Premier League Review: Gameweek 2

After a promising first week of fixtures in the Premier League, what could Gameweek 2 bring us?

Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United

Friday, August 14th 2015

The Premier League saw the return of a rare Friday night fixture, as Aston Villa played hosts to Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United. United, who left out Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea for the second week running, took the lead on the 29th minute through a deflected Adnan Januzaj shot, and that was enough for them to pick up their second consecutive 1-0 victory, in what was a pretty dull match.

Southampton 0-3 Everton

Saturday, 15th August 2015

Saturday’s lunchtime game could be seen as a shock to many; Everton crushed Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium, thanks to two goals from Romelu Lukaku and a beautifully curved home finish from Ross Barkley to wrap the game up. Lukaku, who has received some criticism of late, opened the scoring with a header and he then doubled his tally with a low shot, giving the Toffees a much deserved 2-0 lead at the half. Barkley then scored in the 84th minute to end a dominant performance from Everton, winning their first game of the new campaign.

Sunderland 1-3 Norwich City

Saturday, 15th August 2015

We’re only two games into the new season and Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has already come under fire, as his side slumped to another defeat, this time to the hands of Norwich, who could consider themselves lucky in the way they took the lead – Pantilimon made a strong save but it rebounded off Russell Martin’s leg and crossed the line. From then on, the visitors were in complete control. Some very neat play saw Steven Whittaker double the lead for the Canaries, followed by a second-half finish from winger Nathan Redmond to all but confirm the victory. However, Norwich failed in their attempts to keep a clean sheet as 21-year-old Duncan Watmore scored a consolation on his debut for the home side, but it was not enough to stop the boos ring around the Stadium of Light come the final whistle. It’s certainly not looking for the Black Cats as they sit rock bottom already.

Swansea City 2-0 Newcastle United

Saturday, 15th August 2015

Swansea City, who are now a fully established Premier League side, recorded their first win of the season, as they eased past Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium. Bafétimbi Gomis was first on the scoresheet when Jonjo Shelvey played a delicious through ball to the French striker, who then went past the helpless Tim Krul to score into the empty net, scoring his second of the season. Like Gomis, André Ayew also doubled his goal tally for the season. Ayew rose the highest to head home and it was more than enough to seal the win for the Swans, a typical home performance from them. Newcastle, on the other hand, didn’t just have to endure the defeat, their right-back Daryl Janmaat was sent off after receiving two yellow cards as he struggled to deal with the pacey Jefferson Montero.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Stoke City

Saturday, 15th August 2015

At half-time, Tottenham looked in complete control and would have been very confident in keeping the game 2-0 in their favour, or adding to the scoreline themselves. That wasn’t the case, however, as Stoke showed resilience in their play to come back and draw the match. Eric Dier got the ball rolling after he nodded home a Christian Eriksen corner, and on the stroke of half-time Nacer Chadli volleyed home Spurs’ second goal of the game. However, Stoke came out firing in the second-half and fully deserved the penalty they were awarded in the 78th minute when Joselu turned quickly with the ball resulting in Toby Aderweireld bringing down the ex-Real Madrid forward. Arnautovic converted from the spot-kick and the game was set up for a dramatic finish. And then, in the 83rd minute, Stoke had found their equaliser as Diouf finally found a way past Lloris with the faintish of touches. The Potters could have won the game in the dying minutes, but Stephen Ireland couldn’t get his head over the ball.

Watford 0-0 West Bromwich Albion

Saturday, 15th August 2015

Premier League football returned to Vicarage Road for the first time in eight years, but the home side, Watford, were unable to win, as they settled for a 0-0 draw against Tony Pulis’ West Brom. The Hornets certainly had the better of the chances throughout the game, but the best opportunity fell to Saido Berahino of West Brom. Berahino really ought to have scored as he headed wide from close range, meaning these two sides played out the first goalless game of the season.

West Ham United 1-2 Leicester City

Saturday, 15th August 2015

Both sides came into this match having won their first games, but it was the visitors, Leicester, who kept their 100% record in intact. Claudio Ranieri’s men ended the first-half 2-0 up courtesy of a Shinji Okazaki header, who followed up a rebound after his initial shot was well saved by Adrian, and a well-placed finish  from Algerian Riyad Mahrez, scoring his third goal already this season. West Ham fought back in the second-half, but they could only manage one goal through Dimitri Payet’s powerful strike in the 55th minute. As the game was nearing its end, the Hammers’ goalkeeper Adrian was sent off for a high foot on Jamie Vardy, whilst he was up for a corner trying to salvage a point.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

Sunday, 16th August 2015

Arsenal managed to bounce back from a poor opening day result versus West Ham with a hard-fought 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace. The Gunners could have taken the lead very early on with Alexis Sánchez having his effort on goal cleared off the line by James McArthur. However not long after, Arsenal did in fact take the lead with a spectacular acrobatic finish from French striker Olivier Giroud, but Palace pegged them back twelve minutes later when Joel Ward drilled his shot into the bottom left corner after poor defending from Laurent Koscielny. The Eagles so nearly took the lead when Connor Wickham’s effort hit the post – and they faced the consequences of missing that chance when Sánchez’s header was sliced by Delaney into his own net on the 55th minute. Arsenal saw the game out and picked up their first points of the season.

Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea

Sunday, 16th August 2015

A simply stunning performance from Manchester City saw them defeat last season’s champions 3-0 – making it two wins out of two for Manuel Pellegrini, scoring six goals altogether and not conceding even one. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring against Chelsea just after the 30th minute mark when he slid it past Asmir Begović, who had previously pulled off some great saves in this match. City were in full control of the match and thoroughly deserved to take a 2-0 lead in the 79th minute. Kompany’s header hit the post and went it, which then raised questions to why no-one was on the post for Chelsea. And the destruction was complete when Fernandinho powered home a shot in the 85th minute. It was a day (and week) for José Mourinho to forget.

Liverpool 1-0 AFC Bournemouth

Monday, 17th August 2015

Gameweek 2’s last fixture was contested between Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth, who were playing in their first ever Premier League fixture away from home. Eddie Howe would have been thrilled to see his side take an early lead at Anfield, but Tommy Elphick’s headed goal was ruled out because Craig Pawson, the referee, felt Elphick committed a foul on Dejan Lovren, yet after seeing the replay, it looks like Mr. Pawson made the wrong decision. There was then more controversy: Benteke latched onto a free-kick at the back post to score his first goal in a Liverpool shirt, but, taking the new offside rule into consideration, Coutinho was in an offside position and was making a clear attempt to get the ball. Bournemouth can feel hard done by, in a game where there were only four shots on target.



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