Football Manager: The Premier League Report: Matchday Three (26th and 27th of September)

Let it be said that football continues to throw up surprises. Not always (Man City’s 3-1 defeat of Leicester at the Etihad featured yet another display of passing mastery from Guardiola’s men, especially from Kevin De Bruyne), but there is always an astonishing, unexpected result or two. Consistency is a buzzword in football, and thus far, in the early days of the 20/21 season, only three teams have managed a one hundred percent start to their campaigns.

We’ll get to those, but first, what else happened on a busy weekend in the Premier League?

Brighton finally got off the board, as did Burnley, with the two sides playing out a 1-1 draw at the AMEX Stadium. Fulham and Aston Villa played out a dull, goalless draw at Craven Cottage, and Leeds were held by fellow newcomers West Brom 2-2 at Elland Road, in a game that started at a furious pace, seeing three goals inside the first 10 minutes.

Joining Manchester City at the top of the table is a team from Merseyside, but it’s the blue half of Liverpool: Everton’s 3-1 win at home to Sheffield United saw Calvert-Lewin yet again get on the scoresheet, in a comfortable performance and encouraging result.

Champions Liverpool may be, but they will not be satisfied with their performance on their trip to Southampton. Mane gave the Reds an early lead, but second-half goals from Adams and the irrepressible Ings turned things around, though an equaliser from Wijnaldum salvaged a point, in an otherwise disappointing display.

Another team to endure a disappointing weekend was Arsenal. Arteta’s side might have expected to earn a win at Wolves, yet instead, collapsed to a 4-0 defeat. The consistent Jimenez got Wolves underway on 34 minutes, and two minutes later, Podence tapped home from short-range to put Wolves in control. Any hope of a comeback was wounded by Xhaka receiving his marching orders, right after half-time, for a second yellow. Moutinho scored on the hour mark to put a well-earned gloss on the score-line, and Hestad completed the rout with 17 minutes remaining.

On Sunday, Chelsea picked up their second win of the season, and piled the early pressure on Crystal Palace, with goals either side of half-time, from Havertz and Ziyech, securing the victory. Palace are now the only time without a point, a situation they will be wanting to correct as soon as possible.

Tottenham joined Man City and Everton at the summit, with a very easy 3-0 win at home to Newcastle. Son and Bale had put Spurs in command after only 16 minutes, and Dier added a late third to leave no one in any doubt as to the result.

Manchester United will be disappointed not to have taken all the points from their trip to the London Stadium. Utd took the lead when Greenwood muscled a West Ham defender off the ball, and fired the ball to Paul Pogba to poke home on 36 minutes. Antonio hit a 25-yard stunner to level the game four minutes later, and after the break, Urd created a host of chances, before James was able to break through, and give the visitors a 59th minute lead. Utd continued to press, but an injury-time equaliser from Yarmolenko denied Utd what would have been a deserved win.

As mentioned earlier, football continues to serve up the unexpected. Who knows what may transpire next time out?

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