SPORTS

EPL review week 5: first time in 110yrs two clubs win their first five games

TAGs: Chelsea, English Premier League, Manchester United

Chelsea and Liverpool create English Premier League (EPL) history by becoming the first tandem to win all five games of the season with comprehensive victories over Cardiff and Spurs.

For the first time in 110-years, two clubs in the top flight of English football have won all five of their opening games.

EPL Review Week 5: first time in 110yrs two clubs win their first five gamesThree teams went into Match Day 5 with the opportunity to break into the dusty old record books, and we will cover the action from all three starting with Liverpool’s visit to Wembley Stadium.

Spurs 1 v 2 Liverpool 

When Spurs lost to Watford before the international break, Jermaine Jenas (while doing a spot of TV punditry) said he had never seen Spurs play poorly and win an important game.

It’s a critical part of becoming champions.

You have to develop a B & C game that’s good enough to beat most side’s A game.

Spurs don’t have it.

Liverpool does.

Spurs made four changes from the team that lost to Watford at Vicarage Road, and Hugo Lloris was the most high profile absentee due to his drink driving malarkey, and it cost Spurs dearly.

His replacement, Michel Vorm had an indifferent game. Without him, Liverpool would have romped home by five or six, but he was at fault for the first goal and could have done much better for the second.

The first came in the 39th minute.

James Milner delivered from the corner flag, Vorm squirmed at the ball inside his six-yard box, Eric Dier headed weakly to Georginio Wijnaldum, and the Dutch star looped a header into the net for his first away goal in a red shirt.

Liverpool went into the second half with a deserved lead, and they could have doubled it on two occasions, once when Andrew Robertson hit the crossbar with a cross come shot, and once when Mohamed Salah put Sadió Mané through on goal only for Vorm to pull off a fine save.

Then Spurs had a fabulous chance to equalise.

Lucas Moura made Joe Gomez look daft before whizzing into the penalty area and striking the foot of the stanchion with a wicked shot. Moura’s run seemed to wake up the Spurs support, but they were soon silenced again.

54-minutes were on the clock when Mane burst into the penalty area from the left, his cross hit the foot of Jan Vertonghen, struck the post, and the rebound squirmed through the hands of Vorm, and Roberto Firmino was standing on the goal line to apply the finishing touch.

Liverpool broke with abandon after Firmino’s strike and should have scored another couple when Eric Lamela gave Jürgen Klopp’s side butterflies with a 93rd-minute chest and volley from a corner. It was a beautiful goal, and within a minute of the restart Spurs were in the Liverpool box once more, and Mané brought down Heung-min Son for a clear penalty, but Michael Oliver didn’t see it, waved play on, and seconds later he was blowing for the final whistle.

It’s the first time in EPL history that Liverpool has won five opening games, and only the second time in the top flight in the club’s history.

Chelsea 4 v 1 Cardiff 

It’s been 37-years since Cardiff have won at Stamford Bridge, and given that Cardiff is experiencing their worst run since 2015 (no wins from six), nobody was expecting the Welsh side to rattle Maurizio Sarri’s side but rattle them they did.

Sol Bamba should have put the Bluebirds ahead within the opening ten minutes. The Ivorian headed into the ground from a corner with the net begging to ripple, and then in the 16th minute, Bamba made amends.

A free kick came in from the right. Sean Morrison headed it across the box, and Bamba arrived like a centre-forward to lunge and volley the ball home for Cardiff’s first away goal of the season.

All it did was piss Chelsea off.

Straight from the kickoff, Mateo Kovacic brought a save from the Cardiff keeper, and then he nearly scored again after a beautiful move involving Pedro and Olivier Giroud.

EPL Review Week 5: first time in 110yrs two clubs win their first five gamesThen, in the 37th minute, Antonio Rüdiger rifled a ball to Eden Hazard, the Belgian dummied, ran into space, and Giroud found him. Hazard danced around a Cardiff defender like he wasn’t there and smashed the ball into the bottom of the net.

Seven minutes later, and Hazard had his second.

Chelsea took a quick free kick deep in the Cardiff half, Marcos Alonso found Pedro who found Giroud who found Hazard, and the Belgian smashed the ball into the net deflecting off the hapless Bamba.

