The third week of the Premier League season sees Chelsea share top spot with Swansea City after the Blues fought out an incredible nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park.
Everton continued exactly where they finished the previous week at Arsenal; conceding silly goals as Chelsea went 2-0 up within three minutes. Everton pulled one back via Kevin Mirallas just before half time, but a Seamus Coleman own goal saw the Toffees forced to overcommit resulting in an avalanche of goals at both ends of the pitch.
Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa impressed once again in a 6-3 victory, particularly Costa who looks better with every viewing.
In three games Everton have already conceded a quarter of the goals they did the whole of last season. For a team that has aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League, such bad starts can be difficult to fully recover from.
Swansea, meanwhile, brushed West Brom aside 3-0 to move joint top, but something will have to give when they meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after the international break.
Shock of the week came at the Etihad Stadium, where Man City lost 1-0 at home to Stoke. Mame Biram Diouf ran the length of the pitch to net the winner, although Joe Hart was guilty of allowing his angled shot to fizz through his legs – is it me or does Hart simply not convince?
Three penalty shouts were turned down, one for each team – probably due to over-exaggerated dives, however, City should have definitely had a spot kick when Youssuf Mulumbu practically caught the ball in the penalty box.
Regardless, City should not be losing matches in this fashion. Last season, Chelsea dropped silly points but had the excuse of a dud strike force; City have no such excuse and it will be a worry for supporters if Manuel Pellegrini has to put in overtime to keep his players focused for every game.
At White Hart Lane, Spurs lost 3-0 to a Liverpool side that needed to bounce back following last week’s comprehensive defeat at City. Mario Balotelli made his debut but, perhaps understandably, lacked sharpness in the final third. Despite that, Brendan Rodgers team played the same brave attacking football as they did last season and got the result they deserved.
A goal down early in the game, Spurs had a harsh penalty awarded against them on 49 when Eric Dier touched, rather than tugged, Joe Allen in the box. Spurs never recovered as poor cameo roles from substitutes Moussa Dembele and Andros Townsend became an impediment rather than a route to achieving a fight back.
There were goals galore at St James’ Park where Newcastle shared a six-goal thriller with Crystal Palace, for whom old-school managerial legend Neil Warnock replaces Tony Pulis. His second spell at Palace, Warnock has now been employed 14 times since 1980.
Man Utd struggled again, this time at Burnley in a goalless draw. There was an early scare for Louis Van Galle’s men when the home side struck the woodwork early, otherwise neither side were much of a threat going forward. £60m debutant Angel Di Maria impressed in spells with his range of passing and willingness to get stuck in – he came off with cramp, otherwise Utd still look horribly disjointed.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa continued their fine start to the season with a 2-1 home win against Hull, with Steve Bruce moaning that the first half was one of the worst he’d witnessed in his two years at the club. Southampton beat Jekyll and Hyde West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park; discontent amongst the supporter base at the appointment and methods of Sam Allardyce continues to simmer like an Icelandic volcano.
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