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EPL wk2 review: Lampard still winless; the Blades still undefeated

TAGs: English Premier League

Another round-up from Week 2 of the English Premier League with Leicester City taking a point at a vibrant Stamford Bridge and Sheffield United continue their unbeaten run with a win at home to Crystal Palace.

Frank Lampard played for Chelsea 429 times, scoring 147 goals. The fans, who call him a legend, shower him with adoration, and he will need that love if he is to create symmetry in his managerial career.

EPL w1 review: United hammer Chelsea; Arsenal beat NewcastleThe contours don’t match the map that Lampard dreamt when Roman Abramovich appointed him a few short months ago. Three games, zero wins – the worst start for a Chelsea boss since Rafa Benitez, six-years ago (and there have been a lot of them).

Chelsea’s pattern against Leicester City was similar to that disastrous opening night against Manchester United. They started brilliantly, and should have gone in at half-time with a three-goal lead, prompting Lampard to tell the press that they need to be more ‘clinical’.

The first chance came in the first minute. Cesar Azpilicueta fired in a beauty of a cross from the right. Olivier Giroud, in for Tammy Abraham, chested the ball to Pedro who volleyed into the side netting.

Seconds later, and Giroud used his body to leverage some space for Mason Mount to stride into, but Kasper Schmeichel saved his weak shot with ease. Mount was more clinical with his second chance.

Jonny Evans played the ball to Wilfred Ndidi on the edge of the box, and the Nigerian dithered long enough for Mount to be on him like a gull on an errant cheese sandwich lying on a beach towel. Ndidi tried to foul him, but Mount kept his balance beautifully to score his first senior goal for the club with a low right-footed shot.

Mount could have made it two, on 21-minutes. Once again, Azpilicueta was the provider, dinking a ball onto the head of Mount, who from the penalty spot couldn’t generate any power.

Then the best chance of the lot.

With 26-minutes on the clock, Christian Pulisic found Giroud at the near post. The Frenchman sent the ball to N’Golo Kante with a peach of a backheel, and the former Leicester man saw his effort go wide after a brilliant sliding tackle from Christian Fuchs.

Chelsea battered Leicester in the first half, limiting the Foxes to a single shot on goal. Brenda Rodgers’ side managed eleven in the second half. As at Old Trafford, Chelsea ran out of puff, and Leicester turned a library clerk performance into one of rock n roll, with James Maddison the frontman.

The 22-year-old was brilliant, and it was his corner in the 67th-minute that led to the Leicester equaliser with Ndidi making up for his first-half howler with a bullet header.

Five-minutes later, and Maddison should have scored his name into the headlines when he got on the end of Fuchs’ pass, weaved in and out of the Chelsea backline leaving them in spasms, before firing over the bar from seven yards.

There were other chances for Leicester, most notably, Jamie Vardy firing wide after a trademark off the shoulder run. But, none of them was as clear cut as Maddison’s chance. By the end of the tie, Chelsea fans were happy to hear the final whistle, and the sounds of “Super Frank Lampard” were no more.

In the day’s other tie, newly promoted Sheffield United remain undefeated in their first two games after beating Crystal Palace by a goal to nil at Bramhall Lane. John Lundstram earned his team the three points with a neat strike, shortly after half-time. Lundstram has now scored in all four tiers of English football, but few will be as memorable as this.

“We were nowhere near good enough,” Roy Hodgson told the press after the defeat.

Palace is yet to score a league goal in their first two outings, and Hodgson is now the 4/1 favourite to be the first EPL manager to leave his position this season.

Results in full

Arsenal 2 v 1 Burnley
Aston Villa 1 v 2 Bournemouth
Brighton 1 v 1 West Ham
Everton 1 v 0 Watford
Norwich 3 v 1 Newcastle
Southampton 1 v 2 Liverpool
Man City 2 v 2 Tottenham
Sheff Utd 1 v 0 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 1 v 1 Leicester

To be played (mon)

Wolves v Man Utd

Premier league table

1. Liverpool – 6 pts
2. Arsenal – 6
3. Man City – 4
4. Brighton – 4
5. Spurs – 4
6. Bournemouth – 4
7. Sheff Utd – 4
8. Everton – 4
9. Man Utd – 3
10. Burnley – 3
11. Norwich – 3
12. Leicester – 2
13. Wolves – 1
14. Crystal Palace – 1
15. Chelsea – 1
16. West Ham – 1
17. Aston Villa – 0
18. Newcastle – 0
19. Southampton – 0
20. Watford – 0

Odds
To win

Man City 1/2
Liverpool 5/2
Spurs 20/1
Man Utd 28/1
Arsenal 33/1
Chelsea 50/1

Relegation

Sheff Utd 4/5
Newcastle 11/8
Norwich 11/8
Aston Villa 15/8
Burnley 9/4
Crystal Palace – 7/2

Golden boot

Harry Kane 7/2
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 11/2
Mo Salah 11/2
Raheem Sterling 6/1
Sergio Aguero 8/1

First manager to leave

Roy Hodgson 4/1
Javia Garcia – 7/2
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 10/1
Ralph Hasenhuttl 10/1

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