Premier League Round-Up: Gameweek 6

Jordan McWilliam and Patrick Hook-Willers team up to take you through the first Premier League Gameweek of the University year

Fulham 1-1 Watford: Fulham had shown early promise in the Premier League since their promotion to the top tier, but this week saw them faltering. They fell behind after two minutes when Andre Gray scored an emphatic inside of the foot finish following some good footwork from Will Hughes set him free in the area. Watford dominated the game on the whole, but the spurning of several chances in both the first and second halves from goalscorer Gray and strike partner Troy Deeney meant that the door was always left ajar for Fulham to strike back. Indeed, that door was blown off the hinges after 78 minutes when Fulham’s centre forward Aleksandr Mitrovic turned in a cross from just 6 yards. Fulham’s shaky defence held out to the final whistle, leaving the lunchtime viewers with a draw.

Burnley 4-0 AFC Bournemouth: Burnley did bits this weekend, there’s no other way to put it. From start to finish, from to back to front, they were unplayable. Okay maybe not unplayable, but they showed that the teeth that got then to seventh position last year are still there. Bournemouth had their own chances to score, forcing Joe Hart into action and hitting the crossbar at one point, but Burnley were the ones with their shooting sights in order. In the closing moments of the first half Burnley struck twice through Matej Vydra and man of the match Aaron Lennon. A shell-shocked Bournemouth tried in vain to regain parity but it was all in vain, a similar spell at the close of the second half saw Burnley add another two goals in quick succession, both being scored by Ashley Barnes. This emphatic victory has sweetened the club’s Europa League exit and, if anything, has justified it, as Burnley now look a different animal entirely.

Cardiff City 0-5 Manchester City: With each passing week it seems clear that for the title this year there is a considerable gap between Man City and Liverpool compared with the rest of the league. On the flip side of this it also seems to be that with each passing week Cardiff slip closer and closer towards the reality of relegation. The Premier League may only be six games in and these could well be subject to change but the efficiency of Man City (despite their horrible mid-week performance against Lyon) and the deficiency of Cardiff are only being illuminated more each week.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle United: This wasn’t the worst game in history, but it certainly wasn’t the best. Crystal Palace were certainly the better of the two sides, and perhaps their failure to score was down to Newcastle’s handling of Palace’s star man Wilfried Zaha, who was uncharacteristically quiet. Palace came close to scoring when captain Luka Milivojevic hit the woodwork from a free kick, and arguably even closer when defender Mamadou Sakho headed wide with a wide open goal in front of him. Aside from these chances neither side created a large number of chances, Newcastle being almost totally ineffective in that respect. The main talking point of the match was Palace youngster Aaron Wan-Bissaka being struck by a bottle from the away fans, which of course is not what we want to see. Palace nearly took the win late on when Zaha provided a chance to James McArthur, but he was unable to finish Newcastle off, leaving both teams with a point each.

Leicester City 3-1 Huddersfield Town: Despite Leicester’s decent start to the Premier League, the always seems to be a cloud hanging around Claude Puel and his job security at the King Power Stadium. After rumours he was going to be sacked in the summer, there was a strange feeling when I saw that Huddersfield took the lead. You feel like the fate that met Puel after an 8th place finish at Southampton may just meet him at Leicester too. As it turns out a Leicester comeback saw them be eventual winners thanks to new boy James Maddison’s excellent free-kick as he continues to impress following a summer switch from Norwich.

Liverpool 3-0 Southampton: The Liverpool train kept on rolling much to my disappointment, making it six wins from six. Southampton’s fate was sealed after just ten minutes when an own goal saw Southampton fall behind. Just 11 minutes later, Joel Matip scored a header from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross. Mo Salah scored from half a yard when Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick rebounded off the bar, some in the media will say Salah’s finish was a wonder-goal, but I’m not in the business of overrating one season wonders. Shaqiri was Liverpool’s driving force this week, showing to certain others in the league that strengthening while you are strong is the way to make progress. Liverpool again strolled to victory, and as a result many are starting to buy into their credentials as title winners, myself included…

Manchester United 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: : Manchester United’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they followed up their impressive away performance against Young Boys with a draw at home to Wolves. It gives me great pleasure to see Alexis nearly hit 900 minutes without scoring, now with only three goals in twenty-three United appearances. For Wolves, their impressive start to the season is of no surprise to many as they tore the Championship apart last season, impressive summer business has only added to their impressive squad.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Tottenham finally got back to winning ways away at the AMEX but weren’t entirely convincing in victory. Glenn Murray gave away a penalty moments before half-time which Harry Kane gratefully converted. The second half was a dominant time for Tottenham, but a number of good chances being missed had Spurs fans fearing a repeat of the Inter Milan defeat, where they threw away a one goal lead after spurning clear opportunities. Brighton were by no means overrun though, really coming into their own once Erik Lamela had put Spurs two ahead on 76 minutes. Anthony Knockaert working a brilliant opportunity for himself, only to shoot straight at Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga. He pulled a goal back however in the third of four added minutes, which had the stadium bouncing with the knowledge that Spurs were vulnerable. They nearly pulled it off as well, Gazzaniga gratefully claiming an effort to see the game out.

Chelsea 0-0 West Ham: If there was one criticism of Maurizio Sarri’s time at Napoli it was his lack of rotation causing a burnout of his players. So after inheriting a wealth of options at Chelsea you though this may be different. However, after starting a strong line-up away to POAK mid-week, his lack of rotation cost his Chelsea side their first dropped points and the first time they failed to score against West Ham. For West Ham, a week after securing their first win, they backed it up with a solid performance to keep their first clean sheet of the season.

Arsenal 2-0 Everton: After starting the season with two successive losses to Chelsea and City, Arsenal have bounced back impressively by following up with four successive wins. Most notably that this run includes two away wins, comparing to the second half of last season where Arsenal had only one away win in the whole of 2018. This time a strong second half showing from the Gunners was enough to take all three points against Everton. With summer signing Lucas Torreira impressing on his first league start and Arsenal’s two record signings, Aubameyang and Lacazette, both on the scoresheet.