Was that a morning in the EPL or what? And for those of of you who are you new to soccer and the league took my advice regarding to matches choices. I hope that you weren’t disappointed — I wasn’t disappointed at all. Now keep in mind not every weekend starts off like today, but it help you in your decision on what team to follow.
For those of you that didn’t watch the matches and you have them DVRed for later — well I’d stop reading now because you’re going to find out who won, who scored the coolest goals, and who all made their debuts today…yes people made debuts today. In other words — SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Let’s take a look at each match in order in which they were played.
Everton 3 – 1 Chelsea
I had picked this match for the viewer who had been watching soccer for awhile but didn’t have a team because it was going to be a good match from both a tactical stand point as well as a scoring one. It also involves one of the “big four” teams in the EPL. Don’t let the score line fool you Chelsea did apply pressure early. Everton was forced to make a change in the 9th minute when Muhamed Besic had to be taken off with an apparent hamstring injury, He was replaced with Steven Naismith — and that changed everything for the Toffees in this match.
Eight minutes later, in the 17th minute, Everton defender Brendan Galloway crosses the ball to Naismith who finishes with his head to make it 1-0 Everton. Ross Barkley assisted Naismith on his second goal of the day in the 22nd minute to put the Toffees up 2-nil before the half-hour mark.
In the 36th minute Chelsea pulled one back on a Nemanja Matic strike from about 35 yards out. I think that Adam Hurrey from The Telegraph put it best when describing the goal. “Wow! Nemanja Matic, unimpressed with the options ahead of him 35 yards out, absolutely belts one into the top-left corner of the net.
No disguise whatsoever – his intention was clear from the start, and Everton’s midfield did little to stop that. An unlikely route to halving the deficit, but Mourinho’ll take that.” Hurrey said. The first half ended with Everton up 2-1. Chelsea made some changes in the second half. Starting in the 55th minute when Kenedy went in for John Obi Mikel, and again in the 70th minute when Radamel Falcao replaced Pedro and in the 74th minute when William came on for Cesc Fàbregas. Chelsea replaced three fast midfielders with two forwards and a midfielder — all three of whom are very fast because Chelsea doesn’t lose.
The plan did create a few more chances on goal but it didn’t find that much needed equalizer and finally in the 83rd Barkley and Naismith hookup again to complete the hat trick and snuff out Chelsea’s chances of pulling this one out.
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Manchester City
I picked this matched for the viewer who was new to soccer because it was one of the “big four” of the EPL and it was a battle for the top of the table. It certainly was a battle, but hardly an equal one if you look at the stats. City peppered Palace goalkeeper Alex McCarthy with 21 shots throughout the game — and that’s without forward Sergio Agüero He never even got to take a shot on goal in the match. Agüero left the game in the 25th minute and was replaced by Kevin De Bruyne.
But Palace found a way to keep City at bay and also found a way to also attack too. While they didn’t keep City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart as busy as they would have liked they still managed to keep him on his toes.
This one looked like it was going to end in a 0 – 0 draw until Kelechi Iheanacho was subbed on in the 89th minute. There was a flurry of action in front of Palace’s goal and the 18-year old just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Dominic Fifield of The Guardian describes the scene best “City mount a late attack, Kolariv zipping a cross into the box. And then a goal! Iheanacho, who had just come on as a sub, zips in to tap the ball into the net after McCarthy parries Nasri’s shot.”
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