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EPL Recap

Giacomo Geloso II

Staff Writer

Chelsea-Arsenal 0-3
The most anticipated game of the weekend was over before halftime. Arsene Wegner’s men were able to score 3 in the first half thanks to strikes from Alexis Sanchez (11’), Theo Walcott (14’), and Mesut Ozil (40’).
The first goal can be credited to the Gary Cahill comedy show, a show that has been running for two weeks straight. The England national once again made the same error: holding onto the ball too long whilst not realizing the opposition’s press.
He’s clearly not the ball retaining distributor which Antonio Conte needs to execute his high line press. Losing the ball caused a break away for Alexis Sanchez, and with his pace, no one caught up to the Chilean national. His cheeky chip passed Courtois and into the back of the net.
Brainslov Ivanovic had another putrid performance. Alex Iwobi jumped him time after time, leaving David Luiz to step up and take him on. This left gaps that Hector Bellerin took full of advantage of all afternoon.
Timing his overlapping runs behind Walcott and Iwobi, Bellerin caused chaos for the Chelsea backline that could not handle Arsenal’s intrigue free-flowing style of play. His overlapping run in the 14th minute lead to Walcott having an easy tap in once the Spaniard whipped in one of patented pacy low crosses.
Mesut Ozil’s brilliance was showcased in its entirety on Arsenal’s third goal. Receiving the ball with his back to the opposing net, the playmaker executed so a turn so master full that N’Golo Kante, one of last year’s best defensive midfielders, was left chasing his dust. He then sent Alexis with a perfectly timed through ball which allowed the Chilean to hold up play just enough for the German to return into the play. Ozil was then left unmarked as Sanchez presented him with a cross which he one timed off pitch and into the back of the net.
The second half was irrelevant as Arsenal were able to shut down any chance of a Chelsea comeback.
One thing is for sure, with a performance like this, Antonio Conte certainly ripped into his team and major changes are expected to happen as Chelsea prepare for gritty Hull City.

Leicester City-Manchester United 1-4
With Wayne Rooney dropped for the first time under Jose Mourinho, Manchester United yielded their best performance of the season against last year’s champions.
Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba seem like the most ideal partnership going forward. Both the spaniard and the french men were able to interlink with both wingers Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, but most importantly with Juan Mata.
Mata replacing Rooney in the number 10 showed how futile the Manchester United captain has been in his recent showing.
Juan Mata’s interlinking play with Pogba lead to a rocket from the Spanish playmaker which Ron-Robert Zieler. This doubled Manchester United’s lead at the 37th minute after Chris Smalling scored from a corner in the earlier in 22nd minute.
After Mata’s strike, the flood gates were opened. The trickery that United exhibited in the following 5 minutes on set pieces lead to more 2 goals within this five minute stretch.
Daley Blind was able to whip a low-cross to Mata on a corner leaving the spaniard with a ton of space and time to whip a cross of his own. As Mata received the ball he cooly found Marcus Rashford with a pacy low ball inside the six yard line, and the teenage sensation tapped in his 12th Manchester United career goal.
On the fourth goal on the half, Daley Blind put in an exquisite cross for Paul Pogba to Put Away with a trademark power header.
He and Herrera’s movement in the box allowed them to break-free from the partnership of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth who were tasked to marked them.
The sole bright spot for Leicester was youngster Demarai Gray. His 30 yard curling screamer in the 59th minute put any doubts that the youngster is just another hyped up English sensation. He had another attempt from long range which if any other keeper not named David De Gea was in net, was a clear goal.
Are both Rooney’s and Leicester’s spell as top flight player and team over?

