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

Here’s our recap of the second half of the slate from Week 2 (read Part 1 here):

Chelsea 3-2 ArsenalStamford Bridge, London

Chelsea was projected to win this match, and they did, but Kepa’s performance was not one to wow the home side. Both sides look to still be adapting to the managerial changes, with some confusion definitely present for both sides. Aresnal’s young talent, Matteo Guendouzi, had a great game along with Henrik Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. Chelsea had the lions share of shots and shots on target but weren’t able to convert more.

Pedro started the scoring for Chelsea just 9′ in before Alvaro Morata was able to get his first goal of the new season in the 20′. The next two goals were enough to bring Arsenal into the half level with Chelsea after goals from Mkhitaryan and Iwobi (37′ and 41′). The scoring dropped off substantially in the second half and the difference in the game ended up being Marcos Alonzo’s tap in after an assist from Eden Hazard (81′). The centerbacks for Chelsea did look a little shaky at times, and they haven’t gotten Hazard back into the starting line up. For arsenal Özil, Aubameyang, and Xhaka didn’t put in the best days.

  • Yellow cards: Xhaka (27′)/Mustafi (77′)

Man City 6-1 Huddersfield Town – Etihad Stadium, Manchester

This performance at the Etihad was exactly what was expected. Ederson will be unhappy that he was unable to keep the clean sheet, even though there’s really nothing he could have done to avoid it. The goal from Stankovic was from an aerial duel that Gabriel Jesus lost out on, and the ball landed at Stankovic’s feet. Huddersfield looked fantastic in defense for the first twenty four minutes where they consistently repelled the City attacks and Ben Hamer made a number of good saves. He ended up making 9 saves, which is a good days work, even though he conceded six more.

After minute 25 the flood games were opened for City and Sergio Aguero capped his fantastic performance with a hat trick (25′, 35′, 75′). They topped of the night with goals from Gabriel Jesus (31′) and Silva (48′). The only consoltation for Huddersfield was the Stankovic goal (43′), and an own goal from Terrence Kongolo (84′). City ensured that they met expectations and looked very, very comfortable doing so. They’ve started their title defense and were widely expected to finish at the top this season also. City has started right where they left off (even with the absence of Kevin De Bruyne), traditionally when teams win the Premier League there’s a double digit loss in points year over year (even if they repeat).

  • Yellow cards: Billing (51′)/Schindler (69′)

Burnley 1-3 Watford – Turf Moor, Burnley

Burnley were favorites for this game, but Watford had other ideas for this match. Ex-Burnley player Andre Gray opened the scoring for the away side only 3′ into the match. However, not long after James Tarkowski managed to bring the home side even only three minutes later (6′). The sides went in to halftime tied, but then Troy Deeney (48′) finished off by Will Hughes (51′).

The betting lines gave Burnley a slight edge, but it’s possible that it was related to the game being at Turf Moor. Watford has 6 pts so far in the League and if the performance continues, they might be in line to make it into our forthcoming article on the teams performing well above expectations. This win is far more impressive than the win over Brighton (although after the dismemberment of Manchester United, this win looks even better).

  • Yellow cards: Ward (53′)/Hughes (41′), Janmaat (90’+3)
Brighton 3-2 Man Utd Amex Stadium, Falmer

This is one of the more surprising results of the season so far. United were massive favorites coming into this game, but basically right from the whistle they were totally outplayed by this Brighton side.The opening goal came from Glenn Murray’s boot after poor marking by Eric Bailly on Solly March who whipped in a cross right to Murray and left David de Gea absolutely no chance to stop the goal.

This was just the beginning of rough days for United, on top of Bailly’s poor performance, Martial got a start and showed absolutely no interest in being on the pitch. Martial and Mata were subbed out at the half with their poor showings, and Andreas Pereira following not long after. I think the manager was limited in centerbacks, even though Chris Smalling was available on the bench he was injured in warm up three weeks prior before the match with Liverpool.

To compound things even further for United, this one was not one David de Gea’s better games. This doesn’t take away from the exceptional performance from Brighton, and personally, I think the scoreline is unfair to Brighton — the second United goal was a last minute penalty that was converted by Pogba, I think 3-1 would have been a far more accurate representation of the game. Coming into the season this Brighton side is one that Robert and I disagreed on for the Power Rankings – I thought they be able to pull of a mid-table finish, while Robert had them in the relegation zone – there’s still plenty of time for them to make it into our over-performers!

  • Yellow cards: Martial (45’+1)/Murray (67′)

Liverpool 2 – 0 Crystal Palace – Selhurst Park

Liverpool came into this match as a heavy favorite with a goal prediction of much higher than this. I think overall the Palace side played very well in defense shifting between a 4-4-2 and 4-3-3. Palace even looked like they might get themselves on the sheet in the Andros Townsend banged a shot off the crossbar (24′). They kept rebuking Liverpool’s advances until the 45′ at which point Mo Salah was fouled by Sissoko and awarded a penalty kick, which James Milner converted.

Palace’s chances were definitely not helped by Sissoko conceding a penalty, and Wan-Bissaka’s red card came for denial of a goal scoring opportunity with Salah through on goal. Ultimately, Liverpool got the win, though the pundits would have preferred a more comfortable margin. It is worth noticing that Liverpool had several more shots from dangerous positions that were dealt with my Wayne Hennessy in the end.

  • Yellow cards: Van Aaholt (42′)/Alexander-Arnold (52′)
  • Red card: Wan-Bissaka (75′)

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