The first match of Matchday 8 in the English Premier League was a crunching Saturday kick-off between reigning league champions Manchester City and potential UEFA Champions’ League place challengers Tottenham Hotspur, as the hosts ran out an emphatic and entertaining 4-1 victory.
Sergio Aguero scored the first on the 12th minute before Spurs’ Christian Eriksen two minutes later, but another three goals for City’s Argentinian hero won it at the Etihad Stadium in a game of four penalties in total, two of them being missed, and where the visitors’ Premier League debutant Federico Fazio was sent of by referee Jonathan Moss.
On the home victory, City boss Manuel Pellegrini said: “We had chances to score, and I think that’s very important for the fans as I always say it’s important to be an attractive team.”
“Maybe we need to not make so many mistakes, especially with the ball at our feet, but it’ important to win this game after the international break. It’s very difficult without having the players in the week to work.”
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino believed key moments cost his side, as he told Spurs TV: “I’m really disappointed with the result because it doesn’t reflect the situation in the game.”
“For me, there were two key moments: the Soldado penalty and the penalty in the first half, (Erik) Lamela (foul on Frank Lampard), the first penalty.”
“But this is football. It’s important to take the positives and try to improve. We never gave up.”
After that Newcastle United and their under-fire boss Alan Pardew finally got their first win of the season as they won 1-0 against Leicester City at St James’ Park, in where the Magpies were dominant, with their French winger Gabriel Obertan notching up the winner in what was a delayed match.
8-0 was the scoreline at St Mary’s as Southampton humbled their visitors Sunderland, as the flow of goals started from a comedy on goal by the Black Cats’ right-back Santiago Vergini, before a brace from Graziano Pelle, and goals from four-assists man Dusan Tadic, Jack Cork, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane, and another own goal from Liam Bridcutt, with five of the goals coming in the second half.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet described the humiliating defeat as the most embarrassing moment of his career: “It’s probably the most embarrassing time I’ve had on a football pitch. You think that maybe you will never get these situations, but unfortunately sometimes it’s your turn. It’s unacceptable really.”
“I am really sorry for the fans; they have been excellent. They travelled all that way and had to look at a very difficult game today.”
Arsenal left it late to get the equaliser in a 2-2 home draw with Hull City, as the visitors’ third goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic had to play more than one half of the game after Steve Harper got injured, and Allan McGregor wasn’t available at the start of the game.
Alexis Sanchez scored on the 12th minute for the hosts before Steve Bruce’s Hull equalised through Mohamed Diame, with Arsenal players appealing there was a foul made by Diame on the Gunners’ Mathieu Flamini in the build-up to the goal.
Right into the second-half Abel Hernandez turned it around at the Emirates with a sweet header from a Tom Huddlestone cross, before Danny Welbeck scored a 91st minute goal to make it 2-2 after some desperate attacking from the hosts, as they saved a point from the Tigers.
West Ham United’s Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Carlton Cole scored three at Burnley’s Turf Moor, with the hosts’ George Boyd scoring what was just a consolation.
Five minutes at Selhurst Park was enough to see Chelsea’s Oscar score first against hosts Crystal Palace, before Cesc Fabregas added a second on the 50th minute in a match where the Blues’ in-form striker Diego Costa missed out due to injury. Frazier Campbell’s 89th minute goal ended as just a consolation as Chelsea notched up their 7th win this season from eight games.
Two assists from Leighton Baines saw three goals scored by Everton’s Phil Jagielka, Romelu Lukaku and Seamus Coleman as the earned a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa, and Toffees’ boss Roberto Martinez hailed his side’s “clever” win.
“We knew Villa would pose an incredible threat on the counter attack with the players that they have. Charles N’Zogbia, Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor can be a real threat,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports.
“I’m happy that we controlled the game and we stopped them from having any real threat. On top of that, we scored at the right times. I’m so, so pleased in the way that we performed today.”
Asked whether he was just as happy about the defensive performance rather than going forward, Martinez simply replied: “Yes. When we speak about clean sheets it’s a team effort.”
“Throughout the team we had a real focus and intensity to defend well, and we did so as a group. We worked extremely hard to keep them quiet in front of our goal.”
“To be able to have the patience and to get rid of the pressure Aston Villa can reply was a clever performance from our point of view, and a really important one. It’s a special feeling, and the players deserve it after the Old Trafford (2-1 defeat to Manchester United) game.”
Sunday’s matches comprise of Liverpool heading to Loftus Road to play a struggling Queens Park Rangers side before Stoke City host Swansea City, and last but not least, Manchester United travel to the Hawthorns the next day to face an unpredictable West Bromwich Albion side.
|14||West Bromwich Albion||7||2||2||3||8||9||-1||8||DLLWWL|
|Queens Park Rangers||7||1||1||5||4||15||-11||4||LWLDLL|