United’s defeat to Arsenal was just a blip
Manchester United were back on song as they returned to league action with an away win at Everton, overcoming the setback of their 3-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago.
Morgan Schneiderlin – who joined the Red Devils in July – netted his first goal for the club and secured man of the match status by setting up Wayne Rooney’s third for the team. Croxteth-born Rooney, who started his career at Everton’s Academy, had not scored in an away game in 11 months, nor at Goodison Park in the last eight years. Louis van Gaal, who made some significant changes to the squad for this game (including moving Rooney to centre-forward) said he was “a very happy coach”.
It was a sad day for Everton, who were marking the passing of club legend, Howard Kendall. Kendall, for whom a minute’s applause was delivered prior to the first whistle, oversaw two league victories during his tenure at Everton.
Aguero isn’t City’s only goal-machine
Man City’s hammering of Bournemouth was a terrific result for Pellegrini’s side, in spite of the absence of Sergio Aguero. The 5-1 win gives them a very decent looking goal-difference of 16, at the top of the league for another week.
It was a good day too for Raheem Sterling on Saturday, who finally finished getting his hair cut, drove his fast car to the Etihad without him or a friend crashing it, and actually scored some goals. Three, to be precise (although the first was almost certainly offside). There are still question-marks over with Sterling can justify his price-tag – and all of his goals thus far this season have been against newly promoted sides – but the start of his City career has been quietly encouraging.
My least favourite teams are doing well
I was too busy reeling from the picture of a young Alan Pardew on a CBBC Match of the Day quiz about non-league players (yes, I went there. And I scored very well – just sayin’) to notice that two of my least favourite teams, were about to cross swords on Saturday. It’s always disconcerting when West Ham play Crystal Palace – I just don’t know who to dislike more (I support Charlton Athletic, it’s nothing personal, angry people of the internet). It was even more disconcerting this time because a few months into the season and they’re both well in the top half of the table and I don’t know what to believe anymore.
West Ham continued to play anything but “the West Ham Way”, if memory serves, by winning again. On balance, I think their three goals to Palace’s one was the worst possible result for me. I doubt it was welcomed by Palace either, who saw their team reduced to ten men after the referee sent off Dwight Gayle and “spoiled the occasion for everybody” according to Pards.
Chelsea are better with Costa around
The Premier League’s chief villain, Diego Costa, was back from his three match ban and he didn’t disappoint, scoring Chelsea’s first goal and assisting the second – which was ultimately an own-goal by Alan Hutton – to lead the Blues to victory against a beleaguered Aston Villa.
It will have been a much-needed win for an increasingly harassed Mourinho, but Villa were absolutely rubbish, it’s fair to say, “gifting” as manager Tim Sherwood put it, balls to Chelsea left right and centre.
An uncharacteristically modest Mourinho did stop banging on about his £50,000 fine by the FA for long enough to admit his side were “not the best team in the country”, but praised the team’s performance and added that this would help bolster the Blues’ waning confidence after a bad start to the season.
Jürgen Klopp has a lot of hair
It would be remiss to welcome the new Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, to the Premier League without noting that he’s had a hair transplant, as all other media outlets (including CBBC’s Newsround – I can’t explain this sudden interest in CBBC, either) have done so in the last week. And fair play to the man, it’s obviously been very successful – a fine head of hair he now has. But would his careful nurturing extend to the pitch, as his team took on Tottenham, this weekend?
Klopp had a lot to say for himself, judging by the footage of his contorted face, jaws agape, hair blowing gently in the wind as he screamed at his players. And at least some of his words must have been heeded, because they managed to hold Spurs to a 0-0 draw. Not his “dream result”, said Klopp, but their first clean sheet of the season and something to build on.
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