory, Palace should have been stronger than Forest, but for most of the game it was Forest who had the edge. However, the number of attacks and shots on target did not convert into goals. The match score is more in Forest’s favor, whose task is to avoid the relegation zone.
Wolverhampton 1 – 1 Aston Villa
The Wolves and the Lions produced an intense, exciting match. Both teams attacked a lot and had chances to hit their opponent’s net, but no goals came in the first half. In the second half, the rivals sought to rectify the situation, exchanging goals in the 53rd and 55th minutes, and continued to butt heads after that. Both teams could have scored, Semedo missed a one-on-one for Wolves. In the end of the match, a Wolves player earned his second yellow in the 90+4th minute and left for the locker room early. In stoppage time, the Lions had every chance to score a winning goal, but the Wolves’ keeper and poor finishing prevented it.
West Ham 2 – 2 Newcastle
Another match between table neighbors. Both teams push for European cups. However, the match can hardly be called fiery – the battle unfolded in the center of the field rather than through numerous attacks and shots on target resulting in goals. The Hammers went ahead in the 8th minute, and no more goals came in the first half. The struggle continued in the second half until Alexander Isak scored a brace within 5 minutes, shifting the balance in Newcastle’s favor. Eddie Howe’s team defended, but did not last a couple minutes, conceding a goal in the 89th minute. Both teams play in Europe, so perhaps lacked the strength to show all they are capable of.
Fulham 3 – 1 Sheffield United
This match brought no surprises, the Londoners easily beat the Blades at home. The latter sit at the very bottom of the table without a single win. The Blades managed to hold back Fulham’s onslaught in the first half, but ran out of steam in the second. Their only goal was an own goal. Fulham’s win is absolutely clear and deserved.
Everton 3 – 0 Bournemouth
A match between the bottom five, where seeing Everton is rather sad, but their play in the last couple seasons is clearly not top half material. This season also started very poorly for them, sitting 16th with just two wins and a draw. Bournemouth is second to last in 19th place, not losing only 3 out of 8 matches. A dominant victory for Everton and toothless play by Bournemouth. The final score 3 – 0 reflects this perfectly. Let’s hope this win gives the Liverpool team a positive boost.