EPL Match Week 4: Arsenal's Perfect Run and Liverpool's Brutal Revenge
The fourth match week of the English Premier League came with questions for some teams. Arsenal maintained their winning streak, and Liverpool took revenge for their defeat to Manchester United and the winless start of the season in the most brutal way one could imagine.
Southampton vs. Manchester United, Red Devil's Hard-Earned Win:
Young Southampton made changes to their squad, whereas United began with the same starting eleven that beat Liverpool on Monday. Away from home, the Red Devils did not show the same sharpness they demonstrated against Liverpool. The hosts could score a goal or two in the first half if they had precision and accuracy in their finishing. United had only one real chance in the 19th minute, but they couldn't score, and the first half ended 0-0.
As the second half began, United seemingly lacked tempo, although they weren't as lackluster as the defeat to Brentford. Their teamwork showed improvement and resulted in their first and only goal of the game in the 55th minute. Southampton came close to equalizing. Like the first half, their finishings didn't have power and accuracy or were blocked by United's defense, which has been freshened by the introduction of Martínez and Malacia.
Brentford vs. Everton, Lampard Saved by the Post:
I said in my preview that if Everton got lucky, they could get one point from this game. They would need to do a lot for that, especially as the Bees put them under pressure from the beginning. The star of this game was Gordon, who scored Everton's goal in the 24th minute and was named "Man of the Match." Despite Everton's lousy form, Gordon has been relatively good, which is why Chelsea are after him.
Brentford were expected to play aggressively in a home game where statistics suggested they were the favorites. They pushed back and were denied by the post a few times until luck came for them in the 84th minute, and they found the equalizer. Everton did just enough to not lose this one.
Brighton vs. Leeds, Potter Won the Thinking Game:
This one has historically been an exciting game, and it was just like that this time, especially from Brighton fans' perspective. The hosts mounted pressure on Leeds from the first whistle, but the first half ended in a goalless draw. Their continuous pressure paid off in the 66th minute, and Potter's thoughtfulness of the game granted them the three points.
Chelsea vs. Leicester, Statistics Didn't Help the Foxes:
In soccer, statistics don't matter; the final score does. Leicester were reminded of that as they had more possession of the ball and produced more shots. Gallagher's red card in the 28th minute probably put a grin on Leicester's face, too. Sterling was a lively figure, and his energy came to Chelsea's help even after they went one man down as he scored two goals in a span of sixteen minutes.
The reliable Mendy gave in once as he left the near post open for Harvey to score for the Foxes in the 67th minute. Chelsea showed good game management to win the three points.
Liverpool vs. Bournemouth, Bad Day to Visit the Reds:
Klopp's side were determined to win their first game in this campaign and put the Old Trafford disappointment behind them. Their revenge was brutal as their nine-goal feast began in the third minute. Simply put, this was a bad day to visit the wounded lions at Anfield. Bournemouth probably experienced hell in Anfield. Shots with menace and power came at their goal; shots that were impossible to save.
Liverpool's gameplay was smooth and dominant. This is what we remember from the Reds anyway, and it could serve as their statement for the rest of the league that Liverpool is not yet ruled out of the title race.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace, Troublemaker Faced Trouble:
Patrick Viera means trouble for Manchester City, which showed early in the game. It took twenty-one minutes for his side to go two goals ahead of the champions. But Pep had come prepared for trouble. Putting an end to any more attempts by the visitors, City took dominance in every aspect of the game.
In the preview, I said Guardiola's Ace card is their new hiring, the goal-scoring beast, Haaland. His hat-trick added to Silva's 53rd-minute goal so that the sky-blue side of Manchester reversed a 0-2 defeat into a 4-2 victory. The astonishing second half following last week's game sends a clear message to the league: the champions are still outstanding.
Arsenal vs. Fulham, Four Out of Four for the Gunners:
Arsenal have been fresh this year with their new recruits. Zinchenko was out for injury, but that didn't affect the Gunners. They were dominant from the first whistle, maintaining high pressure in Fulham's defensive third. Former Arsenal keeper, Leno, made some brilliant saves to remind them what they had missed.
The Gunners almost tasted that stats don't mean anything as they saw the ball in their net in the 56th minute from Gabriel's mistake and against the run of the game. But their sheer will kept them going, and the equalizer came from a deflection. Gabriel redeemed himself as he gifted the Gunners the winning goal. Both goalkeepers were in good form today, despite the goals.
Wolves vs. Newcastle, Magpies Got Lucky Again:
With new owners bringing wealth to the club and after their astonishing game against City, Newcastle were sure to stun Wolves. But Magpies have not shown quality in away games. They had the ball almost 30% more than the hosts and produced about twice as many shots as Wolves. But they went back to the dressing room at the end of the first half, trailing by a goal. Their attempts in the second half lacked quality until the closing minutes when they found the equalizer. That was it for the Magpies, who were lucky that Wolves did not take advantage of their options to increase the gap. The 1-1 saga between the two sides seems to keep on.
Aston Villa vs. West Ham, History Favored the Hammers:
It is not easy to be a Villa fan this season. Their defensive line was doing better in Tyrone Mings' absence, keeping West Ham strikers at bay. Villa had the upper hand in the first half but failed to make any of their efforts count. Coming into the second half, they were still the favorite to win this tight game, and the second favorite was a draw. This one was destined to end in a draw until an unfortunate deflection directed the ball inside the hosts' net. This is a bitter repeat of history as the Hammers had not scored a goal or earned a point before this game.
Villa tried half-heartedly to salvage something, but Gerrard's game management is not showing improvement. His changes to the starting eleven and during the game didn't help his side rise above the crisis. Yet, they scummed to history, and pressure is mounting on Gerrard.
Nottingham Forrest vs. Tottenham, Henderson Stunned Kane:
Spurs began the game the way they usually do. They sat back and let Forest have the ball, looking for counterattacks to sting the hosts. This could only work if they had reliable defenders and good strikers. Tottenham just had that in the first half. Forest had more possession of the ball, but Spurs defenders ensured nothing came out of it. Instead, the visitors scored the first goal in the fifth minute and sat back, enjoying the game while it went according to their plan.
Spurs found themselves under pressure in the second half, and while they seemed to find relief from the penalty spot, Henderson denied Kane to show Manchester United what they are missing. Henderson, the man of the match in his team's last two games, shone in Forest's goal, frustrating Spurs' strikers. The home side's mounting pressure pushed Spurs back to their defensive zone, which they were happy to do. Richarlison's introduction helped Spurs change the mood, and it took one mistake by Forest's defenders for Harry Kane to redeem his missed penalty by heading the ball in the net.