Three Wins From Three As United Remain Top

It’s three wins from three for Manchester United as they go into the international break top of the table. The leagues’ early pace setters didn’t have it all their own way though and after Juan Mata’s strike was ruled out for off side the game was goalless at half time. Leicester had few chances after the break and United began to build pressure but were limited to long shots. The home side were awarded a penalty after a hand ball in the area but Lukaku saw his shot saved. With 20 minutes remaining, Marcus Rashford was introduced and almost immediately made the difference, scoring from a corner. Fellaini added the second as Leicester tried to force an opportunity but the game finished 2-0. Three wins and three clean sheets put United in a strong position. Although they are yet to face a strong test, the sides they have beaten so far are the games they would have struggled in last season. Leicester drop to 15th with one win in their opening three games.

Chelsea won their second game in a row as the beat top seven hopefuls Everton 2-0 at home. In a comfortable performace, the home side were never really troubled until the closing stages and move up the league to recover from the opening day defeat. They were 2-0 up at half times through goals from Fabregas and Morata and although they had chances to add more, could not find the finish. Everton had no real clear cut chances in the game but given that it was their third tough game in a week they were perhaps a little leggy. They drop to 12th in the table but have gotten some difficult games out of the way already.

But for the 93rd-minute equaliser conceded on the opening day of the season Liverpool would be level on points at the top of the league. This follows their second home win of the season but it was the manner of the win which will boost confidence going forward. The home side brushed aside visitors Arsenal 4-0 with ease and but for an early Danny Welbeck chance were never troubled. Liverpool pressed and broke well when they won the ball back and looked like scoring at almost every venture into the opposition half. Arsenal were picked off at pace as Salah and Mane took advantage of the disorganised midfield. Arsenal have now lost their last two and need to return to form after the international break before the lose too much early ground.

Bournemouth have never beaten Manchester City in the Premier League but it was the home side who started brightest and opening the scoring with an impressive strike from Charlie Daniels. That goal then seemed to bring City to life as they took control of the game until half time. The sides went in level after a lovely ball from David Silva found Gabriel Jesus to slide the equaliser home. The second half was a close match up with both sides hitting the goal frame. Then the game went into injury time with both sides still trying to find a winner. Raheem Sterling then took it upon himself to change the game with two bookings either side of the winning goal. His first yellow was for a needless trip and he then received his marching orders after celebrating with the away fans. 2-1 the end result after Sterlings 97th-minute goal which moves City to 4th. Bournemouth are still searching for their first point and this result will be difficult to swallow after they competed well.

Tottenham’s search for a home win this season continues as they were denied late on by Burnley. Harry Kane and Tottenham had six or seven good opportunities to put the game to bed but Burnley showed good resilience to remain in the game and struck late on. The first half was a tepid affair but Dele Ali scored just after the interval to break the dead lock. They couldn’t find the vital second goal however and allowed Burnley to come back at the end. The few opportunities which Burnley created came through Robbie Brady and it was his pass to new signing Chris Woods which created the injury time equaliser. There is little now to separate the sides in the league as they sit 9th and 10th.

Newcastle United won their first game since returning to the Premier League and condemned West Ham to further problems in the process. Their 3-0 win at St. James Park came with little opposition from the away side. Newcastle were on top in the early part of the game and pressed well to create the opening for the first goal. Their 1-0 lead at half time was almost wiped out but a scrambled clearance prevented West Ham’s only real chance of the game from going in. The second goal came just like the first as Matt Ritchie won the ball back in the opposing midfield and delivered a good cross for Clark to head home. The third was added four minutes from time to finish off the away side who remain bottom. West Ham have now conceded 10 goals in the opening three games and already find themselves under pressure to improve. Newcastle climb the league a little bit will likely come up against tougher opponents next time.

West Brom finally conceded but remain unbeaten as they held out for 77 minutes against Stoke until Peter Crouch levelled the game. Following two 1-0 wins in their opening games, it looked as though this game could head the same way until a defensive error allowed Crouch to head into an open net. Neither ‘keeper had much to do for the first hour until the deadlock was broken from West Brom’s first proper attack. On balance, neither side looks likely to win the game so a point is fair. West Brom drop to 5th while Stoke climb to 11th despite what many people said was a difficult start.

Crystal Palace are the last of three sides to lose their opening games following their 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea. The home side did start well and could have taken the lead in the early exchanges. That was until Tammy Abraham showed some of the form he had in the Championship last season in converting one of the openings he had. Palace were limited to long shots for the majority of the game and just minutes after their only real opening of the game they gave up the second. Possession was conceded on the halfway line and Jordan Ayew scored from his own, rather fortunate rebounded shot. Swansea are one of five sides with four points from their opening games where as Palace remain 19th and need to use the two-week break to improve.

The final two games of the weekend both finished goalless but were not without incident. Most notably was Brighton’s visit to Vicarage Road where the newly promoted side picked up their first point of the season but it really could have been more. The side who still have not scored in the league so far hit the post early on through Anthony Knockaert and it was the Frenchman who was on the receiving end of a stupid tackle which reduced Watford to 10 men. They then hit the post again and came close with an indirect free kick. Brighton won’t have many better opportunities to get an away win in the Premier League than this and so it must go down as a missed opportunity. Watford remain unbeaten but this game will feel more like a let off.

Huddersfield missed the chance to win their first three games of the season with a stalemate at home to Southampton. The home side had a number of good opportunities throughout the game but were unable to capitalise. They drop to third on goal difference. After scoring three in their last game Southampton once again struggled to find the net. They have now failed to score in six of their last ten games stretching back to last season. They do however look defensively solid and difficult to beat but will be hoping to find a win at home to Watford when league fixtures return.

The signs are all starting to look good for MAnchester United as they try to mount a title challenge for the first time in a number of years. They are free scoring and have yet to concede a goal while their rivals are all displaying some form of weakness. For how long this can continue is anyone’s guess but currently United look to be the strongest side in the league.