The third week of exciting and unpredictable Premier League action saw six games kick-off on Saturday. Four out of the six games ended in draws. A total of 16 goals were scored, with just one game ending in a goal-less draw.
Manchester United 0 – 0 Newcastle United
Venue – Old Trafford.
Manchester United came into this fixture after a midweek victory over Club Brugge in the Champions League Qualifiers. Louis van Gaal gave Bastian Schweinsteiger his first start of the season alongside Morgan Schneiderlin in the midfield. Ashley Young was on the bench yet again, as Memphis Depay stayed on the left wing and Adnan Januzaj played behind Wayne Rooney.
Steve McClaren was without the suspended Daryl Janmaat and injured Moussa Sissoko, as Aleksandar Mitrovic started up front and Ayoze Perez was on the wing.
United started on the front foot, dominating the game and pressing Newcastle in their own half. Wayne Rooney put one past Tim Krul and into the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out because Rooney was adjudged to be in an offside position. However, the replay showed that the linesman had made an error as the English striker was onside.
Newcastle came close to scoring as Mitrovic’s header came off the crossbar in the first half. In the second half, Newcastle went on a counter attack following a Man United corner, but substitute Papiss Cisse could not find the net and put it wide.
The game ended in a goal-less draw. Newcastle were happy and content as Manchester United were left frustrated after being the most dominant side and coming out with no goals, even after putting 8 attempts on target.
[West Ham United 3 – 4 AFC Bournemouth
Venue – Boleyn Ground.
After a disappointing start to Saturday’s Premier League action, this 7 goal thriller at Boleyn Ground made up the mood for the weekend. AFC Bournemouth were still looking for their first win in the top flight, as West Ham looked to bounce back after their 2-1 loss to Leicester City on this very ground last weekend.
Slaven Bilic was without his first choice goalkeeper Adrian as Darren Randolph started in goal for the Hammers. Bournemouth opened the scoring after just 10 minutes, as Callum Wilson slotted the ball past Randolph from inside the box. Things went from bad to worse for West Ham, as Wilson pounced again from inside the box to make it 2-0 to Bournemouth.
West Ham pulled one back just two minutes after the break after Mark Noble converted a penalty. It was 2-2 just after 5 minutes, after Cheikhou Kouyate slotted one into the top left corner from the right side of the box. Just as it looked like West Ham would make an amazing comeback, Marc Pugh scored to put Bournemouth back in the lead in the 65th minute.
Just over 10 minutes after that, West Ham were stunned as Bournemouth reclaimed their 2 goal cushion as Callum Wilson completed his hat-trick after converting from the penalty spot. The penalty was conceded by Carl Jenkinson, who was shown a straight red. West Ham still had hope as the deficit was back to 1 after Modibo Maiga scored just 2 minutes later. But the Hammers’ couldn’t score any more as the game ended 4-3 in favour of Bournemouth. This was the first win for AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League and a second successive defeat for West Ham at home.
Sunderland 1 – 1 Swansea City
Venue – Stadium of Light.
Sunderland were still looking for their first points, as they faced an impressive Swansea City who had bagged a point from Stamford Bridge on the opening day and then beat Newcastle at home. Swansea were eyeing their first away win of the season, as Sunderland were desperate for their first home win of the season, after losing both their opening fixtures.
Bafetimbi Gomis scored his third goal of the season to put Swansea in the lead just before half time. Sunderland fans were disappointed yet again after they saw their team go into the dressing room trailing by a goal at half time.
The joyous moment did come for the Black Cats after Jermain Defoe made it 1-1 just after the hour mark thanks to an assist from Jeremain Lens.Both sides had numerous chances but no more goals were scored at The Stadium of Light as the score remained 1-1 after the full time whistle. Sunderland are finally off the mark with their first draw and first point of the season, while Swansea are still undefeated with 1 win and 2 draws.
Norwich City 1 – 1 Stoke City
Venue – Carrow Road.
Norwich City came into this one after winning their first game of the new Premier League season last weekend against Sunderland. Now they were set to face another team in the red and white stripes as Stoke City came to Carrow Road eyeing their first win of the season.
Spaniard Bojan was still out, but new signing Xherdan Shaqiri was given his first start of the season after he completed the suspension he picked up in Italy.
Mame Biram Diouf put Stoke into the lead after just 10 minutes as he headed in a cross following a free kick from new signing Shaqiri. Norwich equalized just 17 minutes later through Russell Martin, who scored from close range thanks to an assist from Nathan Redmond.
The score stayed 1-1 at half time and did not change till the full time whistle. Norwich were totally dominant as they had 15 attempts, out of which 8 were on target. Stoke just had one shot on target as the game ended in a draw and Stoke are still without a win.
Leicester City 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Venue – King Power Stadium.
Tottenham were still looking for their first win of the new season as they came to Leicester City who were in top form after winning both their opening games and scoring 6 goals in the process. Tottenham, on the other hand, had lost their opening game at Old Trafford and were denied a win at home courtesy of a late equalizer from Stoke City.
Spurs were the more dominant side and had numerous opportunities, but the Leicester defence kept them at bay. No goals were scored in the first half. New signing Dele Alli was given his debut in the second half, after he came on for Erik Lamela in the 64th minute. The first goal of the match came 10 minutes before the 90 minute mark, as Alli headed in from close range after Nacer Chadli put a cross in.
Spurs looked like they might just have scored the winning goal, but Leicester were level within a minute, as Riyad Mahrez scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 1-1. This was yet another game which ended in a 1-1 draw, as Leicester remain undefeated and Tottenham were denied a win, yet again.
Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Aston Villa
Venue – Selhurst Park.
Both teams came into this game with 1 win and 1 loss. Both Palace and Villa won their opening fixtures and then lost their second games to Arsenal and Man United, respectively.
Rudy Gestede was given his first start for Aston Villa as Bakary Sako was handed his debut for Crystal Palace. This was another game which saw no goals in the first half. It was an entertaining and balanced game between two sides who wanted to win it.
The first goal of the match came in the 70th minute, as Scott Dann put Crystal Palace in the lead after heading in a cross, following a corner, from Jason Puncheon. Aston Villa pulled one back, courtesy of an own goal from Pape Souare.
As the game progressed, it seemed that this would be the fourth 1-1 draw of the weekend, but the decisive goal came in the 87th minute – Debutant Bakary Sako slotted home the winner with his left foot, which was assisted by Scott Dann, who had scored earlier. Alan Pardew’s men will be content now that they have two wins in three games. Aston Villa have now lost 2 games in a row.