Premier League Match Day 4 Round-Up

© REUTERS / PHIL NOBLEManchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after the match
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after the match  - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
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Premier League matchday four saw the return of Cristian Ronaldo, Tottenham's perfect start come to an end, Liverpool and Chelsea assert their title challenge credentials, Mikel Arteta's hot seat cool just a little, and much, much more. Here's a breakdown of all ten matches.

Crystal Palace 3 - 0 Tottenham

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira got his first win as Palace manager in an absolute thumping of Tottenham. Tottenham recorded two shots all game in a performance that can be best described as pitiful. The game was scoreless at halftime but Palace had far the better chances.
Two bookings in the span of five minutes for Tottenham’s Japhet Tanganga saw him sent off in the 57th minute, with Palace responding with a flurry of goals. Wilfred Zaha’s 75th-minute penalty after a Tottenham handball ultimately gave Palace the lead.
New signing Odsunne Edouard made his Palace debut and wasted no time ingratiating himself to the Selhurst Park faithful. With his first touch, he settled a fantastic grounded cross from Zaha, and with his second, he found the back of the net for an 84th-minute goal. However, Edouard wasn’t done, as he added a 92nd-minute goal to take his tally to two and Palace’s lead to three.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Norwich

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta entered the contest against Norwich in desperate need of a win. After three games, the Gunners found themselves with zero points, zero goals scored, and in their previous two contests had been shredded by Chelsea and Manchester City.
Norwich, like Arsenal, also entered the match with zero points, with the game jokingly referred to as a relegation battle. Arsenal, however, proved to be the much better team, with the 1-0 victory not reflecting the true gap in quality.
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Brentford 0 - 1 Brighton

The game with the most dramatic ending also happened to be one of the weekend’s dullest games. Brighton and Brentford combined for five first-half shots and eleven over the course of the game.
Brentford was the better side over the course of the contest. They created the most dangerous chances but weren’t able to capitalize. What looked like a game that was destined to end nil-nil and the neutral fan wishing for Championship football was rescued by Leandro Troussard’s heroics.
Through quick interplay, Brighton got the ball to the edge of the 18-yard box and Troussard’s feet. Troussard cut in with a touch and created just enough space to curl in a fantastic shot into the bottom corner. Brighton had been outplayed but walked away with three points.

Leicester City 0 - 1 Manchester City

A rematch of the Community Shield ended with the same score but a different victor. Manchester City, fielding a full-strength team, went after Leicester early and often.
Charitable pundits would describe Leicester’s first-half defensive performance as stout due to all the blocked shots they managed, but good defenders prevent shots in the box from ever happening in the first place.
Leicester’s best chances came through playing the ball long or beating the first line of their press and exposing City’s high defensive line. Jamie Vardy thought he had scored to start the second half but was ruled offside by just a fraction. City was finally able to break through with a goal from Bernardo Silva who had been causing Leicester problems all afternoon.
Joao Cancelo rocketed a low strike from outside the box that got Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel to dive to block a shot that never came as Caglar Soyuncu blocked it. The ball careened off to the side where Silva waited and quickly lifted over Schmeichel’s sprawled out body. The goal gave City a lead they wouldn’t relinquish and firmly re-established their title defense hopes.

Manchester United 4 -1 Newcastle United

Cristiano Ronaldo’s second Manchester United debut lived up to the hype. Newcastle United’s plan was as clear as day, drop as many defenders between United and their net and try to nick a goal on the counter.
The strategy worked for the first 45 minutes as they didn’t concede, but they were under heavy pressure and had hardly created any chances on their own. Right before halftime, United and Ronaldo got the goal they had been craving. Mason Greenwood cut in from the right and launched a low rocket towards the goal.
Newcastle keeper Freddy Woodman couldn’t handle the shot and let it bobble in front of the net. Ronaldo was at the ready and tapped it in to give United the lead. Newcastle might have been second-best but they mounted a resistance and equalized in the 55th minute with a goal from Javier Manquillo.
© REUTERS / ARND WIEGMANNSoccer Football - Champions League - Manchester United Training - Stadion Wankdorf, Bern, Switzerland - September 13, 2021 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes during training
Soccer Football - Champions League - Manchester United Training - Stadion Wankdorf, Bern, Switzerland - September 13, 2021 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes during training - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
Soccer Football - Champions League - Manchester United Training - Stadion Wankdorf, Bern, Switzerland - September 13, 2021 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes during training
United wouldn’t have to wait long to break the dead heat. Luke Shaw carried the ball from United’s half towards Newcastle’s goal and played a slip pass into Ronaldo who took an expert touch to himself and the ball moving at pace before blasting a low shot right through Woodman’s legs. United had a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Bruno Fernandes added a third goal on a brilliant strike from outside the box. Jesse Lingard added a fourth in extra time on what was United’s best goal. Pogba danced on the edge of the box and played the ball in where Anthony Martial, like a Daoist philosopher performing action through inaction, dummied the ball to allow Lingard to receive the ball and slot it home. Paul Pogba’s two assists on the day brought his season total to seven, and gave him a real chance to break the single-season Premier League assist record of 20, held jointly by Kevin De Bruyne and Thierry Henry.
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Southampton 0 - 0 West Ham

West Ham and Southampton played to the weekend’s lone tie. The contest played out a dull first half with neither side generating any dangerous chances; however, the game came as alive as a 0-0 match can in the second half. West Ham and Southampton generated their best chances after the intermission but neither side could find the back of the net.
The most consequential moment of the game saw Michail Antonio sent off for a second yellow card offense in the 94th minute. The West Ham striker has been one of the Premier League’s best players over the first four matches with four goals, three assists, and a goal celebration where he kissed a cardboard cutout of himself.

