“You could say it's probably the end at Chelsea for Torres.”
The exciting Premier League provided another early twist to the season. Big spenders Manchester City lost away to Cardiff City in only their 2nd match of the season.
Liverpool and Spurs won again, as Arsenal bounced back with a convincing win. Chelsea and Manchester United ended up taking a point from the Monday night game.
Fulham 1 Arsenal 3 – 3pm KO, Saturday
Shahid Khan, new owner of Fulham F.C. appeared on the pitch before kick-off to raptures of applause.
Following an opening game loss to Villa, Arsenal silenced their critics with a convincing midweek win against Fenerbahçe in the Champions League.
Fulham started positively, but Arsenal’s counter attack paid dividends. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for them. Minutes before the interval, Arsenal doubled their score through Lukas Podolski.
The game looked all but over in the 68th minute when Podolski netted again to make it 3-0.
Fulham did not sit back as Darren Bent came on as a substitute and grabbed a consolation, but it didn’t quite ignite a comeback.
With still no significant new signings for Arsenal compared to Fulham’s eight, this proved to be a good win for the Gunners. After the defeat, Fulham Manager Martin Jol said: “The mentality was good. Maybe we need a few days to gel.”
Fulham have lost their last five home games. Not quite the return on investment that Shahid Khan will want to see from his new asset.
Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 1 – 5.30pm KO, Saturday
Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers maintained his 100% record in the league. Victory against a tough Aston Villa side gave them all three points.
In the first half, the home side weren’t allowed much possession by the visitors, which frustrated Villa supporters.
After twenty-one minutes, Liverpool created a fantastic move involving José Enrique and Phillipe Coutinho before Daniel Sturridge scored the goal. The continental combination in Liverpool’s line up could well be a recipe for success.
The Villans turned it around in the 2nd half, piling on the pressure with threats from Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor. But Liverpool held firm for a well deserved win. This was Villa’s 25th successive match without a clean sheet – The Midlands club need to focus and address this very quickly.
Luis Suárez sat out his 6th match of a 10 game ban, while Sturridge scored eights goals from his last seven Premier League appearances.
Cardiff City 3 Manchester City 2 – 4pm KO, Sunday
Newly promoted Cardiff shocked Manchester City with a plucky 3-2 home win. The game marked Cardiff City’s first home game in the top flight, since 1962. Manchester City were defensively weak as they missed Captain Vincent Kompany through injury
After a goalless first half, Manchester City went in front in the 52nd minute through a spectacular strike by Edin Džeko. Cardiff replied eight minutes later with an equaliser by Aron Gunnarsson.
With just over ten minutes to go, Cardiff went in front through former Manchester United Youth player Frazier Campbell. And soon it became 3-1, as Campbell scored again for the home team. A late goal by Man City’s Álvaro Negredo made for a tense finish.
Speaking to the media, striker Campbell said:
“The most special thing was getting the three points. When you’re a promoted side, you don’t want to wait too long to get any points on the board so today was a massive bonus for us.”
“We knew it was going to be difficult but we knew we’d get our chances. (There were) some great deliveries into the box and it was a great all-round team performance,” he added.
Cardiff City carved out a famous victory, while Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini got the kind of welcome to the Premier League that he could have done without.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Swansea 0 – 4pm KO, Sunday
Once again a Roberto Soldado penalty gave Spurs a 1-0 win against Swansea at White Hart Lane. With this win, Spurs join Liverpool as the only two sides to have a 100% record in the Premier League.
Following a midweek European game in Georgia, it seems travelling had not affected Spurs. As the 1st half wore on, Spurs’ winger Andros Townsend took apart the Swansea midfield, especially posing all sorts of trouble for midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.
After an early escape for Shelvey, he fouled Townsend again, giving away a somewhat dubious penalty. Soldado converted with just over half an hour to go.
Swansea, who impressed so many last season have now disappointingly played two and lost two.
Manchester Utd 0 Chelsea 0 – 8pm KO, Monday
Billed as an early blockbuster, this fixture failed to live up to expectations. With both teams under new management, even the neutrals were looking forward to an exciting encounter.
Chelsea boss José Mourinho selected an unusual starting eleven with no recognised striker, leaving Fernando Torres on the bench. Liverpool ace turned Pundit Jamie Carragher questioned this by stating: “You could say it’s probably the end at Chelsea for Torres.”
His opposite number David Moyes started with Wayne Rooney, a signing target of Chelsea.
With not much action in either half from both teams, it was quite obvious that the two managers were being overly cautious. Rooney was the only one looking interested, perhaps hoping to persuade Chelsea into increasing their bid for his escape from Old Trafford.
Second half substitutions by both teams failed to add any spark to this match. And so David Moyes took a point from his first home game as Manchester United manager.
So dour was this goalless match that an online retort from a Manchester United fan of South Asian origin said: “Mourinho’s tactic for the night (was to) park the bus.”
In other fixtures, Everton, Newcastle and Southampton all managed home draws, whilst Hull and Stoke both chalked up home wins.
Midweek saw many of the Premiership teams play the 2nd round of the League Cup, adding to an already congested fixture list. Another great weekend of football awaits as Manchester United travel to Anfield to face fierce rivals Liverpool, with Arsenal playing host to North London rivals Tottenham.