Super Saturday Premier League
Huge Eight Matches & Goals Galore In The Premier League
It was a Super Saturday in the English Premier League with a bumper eight matches scheduled. Three new managers in the dugout, three of the four top sides playing, all sandwiched by two massive matches. Here's how it all played out.
LEICESTER vs CHELSEA
Chelsea temporarily went six points clear as they took full advantage of playing in the early kick-off.
They travelled to the King Power Stadium and were never really troubled by Leicester. Talented centre-back Antonio Rudiger kicked off the scoring in the 14th minute when he headed home from a corner to give the visitors the early lead. N'golo Kante celebrated his return from injury to the starting lineup with the Blues second barely 15 minutes later. Another injury returnee Christian Pulisic put the game beyond reach in the 71st minute when he made no mistake from close range to make it 3-0.
Leicester was poor throughput and never looked up to the challenge that was laid down by Thomas Tuchels men. James Maddison and Daniel Amartey both had long-range shots in the second half that could have gone in, but truthfully it could not have been much worse for Brendan Rodgers men.
WATFORD vs MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United travelled to Vicarage Road hoping to rebound from the pathetic display they gave in the previous matchweek against Manchester City. Safe to say - it didn't go to plan. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job is seemingly hanging by a thread after the Red Devils were run ragged in their 4-1 defeat to Watford.
Believe it or not, it could have been more. Ismaila Sarr had his penalty saved by David De Gea twice after it had to be retaken after some encroachment into the box by teammate Kiko Femenia.
De Gea's save was in vain however as a rampant Watford made up for it when Joshua King tucked home Emmanuel Dennis cross to give the home side the lead. United huffed and puffed, but couldn't lay a glove on the Hornets. In injury time in the first half, Ismaila Sarr made amends for his earlier penalty miss and doubled Watford's lead with a thumping right-foot finish into the far corner.
Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay were dragged at halftime and replaced by Anthony Martial and Donny Van de Beek. The desperate move by the beleaguered United manager seemed to pay off when Van de Beek headed home just five minutes into the second half to give the Red Devils a chance to turn the nightmare around. Twenty minutes later however the die was cast on the result when United captain Harry Maguire was robbed of the ball by Tom Cleverley. His flawed attempt to retrieve possession saw him handed his second yellow card and sent off. Watford was never headed after that and Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis put some gloss on the scoreline.
It finished a humiliating 4-1 for United and spurred an emergency board meeting at Old Trafford with Solskjaer ostensibly on borrowed time as manager of United.
LIVERPOOL vs ARSENAL
Arsenal travelled to Anfield hoping to continue their impressive undefeated streak going. Liverpool came into the game needing to bounce back from their defeat to West Ham immediately following fellow title contender Chelsea's win in the early kickoff.
It was an almost cagey affair in the opening half-hour with both sides battling to gain ascendancy in the contest. A touchline spat between the two managers after a coming together between Sadio Mane and Nuno Tavares saw both Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta receive yellow cards. The incident seemed to spark the home crowd to life and that transferred on to the pitch as Sadio Mane put the ball past Gunners keeper Aaron Ramsdale following another impeccable set-piece delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold. The goal saw the Reds take a 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
Early in the second half, Diogo Jota showed his skill and composure on the ball when he deftly moved past Arsenal defender Ben White and sent Ramsdale the wrong way to double Liverpool's lead. Mohamed Salah finished some sublime interplay between the forward line when he volleyed home Mane's cross before Japanese international Taki Minamino scored with his first touch to make it 4-0.
It was a chastening defeat for a Gunners side that had looked so good in the matches leading up to this one. On the other side of the coin, it was a title statement from a Liverpool side who were missing a whole host of first-team players.
Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton
The Steven Gerrard era at Aston Villa kicked off with a 2-0 victory over Brighton at Villa Park thanks to goals from Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings in the last ten minutes of the match.
Norwich 2-1 Southampton
At Carrow Road, Dean Smith also enjoyed a winning start to his tenure as he guided the Canaries to a 2-1 victory over Southampton. Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley's goals cancelling out Che Adams 4th minute opener.
Wolves 1-0 West Ham
Wolverhampton brought West Ham crashing back down to earth as they secured a deserved 1-0 victory at the Molineux. Daniel Podence set up Mexican star Raul Jiminez and he made no mistake from outside the box for the goal that secured the upset win for the home side.
Burnley 3-3 Crystal Palace
At Turf Moor Burnley and Crystal Palace played out a thrilling 3-3 draw. Palace had the better start and veteran striker Christian Benteke put the away side ahead in the 9th minute. The Clarets responded through Ben Mee and Chris Wood to take the lead before Benteke struck again for the Eagles to level things up at 2-2. Eagles centre back Marc Guehi restored Palaces lead to give them a 3-2 lead at halftime. That lead didn't last more than five minutes into the second half as Maxwell Cornet added to his ever-growing list of eye-catching finishes to equalise for Burnley. The goal-fest ended there as both sides had to settle for a share of the points.
Newcastle 3-3 Brentford
Finally, at St James Park, the Eddie Howe era began. The new Newcastle gaffer was nowhere to be found though. Having contracted COVID-19 he had to miss this pulsating encounter between the Magpies and the Bees of Brentford.
Jamal Lascelles and Ivan Toney traded goals within 60 seconds of each other as a game that was 0-0 after nine minutes turned into a 1-1 game after 11 minutes. Rico Henry put the away side in front on the half-hour mark before embattled Newcastle striker Joelinton equalised to make it 2-2 at half-time. Lascelles scored again on the hour mark, unfortunately at the wrong end as Brentford took the lead again before Newcastle talisman Allan Saint-Maxim equalised in the 75th minute to send the home crowd crazy. It ended 3-3 in a result that failed to lift the home side off of the bottom of the table.
It was a bumper Saturday afternoon with an incredible 31 goals scored across the competition and excitement galore. Matchday 12 finishes Sunday with Manchester City hosting Everton at the Etihad before the round closes out with Tottenham hosting Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United.
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Stuart Kavanagh is an emerging sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia, and Editor In Chief of ThePyrrhic.com. He is also the co-host of the After Extra Time podcast.
Always keen to discuss footballing matters, you can follow him on Twitter at stueyissickofit
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