Football Features

Liverpool equal Premier League club record despite Adrian howler: All you need to know from Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 17:35, 17 August 2019

Today was a day where two promoted teams received contrasting tastes of the nature of the Premier League.

Following an exciting opening weekend, six stadiums hosted their first Premier League games of 2019/20. Some of which, namely Villa Park and Carrow Road, were opening the doors upon long-awaited returns to the top flight.

Arsenal got the ball rolling with a narrow 2-1 victory over a Burnley side which impressed again, as Dani Ceballos’ mesmerising display allowed the lethal pairing of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to get the Gunners over the line.

What followed was five games filled with drama, screamers and goalkeeping howlers. Here’s all you need to know from today’s 3PM kick-offs.

Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth

The match summed up in one stat… Since the start of last season, Harry Wilson has scored 10 goals from outside the penalty area in all club competitions, the most of any player in the top four tiers of English football in that time.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Bournemouth move to the dizzy heights of fourth and remain unbeaten. Villa and their leaky defence move down to 16th.

Man of the Match? Nathan Ake, who was immense in the heart of the Bournemouth defence. He saved a goal just before the break with a brilliant block to deny Trezeguet and spearheaded the rearguard effort which saw Bournemouth over the line.

Spare a thought for… Jack Grealish, who has now lost 20 Premier League games in a row spanning across three seasons, a new record. However, more importantly, the Villa captain (and creative maestro) was on the receiving end of a crunching tackle from the already-booked Phillip Billing which controversially went unpunished. Billing was replaced at half-time, perhaps an admission from Eddie Howe that he was lucky to still be on the pitch.

In the managers’ words…

“We made two big mistakes, they had two goals in 10 minutes and it’s difficult to come back from that in this league.” – Dean Smith, Aston Villa manager.

“It was a big result for us today, we knew the importance, the game was still in the balance at half-time but more pleasing for us was the way we saw out the game after letting the lead slip last week.” – Eddie Howe, Bournemouth manager.

Brighton 1-1 West Ham

The match summed up in a stat… West Ham have never beaten Brighton in the Premier League (D2, L3).

What does this mean for the Premier League? Brighton climb to third and West Ham’s first point of the season sees them move up to 15th.

Man of the Match? Leandro Trossard, who had a fantastic volley disallowed by VAR in the first half before equalising with a well-taken effort from the edge of the box.

Spare a thought for… Chris Hughton, who was sacked by Brighton at the end of last season in what was a widely criticised decision. However, the Seagulls have looked rejuvenated under Graham Potter and were unlucky not to make it two wins from two today. Hughton’s sacking is looking more and more understandable by the game.

In the managers’ words…

“The players really responded to the goal being ruled out and then going behind. It was great from the players.” – Graham Potter, Brighton manager.

“I think it was the right result. In the first 45 minutes, we started really well, we had good possession but we did not create many chances. We defended well and Brighton could not create chances. In the second half, I thought it was a good game for both teams.” – Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham manager.

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Everton 1-0 Watford

The matched summed up in a stat… Everton have now kept six consecutive home clean sheets in the Premier League, a streak stretching back to the final games of last season. They haven’t conceded a goal at home or away since the 7th July, a run also spanning six games.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Everton go fifth having kept two clean sheets already this season. Watford sit rock bottom.

Man of the Match? Lucas Digne, who set up Bernard for his well-taken goal and was consistently a threat down the left as well as looking assured defensively.

Spare a thought for… Christian Kabasele. The Belgian defender was excellent for long periods of Watford’s 2018/19 campaign but has found himself on the bench in both games thus far. Watford are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and were undone far too easily again today.

In the managers’ words…

“Keeping clean sheets is important but what I want is to score more goals. With a second goal, you are more safe. We want to make Goodison our fortress.” – Marco Silva, Everton manager.

“I think today we had our performance and we were close to getting a better result. I think we deserved a better result. We had more possession and more shots on target, we dominated some spells but we didn’t score and we need to try better next time.” – Javi Gracia, Watford manager.

Norwich 3-1 Newcastle

The match summed up in a stat… Teemu Pukki is the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Norwich City since Efan Ekoku against Everton in September 1993.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Norwich climb to 10th after giving their goal difference a welcome boost. Newcastle are 19th, with Watford’s inferior goal difference all that keeps them from propping up the table.

Man of the Match? Pukki, who added to his Anfield consolation effort with a magnificent hat-trick, his first for Norwich.

Spare a thought for… Newcastle United fans. After a promising performance against Arsenal, the Magpies were totally outplayed by newly-promoted Norwich. Having ended 2018/19 so promisingly, the departure of Rafa Benitez is looking like a worryingly critical moment in their recent history.

In the managers’ words…

“We delivered a great display out of this. We were good on many topics – without doubt, a well-deserved win. The first half was even more brilliant – we were like thunderstorms with many lightnings.” – Daniel Farke, Norwich manager.

“We didn’t do enough to influence the game. We knew Norwich would be difficult – they play a certain way and romped home with the Championship.” – Steve Bruce, Newcastle manager.

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool

The match summed up in a stat… This was Liverpool’s 11th win a row, equalling their best-ever run in the Premier League.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Liverpool go top on goal difference and await Man City’s result against Spurs. Southampton slip to 17th, above Chelsea on goals scored.

Man of the Match? Sadio Mane, who opened the scoring with a stunning finish before setting up Roberto Firmino for the second. Mane has scored more Premier League goals (15) than any other player in 2019.

Spare a thought for… Ralph Hasenhuttl. Southampton were excellent in the first half and did not deserve to go in at the break behind. However, Mane’s moment of individual brilliance meant the Austrian had to re-evaluate his team talk. Adrian’s howler left the door ajar, but they couldn’t force home an equaliser. The Saints impressed, but have no points to show for it as they sit just above the drop zone.

In the managers’ words…

“We have to take our chances, that was the big difference. They had one big one for Sadio Mane and scored, we had a big header from Maya Yoshida and it was a good save from the goalkeeper.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton manager.

“It was so difficult for us today. We showed from the first second that nobody was tired today. We were here to win game, that was the only reason, so we had to fight like crazy.” – Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager.

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