Premier League Gameweek Two Round-Up: Man City and Arsenal Maintain 100% Records as Man United Hit Rock Bottom
The new Premier League season, which is only two weeks old, is already throwing up some juicy storylines, and while some teams are in the ascendancy, others are falling with alarming speed in what is already shaping up to be a very unpredictable campaign.
Anyone with Premier League betting strategies may well now be ripping up their existing form books and plans and putting together new ambitions when it comes to placing those crucial wagers.
Let’s take a closer look at how gameweek two panned out.
Aston Villa 2-1 Everton
This was billed as the battle of two world-class Premier League midfielders who have arguably both failed to impress as managers in the top flight. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard may be household names due to their amazing playing careers, but they are yet to prove themselves as coaches.
This was the first time the two former England internationals had met as managers, and Danny Ings put the home side ahead, who clinically finished after half an hour. Everton continued to look blunt up front, forced to use Anthony Gordon as a striker due to the lack of alternatives, and they didn’t manage a shot on target in the first half.
Emiliano Buendia gave Villa breathing space as he netted a second late on, and even a late own goal from Lucas Digne couldn’t prevent Gerrard from securing a well-deserved win as Lampard is left to make last-gasp plans in the transfer market or face another likely relegation battle.
Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City
Arsenal new signing Gabriel Jesus had a field day on his home debut, with the Brazilian forward starting things off with a clever chip to give the Gunners the lead. He doubled the lead when he headed in from close range, and Mikel Arteta’s side were well in control.
Jamie Vardy thought he had won a penalty kick, but the referee Darren England reversed his decision after a VAR check. The Foxes were well off the pace but were gifted a way back into the game when William Saliba, who was otherwise very impressive, scored an own goal.
Granit Xhaka instantly restored the two-goal lead after keeper Danny Ward dropped a clanger. James Maddison once again cut the deficit with a tidy finish, but again almost immediately, Gabriel Martinelli hit a sweet strike to give Arsenal a 4-2 lead, which they calmly closed out to make it back-to-back wins for the season thus far.
Brighton 0-0 Newcastle United
Newcastle United collected their second successive clean sheet as they secured a goalless draw from their trip to the Amex. This was a battle between two sides who are very much moving in the right direction.
The home side looked the most likely to take all three points but were denied by Nick Pope as well as the steady Toon Army defence. Both Graham Potter and Eddie Howe will certainly be happy with a four-point return from their opening two matches of the season.
Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth
On paper, this battle represents the two ends of the Premier League spectrum, certainly in terms of their financial might, and Pep Guardiola’s side made light work of the visit of Scott Parker’s side to the Etihad Stadium.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden gave City a three-goal lead at half-time. The second half was more of a parade as the Spanish boss sought to change things, and a fourth finally arrived via a Jefferson Lerma own goal.
City managed 26 shots on goal, and arguably the margin of victory could have been far more severe, and tougher challengers definitely await Guardiola’s men.
Southampton 2-2 Leeds United
Spanish forward Rodrigo continued his fine early season form by scoring twice at St Mary’s in a game that the away side should have won. Under fire Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who is said to have lost the dressing room, saw his side go two goals down by the hour mark but will have been pleased with the effort put in by his south-coast outfit.
New signing Joe Aribo, brought in from Rangers, reduced the deficit ten minutes after coming on, and Kyle Walker-Peters produced a smart finish to level things up.
Wolves 0-0 Fulham
Aleksandr Mitrovic will be kicking himself after his late penalty was saved by Jose Sa, and this game ended in a hard-fought draw that shows that Marco Silva’s side have some fight in them.
The Cottagers should have gone ahead through Bobby Decorvoda-Reid, but his header was cleared by Ruben Neves in spectacular fashion. The result will be something of a concern for Wolves boss Bruno Lage, who elected to keep new signing Goncalo Guedes on the bench.
Brentford 4-0 Manchester United
If you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Man United and new boss Erik ten Hag, after their home mauling by Brighton last week, well, you can think again. A trip to face Brentford was always going to be tough, but the way in which the Bees thumped a hapless United side has set off all sorts of alarm bells at Old Trafford.
Mistakes by David de Gea, Cristiano Ronaldo and Christian Eriksen played their part in seeing Thomas Frank’s side race to a 4-0 lead after just 35 minutes, and the rest of the game was essentially a face-saving exercise.
Man United have now lost a seventh away game in a row, something that hasn’t happened since before World War Two, and their Dutch manager must be wondering what he can do to stop the rot, preferably before the visit of arch-rivals Liverpool next Monday.
Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Ham
Newly promoted Nottingham Forest picked up their first top-flight win in 23 years as they edged past a poor-looking West Ham side that seems to be struggling to keep themselves at the heights David Moyes has managed in the past two campaigns.
Taiwo Awoniyi netted the game’s only goal via an assist from Jesse Lingard (who apparently turned down a permanent move to the Hammers over the summer), and Dean Henderson put in an inspired display to keep out the visitors and hold on to a much-needed win.
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham
When Chelsea and Spurs meet, it rarely disappoints, and this blood and thunder derby had it all, including a post-match bust-up between the respective managers. Thomas Tuchel’s side took the lead when new signings Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly combined, and there were few signs of the explosive action that was to come at that point.
The Blues were very much in control, but against the run of play, Pierre-Emile Holbjerg secured a leveller with twenty minutes to play. The goal was hotly contested, with Kai Havertz seemingly fouled in the run-up to the goal; this led to an altercation between Tuchel and his opposite number Antonio Conte.
Less than ten minutes later, Raheem Sterling laid on an assist as Reece James gave Chelsea the lead, and it looked like being enough to secure what is very much a customary win for the Stamford Bridge side when they take on their North London opponents, but it wasn’t to be.
Deep into stoppage time, Harry Kane popped up to head home Ivan Perisic’s corner, and that wasn’t the end of the drama. As the two managers went in for the customary post-match handshake, the pair clashed aggressively, and both were sent off by referee Anthony Taylor.
Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace
It would be too early to say that Jurgen Klopp’s side is facing a crisis, but capturing just two points from relatively straightforward fixtures away at Fulham and home to Crystal Palace will certainly give the German food for thought.
Wilfried Zaha calmly slotted past Alisson after being laid on by a sublime pass from Eberechi Eze on the half hour, and the Eagles held firm from the resultant barrage before new signing Darwin Nunez reacted to being pushed by centre-back Joachim Anderson with a headbutt that led to an inevitable red card from Paul Tierney.
Unfettered Luiz Diaz scored a wonderful leveller four minutes after Liverpool were down to ten men, but Klopp’s side failed to get the win their title push clearly needed. While being four points off their main rivals Man City, after just two games, isn’t the end of the world, it’s certainly the beginnings of a mountain they may have to club and one that they will not want to get any higher.