This week’s Premier League winners and losers. Week #2

WINNERS

Everton

Despite fan protests in the form of an aeroplane banner asking for the resignation of Bill Kenwright & co prior to the match, Everton sailed to a straight forward and dominating win at Southampton as they ran out 3-0 winners on the South coast. A brace for star forward Romelu Lukaku, deemed unplayable on the day by football pundits and social media users alike, and a smart finish towards the end of the match from Ross Barkley left Southampton without a win from their first two Premier League games this season.

Some Everton fans flew this message prior to kick-off at St Marys
Some Everton fans flew this message prior to kick-off at St Marys

Everton outclassed Southampton for large parts of the game with ruthless counterattacking football especially from the Saints set pieces, the Toffees first goal an example of this, with particularly outstanding performances from Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Chelsea target John Stones and a rejuvenated  Arouna Koné.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez stated after the game that: “As a team we were outstanding in every department. The scoreline was the real truth. We were superior, we defended well, the intensity was incredible. On the counter-attack we looked unplayable at times. Many moments we were superior and that really pleases you.”

Norwich

Despite losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace last week, a match in which Norwich performed well and were largely unlucky due to a poor refereeing decision, Norwich bounced back this weekend with a 3-1 win of their own against already struggling Sunderland.

Russell Martin opened the scoring fortuitously, inadvertently turning the ball home after Costel Pantilimon parried a Robbie Brady shot. Steven Whittaker slammed home a second after a one-two with Wes Hoolahan, who also assisted in the Canaries’ third from Nathan Redmond after the break.

Duncan Watmore’s late consolation goal for Sunderland on his first team debut was the only moment of happiness for the fans up on Wierside who once again left the Stadium of Light on the back of another home defeat.

Norwich City manager Alex Neil stated after the game that: “I thought it was very good, similar to last week in that we dominated the game. We had the cutting edge this time though. The first goal is crucial – we didn’t look back. I have a great group, they work hard and work as a team.”

Stephen Ireland & Stoke City

The ‘comeback of the weekend’ award this week goes to Stoke City who fought back from 2-0 down at White Hart Lane to draw 2-2 with Tottenham. A particular highlight of the teams comeback was a superb performance off the bench by attacking midfielder Stephen Ireland whose introduction sparked the turnaround for the Midlands club.

Although 2-0 down at half time thanks to goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli for the home side, Stoke came out after the break in a determined style and fashion. Marko Arnautovic pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Toby Alderweireld brought down Joselu. Man of the match Diouf then secured a point towards the end when the forward got on to the end of Stephen Ireland’s cross.

Diouf put in a 'man of the match' performance for Stoke at White Hart Lane.
Diouf put in a ‘man of the match’ performance for Stoke at White Hart Lane.

It was deserved point for Mark Hughes’ side who diligently kept at their task in the second half, even though a comeback looked unlikely after their first-half display. Mame Diouf had a particularly good game for the Potters, looking threatening throughout the whole match.

LOSERS

Daryl Jaanmat

A weekend to quickly forgot for Newcastle United’s Dutch right-back who was sent off for two bookable offenses shortly before half time in their game away at Swansea this weekend.

Daryl Jaanmat struggled massively against the pacey left sided winger Jefferson Montero who tore the full back apart throughout the whole first half on their encounter at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Janmaat was sent off shortly before half-time for persistently fouling Jefferson Montero.

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren: “We didn’t learn a lot apart from it is difficult to win with 10 men. A little bit of naivety has cost us, 10 men and your backs are against the wall. We have to dust ourselves down and concentrate on the Manchester United game next week.”

Jose Mourinho

Maybe this weekend’s biggest loser and that was before the match at the Etihad Stadium had even kicked off at 4pm on Sunday against Manchester City.  It only got worse on the pitch too for the Chelsea manager as his side were dismantled by their Premier League rivals, losing 3-0 in an encounter which could have easily seen more goals go in for the home side and Sergio Aguero in particular.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s turbulent week – shaped by the controversy surrounding the demotion of medical staff Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn – ended in misery as he saw his side outclassed by a resurgent City. The media backlash that the Chelsea manager has felt in the days following the sacking of his medical team has put Mourinho under massive added pressure as the City fans were relentless in their attempts to try and wind up the Chelsea boss with ironic cheers when a Chelsea player would go down injured in the match.

