Premier League Roundup: Manchester City Destroys Liverpool, United Perfect No More
The Premier League returned this weekend after the international break and it did not disappoint as goals came aplenty.
In the early Saturday fixture, Pep Guardiola's men put on a show against Liverpool, who had to play with ten men for almost an hour due to Mane's sending off, Arsenal delivered at home and Harry Kane scored a sensational albeit unintentional goal against Everton. One of two on the day for the English international, helping Mauricio Pochettino's men gain their first away win of the season. Meanwhile, Brighton secured its first ever Premier League victory, Stoke City became the first team to take anything away against United this season and on Sunday, Burnley added pressure on Frank de Boer while Newcastle secured a precious victory at Liberty Stadium.
Read up on all the action below.
City's Potent Attack Leaves 10-Man Merseysiders & Klopp Red Faced
With both fourth placed Manchester City and second placed Liverpool being unbeaten before Saturday's lunchtime kick-off at the Etihad, the encounter was billed to be a blockbuster, as two of the Premier League's title contenders went head to head in an early season battle to gain premature supremacy over one another in the domestic standings.
The first 20 minutes or so of the first half, however, started in a subdued manner, with both sides trying to find the pockets to play within, whilst tempting the defensive lines to leave the edge of their respective boxes.
In the 13th minute, Fernandinho managed to find space in the centre of the park to send a low driven effort towards the goal, but Mignolet was equal to the attempt, and palmed it round his right hand-side post.
The tie soon heated up, after Sergio Aguero latched onto a pinpoint through ball from De Bruyne which split Liverpool's defence expertly, the Argentine then rounding the oncoming Mignolet to slot the ball into the net.
Just after the half-hour mark, Ederson was forced into making a smart save when Mohamed Salah was sent clean through with just the keeper to beat, but his studied stroke towards the net was held well by the Brazilian.
City were then a whisker away from making it 2-0 in the 35th minute, the ball fell fortuitously to John Stones on the penalty spot after a melee from a corner, but the centre-half could not divert the point-blank opportunity past Mignolet.
The first half was finally starting to boil when in the 36th minute, Liverpool's star man Sadio Mane was sent to the stands after receiving a straight red for virtually kung-fu kicking Ederson, as he attempted to make contact with a lofted through ball. Both men were focused on the ball, but Mane's actions were deemed reckless by Jonathan Moss, meaning that he had no choice but to punish the Senegalese forward accordingly.
After a lengthy stoppage in play whilst Ederson was receiving treatment, fellow Brazilian ace Gabriel Jesus had a goal disallowed in the third of the eight additional minutes after being adjudged to be offside.
But Jesus did grab a genuine goal of his own in the sixth minute of added time when De Bruyne offered-up the 20-year-old the opportunity to head the ball home on a plate; Jesus met the cross, and beat Mignolet from close range.
After the halftime interval, City had yet another goal wiped off the board, with Aguero's toe-poke being ruled out for offside in the 53rd minute - a fast start for Pep Guardiola's dominant men. Just moments later, Jesus did in fact make it 3-0 to the Sky Blues. Fernandinho freed Aguero and the 29-year-old unselfishly squared the ball for Jesus to nab his brace for the day, after swiping the ball past the stranded Mignolet.
The second-half subsided somewhat until the 77th minute of play, when Leroy Sane chalked City's fourth goal of the match - the German was found in the box by Benjamin Mendy, and the winger expertly converted the Frenchman's cross past Mignolet into the bottom right of the target. 4-0.
A second yellow was brandished for the Reds in the 80th minute, when Emre Can chopped down Aguero close to the corner flag on the left hand-side, more a sign of utter frustration from the central midfielder.
In the 87th minute, Mignolet denied City's Aguero from making it five when the Belgian leaped across his goal-line to deny Aguero from diverting the ball into the net.
But, despite Mignolet's previous save, it was soon 5-0 to City, when Sane unleashed an unstoppable left-footed effort past Mignolet into the top corner of the net in the 91st minute, leaving the goal-frame shaking - Sane left the best goal of the tie until last, seemingly, joining Jesus with two goals each.
Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette Star in Comfortable Gunners Win
Arsenal were back to their best as they dominated a sorry Bournemouth side at the Emirates Stadium. A brace from Danny Welbeck and a second goal for Alexandre Lacazette for his new club sealed a truly comfortable win for the Gunners.
The home side were rarely threatened as Bournemouth put in an abject performance, particularly in the first half, which emphasised why many have tipped them for relegation this season.
Wenger continued with his three at the back system and brought back summer signings, Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette into the starting XI, after strangely dropping them for their trip to Anfield before the international break.
An early goal was needed to calm the nerves at the Emirates and it duly arrived in the sixth minute.
Kolasinac, in his preferred left wing-back role for the first time in the league this season, played a great one-two with Aaron Ramsey before putting it on a plate for Welbeck, who could not miss with a near-post header.
Bournemouth struggled to settle or find a way into the game as the Gunners totally dominated in midfield leaving Bournemouth's front three of Jermaine Defoe, Josh King and Ryan Fraser completely nullified.
Arsenal's dominance was rewarded with a sublime second goal in the 28th minute. Bournemouth gave possession away cheaply in their own half leaving them exposed to an Arsenal counter.
A quick ball by Granit Xhaka into the edge of the Bournemouth box sparked trouble for the away side. A lay off by Welbeck into Lacazette led to an inevitable fantastic finish as Arsenal's new marksmen curled the ball into the top corner in sublime fashion.
Bournemouth's best moment of the game came in the second minute after the break when Defoe, who hardly had a kick in the first half, was unlucky not to score his first goal at the Emirates as his header came crashing off the post.
Two minutes later the three points were sealed for the North London side as Danny Welbeck scored his first Premier League brace. An accomplished left foot finish across goal into the bottom corner emphasised the gulf in class between the two teams today.
The remainder of the game was a largely comfortable affair for Arsenal, as Mesut Ozil began to run the show as the away side could not deal with his intelligent movement. Asmir Begovic was the Cherries' best player as he prevented the home side running riot.
Worrying times lie ahead for Bournemouth, who looked really flat all game, as well as being unable to maintain any type of efficient possession. They will be hoping to pick up their first points of the season against Brighton at home next weekend.
Arsenal will be hopeful that this dominant display will kick-start their season as they begin their Europa League campaign home to Cologne on Thursday before making the trip to Stamford Bridge to play the champions, Chelsea, next Sunday.
Mourinho's Men Settle for a Point Due to Chuopo-Moting Masterclass
Stoke City dug deep to hold Manchester United to a point in an eventful two all draw - with United retaining top spot in the Premier League. Having taking the lead, Stoke gained a point against the general run of play thanks to a sensational performance by Erik Maxim Choupo-Moting.
The opening moments of the game were used by both sides to test the waters, but Rashford looked the most threatening and likely to break the deadlock. Consistently getting in behind the Stoke back three, Jack Butland was forced into making multiple saves from Rashford's efforts.
In what was a mostly uneventful first half, there would be drama at the very end, as Stoke took the lead with a well-worked move. Darren Fletcher picked out Mame Biram-Diouf with a long diagonal ball, who set up new signing Choupo-Moting to score his first Stoke City goal. A driven cross was met with a powerful finish, as the Cameroonian showed the desire to get in front of Eric Bailly - sending the Bet365 Stadium into pandemonium.
Unfortunately for the hosts, they would lose the lead moments before the break. A whipped corner found the head of Paul Pogba, whose effort deflected off of Marcus Rashford, beating Butland. Given their dominance on proceedings, it was a deserved goal for United, who had the majority of the chances. With the game all square at the break - the flurry of action at the end of the first half set the rest of the match up nicely.
United grasped the lead ten minutes into the second half, as Lukaku found the back of the net for the fourth time this season. A perfectly timed run by the striker was spotted by Henrik Mkhitaryan, who threaded the ball through to the big Belgian. His initial effort was saved by Butland, but Lukaku's second bite of the cherry saw United score a deserved second goal.
