The euphoria and chaos surrounding Deadline Day may have been followed by an unfortunately timed international break, but normal service has now resumed. Matchday 4 in the Premier League saw wins for Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham, Manchester City were held, while Chelsea endured misery at Merseyside.
Manchester United record their first home win under Moyes
The sighting of several in attendance wearing Fellaini-esque wigs was expected. However, it was the head of Wayne Rooney that grabbed the most amount of attention – not so much a case of what went on inside, but what it was covered with. Wearing a headband to cover the nasty looking wound he had, the man was back among the goals for the club as he scored in a fairly straightforward 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
The incident that garnered the most amount of publicity involved penalty claims – one that was given, two that weren’t. Not surprisingly, David Moyes claimed that all three were legitimate claims, but Palace were given reason to feel hard done by for the one that was eventually given. Replays showed that initial contact with Ashley Young was slightly outside the box; while Kagisho Dikgacoi’s sending off made matters worse. Manager Ian Holloway, already serving a two-match ban for comments in the media in the opening weekend, quipped: “My opinion doesn’t count.” He doesn’t want more trouble, does he?
Sit Alex Ferguson was spotted in the crowd, and he would surely have been impressed by what he saw. Marouane Fellaini looked sharp on his debut in red, but his highly rated compatriot Adnan Januzaj looked as if he had been playing on the left wing at Old Trafford all his life.
Referee steals the show as Arsenal record controversial victory
The number of goals Aaron Ramsey has scored in his Arsenal career barely touches two digits, but the improving Welshman made it two braces in a month as Arsenal recorded a 3-1 away win at the Stadium of Light.
Referee Martin Atkinson stole the show with a controversial decision to deny Jozy Altidore his first goal for Sunderland. The American looked to have shrugged off the challenge of Bacary Sagna to sneak in an equalizer, but the man who was once labeled ‘unfit’ by Sir Alex Ferguson, brought play back for a free kick instead. Cue Paolo Di Canio – you can trust the man for some comical relief from the touchline. The referee did not see the humour behind “To complete the ‘perfect’ job you have done today, why don’t you send me off”, obliging him instead. The Sunderland manager himself admitted that he would never say that again!
All eyes prior to the game were focused on the man who cost more than Sunderland’s entire expenditure this summer – and it took 10 minutes for Mesut Özil to reinforce his reputation as the king of assists. The German recorded only on assist on the day, however, illustrating the difference between having Cristiano Ronaldo bang in your passes versus expecting Theo Walcott to do the same.
Sigurdsson records brace, Eriksen impresses as Tottenham win
Any doubts as to whether Spurs would be able to integrate their new signings into the squad were promptly dealt with, as they recorded a 2-0 win over Norwich City. Supporters got a glimpse of what the team was missing in midfield, as £12m man Christian Eriksen effortlessly linked midfield and attack. The 21-year old Dane played a part in both goals, providing the assist for the first, and setting up the second; both of which were slotted in Gylfi Sigurdsson. It looks like the Lilywhites are back on track.
Everton record first win of the season
The club that emerged as winners on Deadline Day underscored the positive impact of their last minute business by handing new manager Roberto Martínez his first victory as Everton manager. Romelu Lukaku may have been ineligible to play against his parent club, but fellow loanee Gareth Barry proved more than an able replacement for the departed Fellaini.
Putting in inch perfect tackles and releasing people forward, the former Aston Villa midfielder was the game’s best performer by far. His most notable contribution was preventing an almost certain goal for Samuel Eto’o in the first half. Nikica Jelavić will be willing to do anything to score goals at the moment, but he assisted the winner by birthday boy Steven Naismith. The Blues had 22 attempts on goal, but missed out on improving their record at Goodison Park – they have now lost 3 of their last 4 league games there.
Elsewhere . . .
There may be a slight change in style from Stoke City – yes, they are passing the ball now! But the Potters continued to be Manchester City’s bogey team of late, as the Citizens were held to a draw at the Britannia Stadium for the third consecutive time. Meanwhile, new boys Hull City played out a 1-1 draw at home to last season’s Championship winners Cardiff City. Aston Villa’s defeat have still not won at home this season, making Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle their third defeat on the bounce.
Manchester United 2 – 0 Crystal Palace
Aston Villa 1 – 2 Newcastle United
Fulham 1 – 1 West Brom
Hull City Tigers 1 – 1 Cardiff City
Stoke City 0 – 0 Manchester City
Sunderland 1 – 3 Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Norwich City
Everton 1 – 0 Chelsea
Southampton 0 – 0 West Ham United
- Olivier Giroud’s goal at Sunderland was his first Premier League goal scored outside London.
- Arsenal have won 7 away league games in a row for the first time since 2002.
- With 7 points in 4 games this season, Chelsea have endured their worst ever start to the league under Roman Abramovich.
Goal of the Week
Stealing the spotlight from Mesut Özil is no mean feat, as shown by Aaron Ramsey’s second goal at Sunderland.