EPL Wrap-Up: Sterling Runs Rampant

Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham

Saturday’s matchup at White Hart Lane was the stage for arguably the most anticipated managerial debut of the Premier League era. After seven largely successful years at the helm of Borussia Dortmund, the 48-year-old took over after the dismissal of Brendan Rodgers and looked eager to start his reign off with a win. Trying to ruin this dream debut was Tottenham. Spurs have proven to be one of the toughest teams in England this season and they hadn’t lost a match since an opening day defeat to Manchester United. Could Klopp end the undefeated streak?

Before the match, an already depleted Liverpool squad lost their star striker Daniel Sturridge to yet another injury setback forcing 20-year-old Divock Origi to step into the starting role. The Belgian prospect nearly gave his new boss a dream start to the match in the tenth minute from a James Milner corner. After Emre Can deflected the initial cross wide of the goal, Origi out-jumped his defender but smashed a headed effort against the bar from inside the six-yard box. On the other end, it took a tremendous save from Origi’s compatriot Simon Mignolet to keep the sides level. Some good distribution from Harry Kane in the center of the attack found a wide-open Clinton Mua Njie, but the summer signing was unable to beat Mignolet to give his side the lead.

Mignolet would end up being the star of the show for Liverpool during Klopp’s debut. Ten minutes before the half, the Belgian keeper was forced to deny a powerful strike from Harry Kane before some heroic blocking from Mamadou Sakho denied Dele Alli from opening the scoring. Origi had another chance to score his first goal for the Reds in the second half, but good positioning from Hugo Lloris kept things level. Mignolet was forced to deny Kane once more in the 84th minute with another tremendous save to secure a scoreless draw for his new boss. And so the “Normal One’s” era begins with a draw, only time will tell how far he can take Liverpool this campaign.

Everton 0-3 Manchester United

It’s one thing to lose 3-0. It’s a whole different monster if you lose 3-0 to one of your biggest rivals. That’s what Manchester United had to try and bounce back from after being manhandled at the Emirates last matchday by Arsenal. The Red Devils traveled to Goodison Park to take on an Everton that hadn’t lost since August. Roberto Martinez’s club were coming off of an emotional 1-1 draw in the Merseyside Derby last weekend, and a victory over United would’ve served as a massive momentum boost going into next week’s match against Arsenal.

Unlike last matchday, United came out fighting and full of energy. Louis Van Gaal had made several alterations to his squad, most notably replacing summer signing Memphis Depay with Ander Herrera. It took less than 20 minutes for the Red Devils to find the back of the net courtesy of a Morgan Schneiderlin strike. The 25-year-old’s goal came after some havoc in the penalty area following a corner, but a chested pass from Chris Smalling found the Frenchman wide open as he netted his first ever goal for the club. Three minutes later the Red Devils delivered a misery-compiling goal when Herrera headed in a pinpointed cross from Marcos Rojo to double the visitors’ lead going into halftime.

Everton nearly grabbed one back ten minutes into the second half, but a brilliant kick save from David De Gea denied Romelu Lukaku’s powerful close-range drive. Just after the hour mark, Herrera played provider as he slotted a perfect through ball into the path a streaking Wayne Rooney. Rooney, who has received criticism as of late for his play, made no mistake this time around slotting his effort past Tim Howard to seal the match for United. The win pushed Van Gaal’s club into third place and within striking distance of Manchester City, who they host next weekend.

Manchester City 5-1 AFC Bournemouth

Sterling scores for City

Getty Images

No team has been as dominant as Manchester City this season. The Citizens went into Saturday’s fixture against AFC Bournemouth top of the table outscoring their opponents 19-7 in the process. A victory against the newly-promoted side looked all but a guarantee, and the magical performance of Raheem Sterling capped off a wonderful day for the blue side of Manchester.

Sterling’s highlight reel day began in just the sixth minute. A great determination play from Pablo Zabaleta to keep the ball in play eventually led to Sterling having a wide open net to tap the ball into from less than three yards away. Not to be outdone, Wilfred Bony tapped in a goal of his own four minutes later to double City’s lead. Despite this disastrous start, Bournemouth fought their way back into the match on the 20-minute mark when Glenn Murray’s deflected shot zoomed past Joe Hart to bring the visitors within one. Sterling squelched the Cherries’ hopes of pulling of the upset before the half-hour mark with a lovely dribbled goal that would make even Zlatan Ibrahimovic proud.

The former Liverpool prodigy’s hat trick was completed during first half injury time. After some poor finishing from Jesus Navas on the break, the ball found it’s way to Sterling who rectified his teammate’s mistake to make it 4-1 City. Bony capped off City’s big victory in the 89th minute with his second goal of the day and the 5-1 result kept Manuel Pellegrini’s side at the pinnacle of the table. Next weekend’s visit to Old Trafford could see the two Manchester clubs flip league positions, and with both of them coming off of statement results it’ll be interesting to see who can keep the momentum rolling.

 

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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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