Moments later, David De Gea pulled off one of the saves of the season to deny Stoke an equaliser. A tremendous finger tip-save denied Jese, whose volley flew directly at the Spanish keeper. From the resulting corner, Choupo-Moting would score his second of the evening with a bullet header from close range.
Choupo-Moting gets his second, meeting the corner at the far post to head home... before that, Jese had seen a shot brilliantly saved (2-2)— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) September 9, 2017
United continued to create chances - but looked susceptible to every Stoke counter attack set piece. Some late heroics by Butland earned Stoke the point, as the keeper staked his claim to be England number one by clearing off the line. Stoke will be the happier of the two sides, having held on despite United's dominance.
Morata, Kante Extend Brilliant Form to Help Blues to Third Straight Win
Chelsea held strong to beat former Premier League champions Leicester City 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday after a dominant display.
Craig Shakespeare named a very familiar line-up, with the wantaway Riyad Mahrez featuring in attack.
The defending champions, meanwhile, welcomed Eden Hazard back to the squad after his lengthy injury spell, but the Belgian wasn't among the starters.
The game didn't get off to the brightest of starts, but Chelsea looked quite comfortable and carved out a few chances for themselves, particularly Alvaro Morata, in the first half. The striker, though, constantly found himself frustrated by Wes Morgan's clearances.
The home side were the ones who almost got themselves ahead nearing the 40-minute mark after Mahrez and Vardy found themselves one on one with a Chelsea defender after N'Golo Kante was dispossessed on the edge of the Foxes' box.
Thibaut Courtois was forced into a save after the ball was worked to Islam Slimani who got off a shot. Yet a few seconds later, the ball was in the back of the Leicester net as Cesar Azpilicueta found Morata with quite the accurate cross for the striker to head past Kasper Schmeichel, finally getting the better of the pesky Morgan.
The first half came to an end with the Blues leading 1-0, but Antonio Conte - while happy with the lead - couldn't have been completely satisfied, given his team's chances.
Chelsea could have doubled their lead well-nigh straight off the bat following the start of the second half, with Morata throwing a two-on-one chance with Pedro away through an errant pass. But they did anyway, as Kante would score against his former club with a low rifled shot to give the champs a 2-0 advantage in the 50th minute.
The Foxes got themselves back in it around the 61st minute, through none other than Vardy, who won a penalty off the Chelsea keeper to beat him with the ensuing spot kick.
Davide Zappacosta was sent on for Victor Moses in the 73rd minute, with the Italian making his Premier League debut after joining the Stamford Bridge side on deadline day.
Hazard would also come on 13 minutes from time in place of Cesc Fabregas, and Kelechi Iheanacho would make his league home debut, replacing Matty James.
The Blues were denied a penalty of their own in the 82nd minute after Marcos Alonso's cross found Morata, only for the striker's header to be blatantly handled in the box by Harry Maguire.
The game moved past the 90-minute mark and into four minutes of extra time, but the Blues were able to hold on to their slim lead, despite Leicester's best efforts, to win their third straight of the season.
100 Up for Kane as Rampant Spurs See Off Lifeless Toffees
Tottenham's hoodoo over Everton has continued after they secured a routine 3-0 victory over the lifeless Toffees.
Spurs were the party poopers as Goodison Park celebrated the 125th anniversary of its first ever game, Harry Kane stealing the headlines with two goals - the first his 100th for the club - for Mauricio Pochettino's side.
Christian Eriksen was also on target for the away team, and Blues boss Ronald Koeman will be left with much to ponder after another limp display from his charges on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Sandro Ramirez turned the game's first chance past the post from Cuco Martina's low centre - the Spaniard being put off the last second by the sliding Toby Alderweireld.
Dele Alli teed up Eriksen not long after, but the Dane's shot was also diverted wide of the post as Ashley Williams sought to restrict his shooting angle.
