Van the man!

Southampton 2-3 Manchester United

A wonderful Robin Van Persie hat-trick saved Manchester United from an unlikely loss against lowly Southampton. With United having sealed Southampton’s relegation in 2005, The Saints were looking for revenge at St. Mary’s. Southampton’s early dominance paid off in the fifteenth minute when Rickie Lambert rose above Rafael at the back post to head past Anders Lindegaard, leaving the Dane with no chance. It only took the Red Devils eight minutes to manage an equaliser, as Nathan Clyne slipped at the back post allowing Van Persie to bring the ball down off his chest and drill it past Kelvin Davis. Before half time, Southampton once again dominated, Ward-Prowse and Lallana both missing long range efforts. Ten minutes into the second half, Patrice Evra’s slip proved to be the decisive moment in a well-worked Southampton move, allowing Scneiderlin to have an easy free header to convert. On sixty-seven minutes, Robin Van Persie was awarded a penalty after been cleaned up by Jos Hooiveld. The Dutchman then stepped up only to have his poor chip easily pushed away by Kelvin Davis as St. Marys erupted. United kept pushing. Hernandez missed a header late on, before on eighty-seven minutes, Rio Ferdinand’s header rebounded off the post only to fall to Van Persie. Tragically for Southampton, United then won a corner on ninety-one minutes. Nani found Van Persie who produced a brilliant header to dramatically win the game. Apart from the several major moments, the game wasn’t the best. Either side could’ve won it, with United showing their class in the end. Another unlucky loss for Southampton who have now lost three from three.

Man of the Match: Robin Van Persie. Should’ve scored four, and was constantly looking a major threat to an inexperienced Southampton defence. The Dutchman’s worth every cent of his large transfer fee.

West Ham 3-0 Fulham

Well, well, well, what a fantastic pick up Andy Carroll is for West Ham. The Hammers were magnificent against a Fulham side which had just recently sold arguably their two best players. Going into the match, news had gotten around that Fulham had sold Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele to Tottenham. It took just fifty-six seconds for Kevin Nolan to get on the end of brilliant build up play from Carroll and Vaz Te. Schwarzer kept his side in the game in the opening stages as he produced decent saves from Diame and Vaz Te. On twenty-nine minutes Matt Taylor’s corner found New Zealander Winston Reid, who beat Diarra to the ball to power his header into the net, leaving Schwarzer with no chance. It didn’t take long for West Ham to make it 3-0 as, on forty-one minutes, Collins’ free kick was cleared only to find Taylor who converted his opportunity from the edge of the area. Early in the second half Carroll continued to provide chances for his teammates as he won a header only for Vaz Te to put his effort wide on forty-seven minutes. Carroll was substituted on sixty-five minutes after picking up a hamstring injury from a heavy fall. Jaaskelainen had fantastic second half for the Hammers as he saved well from Duff, Sidwell and Rodallega, all having been provided chances from half-time substitute Berbatov. A fantastic win for West Ham as they showed good signs after being easily beaten last week. Fulham fans may well be in for a long season after the sellings of Dempsey and Dembele.

Man of the Match: Andy Carroll. The big fella was fantastic. After not fitting in at Liverpool he showed that he really could be a vital factor if West Ham are to stay afloat in the top flight. Let’s just hope Liverpool don’t want him back in January.

Swansea 2-2 Sunderland

Miguel Michu. What a fantastic signing he has proved to be for Swansea. The Spaniard scored his fourth goal from his first three games for the Swans. Swansea would maybe be disappointed with not being able to maintain their 100% start to the season. Before any of the goals Neil Taylor was stretchered off after his leg seemed to give way under a Gardner tackle. Early on Nathan Dyer was twice denied by Mignolet. Swansea then shot themselves in the foot. On forty minutes, Williams stubbed his back-pass leaving Fletcher to run in and easily slot the ball low past Michel Vorm. Swansea levelled the game when Dyer found Routledge who smashed home a volley in the first minute of first half injury time. Swansea weren’t level for long though, as remarkably, in the seventh minute of first half stoppage time, Larsson’s free-kick beat everyone except Fletcher who simply tapped home at the back post. Mignolet once again denied Dyer just after break with a skillful volley. Michu and De Guzman combined twice in the space of four minutes, with first Michu bouncing his header over the bar. But the second time they combined, Michu’s powerful header left Mignolet without a hope. Swansea’s comeback hopes were destroyed when Flores was sent off for a ridiculous challenge that almost took off Saha’s head. An interesting result for both sides. In the end, Swansea will be thankful that they didn’t concede another after having a man dismissed.

