By: Dylan Moore
The greatest league in the world has done it again. After an unusually long break due to both the untimely death of Queen Elizabeth II and an international break right after, the English Premier League is back in action for the first time since September 18th. To say the weekend’s results made up for time lost would be a drastic understatement.
Arsenal vs Tottenham: This year’s edition of the North London Derby comes with extra high stakes early in the season. Arsenal comes into the week on top of the league, with Tottenham 1 game back. For the game itself, it was chippy as usual, with Tottenham’s Emerson Royale receiving a red card in minute 62 as the London-based sides combined for 20 total fouls.
For the scoring, Arsenal’s Thomas Partey opened the game up with a 20th minute strike, only for the prolific Harry Kane of Tottenham to even it at 1-1 before halftime. Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka of Arsenal scored (in the 49th and 67th minute respectively), as Arsenal won the game by a final of 3-1.
As exciting as the game was, Arsenal seemed to have a firm grasp on the pace of the game, finishing with a dominant 65% possession.
Liverpool vs Brighton: Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side are off to a very rocky start. Their title challenge seems to already be looking like more and more of a fight for 4th or even 5th as they continue to drop points. With this being said, you can’t take this entertaining 3-3 draw away from Brighton, who some would argue deserved to win.
The Leandro Trossard hat trick showed that even under new management, the Seagulls will still be a very frustrating fixture for any and all Premier League sides. To Liverpool’s credit, Bobby Firmino’s brace and their 54% possession kept them in the game. But we would be talking about a completely different situation if Brighton’s Adam Webster didn’t score an own goal to give Liverpool their 3rd goal of the day. Liverpool fans, be concerned.
Fulham vs Newcastle: Fulham looked to be in deep waters early on, with a red card on Nathaniel Chalobah and conceding a goal to Newcastle striker Callum Wilson before minute 15. By the halftime whistle, Miguel Almiron picked up his first of 2 goals on the day followed by a Sean Longstaff goal. Almiron picked up his second in minute 57, and Fulham’s Bobby Reid scored a completely irrelevant goal in the 88th to bring the final score to 4-1 Newcastle.
As you would expect, Newcastle dominated the match with 69% possession and well over double of Fulham’s total passes (605 to 281).
Southampton vs Everton: Although this may not have been the most exciting game of the weekend, Everton vs Southampton surprisingly packed a solid punch in the form of a flurry of goals. It remained a bland 0-0 game through the 1st half, although Southampton’s Joe Aribo made sure to change that quickly with a goal in the 49th minute. Frank Lampard’s Everton responded well, with a Connor Coady and Dwight McNeil goal in the 52nd and 54th respectively. Given Everton’s quick response, Southampton couldn’t push back, even though they did hold 55% possession throughout the match.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea: The clash between the 2 London sides was quite exciting. Crystal Palace looked to play spoiler to Chelsea’s top 4 push with a quick goal from Odsonne Edouard in the 7th minute. There would be no more goals until Chelsea’s new number 9, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scored in the 30th minute.
For the remaining 59 minutes, Chelsea’s 64% possession seemed to not be enough to leave Selhurst Park with 3 points. This is until Connor Gallagher, who spent last season on loan at Palace, heroically scored a 90th-minute winner to give Chelsea, and new manager Graham Potter, the 3 points they so desperately were after.
Bournemouth vs Brentford: I’ll be honest, there isn’t much to report on in this game. A 0-0 draw between Bournemouth and Brentford saw its chances, but nothing went through. Brentford was able to display their superiority over the troubled Bournemouth side with 58% possession throughout the match. Both sides will be looking for a win in the coming weeks as they hope to maintain their mid-table places.
West Ham vs Wolves: Although the Wolverhampton side did suffer a 2-0 loss in the final game of Saturday, they dominated the ball with 61% possession. With that being said, West Ham was lethal when they had the ball, putting up 5 shots on Wolves’ Jose Sa.
New signing Gianlucca Scamacca scored a brilliant goal in the 29th minute, followed up by a Jared Bowen strike in the 54th to bring us to our 2-0 conclusion. Wolves sacked Bruno Lage following the loss, and a slightly underwhelming 10th place position, given their hot start to their last campaign.
Manchester City Vs Manchester United: If you know much about soccer, or the current state of it, this is the match you have been waiting for me to cover. The Manchester Derby had all the fireworks in a 9 goal thriller. Man City’s 6-3 victory makes it seem like a much closer match than it actually was.
It was 4-0 City at halftime, with a 2- goal masterclass from both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden. United players came out of the dressing room with their dignity on the line and managed to play a bit better in the second half. They opened the scoring with a wonder goal from $100 million signing Antony in the 56th.
After maintaining most of the possession, United conceded twice, giving both Haaland and Foden hat tricks in the 64th and 73rd minutes respectively.
Given that the score was 6-1, City slightly went on the breaks, although United’s Anthony Martial didn’t relent, scoring 2 late goals in the 84th and the 90th to bring us to our electric 6-3 final score.
Easily the game of the week, and Haaland’s 5 goal contributions easily made him player of the week, as the Norwegian giant continues to show his dominance over world soccer.
Leeds United vs Aston Villa: To finish out the weekend, we had a rather bland 0-0 draw between 2 middling sides in Leeds and Aston Villa. Aside from Villa’s control in possession (57%) and their absurd 7 shots on target to Leeds’ measly 1, the only thing to report on was a red card. This was picked up in minute 48 by electric new Leeds signing Lewis Sinisterra.
Shoutout to Leeds goalie Islan Meslier, who stopped all 7 shots (as previously mentioned) and saved 2.5 more goals than expected.
Leicester vs Nottingham Forest: The only game to be played on Monday between Forest and Lecisester was not much of an exciting one, although not for lack of goals. Leicsters 4-0 thrashing of Forest gave them a much-needed first win over the season, especially against a relegation rival like Nottingham.
Although the possession was rather even (at 52% for Leicester and 48% for Nottingham), Leicester’s James Maddison put in a shift, scoring 2 and adding an assist to easily achieve man of the match honors. Well played Leicester.
Week 9 was yet another amazing week for the Premier League. The exciting Derby matches and absurd hat trick performances made it very entertaining. Look for Man United to bounce back following their terrible performance against City, and Erling Haaland of Manchester City to continue his form.