Watford 0 - 2 Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton collected their first win of the season over Watford in the battle of the W’s. While Tottenham started the season with three 1-0 wins, the Wolves had gotten their campaign going with three consecutive 1-0 defeats. The poor run of results had little to do with how well Wolves have been playing and they turned their good process into results against newly-promoted Watford.
However, Wolves’ first goal of the season would come via a Watford own goal in the 75th minute. Wolves would add to their tally when Hwang Hee-Chan tapped in a chance in the 83rd minute. Watford offered little going forward throughout the match and Wolves were clearly the better side.
Adama Traore and Trincao were consistently able to carry the ball into dangerous spaces. Both of the Wolves’ goals were unspectacular but the quality of the shots they didn’t score offer hope that they could challenge for a UEFA Conference league spot.

Chelsea 3 - 0 Aston Villa

Chelsea’s 3-0 drubbing of Aston Villa was not nearly as comfortable as the scoreline would have one believe. Chelsea opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a goal from Romelu Lukaku that highlights just how valuable having world-class players is.
Matteo Kovacic received the ball deep in Chelsea’s own half and beat three Villa defenders before unleashing a picture-perfect through ball to Lukaku, who faked the shot and left Villa defender Axel Tuanzebe on the ground as he powered his shot to the back of the net.
© REUTERS / DYLAN MARTINEZSoccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Aston Villa - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - September 11, 2021 Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their third goal
Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Aston Villa - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - September 11, 2021 Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their third goal - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Aston Villa - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - September 11, 2021 Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their third goal
Villa were undeterred and mounted an admirable counteroffensive. Ollie Watkins rifled a low shot on goal that Edouard Mendy made an excellent save in the 17th minute and produced Villa’s best chance of the game a mere five minutes later. James McGinn dispossessed Saul Niguez and played Watkins who rounded Mendy only to have his shot blocked by Thiago Silva. Villa continued to mount an attack through the first half but to no avail and entered the break down 1-0 but far from out of the game.
Villa were undone in the second half by a horribly weak back pass from Tyrone Mings that resulted in an easy chance for Kovacic. At 2-0, Chelsea were in the driver’s seat and easily saw out the game. Lukaku added a third goal in extra time to give Chelsea a 3-0 victory. The match could have easily ended in a draw if not for poor Villa finishing and one horrible mistake. Chelsea’s victory proves the value of world-class players.

Leeds 0 - 3 Liverpool

The lone Sunday fixture saw Liverpool give perhaps the best team performance of the weekend. From start to finish Liverpool dominated the game with their dangerous right side creating the first goal when an expert cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold gave Mohamed Salah his 100th Premier League goal, becoming the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 Premier League goals and only further cementing his status as one of the great players in the league’s history.
Liverpool doubled their lead in the 48th minute on a scruffy goal from Fabinho. After a failed clearance on a corner, Fabinho found himself with the ball in front of the net and finished the job.
© REUTERS / PETER POWELLSoccer Football - Premier League - Leeds United v Liverpool - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - September 12, 2021 Liverpool's Fabinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Thiago Alcantara and teammates.
Soccer Football - Premier League - Leeds United v Liverpool - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - September 12, 2021 Liverpool's Fabinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Thiago Alcantara and teammates. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
Soccer Football - Premier League - Leeds United v Liverpool - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - September 12, 2021 Liverpool's Fabinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Thiago Alcantara and teammates.
In the 57th minute, Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliot was tackled from behind by Pascal Struijk that resulted in a horrifying ankle injury. Trainers rushed onto the field as it appeared that his foot was twisted in the wrong direction. The challenge resulted in a straight red card for Struijk and saw Leeds go down to ten men.
Elliot was immediately transported to the hospital and in the ensuing 20 minutes, Liverpool played like a shell-shocked team. However, they regained their composure around the 75th minute and continued their dominance. Sadio Mane would score in the 91st minute to make it 3-0, and get the validation he deserved from a fantastic display. Mane ended the game with ten shots and was a constant threat to score all afternoon. Following the goal, one could sense relief, not jubilation, for the Senegalese forward.
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Everton 3 - 1 Burnley

The final game of matchday four saw Everton brush aside Burnley to keep pace with the top teams in the division. After going down 1-0 in the 52nd minute following a Ben Mee goal, Everton responded with a flurry of goals to put the game out of reach.
Michael Keane drew the score even on a corner in the 59th minute, Andros Townsend put them up 2-1 in the 64th minute, and Demarai Gray capped off the offensive flurry with a goal in the 65th minute. In a span of six minutes, Everton went from down 1-0 to up 3-1.
Burnley had multiple chances in the first half to secure a goal and failed. The match came down to one team finishing their chances and the other wasting them. Everton might have won 3-1, but the game could have just as easily ended in Burnley’s favor.
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