Jen Offord takes a look at the Premier League, as Tottenham thrash Manchester City, Arsenal start to look like title challengers and Bournemouth’s injury crisis worsens.
Strike it rich!
Sometimes the Premier League is really boring. Everything you think might happen does happen, and it’s enacted in a really tepid, boring way. Sometimes, you’re surprised, but often in a tepid, boring, goalless way. This weekend’s Premier League results probably weren’t very surprising, overall, but MY GOD were they surprising in a goal-laden kind of a way. A whopping 36 goals were scored in this weekend’s nine games, compared to 23, last weekend, and 22 the last two weekends before that.
Spurs have something to shout about
I’ve been so busy getting wound up about Jose Mourinho (who I’m not writing about this week, because I always do, but it is worth noting that Chelsea were nearly beat by Newcastle. Yes, Newcastle), these last couple of weeks, I’ve failed to notice Tottenham creeping back up the table; so Saturday’s Spurs win came as something of a surprise. In fact, this was their third consecutive league win, bringing them up to fifth place.
Clearly, it can’t last, because we know this is the emotional rollercoaster a Spurs fan must ride, but it was a particularly good day at the office beating Manchester City 4-1 on Saturday. Admittedly two of the goals were offside, but more to the point – and especially so for a jubilant England manager, Roy Hodgson, looking on – Harry Kane got his first league goal of the season.
It was a bittersweet game between Arsenal and Leicester this week – for me, I mean. Probably very few others will have found their opinions so divided. On one hand, I sort of secretly support Arsenal a little bit, on the other, how could you not love Foxes boss, Claudio Ranieri (especially after you’ve heard how he pronounces “Tottenham”)?Regardless, it was good to see the Gunners finally turned up in the league, perhaps buoyed by the midweek rescinding of Gabriel’s red card against Chelsea (and corresponding three-match suspension for their chief winder-upper, Diego Costa).
The weekend’s goal-fest continued at the King Power Stadium where the Foxes took an early advantage with a Jamie Vardy goal in the 13th minute, but it wasn’t long before Theo Walcott equalised with his 12th goal in 13 Premier League starts. Alexis Sanchez netted a hat-trick, having not scored at all in the first six games of the season. Vardy, who, it must be said is enjoying a good start to the season, scored their second goal, but it wasn’t nearly enough, as Olivier Giroud scored his side’s fifth, to bag a confident and actually quite nice to watch win for the North Londoners.
United are tops
Despite Dick Advocaat’s decent record against fellow Dutchman, Louis van Gaal, bottom-of-the-table Sunderland’s luck didn’t change against Manchester United on Saturday. Memphis Depay took the lead for United just on the stroke of half-time, with Wayne Rooney finally ending his Premier League goal drought, widening the lead in the opening minute of the second half.
The final goal was from “Spanish Wayne” (props for that, my mate Andy, good spot) Juan Mata. Despite a very respectable scoreline, the Reds never looked particularly exciting. Not that they’ll care all that much – they’re top of the table for the first time in over two years.
Bournemouth brought to their knees?
Also flirting with the relegation zone, Bournemouth and Stoke City met on Saturday, with the Potters taking away the points after a 2-1 victory – their first of the season.
Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, who’s also been enjoying a great start to the season, was stretchered off just 17 minutes into the game with a knee injury. Though he tried to soldier on after a collision with Stoke’s Philipp Wollscheid, he collapsed just seconds later. With both Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel out for considerable stretches due to knee injuries, Cherries boss, Eddie Howe, will be hoping Wilson doesn’t make it a hat-trick.
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