BPL Recap: Chelsea edge Everton in nine goal thriller, Stoked City after Diouf’s winner, more

IMAGE, CHELSEAFC.COM

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

In a wild 10 minute span at Goodison Park, five goals were scored between Everton and Chelsea. However, it was the Blues’ day running out 6-3 winners away from home.

The five goal stretch started with a Seamus Coleman own goal in the 67th minute.  Eden Hazard raced down the left and then the ball came off Coleman and into the net for Chelsea’s third. Costa, who taunted Coleman, eventually started a scrum with Tim Howard receiving a yellow card after getting right in the face of the striker.

Everton refused to go away quietly as they answered back two minutes later through Steven Naismith, who scored for three consecutive games.

However, it was Chelsea who would tally next with Nemanja Matic‘s strike from outside the box 74th minute. Samuel Eto’o, who was derided by Jose Mourinho about his age, scored for Everton in his debut. His header from just inside the box beat Thibault Courtois from Leighton Baines‘ free-kick in the 76th minute.

Ramires then added another goal for the Blues a minute later after a neat exchange with Matic. Costa added his second of the match, his fourth of the season and sixth of the game for Chelsea in the 90th minute to cap things off.

The Blues found themselves ahead through Costa after 35 seconds. Chelsea’s new striker ran onto a ball from Cesc Fabregas and slotted the ball through Howard’s legs for the opener. The lead was doubled minutes later when Branislav Ivanovic beat Howard, although it should have been disallowed for offside.

Howard found himself lucky not to be red carded after handling the ball outside the box and stopping a Chelsea attack, but no call came.

Kevin Mirallas headed home on the stroke on halftime from a Coleman cross to claw one back for the Toffees.

Other Premier League Results

1. Diouf’s solo effort the difference– It took one moment of magic and some less than stellar goalkeeping to see Stoke City defeat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Mame Biram Diouf  ran about three-quarters of the pitch with the ball at his feet after a Man City corner. He eventually touched the ball around Vincent Kompany and fired his shot towards goal and through the legs of Joe Hart. Man City’s keeper really should have done better with the shot right at him, but it goes down as a blunder in Hart’s growing list of them.

Last year’s champions had plenty of chances to score amid their attacking dominance. Yaya Toure, in particular, had several chances that he couldn’t find the final touch.

City will need a much better performance in front of goal moving forward. With players returning back into form, City should look even stronger in a few weeks time.

2. Liverpool score three in Balotelli debut– After suffering a heavy defeat of their own against Manchester City, Liverpool dominated Tottenham in a 3-0 win at White Hart Lane.

The Reds can take many positives from Mario Balotelli‘s debut as their new striker slotted in nicely into the Liverpool attack.  Raheem Sterling got Liverpool off the mark in the eighth minute after Jordan Henderson picked him out with a low cross at the far post. The Reds wouldn’t look back from there.

The lead was doubled in the 49th minute from a Steven Gerrard penalty kick conversion. Eric Dier pulled back Joe Allen and while Allen may have went down a bit soft, it was cynical from Dier.

Alberto Moreno than added the third with a sparkling moment of individual brilliance. After dispossessing Moussa Dembele, Moreno ran at the Spurs defense and then curled in a strike to the far post that beat Hugo Lloris.

Spurs, who had won their first two games, looked completely overmatched and will need to regroup during the international break.

3. United draw with Burnley– The wait for Louis van Gaal‘s first Manchester United win continues. In a game both teams created very little, they would have to settle for a share of the points in a 0-0 draw.

Angel Di Maria made his Red Devils debut, and while he did provide some positive attacking moments, his presence wasn’t enough to lift United to all three points.

Burnley had their best chances through set-pieces, hitting the cross bar early and then one just over the bar in the second half. Burnley were able to get their first point of the season and could prove to be a tough game throughout the Premier League season.

The Red Devils have yet to hit their stride. WIth two points from their first three games, they are sliding down the table early. They will need to find their first win as soon as possible, but will have to wait until after the international break to get it.

United’s manager will get patience to overhaul the squad in his image, mainly due to his pedigree. He just can’t take much longer to finally start seeing some positive results if United want to think about finishing in the Top Four — let alone a title.

4. Arsenal look average against Leicester– The calls for another Arsenal striker will be loud after drawing 1-1 with Leicester City.

After finding a 20th minute goal through Alexis Sanchez when Yaya Sanogo‘s touch kept the move going after Santi Cazorla‘s chipped pass, things went pear shaped.

Leandro Ulloa equalized two minutes later when he was free to head home Jeffrey Schlupp‘s cross.

