Man City, Man Utd and Leicester City maintain 100% records after the second week of the Premier League season. Liverpool defends their 100% record at home to Bournemouth on Monday.
It was blue, bloody and brilliant.
Manchester City dismantled the champions at the Etihad Stadium to take their perch at the top of the table. City’s three-nil victory over Chelsea was a strong statement from a squad many pundits said were suffering cataracts and collapsed veins. They looked anything but, as the likes of David Silva, Jesus Navas, Raheem Sterling and the brilliant Sergio Aguero ripped Jose Mourinho’s team apart.
The little Argentinean magician could have put City four up in the first 20-minutes: a combination of shoddy finishing and superb goalkeeping by Asmir Begovic stopping that from happening.
Then in the 31st minute Aguero exchanged passes with Yaya Toure, sneaked into the box and slotted the ball home for City’s first of the day. Chelsea looked all over the place and Eliaquim Mangala should have sent City into the break with a two-nil lead when he headed wide from just outside the six-yard box.
Mourinho reacted to his team’s shoddy display by pulling off his captain, John Terry, at half time. The change worked. Chelsea looked the better team at the start of the second half, and Ramirez was unlucky to see his 50th minute equalizer ruled out for a dubious offside decision.
It was a great match, with both sides playing some attractive football. Even Yaya Toure looked up for this one. Then City went two-nil up after Vincent Kompany met a David Silva corner, at the near post, to score his second goal of the season – two more than the entirety of last season.
Mourinho threw Falcao and Juan Cuadrado on in a bid to chase the game, but City wouldn’t be shaken or stirred. Ferdandino sealing the victory after rifling a shot past Begovic to capture their second three-nil win of the season.
The red half of Manchester maintained their 100% record with a one-nil victory away at Aston Villa. United and City look like chalk and cheese. The Blues have flair, whilst United have flatulence. I’m beginning to wonder if United players know how to pass the ball forward? Michael Carrick’s inclusion in the team one of the main reasons why.
Schneiderlin looked clumsy, Darmian rarely ventured across the half way line and Matta was clearly unhappy being stuck on the right wing. Fortunately, the little Spanish superstar wandered out of position to put Adnan Januzaj through to score the only goal of the game. Wayne Rooney once again played the sole striker role like he had a clubfoot.
Leicester City is the third team to have a 100% record after two matches. City beat West Ham 2 v 1 in another spirited performance by Claudio Ranieri’s men. England striker Jamie Vardy showed that despite not wanted to play poker with people from Japan, he doesn’t mind playing football with them; a nice little cross putting Shinji Okazaki through to score the opening goal.
Algerian playmaker Riyad Mahrez doubled Leicester’s lead before half time, the impressive Dimitri Payet pulled one back for the hammers, before they lost their goalkeeper Adrian, for dangerous play, after sticking the boot into the stomach of that man Vardy. I’m sure I saw Okazaki smiling.
The only remaining team with a 100% record is Liverpool. Brendan Rogers side face Bournemouth at Anfield on Monday night.
Two more teams came away from the second weekend of fixtures without a defeat.
A Romelu Lukaku inspired Everton destroyed Southampton at St Mary’s to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Overhead an airplane displayed the slogan “Kenwright & Co Time to Go”. I doubt it provided any form of inspiration. They didn’t need it. Southampton were shocking.
Lukaku became the Belgian all-time Premier League goalscorer with a brace either side of a second goal in two games for Ross Barkley. The timing was perfect with England manager Roy Hodgson in the stands. Let’s hope the youngster can get a good run in the team to show everyone what he is capable of.
Swansea continued to look a class outfit, although their task was made that much easier by the idiotic antics of Newcastle’s Daryl Janmaat, who was sent off for two bookable offences. Jefferson Montero looked brilliant for the second game on the spin, Gylfi Sigurdsson continues to control the middle of the park and Andre Ayew looks like he may have the potential to fill the boots of Wilfried Bony with his second goal in as many games. Garry Monk’s team remain unbeaten.
“You need to learn something from games. We learned nothing.” Said Newcastle’s manager Steve McClaren.
The match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal was a cracker; the Gunners putting the disappointment of an opening day loss to pick up all three points at a bouncing Selhurst Park.
I think Palace are a top 10 team on that performance. James McArthur and Yohan Cabaye look good in the middle of the park, and they have lightning pace with Zaha, Puncheon and Bolasie taking turns to wiggle up and down the wings. Their only problem is up front. I can’t see Connor Wickham getting into double figures and that’s going to be a problem. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with the sweetest goal of the weekend, when his improvised side volley flew into the corner, Palace equalized through John Ward, before Palace skipper Damien Delaney put the ball in the back of his own net after a strong header from Alexi Sanchez hit him on the shin to hand the three points to Arsenal.
Sticking with London and Spurs continued their poor start to the season after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Stoke. They were dominating the game after goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli had put Spurs two goals ahead. Pochettino was so confident of victory he even hauled Harry Kane off to shore things up.
That didn’t work.
The turning point was the decision by Mark Hughes to send Stephen Ireland onto the pitch. He was terrific; a real throw back to the marauding midfielder that threatened to go places a few years back. Marko Arnautovic scored Stoke’s first comeback goal from the spot after Spurs gave a way a soft penalty, and Mame Biram Diouf made sure Stoke returned to the Potteries with a point when he got a strand of hair onto a Stephen Ireland cross to veer it past the dive of Hugo Lloris.
Sunderland continued to perform like a Sunday League pub side. At this rate I can’t see Dick Advocaat lasting one more defeat. They were so bad home fans started to leave the stadium before the end of the first half! Norwich City taking full advantage of the Black Cats terrible display with a 3-1 win: no intensity, nobody cared, no effort and everyone was walking. Those were my notes on Sunderland’s performance. It was absolute garbage.
Talking about absolute garbage: Watford drew 0-0 with West Brom. The less we say about that the better.
Week 2 Results
Man City 3 v 0 Chelsea
Aston Villa 0 v 1 Man Utd
West Ham 1 v 2 Leicester
Sunderland 1 v 3 Norwich
Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Arsenal
Southampton 0 v 3 Everton
Swansea 2 v 0 Newcastle
Spurs 2 v 2 Stoke
Watford 0 v 0 WBA
Remaining Week 2 Fixture
Liverpool v Bournemouth (Monday)
Barclays Premier League Table
1st. Man City – 6pts
2nd. Leicester – 6pts
3rd. Man Utd – 6pts
4th. Everton – 4pts.
5th. Swansea – 4pts.