The Welshman was then on hand to block Moussa Sissoko's shot from Eriksen's cut back before Kane fired wide as the away side began to up the ante.
Martina's inch perfect tackle on Eriksen prevented the playmaker firing a shot off after he was played into the area but soon it was to be Kane's moment as he ended his Tottenham goal drought.
The warning signs had been there, but it was from an unusual situation that the striker struck. Kieran Trippier recycled a cleared corner to Kane on the right flank and, as his whipped cross caught the wind, it bamboozled Pickford and looped over the keeper into Everton's net.
Sandro's thunderous attempt cannoned off Alderweireld as the Blues looked for an immediate response, but it was the Lilywhites who nabbed the game's second goal on the stroke of half-time.
Martina's hashed clearance from Dele's inswinging cross landed at the feet of Ben Davies and, after Pickford did well to parry the wingback's effort, Eriksen picked up the loose pieces to stab home from close range.
Alli and Kane inexplicably missed sitters before the half was out, and Everton were relieved to hear the whistle to signal the interval.
That relief was shortlived. Just moments after the restart, Kane added his second of the afternoon as he turned home Davies' cross to sidefoot home past a hapless Pickford.
There's poor and then there's Everton's performance today. Slow, unbalanced, weak and a yard off the pace and I'm being kind.— Al Roskell (@alroz1) September 9, 2017
Sissoko guided a Trippier header over the bar as the Toffees continued to wilt under Spurs' unrelenting pressure and attacking verve, while substitute Domininc Calvert-Lewin forced Hugo Lloris into his first save of the day with a lame header.
Everton made an utter hash of their best chance of the second half seven minutes from time as Wayne Rooney, Calvert-Lewin and Gylfi Sigurdsson all failed to ram home Leighton Baines' cross.
Rooney sent a late nodded effort over the bar as time ticked on, but the hosts didn't deserve anything from a game that Pochettino's charges dominated.
Seagulls Secure Historic First Ever Premier League Victory
A historic brace from Brighton's Pascal Groß and strike from Tomer Hemed proved the difference at the Amex Stadium as the Seagulls secured their first ever win in the Premier League against West Brom on Saturday.
A sluggish start to the game was quickly forgotten for Chris Hughton's side as they put their goal scoring demons behind them by slotting three goals past a less than impressive Baggies outfit - who did manage to pull one back late on from a James Morrison strike.
It was a slow and quiet start to the game for both sides, with West Brom prepared to retain possession and Brighton unable to cause any disruption to the Baggies rhythm early on.
The lay of the land within the opening 10 minutes went as expected, with little action in either penalty box as Brighton struggled to find fluidity within their direct approach, which severely favoured the strengths of Tony Pulis' side.
A brief moment of excitement was ended all too soon when the Seagulls' Shane Duffy thought he had tapped home Brighton's first goal of their Premier League campaign after a stunning strike from Solomon March was spilled by Ben Foster into the oncoming midfielder's path, who was correctly called offside.
The disallowed goal worked wonders for the tempo of the game as it paved the way for three shots on target in quick succession, with Brighton coming out on top as Anthony Knockaert's individual show of skill awoke what had been a largely dormant Amex Stadium.
Despite dominating the ball during the middle stages of the half, the Seagulls failed to find a way to breakthrough a well organised Baggies back-line, and they almost paid the ultimate price as Gareth Barry's volley had to be superbly tipped over the bar by Mathew Ryan.
Although lacking quality in the final third for the better portion of the half, Brighton finally notched their first ever goal in the Premier League when March crossed the ball to the back post to Groß, who had time to bring the ball to feet, cut inside and slide the ball into the back of the net.
Pulis would not have been happy with the lack of defensive organisation his side showed in the build up to the goal, but his counterpart Hughton was obviously delighted at his side's historic goal, which took 315 minutes of league football to achieve - sending the home crowd into hysteria going into the half time break.
