Liverpool stay perfect
Liverpool maintained their perfect start to the season, beating Tottenham at Wembley. They may not have performed with their usual swagger, but Jurgen Klopp’s team were still clearly the better side. Gini Wijnaldum gave them the lead late in the first-half, heading in (thanks to VAR) after a succession of Spurs mistakes. Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and – fatally – Michel Vorm squandered chances to clear before the the Dutch midfielder managed to push the ball just over the line.
It quickly got worse for Tottenham. Mane surged to the byline just minutes after the break and, after Jan Vertonghen had deflected the ball onto the post, Vorm dropped the rebound at Firmino’s feet. 2-0 and game over. Erik Lamela did provide some respectability in stoppage time, volleying home smartly at the back-post, but that flattered a performance which at times was borderline inept.
Good news for Liverpool though: this is the first time they’ve started a season with five straight wins since 1990-91… when of course they went on to win the league. Omens, omens.
Cardiff score their first away goal of the season – but take another hammering.
Well, it wasn’t from open play, but Sol Bamba still troubled the scorers at Stamford Bridge, reacting quickest to a Sean Morrison flick to give the visitors the lead from a set-piece. Unfortunately, that advantage didn’t even last until half time, with Chelsea turning on the power in response – Eden Hazard scoring after a crisp move involving Olivier Giroud. Less than five minutes later, Hazard struck again: firing past Neil Etheridge after a heavy deflection.
Predictably, Chelsea’s authority eventually told in the scoreline: Hazard completed his hat-trick ten minutes from time, before substitute Willian added a fourth three minutes after.
Wilf Zaha enters the Goal Of The Month competition
Huddersfield already look in a world of trouble and principally because David Wagner lacksmatch-winners. Roy Hodgson definitely has one though and he came up big for him today: Wilf Zaha opened the scoring for Palace with a truly sensational first-half goal, knotting up Florent Hadergjonaj before ripping a shot into the top corner. A brilliant, brilliant strike in front of the watching (AS Monaco Technical Director) Michael Emenalo). Interesting…
Bournemouth batter Leicester to go fifth
Not a good day at the office for Claude Puel, who began the season under pressure and suffered the ignomy of seeing his side dismantled on the south-coast. Josh King’s 42nd minute penalty – after a ludicrous handball by Ricardo Pereira – capped a first-half lit up by two Ryan Fraser goals and one of Bournemouth’s finest performances since being promoted. What a difference a year makes: Eddie Howe’s players lost their first four games last season, this year they’re fifth.
It continued to get worse for Leicester, too. They lost captain Wes Morgan to a second yellow-card in the second-half and, late on, Adam Smith compounded their misery with a fourth Bournemouth goal. Leicester did pull two goals back, James Maddison with a late penalty and Marc Albrighton with a further consolation, but this was a rotten performance all round.
Ozil Scores In 200th Arsenal Appearance
The international break brought more unwelcome discussion about Mesut Ozil and his decision to retire from the German national team. He responded in the best possible way though, scoring Arsenal’s second goal at St James Park (his first at the ground and on his 200th club appearance) to confirm their third win on the bounce. Ciaran Clark scored a late home goal, briefly enthusing the crowd, but the Gunners held on.
Granit Xhaka had opened the scoring for Unai Emery’s side, whipping a sweet free-kick into the top corner and, after a dour first-half, Arsenal did become gradually more authoritative. They’re far from the finished article, but there are definitely signs of progress in north London.
Results in full:
Tottenham 1 – 2 Liverpool
Bournemouth 4 – 2 Leicester
Chelsea 4 – 1 Cardiff
Huddersfield 0 – 1 Crystal Palace
Manchester City 3 – 0 Fulham
Newcastle 1 – 2 Arsenal
Watford 1 – 2 Manchester United