Blog by: Anirudh
There were not too many goals scored on Premier League Saturday of gameweek 2, while Liverpool stayed 100% in the league and Arsenal won their first match of the campaign.
After being thumped 4-0 away to Manchester City on Monday, Newcastle returned to St. James’ Park for their first home match of the campaign against West Ham. While they did not find the back of the net, the clean sheet will no doubt have come as a relief to beleaguered manager Alan Pardew.
Arsene Wenger took his under-fire Arsenal squad to Fulham in the day’s early kickoff, and following on the heels of an impressive 3-0 win away to Fenerbahce in the Champions League, he coaxed another good performance from a side he has so far failed to bolster in the summer transfer market.
Hull 1 – 0 Norwich City
Both sides came into Saturday’s match at Kingston Communications Stadium in search of a first win of the season—Hull having lost 2-0 to Chelsea, and Norwich coming from behind to draw Everton last weekend.
Norwich made the better start of the two and quite nearly took the lead after just nine minutes through record-signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel. A minute later, Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor was forced into making a good stop on Canaries midfielder Nathan Redmond, who had lashed his shot from 20 yards.
So it was decidedly against the run of play that Hull scored what proved to be the only goal of the match, with Michael Turner fouling Yannick Sagbo inside the area in the 20th minute. Robbie Brady converted low and hard past John Ruddy from the spot two minutes later, and Hull had a somewhat fortuitous lead.
But less than 10 minutes after that first goal, the match was given its biggest talking point when Sagbo, in a scrum following another collision with Turner, was shown a straight red card.
Hull seemed to settle better after going down to 10 men. Thanks to some good defending by James Chester, and at least one more highlight-reel save from McGregor, they managed to eke out the 1-0 victory and enter the win column.
Everton 0 – 0 West Bromwich Albion
Everton and West Bromwich Albion were two more teams looking for their first wins of the season when they clashed at Goodison Park on Saturday. Present in the stands were both England manager Roy Hodgson and Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, who were no doubt doing some scouting ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
But neither man will have taken much from Saturday’s contest—a scoreless draw that delivered one of its more compelling talking points just three minutes in when Markus Rosenberg went down in the Everton box following a tackle by Sylvain Distin and screamed for a penalty. None was given, and by the seventh minute, Everton were in the ascendency with Steven Pienaar testing West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster with a dangerous header following a Seamus Coleman cross.
One of the guests’ better scoring chances came with just three minutes remaining on the clock when Matej Vydra forced a last-ditch block from Distin. Everton quite nearly grabbed a late winner when Coleman rang his effort off the crossbar a few minutes later, and at the final whistle the hosts might have been unlucky to only end up with a draw.
Southampton 1 – 1 Sunderland
At St. Mary’s, goals from Emanuele Giaccherini and Jose Fonte bookended one of the day’s better matches, where Southampton equalized with just two minutes left on the clock to earn a 1-1 draw against visiting Sunderland.
The Black Cats had taken the lead after just three minutes when Giaccherini, a summer acquisition from Juventus, headed Sebastian Larsson’s well-placed header past Artur Boruc.
Only three minutes later, Southampton thought they had drawn level through Jay Rodriguez, but the attacker’s goal was disallowed for offside by the linesman.
Southampton continued to dictate terms for long stretches, and in the 57th minute, Pablo Osvaldo, acquired during the week from AS Roma, set up Rodriguez for another chance that the 24-year-old managed to only head into Sunderland goalkeeper Kieren Westwood.
The Saints finally got their deserved breakthrough in the 88th minute when Jose Fonte directed James Ward-Prowes’ free-kick past Westwood to secure a point for his side.