Man of the Match: Michu. The Spaniard proved once again that he was an important summer signing for Swansea as he controlled the game for the home side.

West Brom 2-0 Everton

Both sides would be happy with their respective starts to the campaign and both would be looking for the three points out of this match. Everton were forced into substituting Darron Gibson on nineteen as he pulled from a challenge. On twenty-nine minutes West Brom came very close to gaining the lead when Shane Long met a Liam Ridgewell cross, only for his header to go crashing into the bar. Fellaini shot a header over the bar late in the first half. Morrison almost gave the Baggies the lead, but his ferocious effort was beaten away by Howard. Early in the second half Fellaini should have scored twice, first pulling an effort across the face of goal, and then blasting over from ten yards. Those misses proved costly for Everton, as on sixty-five minutes Odemwingie found Long who easily tapped the ball past Howard. Yacob and Mulumbu both almost doubled the lead but their thunderbolts failed to find the back of the net. On eighty-three minutes Chris Brunt’s corner found McAuley who wrapped up the three points for the Baggies. A good win for the West Brom, seven points in three games is a brilliant start for them. Everton still have two wins on the board but will be disappointed for not having taken their chances.

Man of the Match: Shane Long. The West Brom centre-forward once again proved how underrated he is, scoring once and setting up several opportunities.

Tottenham 1-1 Norwich

With both sides only on one point after two games, they would both be looking for a win as the Canaries travelled to White Hart Lane. Spurs could’ve had the lead inside the first minute if it wasn’t for Sigurdsson hitting his shot wide. On fifteen minutes Russell Martin’s header was tipped on to the bar by Friedel, and then moments later Simeon Jackson ran fifty yards before sliding his shot just wide of Friedel’s goal. Norwich continued to take control of the game, as Johnson smashed a well hit half-volley just over. On the brink of half time, Norwich almost took the lead when Snodgrass was somehow denied by a sublime save from Friedel. Early on in the second half, Sigurdsson again had a chance, but his powerful volley didn’t trouble John Ruddy. After Pilkington had put a smart free kick just wide, Bale then blasted an effort just over the bar. Friedel again turned back the clock by saving a low effort from Pilkington. Then, on sixty-eights minutes, Dembele scored on his debut, after only being on the field for twenty-three minutes, having received the ball from a Defoe pass. Huddlestone came on for his first game in over a year, but it didn’t stop Norwich from finding an equaliser when Snodgrass smacked the ball through a crowded box on eighty-five minutes. Then, on eighty-eight minutes, Huddlestone was sent off for a silly challenge on Jonathon Howson. Friedel again saved Spurs in injury time when he pulled off a good save to deny Johnson a late winner. Tottenham will once again be furious with themselves for conceding a late equaliser. Norwich would’ve won if it weren’t for Brad Friedel.

Man of the Match: Brad Friedel. In his 307th consecutive premier league game, the American was outstanding, and certainly saved Tottenham from defeat.

Wigan 2-2 Stoke

Wigan went into the game on the back of a win and and a loss, while Stoke had drawn each of their first two outings. Charlie Adam made his debut for the Potters. It wasn’t a great start for the visitors when Robert Huth handled in the area. Shaun Moloney converted his penalty to make it 1-0 after five minutes. Wigan thought they had another penalty on thirteen minutes when Di Santo got caught between two Stoke defenders, but nothing came of it. Wigan were forced into a change on twenty-eight minutes when the injured Jean Beausejour was replaced by David Jones. Just seven minutes later, Stoke made a substitution, with Charlie Adam making his debut, as Wilkinson came off. Then on forty minutes, through a goalmouth scramble, Figueroa hand balled to give Stoke a penalty. Walters then stepped up to put the ball past Al-Habsi. Stoke then almost took the lead before the break, when Wilson’s volley hit the bar. After the break, the home side started the second half how they began the first, with a goal. A fantastic counter-attack, put Kone in on goal and he passed to Di Santo, who couldn’t miss. Wigan pressed for a third with both Kone and Emmerson Boyce creating opportunities. Having weathered the storm, Stoke found an equaliser on seventy-six minutes. Peter Crouch got on to the end of Walters’ cross. Al-Habsi then pulled off two late saves to keep the game level. First, off Cameron Jerome, then a sublime save after Adam’s free kick took a deflection. Wigan will most likely be satisfied with four points after three games. While a third successive draw for Stoke may not be satisfying as they face Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United in four of their next five games.

