Thursday, May 24, 2018

Premier League Review: Matchday Two

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 22 Aug 2017

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In a weekend bookended by the two Premier League title favourites its advantage Manchester United, after they repeated their result from the opening weekend of the season, this time thrashing Swansea City by four goals to nil.

The Red Devils were once again ruthless, scoring three goals in four minutes late on to secure the points and it really was a sense of déjà-vu with Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial all scoring for the second match running after Eric Bailly had opened the scoring on the stroke of half time.

Dropped points

United’s rivals Manchester City were only able to take a point from their clash with Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening with Wayne Rooney once again grabbing the headlines after putting the Toffees in front with his two hundredth Premier League strike.

Ronald Koeman’s side hung on until the eighty-second minute when substitute Raheem Sterling volleyed in a superb equaliser to give the hosts a share of the spoils.

Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion kept up their 100% starts to the campaign after recording 1-0 victories against Newcastle United and Burnley respectively.

The Terriers sit in second place on goal difference after a goal from Aaron Mooy early in the second half was enough to separate the sides and pile more misery on Newcastle while it was Hal Robson-Kanu who was the hero for the Baggies…. for a bit.

The Wales international was sent off twelve minutes after putting his side in front, though the ten men managed to hang on to secure back to back wins in their opening two top flight games for the first time in thirty-nine years.

Narrow wins

One goal was also enough for both Liverpool and Stoke City with Jurgen Klopp’s side condemning Crystal Palace to their second straight defeat from two while it was Arsenal who went home from the Bet 365 Stadium empty handed.

Recent arrival Jese Rodriguez scored on his debut to give his new side three points and leave Arsene Wenger bemoaning, in his eyes, a goal wrongly ruled out for offside and a first-half penalty shout ignored.

Wembley woes

Saturday afternoon also saw wins for Watford, Southampton and Leicester City with Bournemouth, West Ham United and Brighton and Hove Albion all remaining pointless while Chelsea bounced back from their opening day disappointment with victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the first ever Premier League game to be played at Wembley Stadium.

A brace from defender Marcos Alonso came either side of a Michy Batshuyai own goal to put the smile back on manager Antonio Conte’s face.

The reigning champions are now priced at 11/2 to retain the title with only the Manchester sides ahead of them in the market.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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