After 17 goals on Saturday, the Premier League goal tally rose to 23 after the remaining fixtures of the second round were played on Sunday and Monday. Arsenal went to Crystal Palace and title challengers Manchester City hosted defending champions Chelsea. On Monday, Liverpool hosted Premier League debutants Bournemouth.
Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Arsenal
Arsene Wenger’s team came into this game after a shocking 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham at The Emirates last weekend. Crystal Palace enjoyed the start of the season, as they won their opening game of the season 3-1 against the newcomers Norwich City.
Alexis Sanchez returned to the starting lineup as Arsenal looked to secure their first points of the new Premier League season.
The breakthrough for The Gunners came after 15 minutes as Olivier Giroud acrobatically volleyed Mesut Ozil’s cross into the back of the net. But the joy was short-lived, as Crystal Palace grabbed the equalizer after 12 minutes through James Ward’s brilliant low strike from out of the box and straight into the far post. Arsenal were the more threatening side in the second half and their hard work paid off as Damien Delaney turned the ball into his own net after an attacking header from Alexis Sanchez. Palace created several chances, but they were kept at bay as Arsenal held on to bag their first win of the season.
Francis Coquelin was lucky at the end of the day after he made 3 challenges, all worthy of a yellow card, but was only booked once.
Manchester City 3 – 0 Chelsea
Manchester City unveiled their new South Stand, as the stage was set for the champions to face-off against the challengers in front of a record 54,331 people. Sergio Aguero returned into the starting lineup as Wilfried Bony was on the bench. Bacary Sagna kept his place at right back, which kept Pablo Zabaleta on the bench. Chelsea were without suspended goalkeeper Thibaut Courtouis, and as a result Asmir Begovic was given his first start for the champions. Ramires started alongside Nemanja Matic, and Cesc Fabregas played ahead of them as Oscar was absent because of an injury.
The game burst into life as soon as it began. David Silva’s beautiful pass found Aguero, who saw his effort saved by Begovic. The Bosnian keeper made a series of crucial saves, but just past the hour mark, Aguero finally beat Begovic to put City in the lead.
After half time, Kurt Zouma came on in place of skipper John Terry. Both teams created several chances, but failed to score. The score stayed 1-0 till the 78th minute. City skipper Vincent Kompany headed in City’s second goal, and his second in 2 games, to make it 2-0. It was 3-0 just 5 minutes later, after City took full advantage of Chelsea’s weak defence and Fernandinho smashed one past a helpless Begovic to give City a convincing and satisfactory win over the defending champions.
Liverpool 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth
The first game of the season at Anfield saw Liverpool hosting newcomers AFC Bournemouth. Liverpool started their season with a 1-0 win at Stoke last weekend, meanwhile, Bournemouth lost their first top flight game 1-0 at home to Aston Villa.
Brendan Rodgers’ team was unchanged from last weekend while Bournemouth made two changes with Max Gradle and Eunan O’Kane coming in for Marc Pugh and Dan Gosling. Bournemouth thought they had taken the lead at Anfield after just 5 minutes after Tommy Elphick headed the ball in from a corner. The goal was disallowed as the player had fouled Dejan Lovren. The only goal of the match came in the 26th minute when Belgian striker and Liverpool’s new recruit Christian Benteke opened his account for the club which was set up by Jordan Henderson following a corner. Bournemouth protested the goal as Philippe Coutinho was in an offside position and made an effort to score, but didn’t make any contact with the ball as Benteke tapped it in at the far post. There were plenty of chances for both sides. Liverpool had 15 attempts, out of which, only 2 were on target. Bournemouth put 3 on target out of 10.
In the end, Liverpool had another 1-0 victory, all 3 points and yet another cleansheet. As for Bournemouth, they lost 1-0 yet again.