Hazard secured his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 80th minute after Bamba needlessly brought down Willian, and the Brazilian smashed home the fourth and best of the night three minutes later with a curler into the top corner.

“I thought he {Hazard} was one of the best in Europe,” said Sarri after the match. “I am changing my mind. Maybe he is the best in Europe.”

I think he’s one of the best in the world.

Watford 1 v 2 Man Utd

The only other side to enter Match Day 5 with a 100% record was Watford, and Javi Garcia named an unchanged team for the fifth consecutive time. The only change for United was Ashley Young coming in to face his old club for the injured Luke Shaw.

Garcia has taken 23 points from 30 at Vicarage Road, but they were no match for a purposeful and professional United side. Troy Deeney forced David de Gea to show why he is the best in the world with a brilliant save early doors, and then Alexis Sanchez brought a save out of Ben Foster.

Then in the 35th minute, Young put in a pearler, and Romelu Lukaku chested the ball into the net to put United one-up. Paul Pogba made Foster work for his money with a smart shot and save, and then three minutes later United were in total control after Young flicked in a corner, Marouane Fellaini headed the ball into the danger area, and Chris Smalling controlled the ball on his chest before turning and volleying United into a two-goal lead.

Watford was a different side in the second half, as United dropped deeper to protect what they had. Then in the 65th minute, Andre Gray slammed the ball into the roof of the net after a neat cutback from Abdoulaye Doucouré.

United lost Nemanja Matic for a second bookable offence with a few minutes remaining, and De Gea pulled off another world-class save to deny Christian Kabasele heading home the equaliser to ensure Jose Mourinho’s side followed up their two-game losing streak with two wins.

The Best of the Rest 

Bournemouth beat 10-man Leicester at the King Power. Ryan Fraser scored twice, and Josh King scored a penalty to give the South Coast club a 3-0 halftime lead. Adam Smith made it four on his 100th Premier League appearance. Leicester scored twice late on thanks to a James Maddison penalty and a sweet Marc Albrighton header.

The champions made light work of Fulham. A Leroy Sane tap-in, and David Silva‘s 50th goal of his City career gave City a 2-0 half-time lead. Raheem Sterling scored a tap-in early in the second half to finish things off, 3-0.

Arsenal survived a late scare to beat Newcastle at St James Park. Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick ten minutes into the second half, and a Mesut Ozil strike put the game to bed for the Gunners. Kieran Clarke scored a late consolation for the Magpies.

Crystal Palace resigned Huddersfield to a third defeat of the season thanks to a Wilfried Zaha strike. West Ham flew off the bottom of the table with a 3-1 win at Goodison Park courtesy of strikes from Andriy Yarmolenko (2) and Marko Arnautovic. And Burnley replaced them in the position nobody wants after losing away to Wolves by a Raúl Jiménez goal to nil.

Results in Full

Spurs 1 v 2 Liverpool
Man City 3 v 0 Fulham
Bournemouth 4 v 2 Leicester
Newcastle 1 v 2 Arsenal
Huddersfield 0 v 1 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 4 v 1 Cardiff
Watford 1 v 2 Man Utd
Wolves 1 v 0 Burnley
Everton 1 v 3 West Ham

To Be Played (Mon, 17 Sep)

Southampton v Brighton

EPL Table

1. Chelsea – 15
2. Liverpool – 15
3. Man City – 13
4. Watford – 12
5. Bournemouth – 10
6. Spurs – 9
7. Arsenal – 9
8. Man Utd – 9
9. Wolves – 8
10. Everton- 6
11. Leicester – 6
12. Crystal Palace – 6
13. Southampton – 4
14. Brighton – 4
15. Fulham – 4
16. West Ham – 3
17. Cardiff – 2
18. Huddersfield – 2
19. Newcastle – 1
20. Burnley – 1

EPL Winner Odds

Man City – 4/6
Liverpool – 5/2
Chelsea – 9/1
Man Utd – 33/1
Spurs – 33/1
Arsenal – 50/1

EPL Relegation Odds

Cardiff – 1/3
Huddersfield – 4/9
Burnley – 7/4
West Ham – 5/2

Next Manager to Leave Odds

Manuel Pellegrino – 3/1
Jose Mourninho – 5/1
Claude Puel – 5/1

Comments

views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CalvinAyre.com