English Premier League: Week 8 Recap

Earlier this week, I wrote an article summarizing the happenings of the Premier League, up to and including Week 7. Each week I will post a recap of the matches involving the teams in contention for the Premier League Championship. Overall, Week 8 seemed to continue existing trends and the league table will not be changing much where it matters. So, here we go:

Liverpool at Newcastle 2-2

Yohan Cabaye's long range goal vs. Liverpool to give Newcastle a 1-0 advantage via Sportsnet Ontario
Yohan Cabaye’s long range goal vs. Liverpool to give Newcastle a 1-0 advantage via Sportsnet Ontario

This was a salvage tie for the Reds of Liverpool. In the 23rd minute, Newcastle took the lead off a beautiful strike from Yohan Cabaye from 30 yards out. Newcastle was able to hold on to the lead until Mapou Yango-Mbiwa pulled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez down in the box, earning a red card and giving Liverpool a penalty, which Steven Gerrard easily converted. Despite being down to 10 men, Newcastle rallied in front of their fans to again take the lead from a brilliant free kick from Cabaye. The pace after this goal, however, heavily favored Liverpool. Liverpool kept knocking on the door and finally broke through and evened the score when Suarez slipped a through pass to fellow striker Daniel Sturridge to even the score. From there on, again, the time of possession and pace favored Liverpool, and while they had multiple opportunities to clinch the 3 points, the game ended in a 2-2 tie. This was a pretty big outcome for Newcastle; the last time Liverpool paid them a visit, the match ended in a very lopsided 6-0 victory for the Reds. Liverpool, on the other hand has to be disappointed, as they dominated the match, but just couldn’t find that extra push to finish their opportunities. Next week, Newcastle goes to take on the winless Sunderland, while Liverpool welcomes West Ham, who is coming off a 1-3 loss to Manchester City.

Norwich CIty at Arsenal 1-4

That picture below look familiar? Once again, we were reminded of how great Mesut Özil is.

Mesut Özil, celebrating one of his two goals vs Norwich City via IBtimes.com
Mesut Özil celebrating one of his two goals vs Norwich City via IBtimes.com

Özil has completely reinvigorated the Gunners and has made them a true contender in the EPL. Against Norwich City, Özil knocked in 2 goals, including a header off a perfectly timed cross from Olivier Giroud. Norwich City gave a valiant effort against the league leaders, however, they did not have the firepower to keep pace, nor the defensive ability to keep Arsenal in check. Norwich did show some life when Jonathan Howson scored to make it 2-1, but another goal from Özil along with one from Aaron Ramsey sealed the victory. This match, like a lot of matches this weekend, featured a powerhouse versus a lower tier team and the result was as expected. Next week, Arsenal takes on the lowly Crystal Palace, and Norwich City takes on Cardiff City at home.

Cardiff City at Chelsea 1-4

In the past few weeks, there have been questions about the strategy of manager Jose Mourinho, regarding playing a striker-less lineup. Specifically, superstar Juan Mata has not been starting as often as he would like and some were beginning to worry about an irreparable rift between the two. It got to the point where Tottenham, trying to capitalize on the conflict, made a bid for Mata, but it was immediately rejected by Mourinho. This week Mourinho decided to start Mata along with the newly acquired Wilian and Samuel Eto’o, and even though it was against Cardiff, the result was evident. The match started with some shakiness from the Blues by allowing striker Jordon Mutch to give Cardiff an early lead. If Chelsea was facing a tougher opponent, this might have spelled trouble, but the squad, led by goals from Eto’o, Eden Hazard (2), and one from Oscar, who came on as a substitute for Mata, left no doubt about who the better team was. Like the Arsenal-Norwich CIty match, this fixture was simply one side completely overmatching the other and nothing more. However, next week, we will be gifted with a tremendous matchup, as Chelsea will attempt to defend their home pitch against Manchester City. Cardiff will travel and take on Norwich City.