Looking to find another goal at the King Power Stadium, Arsenal were stagnant in the final third, looking devoid of ideas other than the odd chipped pass and tippy-tappy passing around the 18-yard box. Sanogo, who continues to not find the back of the net in competitive games for Arsenal, squandered opportunities.  The young striker just doesn’t look ready to lead the line, but the blame will be on Arsene Wenger if he fails to bring in a striker before the window closes.

However, the Foxes should be given a ton of credit as well. They were well organized and were able to take one of their chances to share the points. In fairness, it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to see Leicester get there first win of the season.  

5. Swansea soaring with perfect record to start season– Swansea continue their perfect start to the season after rolling over West Brom 3-0.

The Swans were led by Nathan Dyer‘s brace. He had his first in the second minute of the game. After Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s nifty back heel, Dyer touched the ball around West Brom keeper Ben Foster and finished into an open net.

Dyer scored his second and what would be Swansea’s third of the match in the 70th minute. Sigurdsson again played provider slotting the ball through the Baggies defense and springing Dyer to the races, who then coolly slotted past Foster.

Wayne Routledge had a sensational strike to double the Swans lead. After a failed clearance, Routledge sprung in with a leaping half-volley to pick out the top corner.

It’s been a stunning start from the Swans and are only in second by way of Chelsea’s superior goal differential.

6. Crystal Palace, Newcastle spilt six goals, points–  WIth Neil Warnock in charge, Crystal Palace were able to secure their first point of the season. Wilfried Zaha‘s goal five minutes into stoppage time secured a share of the points in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Newcastle.

After a long free-kick was sent in, Scott Dann headed it down. Zaha was quick enough to react and fired through a crowd to beat Tim Krul for the last gasp equalizer.

Dwight Gayle got the Eagles off to a flying start with a goal in less than 30 seconds. Marouane Chamakh‘s shot was initially saved by Krul, but Gayle pounced to put in the rebound.

After a scrum in the box, Daryl Janmaat cancelled out the early Palace lead. However, Newcastle would find themselves down again just after halftime. After receiving a pass into the box from Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon‘s first touch popped up on him. However, it may have worked to his advantage as he swung and beat Krul at the far post.    

Newcastle then found themselves poised for victory. Rolando Aarons headed in from a corner at the back post and then he curled a shot that came off the far post for Mike Williamson to tap in in the 88th minute in what looked like the winner. 

7. Aston Villa continue strong start– With seven points from their first three games, Aston Villa are off to a fine start. Two first half goals took the Villains past Hull in a 2-1 victory.

It took a lovely turn from Gabriel Agbonlahor to score the opener for the home side. Receiving a pass from Andreas Weimann, Agbonlahor spun and fired his shot to the low to the far corner in the 14th minute.

Weimann than added the second for Villa in the 36th minute. Kieran Richardson picked out Weimann in the box, who took one touch to control and then fired past Allen McGregor with his second touch.

The Tigers clawed one back in the 74th minute through Nikica Jelavic in the 74th minute, although in the end it was only a consolation. Robbie Brady‘s free-kick was headed towards goal by Jelavic and the ball beat Brad Guzan after a heavy deflection off of defender Aly Cissokho.      

8. Southampton make easy work of West Ham– After going down a goal just before the half hour mark, Southampton roared back behind Morgan Schneiderlin‘s brace to defeat West Ham 3-1.

The Saints midfielder scored his first just before halftime after a free-kick went all the way through to the back post. His initial strike was blocked, but was able to curl his second attempt in at the far post. He added his second in the 68th minute as he got a touch at the near post after James Ward-Prowse‘s ball in.

Graziano Pelle put on the finishing touches of the match with his 83rd minute goal and the Saints’ third of the match. He had an easy finish after Nathaniel Clyne‘s cross was parried by Adrian into his path.

Mark Noble‘s 27th minute strike from distance was deflected by Saints defender Maya Yoshida found the back of the net to give the Hammers the lead at the time.

9. QPR defeat Sunderland– It took three games, but QPR found it’s first goal of the season through Charlie Austin and first points of the season in a 1-0 win over Sunderland.

In first half stoppage time, Joey Barton‘s corner was nodded down by Leroy Fer. Austin pounced and fired his shot into the back of the net, leaving Vito Mannone no chance.

The R’s will need strikers like Austin to step up afte Loic Remy‘s departure to Chelsea.

Sunderland will rue their missed chances after putting QPR on the back foot for most of the early going. The Black Cats will need to wait at least one more match before getting their first win of the season.

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