Football. Soccer. Whatever your kicks, NewsWhistle sums up the best of the English Premier League, keeping you up-to-date with a fortnightly dose of antics and anecdotes, both on and off the pitch.
SUMMARY OF WEEKS 3 & 4 (August 31st – September 16th):
— Third week results included Manchester United losing 1-0 to Liverpool; Manchester City winning 2-0 against Hull; and Arsenal winning 1-0 against Tottenham.
— Fourth week results included Manchester City drawing 0-0 away at Stoke; Manchester United winning 2-0 against Crystal Palace; Chelsea losing 1-0 away at Everton; and Arsenal wining 3-1 away at Sunderland. Liverpool drew 2-2 with Swansea.
— Manchester City may have won 2-0 against Hull but this was not as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.
Questions around City’s defense continue to go unanswered – forward Sone Aluko had an outstanding chance to give Hull the lead and if captain/midfielder Robert Koren had converted his chance and striker Danny Graham’s goal hadn’t been ruled out, City would have been 3-0 down at half-time.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini made six changes to the team for their trip to Stoke the following week, and the 0-0 result there would have satisfied no one. The best chances fell to Stoke; City looked uncreative; and Pellegrini looked very confused.
— Liverpool have started well, but displayed little to no flair. Their first two games were won 1-0 – and a sterner test was assured when Manchester United visited them on September 1st. Alas, Manchaster United manager David Moyes has never won at Anfield and another drab 1-0 victory for Liverpool ensured that that remains the case. A 2-2 draw against Swansea was a reminder of Liverpool’s erratic form last season, but they will be happy enough with their start to this one so far.
— Arsenal‘s 1-0 victory over Tottenham would have provided Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with a nicely timed ‘I-told-you-so’ argument – that spending money doesn’t guarantee success. Indeed, if Tottenham had really wanted to give a statement of intent, they would have pried away a big time player away from a big time club…instead they bought a lot of players that no one’s heard of for a lot of money.
— Mesut Ozil’s move from Real Madrid harked back to the time when it was unremarkable to see high profile players come to Arsenal; and the re-arrival of Mathieu Flamini evoked memories of the last really good Arsenal team (that still didn’t win anything).
– The week was interrupted by World Cup group games – who watches those things? – and a playful diversion in the form of the Super Cup between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Chelsea lost on penalties with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claiming a UEFA conspiracy against him personally. Gotta love that guy.
— Big games to look forward to in the next two weeks include Manchester City v Manchester United on Sunday 22nd; and Tottenham v Chelsea on Saturday 28th.
Charlie Serocold is a fiction, sports and travel writer. Originally from London, he now calls New York home. Charlie can be reached at Charlie@NewsWhistle.com.