Gameweek 5 of the Premier League was a feisty affair. Though it was not a goalscoring week by any means, there was plenty of drama and action as the teams took to the football pitch. With 5 weeks of league action done and dusted, it’s fair to say that all the teams have a rough idea of the road that lies ahead. Let’s have a look at some of the talking points from Gameweek 5.
Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
The Cherries registered their first victory of the season against newcomers, Brighton at the Vitality Stadium. This wasn’t a straightforward result, however, as a 55th minute goal from the visitors, courtesy of Solly March meant yet another final 30 minutes of anxiety as the hosts were staring at 5 defeats on the trot. The hosts, however, turned the game on its head. The introduction of Jordan Ibe in the 65th minute proved to be the game changer, as he got two assists on the night to complete the Bournemouth turnaround. Jermain Defoe, the coveted hitman up front, scored his first league goal of the season. Eddie Howe will hope this result would kickstart their season, as they head into the thick of things with a visit to Goodison next weekend.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton
Selhurst Park played host to two teams who are struggling to find any sort of rhythm into the new season. Hosts Crystal Palace had a new face in the dugout, as the sacking of Frank de Boer meant the Eagles were now under the stewardship of former England manager, Roy Hodgson.
The hosts got off to the worst possible start, as Steven Davis scored the only goal of the game, after just 6 minutes. Southampton held on for all three points against the bitterly disappointed Eagles, who become the first team in the English top flight to have lost the first 5 games of the season without scoring a single goal. There were glimpses of promise, however, as Ruben Loftus Cheek seemed to be a bright spark in central midfield. It’s unfair to single them out as relegation candidates this early on in the season, but they need to find their mojo as soon as possible as they gear themselves for a long season ahead.
Huddersfield 1-1 Leicester City
Newboys Huddersfield Town seem to be enjoying life in the Premier League, as a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester meant they maintained their status as a top-half team.
The hosts had a catalogue of chances in the first half, and took the lead right after the break as Laurent Depoitre muscled his way through the Leicester defence to slot a fine finish home. Leicester City took just 4 minutes to respond, as Chris Lowe fouled Andy King in the penalty area, leading to a Jamie Vardy goal from the spot-kick.
Leicester City have had a sub-standard start to the season, picking up their first point in three games. Craig Shakespeare still seems unsure of what he thinks is his best starting XI, and needs to sort it out quickly if his side are going to gather any sort of momentum heading into the next few gameweeks.
Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
Jurgen Klopp’s men suffered yet another setback as a 1-1 draw against Burnley at home infuriated the supporters. Scott Arfield gave the visitors a shock lead as Klavan failed to deal with a drop ball in the penalty box, that was duly converted by the Scotsman. The home side responded immediately, with Mohamed Salah controlling a long ball from Emre Can inside the Burnley penalty area, before slotting the ball past Nick Pope in goal. The Burnley keeper had a busy day in goal, and did brilliantly to deny Dominic Solanke as he pushed his effort onto the bar. The game also marked the return of Phillipe Coutinho to the starting line-up, who showed flashes of brilliance in the game, but not enough of it to help his team over the line. Overall, a decent performance from Liverpool, who need to be more clinical if they need results to turn their way. Burnley could not be happier with the start to the season that they’ve had, and exit the gameweek in the 7th position, just above Liverpool.
Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City
Newcastle United overcame a bitterly disappointed Stoke City at St. James’ Park. The hosts seem to be hitting some sort of form, as yet another victory sees them in 4th position after 5 games in the Premier League. The newsboys had a good start to the game, with summer signing from Chelsea, Christian Atsu opening his account for the club, from yet another Matt Ritchie assist. Stoke hit back with a finely taken goal from Xherdan Shaqiri, but the home team had the last laugh as defender Jamaal Lascelles scored the winner, for the second straight match to hand Newcastle United yet another precious 3 points.
Watford 0-6 Manchester City
This encounter was supposed to be a tight one. Both the teams headed into the game as two of three unbeaten teams in the league so far. However, Marco Silva’s men were blown away by City’s excellence. Sergio Aguero, who had become somewhat of a forgotten man reminded Pep of his importance, bagging yet another hattrick, his sixth in City colours and assisting another to help City beat Watford by 6 goals to nil. This was a statement victory, directly aimed at their cross town rivals as a reminder that their path isn’t going to be as easy as it seems. Apart from being at their attacking best, City were also helped by some leniency from the referees and a few blunders from Heurelho Gomes. Manchester City are now top of the Premier League, level on points, goals scored and goals conceded with their rivals, Manchester United.
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United
While the game was largely uneventful, it was a special occasion for Baggies midfielder Gareth Barry, who made history by equaling Ryan Giggs’ all-time appearance record of 632 games, also becoming the first player in Premier League to make 600 starts. The midfielder could have had a goal to celebrate on his special day, but his looping header rippled the roof of the net. Pedro Obiang could have affected the scoreline as his effort from 40 yards out, almost caught Ben Foster off guard.
West Brom continued their fine start to the season, and sit in 9th position, while West Ham are beginning to claw out of the relegation zone, unbeaten in their last two games.
Tottenham 0-0 Swansea
Yet another league game at Wembley, yet another disappointment for Tottenham Hotspurs. The London side seemed to have broken the Wembley curse with a well taken 3-1 victory over Borrusia Dortmund but were out of sorts against Swansea. Harry Kane came closest to breaking the deadlock, but his effort cannoned off the crossbar. The second half saw Spurs dominate possession, but Swansea’s resolute defending endured yet another disappointing night for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. After 5 games, Tottenham find themselves in 5th place, 5 points adrift of the table toppers. Swansea meanwhile, seem to have steadied the ship after the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United.
Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal
Stamford Bridge played host to one of the most anticipated encounters of Gameweek 5, as the London divide between Chelsea and Arsenal was put to test. Arsenal have found the visit to Stamford Bridge quite intimidating, as 5 consecutive losses prior to this worked against their chances. However, they would be pleased with their performance on the night, particularly in keeping a clean sheet against the reigning champions. Arsenal seemed to be the more threatening side and should have opened the scoring as a hazy run from Aaron Ramsey ended with the Welshman’s shot hitting the post. The rebound that followed was skied by Alexandre Lacazette. Chelsea were down to 10 men after 87 minutes, as David Luiz saw a straight red for his tackle on Sead Kolasinac. Overall, Arsenal would be pleased with their performance. The result was a definite plus point, looking at their form against the top 6. Chelsea could have and should have done better.
Manchester United 4-0 Everton
Manchester United faced Everton at Old Trafford and came out on top, courtesy of a 4-0 win. The scoreline looks emphatic, but the performance from Manchester United was far from it, as they clearly missed Paul Pogba’s presence in central midfield. A 20-yard screamer from Antonio Valencia got the Reds underway which could go down as a goal of the season contender. From then on, it was static from Manchester United in midfield for most parts of the game. Romelu Lukaku should have finished a one on one to ease the nerves heading into half time but he wasted the opportunity. The second half saw Everton grow into the game due to a change in shape, with Rooney dropping deep as the visitors looked to make a difference with an extra man in midfield. Rooney and Sigurdsson had chances which, had they taken, would have changed the dynamic of the game. The last 10 minutes saw Manchester United at their ruthless best, scoring 3 goals in a space of 7 minutes to add the gloss to the scoreline.