The elation did not stop there as a mere two minutes from the start of the second half saw Brighton double their lead, as Groß notched his second goal of the game after his strike from 25 yards out nestled safely into the bottom left corner.
As Brighton continued to shine, West Brom's woes on the South Coast were epitomised by Jay Rodriguez's dispossession on the edge of the penalty box after the English forward seemingly had an eternity to dispatch a shot on goal, a rare opportunity to test Ryan wasted.
But when it rains, it pours - especially for the man of the moment, Groß who continued to be the game changer when his pinpoint cross found Hemed, who bravely dispatched a header beyond a wanting Foster and sent the home crowd into dreamland as the scoreboard read 3-0.
With fifteen minutes remaining in the game, James Morrison pulled one back for the visitors after Oliver Burke knocked it down to the Scotland international who calmly stroked the ball home - instantly creating a nervous energy to flow through a Brighton side who, for the most part of the game, looked in control.
Despite gaining the ascendancy in the last ten minutes of the game, it was a case of too little too late for West Brom who will be left lamenting their defensive lapses which invited Brighton to take advantage of.
It was a truly historic day for Brighton & Hove Albion who have secured their first three points of the season following a superb and inspired performance, most notably from Gross, and with their confidence now restored they will be hoping to extend their winning form against fellow South Coast side, Bournemouth.
West Brom's unbeaten start to the Premier League came to an abrupt halt as they're usual defence steel was broken by an inspired Brighton outfit. Pulis will no doubt expect an immediate reaction from his side who are set to host West Ham next week.
Hornets Ease Past Hapless Saints With Goals From Unlikely Sources
Marco Silva's Watford side pulled off an impressive away performance at Southampton with goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and Daryl Janmaat giving the Hornets coach his first back-to-back away victories in his managerial career.
In a first half that was lacking in imagination for a good half hour, there was little that would lead to any of the sides taking the initiative at St. Mary's.
With Watford well set up and having the lion's share of possession, the Hornets looked to be in control of proceedings despite Marco Silva's team being the away side.
But with the opening 35 minutes bringing little in the way of significant chances, the game opened up for the Hornets when an adventurous play led to Doucoure taking the ball off a failed Jack Stephens' clearance.
The Hornets midfielder controlled the ball and fired an accurate effort from 20 yards, the shot bouncing down to Fraser Forster's left side and giving the travelling side a deserved lead.
That was not all before the half time whistle however with the ever-threatening Richarlison firing an effort - deflected off Stephens - into the side netting almost bringing the Hornets some breathing room before the interval.
Watford were playing the much more organised football in the first half, with an even better showing when they were not in possession, giving the Saints no openings and no hope of a goal of their own.
The second half was started by Watford in similar fashion to their first half finish, a quick interchange between Richarlison and Andre Gray on the left opened up an opportunity for Chalobah, whom, once received the ball, fired a tame effort at Forster.
Saints finally breathed some life into their performance with a curling effort from Ryan Bertrand, but it was blocked for a corner.
Ten minutes into the half Watford came close to doubling their lead when a right-sided corner drifted to Chalobah at the back post - his diving header kicked back into the centre of the box by Tadic - with centre-back Cristian Kabasele blazing the follow-up wide.
The second goal did arrive for the visitors five minutes later when substitute Janmaat - introduced two minutes before - found himself on the end of a Tom Cleverley knock-down, with the Dutchman's 25 yard effort flying past Forster once more.
After the change in the scoreline, the hosts introduced Shane Long in place of a struggling Manolo Gabbiadini as they searched for to a goal in the final twenty minutes, with the Hornets happy to sit back and absorb pressure.
The final ten minutes brought little joy for Mauricio Pellegrino's side with Watford seeing out the final minutes of a very impressive away performance.
While Hornet's boss Silva will be over the moon with his side's performance, a poor Southampton performance will leave Pellegrino wondering what needs to change with his side still failing to deliver in front of goal, with a trip to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace next week.
Error Gifts Burnley All Three Points as Pressure Mounts on Frank de Boer
Burnley secured their first home win and clean sheet of the season as they held on for a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. The Eagles have now lost all four Premier League matches under Frank de Boer.
