Chelsea 3-0 Leicester City
Chelsea had been struggling under Antonio Conte this season, a 3-0 loss at Arsenal signaled that maybe the Italian wasn’t the man for the job. Things have improved since then evidently, as the Blues ensured their rise by sinking the champions. Leicester have been very poor, and their fairy-tale story of last season has quickly been forgotten. All players and managers must be scratching their heads thinking, ‘how did Leicester do it last season?’. Leicester have been nowhere near the best of last season, and there are talks of the Foxes being relegated this season. Claudio Ranieri is slowly feeling the pressure, and champions league football isn’t helping his side as they lost yet again. Diego Costa, the controversial man, notched a goal as the blues won the encounter with ease, sending a message across that they are not done as yet. This result has given them a boost, ahead of their game against Man United on Sunday. Chelsea rose to 5th place with 16 points and Leicester are 13th with 8 points.
Manchester City 1-1 Everton
Nolito 72′ Lukaku 64′
Manchester City had a humbling of note when they lost 2-0 to Tottenham Hostpur in their last premier league encounter. This added to their 3-3 draw with Celtic in the Champions league gave Pep Guardiola a warning sign that England is not that simple. The favourites to win the league fell behind to a great Romelu Lukaku goal as the Belgian striker showed why Everton have had so much faith in him. Bolasie played his part by poking the ball towards the Belgian as he made his way forward to beat Bravo at his far post. Two penalties saved, from De Bruyne and then Aguero, denied the Citizens three points they thought was guaranteed, however Maarten Stekelenberg had other ideas as he kept both out. The Evertonians did well as they kept City out until Nolito headed past Stekelenberg to level the scores. There was a good run of game time for new signing Leroy Sané, as he dazzled down the right wing for City. The question remains now, if City will pull away or will the wheels slowly but surely fall off? They were hot favourites at a stage but 1 point in 2 games, with Barcelona around the corner, it seems the tough days are about to begin. They remain top on goal difference (+11). Everton have been good and remain in a good position to fight for a possible top four spot as they are 6th with 15 points.
Arsenal 3-2 Swansea City
- Walcott 26′, 33′ G. Sigurdsson 38′
Mesut Ozil 57′. B. Baston 66′
There was a feeling of optimism when the Gunners came out for this clash. Five straight previous premier league wins showed their content, but Swansea made it nervy as the Welsh team have been the gunners bogey team of recent. This seemed in the past as Theo Walcott pounced on two defensive errors, giving the home side a quick 2-0 lead with their tails up and ready to kill the game off. A mistake from £34m signing Granit Xhaka, gifted the Swans a good goal as Sigurdsson curled one past Petr Cech. Birthday boy Mesut Özil volleyed home a sensational pass from Alexis Sanchez to give Arsenal breathing space. This was short lived as Barrow was brought down by Xhaka, and the Swiss received a straight red card, despite the foul being within Swansea’s own half. A bit harsh but perhaps justified as there was no attempt to play the ball. This nervy moment was sealed as record signing Baston converted a shot past Cech to reduce the deficit to one goal. Arsenal held on and could’ve had two more but for Theo Walcott to balloon a one on one effort, teed up by Oxlade Chamberlain, over the bar. The Gunners are putting pressure on City and are now up to 2nd place with 19 points, joint top (+10 goal difference). Swansea however with life under a new coach Bob Bradley, played better and can be optimistic about survival despite being 19th with 4 points, their performance was much better to recent games.
West Brom 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
N.Chadli 82′. D. Alli 89′
There is no denying that under Tony Pulis, West Brom can be a menace to beat. Pulis has always had an aura to him that fires up his teams to frustrate the big boys, and this was another frustrating afternoon for a big boy, as Spurs couldn’t continue their joy of beating Man City last time out. Who other than ex-boy Nacer Chadli, to put one past his old team mates. That definitely was a thorn into Spurs. However Tottenham have had a fighting spirit of recent seasons, proved again by Mr Reliable, Dele Alli, scoring late on to rescue a point. Christian Eriksen had a good free kick hit away by Ben Foster but Spurs didn’t have it on the day to get all three points. They remain the league’s only unbeaten team, but as recent seasons, their downfall has been their numerous draws. The fitness of Harry Kane couldn’t come any quicker, as they desperately miss their talisman. West Brom are 12th with 10 points and Spurs drop to 3rd on 18 points.
Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland
J.Allen 8′, 45+1
Stoke City have had a very slow start to this campaign. I’ve always said that Stoke have the ability to finish in the top 6 due to their recent buyings and experience but have thus far been disappointing. Mark Hughes has a task on his hands of inspiring his boys to produce and they did with a good home win against Sunderland. David Moyes has struggled thus far and is in deep waters as his side have failed to produce enough of a fighting spirit. Joe Allen was the difference as the ‘Welsh Xavi’ hit two goals to sink the Black Cats and add pressure on Moyes and his men. The future seems bright for Stoke as they rise to 18th with 6 points and Sunderland face an uphill task as they remain rock bottom with 2 points.
Bournemouth 6-1 Hull City
C.Daniels 5′. R.Mason 34′
J.Stanislas 45′ (P), 65′
This was an absolute cracker as the Cherries ran riot to condemn Hull City to a heavy loss. It is a pleasure to witness football at it’s best as 7 goals were produced in this encounter. Eddie Howe, a young English coach has shown his flare and this win was much deserved. The cherries can only build on from this, and ensure survival for next season. Hull City need to go back to the drawing board and assess where things went hecticly wrong as their defence was all over the show. Bournemouth with their pace, caused a lot of problems, and they are 11th with 11 points, whereas Hull City are 16th, struggling but good enough to try avoid the drop with 7 points in the board.
Crystal Palace 0-1 West Ham
A first half goal was enough to give the Hammers a much needed win against their London rivals. A London derby that had everything, including a missed penalty by Palace record signing Christian Benteke. Alan Pardew may be disappointed but Slaven Bilic deserved the win after a run of poor results, particularly at home, where they have been struggling to adapt to the change. Manuel Lanzini, the sensation of last season, gave the Hammers an early less, which couldn’t be turned around or cancelled out by Palace that have been playing good football of recent. This derby has given the Hammers hope that their season can be turned around, they need to stay strong and continue fighting or risk being left behind. They are 15th with 7 points, and Palace are 9th with 11 points.
Middlesbrough 0-1 Watford
The Hornets came and collected the three points they desperately needed. Boro’ fought hard to try get the early goal but it wasn’t enough to stop Holebas scoring an absolute beauty. Watford have bad problems of their own, but managed to contain the pressure and get a goal to kill the game. This leaves the London team 10th with 11 points and Boro, struggling for results 17th with 6 points. Up next is a trip to the Emirates for Boro, and with their form off par, it could be a long season for the newly promoted team.
Southampton 3-1 Burnley
C.Austin 52′, 66′ (P) S.Vokes 72′ (P)
St. Mary’s Stadium
The man everybody wanted to sign when Queens Park Rangers for relegated is definitely back, and he’s back with a bang. Austin scored his debut goal for Soton’ against Man United at Old Trafford last season and the Englishman has gone from strength to strength as seen in Sunday’s game. Soton’ have had their tough times of selling many players and losing a great manager in Ronald Koeman but they seem to have found new life and are ready to fight for a top half finish. Burnley the new boys, need to rely more on their home games to help them survive, but they were good, just outplayed well by the Saints. New boy Redmond also got onto the scoresheet at last as many fans saw him as a good buy, good enough to carry the Saints forward. Soton’ are 8th on 12 points, and Burnley are 14th on 7 points.
Liverpool 0-0 Man United
The encounter of the weekend, the one everybody was looking forward to the whole weekend. In football unfortunately some big games do produce anti climaxes, and this was one of them. The Reds started well, and they showed us why they are contenders for the Premier league title this season. However they lacked the finish power up front to finish the game in victory. Man united were more defensive, they had their moments but one can’t help but feel that Man United are struggling already, José Mourinho or not, the team is struggling. Both teams needed the win, Liverpool to push Arsenal, Spurs and City above them, whereas Man united are already playing catch up. Emre Can had a good chance to score but for David De Gea to prove again he is still one of the best keepers in the league. Furthermore, Coutinho’s good effort was saved again brilliantly by De Gea. A point was fair therefore fair, Liverpool are 4th with 17 points and Man United are languishing in 7th place with 14 points.
Makasa Musonda Junior, Premier League correspondent on 18/10/2016 at 11:53
Follow Makasa on Twitter @MakasaJunior