EPL Wrap-up: Chelsea Hands Spurs First Loss; Palace and Swansea’s 9-Goal Thriller

Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham

Pedro scores for Chelsea

Going into this London derby, you could make the argument that Chelsea were the most in-form team in Europe. The Blues found themselves atop the Premier League table and had only lost once in their last eight matches. Tottenham, on the other hand, were still yet to suffer a league loss, and they would’ve been chomping at the bit to spoil Chelsea’s unbelievable run of matches.

Just five minutes into the match, Harry Kane thought he had given Spurs the lead with a close-range finish, but he was adjudged offsides. This disappointment of Kane’s disallowed goal was relieved six minutes later courtesy of Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder unleashed a picture perfect finish into the top corner from just outside the box, and Chelsea’s great form was still yet to be seen.

Tottenham were by far the better of the two sides through the opening matches, but they were unable to convert this dominance into any more goals. This inability to finish would come back to bite them just before the break. Pedro decided to one-up Eriksen’s highlight reel strike with one of his own as he curled a shot into the far side-netting, and now Chelsea were back in business.

Six minutes into the second half, Antonio Conte’s men found the winner. Diego Costa did well to slide a pass across the penalty area to a wide open Victor Moses on the right flank. The former Wigan midfielder hammered his effort home despite a touch from Hugo Lloris.

Moses’ goal would prove to be the final one of the match as Chelsea maintained their first place position in the table. For Tottenham, their undefeated start to the season finally comes to an end, and they now find themselves four points behind Arsenal for fourth place.

Swansea City 5-4 Crystal Palace

I don’t think that anyone expected Palace’s trip to Swansea to end up in a nine-goal thriller. This was by far the most exciting match of the weekend, so let’s just get into it.

The first goal of the match came after 19 minutes through Wilfried Zaha. The former Manchester United man danced past one defender in Swansea’s penalty area before smashing his effort past Lukasz Fabianski.

15 minutes later, Swansea grabbed the equalizer. A foul by Jason Puncheon right on the edge of the area gave the Swans a free kick in a dangerous area. Gylfi Sigurrdson stepped up and delivered an un-saveable into the side-netting to level the scores.

Almost immediately following Sigurrdson’s goal, Palace had a great chance to take back the lead but wasted it. After Zaha’s headed effort bounced back of the crossbar, Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham failed to communicate as they both wiffed on their shots on a wide open net.

Just after the hour mark, Leroy Fer turned the match on its head. First, the Dutchman cleaned up the garbage in front of net after Fernando Llorente’s initial header was cleared off the line. Two minutes later, Fer again tapped home from a yard out to double Swansea’s lead.

Palace didn’t surrender though as James Tomkins mimicked Fer’s close-range finishing in the 75th minute to cut the deficit to just one. In the 82nd minute, Palace found themselves back on level terms. This time, it was a Zaha cross that took a very unlucky deflection off of Jack Cork to loop over Wayne Hennessey and into the back of the net.

Two minutes later, the drama continued as Palace once again took the lead. Benteke continued the day’s theme with a finish from inside of the six-yard-box that hit both posts. 4-3 Palace.

Bob Bradley was not to be denied his first victory in the Premier League. In the first minute of stoppage time, Llorente redirected a shot from Sigurdsson to put the Swans level at four goals apiece. Two minutes later, the Spanish striker hammered home once again from inside the six-yard-box to seal a ridiculous win for Swansea. The victory marks the first time in league history that an American manager has taken home all three points in a match.

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United

Coming off of a commanding 4-0 victory over Feyenoord midweek, it looked like we were finally going to see United climb up the league table. A visit from West Ham, however, stood in their way. Last season, the Red Devils and the Hammers combined for some dramatic matches, and despite West Ham’s poor position in the table, they still posed a very real threat to Mourinho’s squad.

It took less than two minutes for West Ham to silence Old Trafford. A free kick from Dimitri Payet was headed home by Diafra Sakho, and the optimism surrounding United going into the match was quickly wiped away. Were the home fans in for another disappointing result?

Despite the early setback, the Red Devils remained positive in attack. In the 21st minute, they got a deserved goal through Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Big Swede nodded in a lovely chipped through ball from Paul Pogba. Maybe United were finally in form after all.

If United were on the path to victory, José Mourinho would have to watch them travel it from the stands. After Pogba was booked for simulation in the 27th minute, Mourinho kicked a water bottle in frustration. This was apparently enough to warrant a sending off, and the Special One was forced to watch the rest of the match away from the touchline.

In the 36th minute, Marcus Rashford was sprung on a breakaway, and he looked set to finally put the Red Devils in the lead. Darren Randolph had other plans though, as he came out to deny United’s teenage sensation just inside the penalty area.

United finished the second half with a flurry of chances, but somehow Randolph and West Ham’s backline managed to thwart every attack that came his way.

Just like in the first half, United continued to dominate the chances and possession in the last 45 minutes of the match. Sadly, they couldn’t find another goal. Jesse Lingard thought he scored in the 77th minute after smashing home the rebound from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot, but the flag was up for offsides.

The 1-1 result marks the first time since the 1980s that United have drawn four straight matches at home. Mourinho’s men now find themselves 11 points off of Chelsea for the league lead, and eight points behind Arsenal for fourth place. Can they find a way to turn it around?

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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