Southampton at Manchester United 1-1

With this result, Manchester United manager, David Moyes, continues to make the club’s fans reminisce about the days of Sir Alex Ferguson. Manchester United gave their fans something to cheer about early on as Robin Van Persie, returning from a hamstring injury, scored in the 26th minute due to some confusion from Southampton’s back line. This goal ended Southampton’s streak of a clean sheet at five consecutive matches. Manchester United seemed to have control of the match as they sent their attack forward and fired multiple shots on goal, including a near goal from Wayne Rooney, but that shot, along with the others, did not result in any goals and left the door open for Southampton. It wasn’t until the 89th minute that Southampton leveled the score, as James Lallana banged home a a well placed corner from James Ward-Prowse. The draw is just another disappointment for Manchester United, as their slow start to the season continues, and they remain well out of contention. With this tie, Southampton drops to 6th, behind Tottenham, while Manchester United remains in 8th. Next week, Manchester United will try to right the ship as they take on Stoke City at Old Trafford and Southampton will play Fulham at home.

Manchester City at West Ham United 3-1

Sergio Agüero celebrates his goal vs. West Ham via Reuters
Sergio Agüero celebrates his goal vs. West Ham via Reuters

West Ham, coming off a stunning road win over Tottenham, was trying to extend magic at home, but Sergio Agüero was having none of it. It started with a tremendous display of communication and chemistry between Álvaro Negredo and Agüero, as they baited the defense to believing a pass from Negredo to Agüero was harmless, but in fact, it led to one on one for Agüero against the keeper. Agüero easily converted and went on to put in Manchester City’s second goal off a free kick deep in the corner. The goal, which came off of a header, is Agüero’s first career goal of that kind in any league, which is remarkable considering how great of a goal scorer he is. West Ham pulled it to 2-1 after Ricardo Vaz Te scored in the 58th minute. However, Man City demonstrated its killer instinct when David Silva sealed the game with a goal in the 80th minute. Manchester City dominated the time of possession (63%-37%) and West Ham’s defense could not quell City’s attack. Manchester city will venture to Stamford Bridge next week to take on Chelsea and West Ham will travel to Swansea City

Tottenham at Aston Villa 2-0

Andros Townsend continues his surreal week with a goal at Aston Villa via Express.co.uk
Andros Townsend continues his surreal week with a goal at Aston Villa via Express.co.uk

Coming off of a disappointing loss (that’s putting it lightly) to West Ham, Tottenham bounced back nicely against Aston Villa. Andros Townsend, a budding superstar for the English national team, scored in the 31st minute from long distance. Townsend had already scored this week for the national team and has arguably been the Spurs most dynamic player along with Christian Erickson thus far this season. Townsend has provided the team with much needed energy and bold play. He has been unafraid to take on defenders, and has created a wealth of opportunities for Tottenham. Despite his recent play, this goal was the first on the season for the 24 year old. Aston Villa saw the return of Christian Benteke from injury and he provided a much needed spark. Upon entering the game as a substitute, Benteke proceeded to have Villa’s only two shots on goal in a span of 8 minutes, both coming off of headers. Villa’s plan was obvious: get the ball to Benteke in the box, and they tried hard as they lobbed cross after cross to him but to no avail. Villa seemed to have gained all the momentum with Benteke’s arrival until the Spurs initiated a fast break that led to Roberto Soldado’s first goal in open play and third overall on the season. This was an encouraging win for Tottenham after last week’s debacle, and it was also a moral victory for Aston Villa, with Benteke’s return. Benteke is Villa’s leading goal scorer and had 4 goals in 4 games before his injury. Villa will need him to be full strength to be competitive in the following weeks. Next week, Tottenham will face Hull City at White Hart Lane, and Aston Villa will host Everton at Villa Park.

This wraps up another week in the Premier League and we have another one to look forward to. For the most part, the top of the table of the Premier League table is the same with Arsenal leading the way. With Liverpool’s tie, Chelsea has taken the 2nd spot thanks to goal differential. Lastly, with their win, Manchester City has replaced Southampton for the 4th position. For the full, live league table, click here. As we end another eventful week in the English Premier League, enjoy this video of a beautiful goal from the Norwich City at Arsenal match, where Jack Wilshere finishes off arguably the best display of soccer thus far.


 All stats in this article came via ESPNFC.com

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