The Manchester clubs have maintained their unbeaten starts to the season and still sit at the summit as joint league leaders – but there were a few surprises in this weekend’s Premier League fixture list.
Liverpool 1 – 1 Burnley
While this scoreline suggests it was an even match the stats tell a completely different story. Liverpool controlled possession with a massive 71% share, they had 35 total shots, and also managed to accumulate 12 corners throughout the match. Liverpool went behind due to some haphazard defending that allowed a long-ball to drop to Arfield who calmly side-footed a shot beyond Mignolet. Salah equalised on 30 minutes, only three minutes afterward, with fantastic control off a long-pass and a neat finish. Liverpool laid siege to the Burnley goal for the remaining 60 minutes, but an inspired performance from Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope kept the score level until the final whistle.
Watford 0 – 6 Manchester City
Manchester City’s attack hit full speed in this match, and despite some very narrow questions of off-side in their first-half, goals from Aguero and Gabriel Jesus gave City an easy 3-0 lead at half-time. Otamendi headed in a fourth in the 63rd minute before Aguero achieved his hat-trick in the 81st – and Sterling rounded out the scoring with an 89th minute penalty that he won himself after being tripped inside the box. City’s attacking unit is by far the most formidable in the league and with a few more performances like this, they’ll be making themselves comfortable title favourites in no time.
Tottenham 0 – 0 Swansea City
Spurs suffered a similar fate to Liverpool in a scoreless match at Wembley where they controlled the encounter, enjoying more than 70% possession and managing 26 shots in total, but never managing to convert any of their chances. Rather than being a slight on Spurs’ attacking talent, it was an exceptional performance from Swansea ‘keeper Fabianski that split the points between the two sides. Despite keeping all their stars, Spurs have had a somewhat indifferent start to the season with only 8 points after five games, so they’ll hope for a better display in when they travel to West Ham next.
Chelsea 0 – 0 Arsenal
The surprise of the weekend was that Arsenal didn’t crumble against a seemingly superior Chelsea side despite their disappointing start to the Premier League campaign. They matched Chelsea for a lot of the game, breaking from midfield into flowing attacking moves as much as Chelsea, with both teams threatened one another’s goals frequently. Neither team could outwit the opposition goalkeeper, though, and the most dramatic moment of the game came right at the death when David Luiz was shown a straight red after a studs-up lunge on Kolasinac. Arsenal will likely be happy enough with the draw, but Conte will see this as a definite failure to capitalise on what should’ve been three points.
Manchester United 4 – 0 Everton
On Wayne Rooney’s return to Old Trafford, he suffered a heavy defeat against his previous employers. The score line flatters United who scored their opener in the fourth minute through a blitz of an Antonio Valencia volley – but Everton were firmly in the game for over 70 minutes after that as the teams traded attacking moves without drawing any further blood. United’s second only arrived in the 83rd after a good counter which let Mkhitaryan calmly pass into the net, and was quickly followed in the 89th by a goal-mouth scramble converted by Lukaku and a 93rd minute penalty from Martial.
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