16/17 Round up #3

Another weekend of Premier League action, and plenty more goals and talking points to discuss as we head into the international break.

Starting with the game at White Hart Lane between Spurs and Liverpool, the points were shared in a game where, at the start of the match, both teams would probably have taken a point.

A late first half penalty from James Milner followed by Danny Rose’s equalising strike saw the game finish 1-1, but Harry Kane’s failure to notch once again suggests that he may well be a slow starter – however, that may not matter as the English striker failed to score in his first six games last season – and still ended up as the Premier League’s top scorer.

Elsewhere, Chelsea continued their 100% start by easing past Burnley 3-0  through Eden Hazard, Willian and Victor Moses.

Hazard, who went from the PFA player of the year to biggest flop of they year, has more than hinted at a return to his scintillating 2014/15 form.

He offered glimpses at the end of last season with spectacular goals against Tottenham and Liverpool, whilst he had a mixed Euro 2016 campaign, playing well in most matches, but playing in a Belgian side lacking any sort of team spirit or togetherness as their tournament was curtailed by Wales in the quarter finals.

He has started this season with 2 goals in 3 games, and he looks like a man on a mission, taking the game to the opposition, threatening all the time, rather than keeping the ball for keeping the ball’s sake.

As for Jamie Vardy,  who had almost the exact opposite season last time out, the Foxes striker scored his first Premier League goal of the season with a brilliant goal as the champions saw off Swansea 2-1.

Next week Vardy will face Liverpool’s leaky defence, and if they press high, which we assume they almost certainly will, there will be gaps in behind for the pacey striker to exploit, so the Red’s defenders will have a lot on their plate.

Crystal Palace met Bournemouth at Selhurst park in another early kick-off, and Eddie Howe’s Cherries had the win robbed from them as Scott Dann cancelled out Josh King’s opener, equalising in the 93rd minute, after Yohan Cabaye had had a penalty saved by Artur Boruc after Mike Dean gave a penalty for what was clear shirt pulling in the box.

On transfer deadline day Bournemouth added Jack Wilshere to their side on loan, in if he stays fit, (and that is a big if) he could seamlessly slot into their style of play and help the South Coast side in their survival bid.

At Goodison Park a Leighton Baines penalty was tipped onto the post by Shay Given, only for the ball to cannon back of Given’s back and into the net, giving the Toffee’s their second win of the season against Stoke.

The Potters, who have finished 9th for the last three seasons, will struggle to repeat the feat this time round with the strengthening of clubs like Everton and Chelsea, who both finished below Stoke last season.

Southampton came from behind to draw with Sunderland, as Claude Puel’s men again started slowly, coming into the game after going a goal down.

Jay Rodriguez scored his first goal since March 2014, and after he stayed at the club following deadline day, (amid talks of a loan to West Brom) he could be a useful player for Saints as he looks to get his career back on track after some terrible injuries.

Arsenal claimed their first three points of the season with a comfortable 1-3 win at Watford, and with the additions of Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, Arsene Wenger could finally be building a side that could finally challenge for the title – but, with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea looking very strong this time, it might be too little too late, especially after a slow start.

The late kick-off saw Hull put in another solid defensive performance only for Marcus Rashford to continue proving people wrong by grabbing the only goal of the game in stoppage time, thus enabling United to continue their 100% start.

Rashford, who scored a hat-trick on his U21 debut, in my opinion, will be a star. He’s doing it against top defenders already, and with his searing pace and unbelievable skill, he doesn’t look like fading away in the coming years.

Finally, after West Brom drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough, Raheem Sterling continued to thrive under Pep with two impressive goals.

The young winger, who disappointed at the Euros and struggled towards the end of last season, is looking like a transformed player under Guardiola.

However, whilst that, along with the ever impressive form of Fernandinho, is great for City fans, star striker Sergio Aguero will miss this weekend’s Manchester Derby after elbowing West Ham’s Winston Reid.

It is expected that the promising Kalechi Iheanacho will be used in his place, but Nolito could also play as a striker, so the Jose v Pep face off could be even more tactically intriguing than we first thought.

 

 

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