Week 2: Post-Game Thoughts (Part 1 of 2)

Here’s our recap of the first half of the slate from Week 2 (read Part 2 here):

Cardiff 0-0 Newcastle – Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff

For my money, this is another surprising result, I predicted Newcastle to walk away with this one pretty easily. Cardiff came into this match at slight favorites for being the home side, I had anticipated a 2-1 Newcastle victory because in my view Newcastle just looks to be a stronger side. I still stand by my result, I think statistically it makes perfect sense — except that I didn’t account for superman, Neil Etheridge.
He made 6 saves (including a penalty save) to keep this one even, he’s been by far one of their best players on the year. I think if this side manages to stay up, they need to give Neil a big bonus (and then he can, of course, throw some our way :). Sol Bamba was also in excellent form for Cardiff, though the Bluebirds failed to force a save from Dubrakva and only registered one shot on target.

  • Yellow cards: Camarasa (62′), Arter (80′)/Ritchie (3′), Manquillo (30′)
  • Red Card: Hayden (66′)
West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth – London Stadium

First off, let me say this, holy crap, this game had a TON of yellow cards. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the FA hand West Ham a fine for 6 yellow cards. Bournemouth was the underdog heading into this game, but they played a very good game. If they had a weak link in this match, it’s probably Nathan Aké who just didn’t really have a great day.
West Ham didn’t play particularly poorly, they just didn’t really play well either. They were able to force Begovic into four saves, but the only concession came as the result of a penalty where Arnautovic scored the only goal of the game (33′).

  • Yellow cards: Noble (40′), Ogbonna (65′), Wilshere (77′), Anderson (89′), Zabaleta (90’+1), Yarmolenko (90’+2)/Gosling (18′), King (59′)

Spurs 3-1 Fulham – Wembley Stadium, London 

Tottenham were massive favorites and put on a performance to show that. Harry Kane finally broke his August goal drought (and very nearly picked up a second but was denied by the post). Fulham basically had half of the team play pretty well, and the other half very poor. Mitrovic got onto the score sheet and opened his account with the Wanderers, but outside of the attacking players it was a relatively poor display.
Spurs on the other hand put on a very complete performance with Moura (43′) opening the scoring just before half time. Mitrovic pegged back (52′) before Tripper (with a wonderful free kick) and Kane put the game to bed (74′ and 77′). I think the fans upset with Pochettino for not adding to the squad in the transfer window will start to die out with consecutive comfortable wins.

  • Yellow cards: N/A

Leicester 2-0 Wolves – King Power Stadium, Leicester
Leicester were slight favorites in this match but managed a comfortable win in the end. The same players I noted in my post-match article last week put in another great shift; Maddison, Chilwell, and Periera were great. Wolves found themselves on the side of their second straight game with the opposition receiving a red card, and were still unable to win (or even get on the sheet this game).
Matt Dougherty (Wolves) gave Leicester the lead with an own-goal in the 29′ and James Maddison (as I predicted in my match preview for this game — about the only thing that went right this week) in the 45′. Jamie Vardy was sent off in the 66′ and Wolves wasn’t able to capitalize, in fact, they only forced Schmeichel to make 2 saves all game. Really, it just wasn’t a great outing for Wolves, with a number of players underperforming before eventually being subbed off.

  • Yellow cards: Evans (78′), Maguire (90’+5)/Gibbs-White (74′)
  • Red Card: Vardy (66′)
Everton 2-1 Southampton – Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton were two goal favorites coming into this park, and although they managed the win — Pickford will have wanted to keep the clean sheet. The Everton side was pretty solid during this match, if anyone under performed it was Pickford himself and maybe Leighton Baines. It’s also worth noting, I think this is the first match I’ve seen where all 3 attacking midfielders looked dangerous, Sigurdsson seemed to gel well and really provide some quality to the midfield (perhaps the first time since his move from Swansea).
The Southampton side was somewhat less polished than Everton despite the goal, but it was really Alex McCarthy (again) who kept this game even close with 5 more saves. Danny Ings put in a pretty good performance as did James Ward-Prowse but the rest of the line up was very marginal.  Theo Walcott started the scoring for Everton (15′) followed by another goal for Richarlison (31′) where it would stay until Danny Ings got one back for the visitors (54′). Southampton also managed to “score” a bunch of yellow cards.

  • Yellow cards:Hoedt (17′), Lemina (19′), Romeu (36′), Soares (45′), Stephens (59′)

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