Burnley were gifted their first Turf Moor goal of the 2017/18 season three minutes into the contest. Crystal Palace winger Lee Chung-Yong played Chris Wood through on goal with a sloppy pass meant for Wayne Hennessey and Burnley's club record signing punished the mistake by slotting the ball into the back of the net to put his side ahead.
Burnley Captain Tom Heaton sustained an injury with 10 minutes left of the first half and was replaced in goal by Nick Pope who was making his Premier League debut.
Pope had relatively little to do until he was forced into making a brilliant save from Christian Benteke in the 79th minute. The Belgian striker burst through on goal but saw his effort from 8 yards out saved by Burnley's backup keeper.
Despite having to defend their lead for an hour and a half including injury time, Burnley comfortably kept Crystal Palace at bay. Scott Dann squandered the away sides best two chances either side of half time.
Firstly having an effort cleared off the line by Matt Lowton in the first half, before missing a sitter at the back-post in the 89th minute to condemn Palace to four defeats from four under de Boer.
Frank de Boer's side have now failed to register a goal in four matches under the Dutchman. With Palace having no points and no goals in mid September it is yet to be seen how much more time Frank de Boer will be given to turn his team's fortunes around.
Super Captain Lascelles Secures Narrow Win at the Liberty
Rafa Benitez was not in attendance for Newcastle's game at Swansea on Sunday after undergoing an operation in midweek. However he would have been hoping that his side could continue in the same vein after a 3-0 win over West Ham last time out, despite the poorly timed international break.
Swansea fans on the other hand will have been excited to see some new signings, after the deadline day arrivals of Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony. Paul Clement will have also been looking for a repeat performance after beating Crystal Palace 0-2 in their last game.
The first half started in a physical fashion, with more than a few heavy tackles flying in. This saw an early yellow card given to Isaac Hayden after he gave Renato Sanches a less than friendly welcome to the Premier League, leaving a mark on the youngster with a strong body block.
Sanches was the main new boy on display, although it was Newcastle debutant Jacob Murphy that had the first real chance of the game. The former Norwich City winger made an excellent run and latched onto a weak Fernandez back pass, only for his shot to go sailing over the bar in the 27th minute.
Another Magpies new man then stepped up to the plate as Joselu blasted a volley high and wide on the 30th minute. However just a few minutes later the Spaniard latched onto a Matt Ritchie cross with a header that seemed destined to nestle in the bottom corner, only for Fabianski to make a fantastic save to push the ball onto his left hand post.
Much of the half saw Newcastle create the better chances, however Jordan Ayew forced a diving save out of Rob Elliott in the 38th minute, after Hayden slipped on the wet Liberty turf to give away possession.
The second half saw the Swans come out fighting as they enjoyed the majority of the better chances. The first of those fell to Sam Clucas who's first time volley was well saved at his near post by Rob Elliott.
However the best chance of the half for the Swans fell to Tammy Abraham on the hour mark. The young striker rounded Elliot after an excellent through ball and would've expected to see his shot nestle in the back of the net, only for Lascelles to come sliding across to make a fantastic block on the line.
Newcastle then started to build in confidence again and created a few chances with shots from Joselu and Perez comfortably saved by Fabianski.
However the Magpies got their breakthrough on the 74th minute, when hero of the day Lascelles, headed home powerfully from a Matt Ritchie corner. The Newcastle captain got a free header in the box as Swansea's zonal marking system failed and the Englishman took full advantage powerfully putting the ball into the roof of Fabianski's net.
After that Swansea piled on the pressure with a multitude of corners, with the best chance falling to Leroy Fer, only for his header to sail over the bar.
Some resolute defending from Newcastle meant they saw out the victory to claim their second win of the season. Swansea may feel hard done by not to get a point and to not have seen Matt Ritchie sent off for a high challenge mid way through the second half. However they lacked a cutting edge and weren't clinical enough in decisive areas.