On the day, Manchester City outclassed their opponents and limited Chelsea to few chances, not recording their first shot on target until the 70th minute of the match as the Manchester club looked hungry to take back the title the Londoners took from them last season with resounding ease.

Sergio Aguero opens the scoring for Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero opens the scoring for Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, speaking to BBC Sport after the game at the Etihad Stadium stateed: “We were the best team by far in the second half. What they did in the first we did in the second. We dominated and when they feel they are in trouble, and they felt, they changed Aguero and Sterling. They try to recover control of the game exactly when they scored the second goal. Their goalkeeper was good and we couldn’t score. They were only coming up with long balls. Not one single problem in the second half; they had lots.”

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This week’s Premier League winners and losers. Week #1

WINNERS

West Ham United

What a performance and victory it was for the East London side as they beat potential title contenders Arsenal at the Emirates 2-0 thanks to goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate. Despite being knocked out of the Europa League during the week by minnows FC Astra Giurgiu of Romania, West Ham played fabulously in defence all game to maintain the clean sheet and secure the clubs first win of the season.

Slaven Bilic sprang a surprise in his starting line-up at the Emirates by handing Reece Oxford his league debut, making him the seventh-youngest player to feature in the Premier League. However the 16 year old holding midfielder played extremely well on his league debut stopping Mesut Ozil in particularly going forward for the Gunners.

Claudio Ranieri

A dream start for the original Italian ‘tinkerman’ who was a shock choice to take over as manager at Leicester City after the sacking of Nigel Pearson at the end of last season. Leicester City have carried their form through the summer months into the new season after winning eight of their last nine games of last season to avoid the drop to the Championship.

Yohann Cabaye and Georginio Wijnaldum

Both scorers on their respective debuts, Yohann Cabaye and Georginio Wijnaldum gave great performances for their new Premier League teams Crystal Palace and Newcastle. Both players cost large sums of money for their teams this summer transfer window, the two players will hope to build on their performances in week one of the 2014-2015 season.

 

LOSERS

Arsene Wenger

The Gunners were up against an extremely well-organised side, but with the experience they have against teams doing various things to try to stop them in the past, they should have been able to cope. Arsene Wenger’s side still threatened and West Ham would not have won without their keeper Adrian playing well, but there was a reason why Arsenal did not create as many chances as they normally would at home.

West Ham set up in a diamond shape which meant all four of their midfield players stayed narrow and meant that Bilic’s side were weaker out wide, an aspect Arsene Wenger failed to capitalised upon throughout the course of the game.

Arsenal fans don’t worry though, the Gunners will be up there at the end of the season especially if another world class player is added to Wenger’s team.

Sunderland

Sunderland made a very poor start to the 2014/2015 season with a terrible performance and result, especially in the first half, in their 4-2 loss against Premier League rivals Leicester City. For a team that massively underperformed and struggled last season in the Premier League, a severe loss to another team likely to be around the relegation places come the end of the season was not the start Dick Advocaat wanted. Improvement is needed before the side entertain Norwich this weekend.

Thibaut Courtois

Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off for denying striker Bafetimbi Gomis a clear goal scoring chance during Saturday’s match at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea would go on to drop points at home as they drew 2-2 with Swansea, a rare sight for fans of the West London club.

Thibaut Courtois will miss their game at Manchester City after an appeal against his red card in the 2-2 draw with Swansea was rejected.

 

Daily Mail team of the week.
Daily Mail team of the week.

Predicted Premier League positions for this season.

We take a look at what I believe the Premier League table will look like at the end of the 2015/2016 season including my predictions on which teams will win the two English domestic trophies during the course of the season as well.

1st – Chelsea
2nd –Arsenal
3rd – Manchester City
4th – Manchester United
5th – Liverpool
6th – Tottenham
7th – Southampton
8th – Everton
9th – Crystal Palace
10th – Stoke
11th – Swansea
12th – West Ham
13th – Newcastle
14th – Aston Villa
15th – West Bromwich Albion
16th – Bournemouth
17th – Sunderland
18th – Watford
19th – Leicester City
20th – Norwich

Capital One Cup winners – Liverpool
FA Cup winners – Manchester United