The Premier League is Back After the International Break
The Premier League returned after the international break and the first game featured two of the favourites for title contention, Arsenal and Manchester City.
Arsenal gave a start to new signing Danny Welbeck, fresh from his brace for England earlier in the week.
Welbeck should have opened his Arsenal account early on, when he was clean through with only the goal keeper to beat, admittedly from a difficult angle. But he could only manage to hit the inside of the far post. City opened the scoring through Sergio Aguero in the 28th minute. But Arsenal enjoyed long periods of domination and scored two superb goals.
Jack Wilshere, who had one of his best games in recent memory, cut through the city defence with a series of one twos and chipped over Joe Hart to even the score.
Alexis Sanchez, who would closely rival Wilshere for the man of the match title, scored in the 74th minute, demonstrating perfect technique to sidefoot a volley high past Hart from a header, from non-other than Jack Wilshere.
But City aren’t two time champions for nothing and they came back with seven minutes remaining, Demichelis heading in from a corner, when no one in Arsenal‘s defence picked him up, to make it 2-2. City had further chances before the final whistle, even hitting the woodwork.
Arsenal lost right back Mathieu Debuchy with an ankle injury and the fan’s fears of lack of cover in defence have been realised early in the season. Wenger‘s inability to pick up a central defender and defensive midfielder in the transfer window could well be their undoing. Add to that his insistence on playing Mezut Ozil on the flanks, rather than in his favoured central role and many Arsenal fans are already frustrated, despite the team being unbeaten so far.
Manchester United hosted Queens Park Rangers and had all of their big summer signings on show. But like Arsenal they have not strengthened where they really needed to, in defence. But QPR never really did enough to test the frailties of the United defenders.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand received an award from Sir Bobby Charlton before the kick off, for his services to Manchester United, then proceeded to play as if his loyalties still lie there.
Meanwhile Angel Di Maria really announced his arrival at Old Trafford, with an early goal and good contributions all through the game. Herrera, Rooney and Mata all chimed in with goals to give United a 4-0 victory.
It’s hard to tell if United are back based on this, as QPR were so poor, but the United faithful sure seemed to think so.
The two sides that started the day with 100% records met at Stamford Bridge. Swansea started really well and forced John Terry into conceding an own goal in the 11th minute. But Diego Costa equalised for Chelsea on the stroke of half time.
Costa added two more goals in the second half before being substituted for Loic Remy, who scored Chelsea‘s fourth. Jonjo Shelvey picked up a consolation for Swansea in the 86th minute.
Chelsea are many people’s favourite for the title this season and on this form no one could deny that. Cesc Fabregas is making valuable contributions and together with Diego Costa, they look like the best buys of the summer.
Southampton have a had a remarkable start to the season, despite being decimated in the transfer window, where they lost their manager and many of their star players. They had only lost one of their first three games, going down to Liverpool where they gave a very good account of themselves.
Their run of form continued with a convincing 4-0 win over Newcastle, whose awful defence was only matched by their poor form in front of goal at the other end. Alan Pardew is favourite to be the first manager to be sacked this season and there were protests calling for his head, by both Newcastle and Southampton fans, at St Mary’s.
Everton and Leicester picked up their first wins of the season, Everton beating West Brom 2-0 at the Hawthorns while Leicester won 1-0 at Stoke.
Sunderland and Tottenham fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw and Spurs looked much better than they did in their home loss to Liverpool before the break.
Liverpool had a shock home defeat to Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the only goal in the 9th minute of the match,
Crystal Palace and Burnley fought out a scoreless draw in South London.
Monday night’s game was another entertaining 2-2 draw between Hull and West Ham. Both sides picked up some significant summer signings and West Ham looked much more like their old selves and there was much less of Sam Allardyce’s long ball game.
European football begins on Tuesday night with Liverpool hosting Ludogorets Razgrad and Arsenal away to Borussia Dortmand.
By Max Power
Don’t forget to check out the Premier League merchandise available below.