Premier League: Weekly Round Up 26/08

Swansea 3-0 West Ham

Michael Laudrup’s reign at Swansea continued with another polished performance. Angel Rangel opened the scoring after 20 minutes before James Collins’s woefully underhit back pass allowed Michu to double the lead on the half hour mark. The Spaniard is already looking like an inspired buy. Danny Graham made it 3-0 after an hour and in truth Swansea could have had a couple more before full time. West Ham will have to play a lot better if they’re going to stay up.

Aston Villa 1-3 Everton

Aston Villa’s first home game under Paul Lambert couldn’t have been much worse as after 3 minutes Steven Pienaar crashed a 20 yard effort past Shay Given to give Everton the lead. The Toffee’s were in scintillating form and Marouane Fellaini doubled his season tally with a headed effort that Given will feel he really should have saved. Croatian Nikica Jelavic got his first of the season just before half time to effectively end the game as a contest. Ciaran Clark was sent off in the second half before Villa debutant Karim El Ahamdi got a consolation. If the first 2 games of the season are anything to go by it would seem like Lambert, and the Villa fans, are in for a long season.

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Manchester United 3-2 Fulham

Olympic champion Usain Bolt was introduced to the Old Trafford crowd before the game but it was the visitors who got off to the quick start when Damien Duff capitalised on confusion in the United defence to score after 2 minutes. A brilliant half volley by Robin Van Persie, on his home debut, levelled the scores with just 10 minutes gone. Manchester United were brilliant going forward with Shinji Kagawa, also on his home debut, pulling the strings and scoring a deserved goals after 35 minutes. Rafael, who had already had a goal disallowed for offside, made it 3-1 just before half time. David De Gea made a couple of great saves but was somewhat at fault for Fulham’s 2nd goal as he failed to deal with a cross and Nemanja Vidic put the ball into his own net. Wayne Rooney, on as a substitute, had to go off after receiving a nasty cut on his thigh and he could miss up to a month of playing time.

Norwich 1-1 QPR

Two teams who conceded 5 last week faced off at Carrow Road both looking to put their respective hammerings behind them. Honours ended even as Simeon Jackson scored for Norwich and Bobby Zamora notched for QPR after John Ruddy had saved Djibril Cisse’s spot kick. The penalty itself was a little soft but Norwich only really have themselves to blame for not taking all 3 points as they peppered Rob Green in the QPR goal throughout but failed to get a deceive second goal.

Southampton 0-2 Wigan Athletic

Premiership football returned to the city of Southampton after a 7 year absence with the visit of Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic. Goals from Franco di Santo and Arouna Kone meant that the home crowd went home disappointed but they can take hope in the performances of Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert who looked bright.

Sunderland P-P Reading

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It rained a lot and the match was abandoned before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Brom

Andre Villas-Boas’s home debut looked as though it was going to be a winning one after Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s long range effort was deflected past Ben Foster with 15 minutes to play. However, West Brom, in the form of James Morrison, had other ideas and after a late onslaught equalised in the dying seconds with a composed finish into the bottom corner. AVB will now look to spend in the last week of the transfer window after Luka Modric completed his protracted move to Real Madrid on Monday.

Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United

Chelsea made it 3 wins out of 3 (after a 4-2 win over Reading in midweek) with a confident victory over Newcastle United. Eden Hazard again showing why Chelsea shelled out £32 million for him over the summer scoring a 22nd minute penalty and setting up Fernando Torres for a stunning second goal just before half time. The attacking options available to Di Matteo are mouth-watering; with the likes of Hazard, Mata, Lampard and Ramires it is difficult to see how The Blues will ever be without creativity and if Torres can return to even half the player he was at Liverpool then they’ll get a lot of goals.

Stoke City 0-0 Arsenal

The annual clash of styles between these two ended in a stalemate as Arsenal flattered to deceive and drew 0-0 for the 2nd successive week. Talk of Robin Van Persie’s absence being the reason for that seems unfair as Arsenal also failed to score in their first two games last season and he played in both of those games. Stoke worked hard defensively and will again be tough to beat at home this season. A final note, it really is about time both sets of fans put the Aaron Ramsey leg break behind them. Ramsey was booed when he came on as a substitute, as though it was somehow his fault that his leg was accidentally broken in a challenge by Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross 2 years ago. A frankly pathetic reaction to the fact that Shawcross also gets unjustified abuse from Arsenal fans on his trips to the Emirates.

Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City

Martin Skrtel had a mixed day as defending champions Manchester City stole a point from an impressive Liverpool side. Skrtel opened the scoring with a crashing header from a corner as the Merseysiders went in at half time 1-0 up. Yaya Toure equalised for City on the hour mark before a brilliant Luis Suarez free kick restored the lead 5 minutes later. Then Skrtel had a moment of madness; hitting a pass back towards Pepe Reina without looking up and only succeeded in picking out Carlos Tevez, who rounded the keeper and claimed a point for his side. Brendan Rodgers will have been impressed by 17 year old Raheem Sterling who was arguably the biggest threat to the City defence as he continually created chances.

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