A week in the Premier League

This weekend began in a dull manner, as Queen’s Park Rangers and Stoke City opened the weekend with a muted 2-2 draw.  In his first game as manager, Stoke’s Mark Hughes was underwhelming against his former club. Arsenal soon followed with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.  Striker Danny Welbeck scored in the 34th minute, his first goal for the Gunners, paving the way for a drive in which Arsenal scored three goals in four minutes to earn a clinical victory over Villa.

Further north at Turf Moor, Burnley and Sunderland played out a dull 0-0 draw, leaving both teams without a win in their first five matches of the season. The game was not without controversy, however, as Burnley striker Lukas Jutkiewicz had two plausible penalty appeals turned down by referee Anthony Taylor.

Later Saturday afternoon, Newcastle United and Hull City had a dramatic 2-2 draw, as Newcastle substitute Papiss Cisse scored in the 73rd and 87th minutes to steal a win away from Hull and earn a point for the Magpies. The match also included protests inside and outside the stadium against Newcastle Manager Pardew, as anger grew against his lack of success, with Newcastle sitting in 18th place on the table.

The weekend’s matches became significantly more dramatic during Saturday evening, as Southampton scored in the 80th minute to overcome Welsh side Swansea City by a score of 1-0. Southampton was without a doubt aided by Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, who in the 38th minute was shown a red card, having been booked twice for two clumsy tackles in quick succession. With the benefit of having an extra man on the pitch, Southampton earned the decisive edge for the rest of the match.

Late on Saturday, at Upton Park in London, West Ham United outplayed Liverpool FC for a final score of 3-1. An eventful first half began with West Ham players Reid and Sakho scoring in the third and seventh minutes, followed by a 26th minute strike by Raheem Sterling for Liverpool’s only goal. Despite attacking hard in the second half, a Suarez-less Liverpool could not overcome West Ham’s defense, with the Irons scoring an insurance goal in the 88th minute to finish off the faltering Liverpool side.

Despite Saturday’s dull start, Sunday was truly a day of upsets. It began with a 5-3 win by newly promoted Leicester over Manchester United, coming from 3-1 down to win. With United only winning a single match in their first five games, questions are already being raised about manager Louis Van Gaal, who has been unable to replicate the success of former manager Alex Ferguson.

Another upset soon followed as West Bromwich Albion upset Tottenham 1-0 to earn their first win of the season. With only a single shot on goal, Tottenham was clearly outclassed by a strong West Brom defense.

The upsets continued with Crystal Palace beating Everton 3-2 at Everton’s home ground. Crystal Palace overcame an early Everton goal to win. Despite their recent success, The Toffeemen have been unable to beat Crystal Palace with any regularity. Everton looked visibly still tired from their 4-1 Europa League win over the German side Wolfsburg on Thursday.

The final match of the weekend was equally dramatic, with Manchester City tying Chelsea 1-1 at home. The match was a heated affair with eight yellow cards between the two sides, followed by a 66th minute dismissal of City defender Pablo Zabaleta. Despite playing a man down, City midfielder Frank Lampard scored in the 85th minute against his former club to earn the draw in what turned to be an extremely entertaining match.

After a dramatic weekend of English football, next weekend should be equally exciting. Matches to pay particular attention to include the Merseyside Derby match between Everton and Liverpool, one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport, and a North London Derby match between sides Arsenal and Tottenham. 

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