Matchweek 4 Recap

Burnley 0-3 Liverpool

Liverpool went to Turf Moor and came away with a relatively easy 3 points. Burnley is not a fun place to play, and they double down on their defensive style against teams in Liverpool’s mold. Liverpool’s high line stifled Burnley’s counter attacking chances, while their front 3 were clinical on the attacking end. Liverpool did what they do best—force teams to make mistakes and then crush them under the pressure and finish your chances. 12 points out of 12 is the start the Reds needed if they were going to push Man City this season, and they’ve done so perfectly. Oh, and don’t overreact to the Mane-Salah row. Every player wants to score, and having that selfish and biting attitude can help, as long as the bomb is diffused and the squad remains focused.

Southampton 1-1 Manchester United

What a brutal game. Even after Southampton went down to 10 men, there was never really a feeling that the Red Devils would capitalize. Daniel James continues to be a revolution for the Mancs, providing pace, creativity, and—most importantly—goals. For Southampton, they conceded early, then weathered the storm and fought back to grab an equalizer, and then followed that up with resiliency when they went down to 10 men with almost 20 minutes left in regulation. A promising sign after a rough start in the league for them. United look to be in real trouble, and OGS’s seat continues to heat up.

Chelsea 2-2 Sheffield United

Sheffield United, Comeback Kings? Apparently! They’ve now scored an 80th minute or longer equalizing goal in 2 of their first 4 games of the year. You love to see a team have that never-say-die mentality, especially from a promoted side. They went down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and fought back to get a point. As for Chelsea, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham continue to look the part and fulfill their potential. The manner in which they lost points is concerning, but these types of mistakes are to be expected with a new manager and a young squad. Time and experience are the best teachers, and they will grow from this.

Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa

Okay, where to start. Jordan Ayew is actually quite good, and is proving to be better business than originally thought. He’s clearly a better player at the moment than the incumbent Christian Benteke, and he’s bagged a goal in his last two games. Now, Villa have every right to feel like they were robbed here. The yellow card for simulation given to Jack Grealish was horrible, and Villa were robbed of a late tying goal after fighting so hard with 10 men. The signs are there that this is a fine Premier League side, but luck has just not been their forte. They’re going to need some good fortune to keep them at this level.

Leicester 3-1 Bournemouth

Leicester continue to impress. With so many uninspiring sides—especially in the Big Six—Leicester have shown tremendous consistency to start the season. In fact, they’re rated by Sky Sports as the third best team in the league at the moment. Forget about breaking into the top 6, Leicester look like a legitimate Champions League threat at the moment. Bournemouth’s slow start continues, as they have now only amassed 4 points so far. The Cherries should be fine moving forward, as their slate of games is not particularly daunting, but you have to be concerned if they find themselves in a similar place at the end of September.

Manchester City 4-0 Brighton

Ho-hum, City dominance. Their brilliance is so routine that it’s almost becoming underrated, not unlike Sergio Aguero. The Tottenham debacle aside, they’ve started the season right where they’ve left off after the last 76 games of Premier League action. That’s a frightening preposition in what’s starting to become a legitimate domestic dynasty. I don’t have much to say about Brighton here. It’s not their fault they wandered into the world-beating machine that is Manchester City. Newcastle away is their next league fixture, and they have to get a point there to continue their feel-good start to the year.

Newcastle 1-1 Watford

Are Watford going to be relegated? It’s starting to trend that way after the first month of the season. Now sitting on one (1) point all year, their September starts with a home match against Arsenal and a trip to the Etihad. I’d say that’s daunting. Newcastle showed up, conceded immediately, equalized before half, and that was the end of that. A rather dull affair in a weekend filled with other tantalizing games.

West Ham 2-0 Norwich

Don’t look now, but here come the Hammers! Two wins on the bounce and a September filled with games against down-on-their-luck Villa, a crumbling Manchester United, and Bournemouth mean that they could very well be on a 5 game streak heading into October. Sebastian Haller looks the part of a killer striker in the league, and West Ham holding a clean sheet are great signs moving forward. Norwich gave their all but alas, Teemu Pukki couldn’t get on the scoresheet. They’ve had a good start to the season, and after their trip to the Etihad they get Burnley and Palace. They should be able to get some more points in those games moving forward.

Everton 3-2 Wolves

This was an incredible game, it had everything. A late winner, high scoring, even a red card! Everton have to be feeling good right now, and Richarlison came through for them as he did so often last year. They want to rely on him less, but it’s always nice to see your star produce like he did with his brace. Wolves played well and didn’t break, but another tough result leaves them in a difficult place with European football on the horizon. This was built up as a match between two evenly matched teams trying to break into the upper echelon of English football, and they showed just why that’s the case. Promising signs from both sides, but you’ve got to be feeling better if you’re a Toffee’s fan.

Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham

The game of the week. The North London Derby. The Big One. And it lived up to all of the hype. Tottenham looked inferior until they got their first to break the deadlock, and it looked like it could get extremely ugly at The Emirates once it became 2-0. But Arsenal showed a type of fight that we haven’t seen from them since the Prime Wenger years. It was that type of fight that stopped Liverpool from blowing them out at Anfield, and they used it again to dig deep and come back in an emotional hard fought game, though it has to be disappointing to have conceded the goals in the manner in which they did (Leno error and Xhaka being Xhaka).

Tottenham have got to be disappointed, and quite frankly, have struggled tremendously. They might not yet be the title contenders we all thought before the season, and Poch might have brought this team to its ceiling. The Eriksen deal is clearly weighing on him, and the squad just doesn’t seem confident as they usually do. Poch has to right the ship and soon, because it’s starting to get worrisome as more and more teams continue to show the gulf between the Big Two of Liverpool and City and the rest of the pack.

 

Jared Gosule

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