Football Features

Sharp completes the set for Sheffield Utd: Everything you need to know from today’s Premier League 3PM kick-offs

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:56, 10 August 2019

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

No one is predicting anything less than a two-horse race for this season’s Premier League and the 2019/20 campaign began with European champions Liverpool and title defenders Manchester City exerting themselves in spectacular fashion.

Liverpool, on Friday night, sent newly-promoted Norwich back to East Anglia with a 4-1 defeat whilst City left east London early Saturday afternoon having inflicted a 5-0 loss on West Ham.

The gauntlet has well and truly been thrown down.

The opening 3pm fixtures saw Norwich’s fellow new boys Sheffield United travel south to Bournemouth whilst Everton – who enjoyed a productive transfer window – visited Selhurst Park.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

Elsewhere a meeting between last season’s FA Cup runners-up Watford and Brighton plus Burnley entertaining Southampton.

But what happened in these matches? Read on for all you need to know about Saturday’s Premier League action.

Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United

The match summed up in one stat… Since the start of the 2005-06 season, no one has scored more league goals in the top four tiers of English football than Billy Sharp

What does this mean for the Premier League? A positive start for newcomers Sheffield United whose main objective will be preserving their top-flight status.

Man of the match? Nathan Aké, who completed 62 of his attempted 68 passes.

Spare a thought for… Dean Henderson. Prior to Bournemouth breaking the deadlock, the Man Utd loanee was frustrating Callum Wilson & co. There was a sense of inevitably, given how much the home side were pushing forward, but Eddie Howe’s men required an element of good fortune. Wilson’s shot would ricochet of Henderson’s back with the ball falling nicely for Chris Mepham.

In the managers’ words…

“I am disappointed we didn’t get over the line. It was a really tight game. It wasn’t free-flowing from either team and I don’t think we played to our strengths enough.” – Eddie Howe, Bournemouth manager.

“It is the right result. I think we deserved something from the game. We grew into it. There was obviously going to be some anticipation.” – Chris Wilder, Sheffield United manager.

Burnley 3-0 Southampton

The match summed up in one stat… Ashley Barnes has scored in each of Burnley’s last four Premier League games against Southampton.

What does this mean for the Premier League? A contrast to last season when Burnley started their league campaign on a slow footing, the alarm bells will no doubt be ringing at St Mary’s.

Man of the match? Ashley Barnes, whose seven-minute brace in the second ultimately decided the contest. He’s now bagged 11 goals so far in 2019 only three players have more Premier League strikes in this period than him: Sadio Mane (14), Sergio Aguero (13) and Jamie Vardy (12).

Spare a thought for… Southampton fans. It was always going to be a journey from the English south coast to Lancashire; nothing soothes such a journey than seeing your side pick up all three points, that wasn’t the case today here as the Saints faithful witnessed their boys on the receiving end of a mauling.

In the managers’ words…

“The players have come back with a real edge this season. The brain’s clear and they’ve come in with a thirst and desire for the Premier League. The mentality and energy, will and desire was all there.” – Sean Dyche, Burnley manager.

“For 60 minutes it was OK. We knew it’d be a difficult game here – they play very quick, very long.” – Ralph Hasenhüttl, Southampton manager.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton

The match summed up in one stat… Only Manchester City (13) have kept more Premier League clean sheets in 2019 than Everton (11).

What does this mean for the Premier League? After a productive transfer window, this was not what Everton wanted but they were fortunate to meet a toothless Crystal Palace side.

Man of the match? Yerry Mina was excellent for Everton. His comanding presence along with Pickford’s quick reactions were key in getting a point for the Toffees

Spare a thought for… André Gomes. Having completed a £22m move from Barcelona in July things were looking up for the Potuguse midfielder. A disappointing spell at the Camp Nou was now behind him and this was an opportunity to further remind everyone what he’s all about. As expected Gomes started for Everton at Crystal Palace, as part of a midfield pivot with Morgan Schneiderlin behind their exciting forward line, but his participation lasted short of half-time. Gomes, replaced by newcomer Jean-Philippe Gbamin, sustained an injury and it remains to be seen how long he’ll be sidelined.

In the managers’ words…

“I think if you look at the goal chances it’s fair but as the game wore on we got better and if anyone was going to win the game it was us, especially after the sending off.” – Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace manager.

“Tough game, competitive as you would expect. We lost Andre (Gomes), we were controlling the game, creating moments – it’s clear for me in some moments when you bring in new players they need time to adapt. Today was a good example, we lost some balls in zones we cannot.” – Marco Silva, Everton manager.

Watford 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion

The match summed up in one stat… Florin Andone’s goal came with his first touch of the game, which sums up Brighton’s clinicalness.

What does this mean for the Premier League?  So much expected from Watford who smashed their transfer record just a few days ago, not so much regarding Brighton but this is a magnificent result for manager Graham Potter on debut.

Man of the match? Lewis Dunk, who played imperiously at the back and even popped up with an assist.

Spare a thought for… Abdoulaye Doucouré. He was linked with a move away this summer, but would only execute a transfer if a top-six club approached Watford, which never came to pass much to the Hornets delight. That being said, the Frenchman couldn’t have begun 2019/20 season in a worse way, by putting the ball into his own net. This was his 97 appearance in English football’s top division and the second own goal he scored. The first coming in a 2-1 win over Spurs last September.

In the managers’ words…

“What I know is that they played better than us and deserve the victory today. No excuses. It is the first game and we try to improve for the next one.” – Javi Gracia, Watford manager.

“To score three away from home and not concede is a dream. The preparation was first class. Overall I thought we tried to do what we set out to do and then you just need a bit of luck and quality.” – Graham Potter, Brighton & Hove Albion.