Kane and Rooney finally scored. Sanchez hit a hat-trick and Newcastle blew it … again.
It was a big weekend for in the EPL, with wins for Manchester United, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Stoke, Southampton and, of course, Liverpool and Spurs.
In the latter match, Harry Kane ended weeks of fevered speculation about whether or not he was a one season wonder with his first goal of the current campaign against a lacklustre Manchester City, who’re going through something of a mini-crisis at the moment, having lost three of their last four games.
This one was a real pasting, a 4-1 beating as Spurs coasted past them, with Dier, Alderweireld, the aforementioned Kane and Lamela all striking in a match where Kevin De Bruyne had continued his own excellent run of form with yet another goal.
It was a similar story of relief for Wayne Rooney, who’s just got his first goal of the EPL campaign in another Manchester United victory, this time over deep in crisis Sunderland. The 3-0 scoreline was a proper reflection on the dominance of the league leaders … and a damning indictment of what’s gone wrong at the bottom club, who need a miracle to turn this around.
The scoring in that one was rounded out by Depay – who looks real quality at last, a player who could be terrorising defences in a red shirt for years to come – and a last minute goal from Mata. The performance of young Martial caught the eye again, as he was nearly unplayable.
Brendan Rodgers will have breathed a sigh of relief as an on-form Daniel Sturridge fired home two, and allowed his side the breathing space of a victory over Aston Villa. Sherwood’s men gave them a fight though, more of one than I think Rodgers would have liked, scoring twice through Gestede, the second of which forced Rodgers and his team to an uncomfortable last 20 minutes of the match.
And it all could have gone swimmingly had the home side capitalised on their excellent start; they were 1-0 up within the first two minutes, thanks to James Milner.
That aside, the three points will have been welcomed down on Merseyside.
Arsene Wegner will have been delighted with his side at the weekend, running up a very comfortable 5-2 win over previously unbeaten Leicester. The home side couldn’t have hoped for a better start either; Jamie Vardy had them 1-0 in 13 minutes, only to concede to a Theo Walcott goal just five minutes later.
From that point on though, the show – and the weekend – belonged to just one man; Alexis Sanchez, who tore Leicester to pieces and bagged a hat-trick in one of his best performances since first pulling on the famous red and white top.
On his day he looks like a Luis Suarez clone, and this was a performance that will have given the Gunners supporters renewed faith.
The scoring was closed out by a late Vardy goal and then a last minute finish from Oliver Giroud. In all the hype that will undoubtedly be poured onto Sanchez (see above!), Vardy’s performance, and goals, shouldn’t be overlooked. That boy can most definitely play.
Southampton notched up a very nice 3-1 win over Swansea with ex-Celt Virgil Van Dijk scoring his first goal for the club to open the scoring. The big Dutchman is starting to settle in now and you can see his quality start to shine through. Further goals from Tadic and Mane helped the side into a solid 3-0 lead, before a Sigurdsen penalty reduced the deficit with seven minutes to go.
Stoke got a victory at Bournemouth, with Walters opening the scoring only to see Gosling cancelling it out. The match was wrapped up, and the points with it, when Diouf scored with seven left to go there, to give the home side their first win of the season. Diouf’s goal was his fifth in his last seven league matches; he’s clearly one to watch this season.
Watford will have to give themselves a wee bit of a shake, after they dropped three points at home to Palace, who won a relatively low-key but keenly contested match by a single goal, courtesy of a Yohan Cabaye penalty in the 71st minute. The away team almost looked the most threatening in the game and might have been in front sooner after Dwight Gayle had hit the post.
Palace, under Pardew, now have nine wins in the last twelve matches away from home, a record I just bet the Newcastle United fans are eyeing with envy at the moment ….
They had one of those days at the weekend, surging into a two-goal lead against Chelsea, and they held that lead with goals from Perez and Wijnaldum with just eleven minutes left to play … and then it all went wrong. Mourinho had put on William and Ramires, and both substitutions repaid him splendidly with their goals to make it 2-2.
Chelsea’s start to the season has not been the best – they are sitting in 15th spot as I write this – but Newcastle’s … well, it’s been just awful. This was a far better performance than any they’ve turned in thus far this season, but dropping a 2-0 lead with the clock ticking down isn’t exactly great going, and McClaren’s record is now 11 EPL games without a win … seven at Newcastle and four from his tenure at Middlesbrough. That has to change … and quickly.
He is, after all, not exactly working for the most tolerant chairman.
Finally, West Ham and Norwich fought out one of the best games of the whole weekend, with a fantastic 2-2 draw at Upton Park, with the away side taking the lead through Brady in just 9 minutes before Sakho levelled on 33. When Redmond popped up to put Norwich into a late lead, with seven minute remaining, the Hammers faithful might have been forgiven for thinking that was that; Cheikhou Kouyate had other ideas, and in the last minute he scored the equaliser.
Tonight, West Brom take on Everton at home, to complete the Match Day 7 card.
Player of the Weekend:
Alexis Sanchez. Magnificent display.