Crystal Palace-Sunderland 3-2
Crystal Palace win a thriller in injury time thanks to a Christian Benteke header.
Sunderland hoped onto a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute thanks to Jermain Defoe’s second goal of the contest.
With a half hour of play left, Crystal Palace rallied the troops and were able to steal all 3 points from Sunderland.
The clear difference in their tactics was to feed the big man up front, Christian Benteke.
His hold up play enabled the rest of the squad to move up from their defense task and get involved in the attack.
Joe Ledley’s blast in the 61st minute and James McArthur’s goal in the 76’ minute set up the nail bitting finish.
From a set piece won in the 94th minute near the corner flag, Andros Townsed delivered a cross for which Benteke was able to pounce on and secure the win.
Some things remain the same, Sunderland once again seem to be destined to be in a relegation battle once again.
Crystal Palace now sit in 7th place, just 2 points back from 6th place. European football on the way for the London club?

Hull City-Liverpool 1-5
Jurgen Klopp’s men made easy work of the newly promoted team. With goals from Milner (2 Penalties), Mane, and Coutinho the Hull City defense was no match for the offensive juggernaut Liverpool have become under the German manager.
With another stunning display from back to front, will the uptempo style of play propel Liverpool to EPL glory for the first time in almost 3 decades?

Manchester City-Swansea 3-1
Pep Guardiola’s run in the Premiership continues to be without a fault: 6 up, 6 wins.
Powered by Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero, Manchester City were able to overcome the 1-1 dead draw after Fernando Llronte’s strike in 13th minute negated Sergio Agureo 9th minute opener.
Kevin De Bruyne won a penalty in the 65’ minute which Aguero converted into his second goal of the game.
Raheem Sterling truly showed his new found confidence in Man City’s third goal. The Sky Blue recovered possession and caught Swansea on the counter. With KDB lofting a through pass to the winger, Sterling was 2 on 2 with Aguero running with him.
Instead of doing the cutback play which he did all of last year with no avail, this year the winger has finally decided to take people on and utilize his speed and skill on the ball.
With a body feint, he sat the Swansea defender and calmly tucked the ball in the back of the net.
A much anticipated Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City is coming this weekend, will Pep’s magical run continue?

West Bromwich Albion-Stoke City 1-1
Stoke once again choke again. After taking the lead with a Joe Allen header in the 73rd minute, the team was unable to hold, letting Rondon equalize in injury time.
Stoke currently sit at 19th with 2 points. The rainy night Stoke doesn’t seem to be as scary as it once was.

Tottenham Hotspur-Middlesbrough 2-1
The Heung-Min Son Show continues. The Korean winger scored two more sublime goals, his second truly showing how much the player has progressed.
He was able to dribble past the defense and hit a curler after being a situation which presented nothing.
Tottenham are currently 2nd in EPL trailing Man City by 4 points.
The two teams meet this weekend with Tottenham having the chance to cut their lead to a single point.
Can Pochettino’s Posse pull the upset?

Everton-Bournemouth 0-1
Ronald Koeman’s receives his first lost as Everton manager. Junior Stanislas scored a goalazo in the 23rd minute and that was all that was needed.
Everton weren’t able to put anything back; Bournemouth sat back and under Eddie Howe’s very tactical defense break up system of having the full-backs man mark, something which isn’t seen much anymore, was able to shut down any sort of wide play from the Merseyside giants.
Everton will look to bounce back against Crystal Palace while Bournemouth take on Watford.
Watford-Burnley 2-0
Even though Watford possessed more than 70% of the possession, it wasn’t enough.
Burnley were able to capitalize on strikes by Jeff Hendrik, his first career goal for the club, and Michael Keane.
After the dismantling of Manchester United, Watford just didn’t bring the same intensity and mentality of the game.
Walter Materazzi’s crew just shrugged Burnley off, and in the English Premier League, that is a fatal mistake.

Southampton-West Ham United 3-0
The nightmare start of West Ham’s season continues. Slaven Bilić’s squad looked flat and dull once again.
Southampton ran through them from the get go.
Even though West Ham yields the EPL’s best goal scorer, Michael Antonio (5), and one of the EPL’s best assist man, Dimitri Payet (4), they sit in 18th with 3 points.
Slaven Bilic has been given 3 games to turn the season around or get the axe via The Sun.
Will West Ham turn it around and will Southhampton continue their recent run of form under new manger Claude Puel?