Saturday was quite an eventful day of soccer in the Premier League. There were a lot of goals scored on Saturday in the four matches that we said you needed to watch, and there were some firsts that I have to tell you about too.
PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHES:
TOTTENHAM 0 – 0 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool‘s match against Tottenham on Saturday was the first match in charge for new manager Jurgen Klopp. You could tell from the opening whistle that there was something different about this Liverpool team. Salute‘s own John Bratt, who I had the conversation with about week nine’s matches, said, “Liverpool looked confident, especially in the midfield. Emre Can, like a lot of Turks, like working with a German.” And his point was obvious. The Reds looked far more relaxed than they did in the Merseyside derby before the international break, or in the 3-2 win against Aston Villa at Anfield.
If that is the result of working with Klopp for just a few days, can you imagine what Liverpool will look like in a month or after the January transfer window? This Liverpool side could certainly be something to contend with in the near future. Check out these highlights from ESPN FC.
For you stat-hounds out there, here are a few for you to digest. Here is Klopp’s post-match interview that shows he’s pretty excited. I can see why the fans at Borussia Dortmund were sad to see him go, and I think that Jurgen Klopp is going to do just fine in the Premier League.
CHELSEA 2 – 0 ASTON VILLA
As was pointed out in last Friday’s MTW — by my guest John Bratt — this was either going to be Chelsea‘s “get well” game or the Jose Mourinho deathwatch would really be ramping up. Thankfully for Mourinho — and for Blues supporters — it turned out to be the get well game. Unfortunately for Aston Villa‘s boss Tim Sherwood, that means he’s one game closer to being sacked.
Brad Guzan and Joleon Lescott had as much to do with Chelsea’s first goal as Willian and Diego Costa. Suzan’s poorly timed pass to Lescott, combined with a really bad first touch, was the only opening that Willian needed to capitalize on the mistake. He could’ve tried a shot himself and risked it being blocked by Guzan, but instead he quickly passed it to Costa for the guaranteed goal. Costa scored again on a deflection off of Villa defender Alan Hutton in the 54th minute as well. There was nothing that Hutton or Guzan could do to prevent it from happening either.
When you look at ESPN FC‘s highlights, you’ll see that both of those goals were complete gifts from Villa to Chelsea though. If you’d like a different point of view than mine, here’s the ESPN FC Game Report. They did everything except put them in a box, wrap them up and attach a card to them. Here are all of the other fun stats from the match. If you only look at the stats, you’d think this game would have ended nil-nil, which means Chelsea is saying to Villa, “Thanks for the gifts and three points sucks!”
To be honest, I see both of these teams fighting for their lives when April and May roll around — maybe that’s a good thing for Villa. For Chelsea, they’ll win the Championship League with their “B” team while sending their “A” team out on season long loans to other Premier League teams, and then the very next year they’ll be right back up.
I would be doing a disservice to this match, Chelsea, Chelsea supporters, the Premier League and Diego Costa if I didn’t point something out. Costa was fairly well-behaved during this match and allowed his talents to speak for him. Yes, he had an altercation with a couple of players, but it was NOTHING like it was in the Arsenal match or like we’ve seen from him in the past. There are times even when the Blues are beating a lesser team by a larger margin that this doesn’t happen, but Saturday it did, and it was quite spectacular to watch. We always hear about it when Costa acts up on the pitch, but we never hear about it when he doesn’t. Maybe because it’s the way that most, not all, but most, other professional soccer players act week in and week out all over the world. I just thought that I’d bring it up here and tip my hat to Costa for showing us exactly how great he really is…again.
EVERTON 0 – 3 MANCHESTER UNITED
It was Manchester United‘s first trip to Goodison Park during the 2015-16 season and the third of the Louis Van Gaal era. The last time United played at Goodison, Everton won by the same score. It was widely reported in the press that Van Gaal said that his team was beaten that April day in warm ups, but Saturday was a different story completely. Saturday saw the scoring load spread across three separate Red Devils, including captain Wayne Rooney, who scored his first away goal in 11 months and his first goal at Goodison in over eight years, according to MUFC-TV (via ESPN FC).
Van Gaal said he was happy that Rooney had scored and he hopes the goal will lead to more goals for him. Morgan Schneiderlin started the scoring for Manchester in the 18th minute and center-back Chris Smalling got the assist as he guided the ball right to Schneiderlin after an aerial battle ensued following Juan Mata‘s semi-short corner kick.
United struck again in the 22nd minute when Marcos Rojo sent in a cross that connected with the head of Ander Herrera that skipped past Everton goalkeeper, Tim Howard. Everton had several chances to pull one back at the beginning of the second half but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the 62nd minute, Rooney put the match out of reach. Everton’s Phil Jagielka made a very bad pass that was intercepted by Schneiderlin who then fed the ball out to Herrera on the wing. Herrera passed it to Rooney, who then took one touch and fired the ball past Howard. Both Everton and United would have chances in the closing 25 minutes of the match but that’s how this one would end. Here are the highlights from ESPN FC and the stats breakdown too.
MANCHESTER CITY 5 – 1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH
John Bratt and I had a little fun with the Jason Bourne Trilogy and Bournemouth playing Manchester City, on Friday. From the looks of that match, the only team that knows its Identity, has the Supremacy and will be issuing any Ultimatum will be City, and it will be through Raheem Sterling and Wilfred Bony. These two were at the business end of every single one of City’s attacks on Saturday, which is what you want from one of your most expensive transfers and someone who is Sergio Agüero‘s backup — Bony is exactly that. But the downside for Bony is that he is a really good striker too.
Sterling opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Bony tapped a cross just enough for Sterling to get his foot on it. In the 11th minute, Bony would score unassisted when Bournemouth’s goalkeeper Adam Federici lost control of the ball.
Bournemouth would try to get back in the game in the 22nd minute when Glenn Murray scored from just outside the penalty area for Bournemouth’s only shot on goal. Sterling would extend City’s lead back to two goals in the 29th minute though. Kevin De Bruyne passed him the ball in midfield and Sterling was able to get past three defenders before getting his shot off and scoring. His third and final goal of the day came in first half stoppage time after Jesus Navas had Federici one-on-one and both center-backs drifted to cover the goal line. When Navas’ shot was blocked Sterling collected it and drove the ball between Federici’s legs and past the center-backs 4-1 City at half time.
After loads of missed chances in the second half City finally scored a fifth goal in the 89th minute. On a counter-attack, Navas crossed the ball in from the right wing to Bony at the top of the six-yard box, who took a touch to control the ball and then turned and rifled a shot past Federici into the bottom left corner of the goal. Here are all the highlights from ESPN FC.
That’s all that happened in the Premier League over the weekend. Be sure to look for this Friday’s edition of MTW since we have some big matches in the Premier League this weekend like the MANCHESTER DERBY, WEST HAM v CHELSEA, and ARSENAL v EVERTON!