EPL Weekly Review 9/25-9/30

With the completion of week 6 of the EPL, the league table is slowly taking shape. Arsenal are two points clear at the top while Liverpool and Tottenham are treading closely at their heels. This week’s fixtures caused frustration amongst last year’s the top five teams as Arsenal were the only side who didn’t drop points. The premier fixture of the week pitted Chelsea at Tottenham in a London derby. Jose Mourinho did not start Juan Mata in Chelsea’s 10 role, opting for Oscar instead.  Tottenham dominated the first half run of play as Eriksen orchestrated the offense. Soldado’s ability to hold up the attack paid off when he assisted Sigurðsson 19th minute goal. The second half provided a change of momentum when Mata entered the game for Chelsea. Chelsea drew even when John Terry headed in a Mata free kick. The Blues were controlling the match and pressing for a second until Fernando Torres picked up his second yellow card. Torres has since received a three match ban for scratching Vertonghen in the face. The man advantage shifted the momentum back in favor of Spurs until the final whistle sounded, ending the game as a 1-1 draw.

Manchester City’s away trouble persisted with a loss at Aston Villa. The first half was a heavily one sided affair as Aston Villa sat on their heels and played a defensive game. The Villans were without their star striker Benteke who is sidelined with a hip injury. The deadlock broke when Yaya Toure hammered home a corner just before half. Villa played much more attacking in the second half and drew even in just 7 minutes on an offsides goal. City scored again shortly after on another corner kick to reclaim the lead. Bakuna scored his first goal for Aston Villa on a perfect free kick to draw even once more. Brad Guzan, the American keeper, provided an assist off a booming long ball just 2 minutes later. The long clearance inexcusably split the City defenders and left Weimann on a one on one with Joe Hart. The conversion was enough to secure Villa a win and the early title of this year’s “Giant Slayer.’

Cardiff City won their first away game in the Premier League with a spare time goal from sub Jordan Mutch. This embarrassing home loss pushed Fulham into the relegation zone and may make Jol the second manager casualty of the season. Bryan Ruiz and Mutch scored near identical curlers but the latter was the winner. Cardiff City won 2-1.

Hull City and Cardiff have both been surprisingly good. Despite being recently promoted, both squads sit mid table. Hull won off a controversial penalty at home against West Ham. A long cross went untouched as Robert Brady collapsed in the penalty area under the pressure of a defender. He converted the game winning goal for his third of the season. The Hammers are just a point above relegation zone. They’re schedule gets no easier as they face Tottenham, Man City and Swansea next.

Manchester United’s troubles persisted as well, falling to West Brom 1-2. The Red Devils have fallen 8 points back of the lead. David Moyes’ side looks uninspired save for Wayne Rooney whose goal was their only of the contest. West Brom’s first goal was scored by Amalfitano, who showed incredible composure to finish a run started in his own half.  West Brom scored again in the 67th minute off of wonderful team play and a brilliant finish by Berahino. The Manchester back line showed its age.

Southampton stayed towards the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Palace emerged from half time sluggish and the Saints netted two early goals. Rickie Lambert’s goal was of particular note, curling over the wall before deflecting off the post and in. Southampton face Swansea and Manchester United next. The Saints will look to defend their home undefeated record against Swansea and take advantage of the ailing Red Devils. Crystal Palace will try to fight their way out of relegation against Fulham in two matches.

The final saturday match was the league leading Arsenal away against Swansea. Aaron Ramsey returned to Wales to the sound of resounding boos. Theo Walcott’s minor surgery put Serge Gnabry into the starting lineup for the third straight game. Swansea, true to form, possessed the ball and controlled the first half. Arsenal’s backline held and took control in the second half. Gnabry scored his first Premier League goal in the 58th minute. Four minutes later Aaron Ramsey continued his incredible form, finishing a beautiful team goal that proved to be the game winner. Ben Davies 81st goal wasn’t enough to pull Swansea back and Arsenal moved to two points clear at the top of the table.

Norwich City won 1-0 at Stoke City after Asmir Begovic let in a goal uncharacteristic of him. This was just Norwich 2nd win of the season as they are adjusting to offseason squad changes. Norwich have a difficult road ahead of them as they face Chelsea and Arsenal in their next two fixtures. It will be a difficult climb back to mid table. Stoke will play ailing Fulham on the road next match. A win here will maintain early distance from the relegation zone.

Luis Suarez made his return for Liverpool after his controversial offseason. After harsh demands to leave the team and dramatic tension between him and management, Suarez stayed in Liverpool. His ban for biting Ivanovic last season finally ended and he reminded us just how good he is. Suarez put away two goals in his season debut but Daniel Sturridge continued his form as well. Sturridge put away the first of Liverpool’s 3 goals and provided the assist for the second. Sturridge sits alone ahead of league scoring chart with 5 goals. Giaccherini scored his second league goal and fifth of the season, but thats all Sunderland could manage. Liverpool now sits in second place while Sunderland is dead last with a single point.

The final match of the week was monday at Goodison Park where Everton hosted Newcastle United. Alan Pardew’s decision not to start Cabaye proved costly for Newcastle as Everton dominated the first half. Lukaku had an incredible performance for Everton, scoring twice. The loan deal was a great piece of business for Everton. Lukaku gets the starts he needs to grow as a player and avoids the pressure that comes with being Chelsea’s starting striker. The Everton wing backs created opportunity after opportunity for the Blues, running up a 3-0 lead at halftime. The second half was a change of pace for Newcastle after Cabaye was subbed in. The run of play shifted in favor of the Magpies including a near miss trickling off the post early in the half. Cabaye scored a long shot fantastically placed in the top right corner. Newcastle created a few more opportunities but to little avail. The game seemed over until Remy cleaned up a loose ball Everton failed to clear in the box. The fourth official gave 4 minutes of extra time but it wasn’t enough to complete the stunning comeback. Everton remain the only unbeaten side in the league.

 

1. Tigres vs. Queretaro F.C.

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2. West Brom vs. Man United

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3. Newcastle vs. Everton

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4. Rubin Kazan vs. Dinamo Moscow

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5. Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad

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The early League table bears many interesting headlines. The preseason favorites of Chelsea, City and United are not in the top four, Arsenal tops the table despite their lack of depth, and Liverpool has returned to title contention. However, this is very early in the season and table position could be due strength, or lack there of, of schedule. The following table compares the points accumulated this season in comparison with their identical fixtures of last season. It is meant to give a sense of relativity and a better idea of who has improved over the offseason.

While Arsenal have made their way to top of the table, they have dropped 3 points compared to their results of last season, namely, the loss at home to Aston Villa. Chelsea has dropped a significant amount of points as well. Last year, they won at Tottenham, home against Everton, and at Manchester United. This year, they drew Tottenham and Manchester United while losing to Everton. This is a loss of 7 points. However, they beat Fulham at home this year despite drawing them last year creating a net loss of 5 points. Southampton and Aston Villa are the most improved sides while Manchester United has suffered terribly.

Daniel Dicce tiene un 94% en su examen de espanol esta semana.

 

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