The second weekend of Premier League action kicked off on Saturday and Manchester City are already showing the benefits of their off season spending spree as they take the division’s top spot. Newcastle and Sunderland faced off in another edition of the Tyneside Derby, and Andre Villas-Boas was able to guide Chelsea to a win in his debut at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool was able to provide more anguish for Arsenal,
while there were no matches in La Liga this weekend due to the player’s strike.
Newcastle vs. Sunderland
The weekend kicked off with the Tyne-Wear Derby at the Stadium of Light and as always proved to be a hard fought affair between the two northern sides. Unsurprisingly, Joey Barton found himself at the center of another controversy, although this time it was for sending a header towards goal, which was unfairly kept out by last week’s hero Sebastian Larsson’s arm. Appeals for the handball were wrongly denied by Howard Webb and the game went on. Sunderland dominated possession for long periods of time, but lacked a final pass or a finish several times throughout the affair, while Newcastle enjoyed most of their opportunities from set pieces. The sides remained level through halftime, but a breakthrough was finally found in the 62nd minute when Ryan Taylor curled a beautiful free kick past an outstretched Simon Mignolet for the game’s only goal. Sunderland had a few opportunities to draw level down the stretch, but their best opportunity was denied by Newcastle keeper Tim Krul with just three minutes remaining. Highlights here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/sunderland-newcastle-15299381/
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
In the first marquee matchup of the Premier League season, Liverpool got the best of Arsenal in a match that saw the game turn when Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off in his first start for the Gunners. After picking up an early yellow card, in the 70th minute Frimpong was late to a 50/50 challenge with Lucas Leiva and sent the Brazilian tumbling which earned him his second yellow card and a dismissal. The game had been an even affair up until that point, with chances being enjoyed by both sides. Arsenal’s best chance came from Frimpong who saw his effort turned aside by Pepe Reina. Liverpool broke through as a result of an own goal when a ball played for Luis Suarez was cleared by Ignasi Miguel off the chest of Aaron Ramsey past Szczesny. Luis Suarez added insult to injury by adding a second goal in the 91st minute off a counter attack. Full highlights can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/arsenal-liverpool-longer-highlights-15300131/
Aston Villa vs. Blackburn Rovers
Aston Villa breezed to victory of Blackburn Rover’s Saturday afternoon. Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the match’s best goal just 12 minutes in after turning Michel Salgado inside out and firing a shot past Paul Robinson. Emile Heskey doubled the tally in the 25th minute after being set up by Agbonlahor. Blackburn was able to peg one back when Morten Gamst Pedersen headed home after a cross from David Hoilett. However, Aston Villa would make it 3-1 after Darren Bent beat Paul Robinson from close range. The win is the first for the Villains after the departure of their superstar Ashley Young, who joined Manchester United. Full highlights here:
Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers
Everton continued their woeful week Saturday, losing to QPR just days after announcing their financial difficulties. David Moyes’ squad never really looked like winning. The match’s only goal came after Phil Jagielka’s botched clearance went directly to Alejandro Faurlin, Faurlin played the ball to Buzsaky then to Tommy Smith who was able to turn and beat Everton keeper Tim Howard with a curling shot. Ross Barkley made his professional debut for Everton during the match and looked good throughout the match. Tim Cahill had the best of the chances for Everton, but missed with headers multiple times throughout the match. Highlights here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/everton-qpr-15300048/
Swansea vs. Wigan
The first Premier League game played outside of England saw neither side score. Keeper Michel Vorm was the hero for Swansea, having his second impressive performance for the newly promoted team in as many weeks. Vorm stopped a penalty from Ben Watson to keep the game level after receiving some assistance from his goalposts and crossbar, but was able to see out the 0-0 draw. Highlights can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/swansea-wigan-15300037/
Chelsea vs. West Brom
An early error by Alex saw West Brom’s Shane Long outmuscle the Brazilian defender to score his second goal of the season, which gave West Brom the early lead in Andre Villas-Boas’ home debut. However the day was saved by Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka who both had goals to see Chelsea win their first match of the season and first under their new manager. Anelka’s goal came just seconds after a penalty shout when Frank Lampard went down in the box, but Anelka ran only to ball and took a shot which deflected off of Jonas Olsson and past Ben Foster. Jose Bosingwa split the West Brom defense and delivered an inch perfect cross to Florent Malouda who calmly finished for Chelsea’s second goal. The 2-1 victory saw an unimpressive performance from Fernando Torres who was taken off for Didier Drogba after an hour. Chelsea are expected to announce new arrival Juan Mata to the club today. All the goals can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/chelsea-west-brom-15300492/
Manchester City vs. Bolton
David Silva followed up his midweek goal with another impressive performance as Manchester City was able to defeat Bolton in a battle between the two sides at the top of the early Premier League table. Silva began the scoring in the 26th minute when his shot bounced off the hand of Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the goal. Gareth Barry added a second goal ten minutes later with a screaming shot from outside the area off of a corner. Just two minutes later Ivan Klasnic would get one back for Bolton with a left footed strike that found its way through the legs of Joe Hart. City would get a goal just after half time from Eden Dzeko to make the game 3-1. Kevin Davies was able to head home a free kick from Martin Petrov to pull the game back to 3-2, but it would not be enough for Bolton. Aguero’s second performance was not as impressive as the first as it saw him hit the crossbar from 10 yards out. His replacement in the 68th was the much maligned Carlos Tevez, who received a round of applause from the traveling fans despite demanding an exit during the off season. All the goals can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/bolton-manchester-city-15303486/
Norwich City vs. Stoke City
Norwich City were a little but unlucky not to have earned their first win in the Premier League this weekend, as a stoppage time header from Stoke’s Kenwyne Jones earned the Potters a draw. Ritchie De Laet got a head on the end of a Bradley Johnson free kick to score the game’s first goal in the 37th minute. Leon Barnett was sent off in the 64th minute after holding back and dragging down Jonathan Walters inside the penalty area. The ensuing penalty from Walters was saved by John Ruddy and Norwich settled into some deep defending with ten men. Jones’ headed goal came of a lofted ball from Glenn Whelan. Highlights can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/norwich-stoke-15303234/
Fulham vs. Wolverhampton
Fulham were shocked on Sunday afternoon by Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0. Kevin Doyle made up for an early miss by making the most of his second opportunity in the 42nd minute, somehow finding space in the box among 3 Fulham defenders. Wolves would add to their tally just a few minutes later before halftime with Matthew Jarvis firing home a loose ball after Roger Johnson’s header had hit the post. Fulham had several opportunities to find the net in the second half but were denied by Wayne Hennessey. Both goals can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/wolves-fulham-15303206/
In Other News:
Manchester United takes on Tottenham tonight.
Samir Nasri’s never-ending move to Manchester City will hopefully be done in the next couple of days.
Chelsea have come to an agreement with Valencia for Juan Mata, the official unveiling is expected to happen today. Chelsea also made a £30 million bid for Luka Modric, who has been left out of the Spurs squad for today’s match against Man Utd.
Several reports have Samuel Eto’o becoming the world’s highest paid footballer after coming to an agreement with Anzhi Makhachkala. The reported deal would see him paid €30 million per year, which would put him significantly ahead of the Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Robbie Keane scored in his MLS debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy as they went on to beat San Jose 2-0.
American captain Carlos Bocanegra completed a move to Rangers, joining fellow Americans Ale Bedoya and Maurice Edu.
Tomorrow will have a recap of the United vs. Spurs match as well as a piece on the Spanish player’s strike.
Gabriel Agbonlahor earns the background today for his wondergoal.