Seven games on Saturday saw 24 goals being scored while Sunday was a relatively low-scoring day. Chelsea thrashed Everton 6-3 while Manchester City was shocked at home by Stoke City. Liverpool beat Tottenham 3-0 with Mario Balotelli failing to score on his debut. Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester so did Manchester United when they faced Burnley.
Burnley 0-0 Manchester United
Louis Van Gaal continues his wait for his first win in the EPL as Manchester United’s third game vs. Burnley ended in a goalless draw. United’s record signing Angel Di Maria started the game for the visitors but looked far from scoring. David Jones, ex-United man, almost gave Burnley a headstart when he curled a 25-yard free-kick which hit the crossbar and left David De Gea standing rooted to his spot.
All of United’s hopes were pinned on Di Maria and he produced his first spark of magic when he lofted a 40-yard ball over the home defense and Van Persie cushioned the ball on his chest but his shot was stopped deftly by Heaton.
United managed to create a couple of decent enough chances in the second half but again did not find the net. Defensively, United still seemed weak at the back and that probably remains Van Gaal’s biggest problem.
Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City
Mame Biram Diouf gave Stoke a shock 1-0 win over defending champions Manchester City. This was Stoke’s first victory at a Manchester club and the first time they had kept a clean sheet since December. Stoke rose to ninth on the table while City fell down to the fourth spot.
The Potters were denied a penalty in the 19th minute when Aleksander Kolarov apparently fouled Diouf in the box.
Stoke started the second half of the game on a high and the goal came shortly. Diouf picked up Erik Pieter’s header, nutmegged Fernandinho and slid a low shot past keeper Joe Hart. This was the former Manchester United striker’s first goal for Stoke.
Edin Dzeko and Jesus Navas came on but failed to create an impact. Sergio Aguero saw a handball appeal turned down and Stoke held on their first league win away to Manchester City since 1980.
Everton 3 – 6 Chelsea
The visitors were two-nil up inside the opening three minutes of the game as Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic scored leaving the hosts shell-shocked.
A fine header by Kevin Mirallas got Everton back into the game and they started the second half on a high. The two teams traded goals with no breathing space with Steven Naismith, Nemanja Matic, former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o and Ramires all finding the net in an astonishing eight-minute spell.
Chelsea had everything under control until Naismith’s strike, but that too didn’t damper Chelsea’s spirit.
Costa is definitely the striker Jose Mourinho missed out on last season and with Fernando Torres going on loan to AC Milan, Diego will surely lead The Blues this season.
Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool
Mario Balotelli failed to score against Tottenham but did create a couple of good chances which should have been scored. Raheem Sterling netted the opening goal inside eight minutes, captain Steven Gerrard scored from a penalty at the start of the second half and defender Alberto Moreno opened his account for Liverpool.
Tottenham hadn’t conceded a goal in its opening wins over West Ham and Queens Park Rangers, but Hugo Lloris’ goal was under siege from the start by Liverpool.
Pochettino waited until the 59th minute to respond with changes, with central defender Mousa Dembele on for Nabil Bentaleb and winger Cristian Eriksen replaced by Andros Townsend.
Inside a minute, Townsend’s first contribution was being dispossessed on the half way line by Moreno, who set away on a charge down the left before dispatching the ball into the net.
The damage for Tottenham could have been worse had Sterling’s finish matched his skill in waltzing past three Tottenham players.
The convincing win sets up Liverpool to build from a position of strength after the international break, while Tottenham’s ambitions will have been dampened.
Leicester 1-1 Arsenal
A painfully average performance from a squad that boasts of enough world-class talent to put away Leicester, and Arsenal failed to get the three points.
Alexis Sanchez, The Gunner’s biggest acquisition this summer, scored the only goal for the visitors, but two minutes later, Leonardo Ulla quickly knotted the score on a headed effort off Jeff Schlupp’s cross.
Arsenal now sit seventh on the league table, and dropping points when they shouldn’t might come back to haunt them later on.