Chelsea had two contests this week, the first being against Aston Villa. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continued his line-up experiments by starting Demba Ba up top. His performance was lack luster as Chelsea once again failed to score a goal from their front line. Benteke scored again with a clinical finish in the box. Lukaku entered the game in the 65th minute but also failed to produce chances. The Chelsea goals came from an early own goal and a late Ivanovic header. Aston Villa looked to steal a point away but a controversial no call robbed the Villan’s a penalty. The game ended 2-1. Villa had to forget the match quickly as they headed home to play Liverpool just three days later. Aston Villa were arguably the stronger side and the stats certainly favored them in terms of shots. However, it was Sturridge’s tricky finish that proved the difference to give Liverpool a 1-0 win. While Villa only saved 3 points from their first 3 games, they had 3 strong showings. Crystal Palace and Stoke City both looked to grab their first points of the season at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium. New signing Chamakh opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a brilliant settling touch and a terrific finish. Stoke answered with 2 quick goals to give Mark Hughes his first Stoke win. Giaccherini snagged a quick goal for Sunderland but Southampton evened the score late to tie 1-1. Newcastle drew West Ham in a goalless match. The pressure on Alan Pardew is growing. A ten man Hull City squad stunned Norwich with a 1-0 win. Despite dominating the game, the Canaries failed to score. Everton had an incredibly frustrating 0-0 draw against West Brom as they failed to score despite 22 shots with 8 on goal. Jelavic will need to do better to solidify a starting job. The Gunner faithful’s nerves were put to a brief rest with a 3-1 derby win against Fulham. Oliver Giroud finished his third goal in three games, all competition. Lukas Podolski made his first start to score two more goals before Fulham scored their first. Wenger is still very much under the gun as the transfer market heads into the last week. Tottenham Hotspur did a fair bit of traveling this week. Their European obligations brought them all the way to Georgia for a 5-0 win before heading back home to face Swansea. Spurs had a narrow 1-0 win on another penalty. Record signing Soldado put away his fourth goal in three games. Cardiff City stunned Manchester City at home 3-2. The high scoring line didn’t start until Dzeko fired home a fantastic strike in the 52nd minute. In the 60th minute, Joe Hart gave up a sitter for Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, who dutifully put it home. Joe Hart’s goalkeeping was brought back into question when Campbell headed home two headers for Cardiff off corners. Negredo netted his first goal for City too little too late as Cardiff won their first Premier League game. This may confirm City fan’s fears of Pellegrini’s lackluster away record. The premier bout of the week was Manchester United vs Chelsea at Old Trafford. David Moyes’ home debut could not have come against a tougher side. However, the two prospective champions clashed in an entirely underwhelming 0-0 draw. Had it not been for Wayne Rooney’s sheer determination and fantastic play, I would have been slightly more lulled to sleep. However, the match carried interesting headlines. Mourinho continued his line-up tinkering by not starting a striker. Schurlle filled the false nine role but failed to produce much offense. Chelsea’s best chances came by strikes from Oscar. The Premier League remains wide open early on in the Season.
Goals of the week:
1. Real Sociedad vs Lyon (Griezmann)
2. Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona (Villa)
3. Real Sociedad vs Lyon (Seferovic)
4. Tottenham vs Dinamo Tblisi (Rose)
5. Man City vs Cardiff City (Dzeko)
Daniel Dicce can kick a ball over a quarter mile. You don’t believe me? Want to make a bet? Yeah… if coach put me in second half we woulda been state champs… No doubt. No doubt in my mind.