Man of the Match: Ali Al-Habsi. The Wigan shot-stopper was fantastic all day keeping out anything that came at him.

Manchester City 3-1 QPR

Manchester City kept their unbeaten status so far this season as they easily disposed of a struggling QPR side that didn’t provide as many problems as they had on the final day of last season. City dominated all the early action as Yaya Toure came close and Dzeko headed wide before having a shot cleared off the line by Fabio Da Silva. The home side did take the lead on sixteen minutes after Tevez’s shot was blocked before Toure thumped home. Before the break David Silva had two opportunities to double City’s lead. He first forced Green into an important save which Nasri couldn’t follow up, and then just minutes later Silva was played through by Kolarov only for his shot to be blocked again by Da Silva. City started the second half as they ended the first, on fire. Tevez drilled a difficult shot directly at Green, and then Zabaleta hit the cross bar. Just before the hour mark, QPR remarkably levelled. Zamora headed home after an Andy Johnson shot – could QPR sneak in an upset? It wasn’t to be, however,as just two minutes later Edin Dzeko gave City the lead with a close range header. City wrapped up the points in injury time when Tevez cooly slotted the ball into the net from a Dzeko shot. An easy win for City in a match that they were definitely expected to win. No real positives for QPR.

Man of the Match: Carlos Tevez. Once again the Argentinian proved that he is one of the best strikers in the EPL. A constant threat, he made the QPR defence look like jelly when he had the ball.

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal handed Liverpool their worst start to a league season in fifty years and also managed their first two goals of the season on Sunday as they easily won at Anfield. Both teams went into the game after struggling in their first two outings. The early parts of the game were very much end to end with both sides lacking that final pass. Raheem Sterling came closer than anyone to scoring early on when he smacked the ball into Vito Mannone’s near post from a tight angle. On 31 minutes Gerrard poorly gave the ball away inside his own half only for Podolski to give it Cazorla before running a good sixty yards to get the ball back and calmly slot it past Pepe Reina. Just moments before the end of the half Giroud should have made it two for Arsenal when Diaby’s brilliant pass found the Frenchman in a good position, but Giroud missed a sitter. It wasn’t until the sixty-eighth minute that there was drama once again. Cazorla played a one-two with Podolski, eventuating in the Spaniard’s low shot somehow beating Reina. Substitute Shelvey forced Mannone into a brace of late saves and Giroud should’ve finally got his goal but he missed his late free header. Overall a much needed win for the Gunners as they remain undefeated and yet to concede after three games. Many early danger signs at Anfield.

Man of the Match: Abou Diaby. Diaby was sublime in the heart of the Arsenal midfield, his passing constantly tearing the Reds apart.

Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa

With Villa having lost their first two games of the season, things were getting desperate as they travelled to St. James Park to face a Newcastle side that had won and lost early its openers. Darren Bent certainly stated his intent early on as he forced Tim Krul into two consecutive saves on nineteen minutes. But then, just three minutes later, Kieran Clark got onto the end of Barry Bannan’s cross to head past Krul, who had no hope. Newcastle almost levelled on twenty-nine minutes when Cisse’s shot was heading toward the back of the net before Guzan fantastically saved. After the break, Ben Arfa was pushed forward as Newcastle tried to find an equaliser. It paid off just before the hour mark. Brett Holman allowed Ben Arfa to cut inward and he lashed the ball into the top corner from twenty-five yards. Ben Arfa then hit a free-kick just over the bar on sixty-seven minutes. Steven Ireland and Darren Bent both missed late chances to snatch it for Aston Villa, before in the ninety-fifth minute, Guzan pulled off a wonderful save from Cabaye’s free-kick. Whether Newcastle will be satisfied with the result is debatable, while Villa may well just be happy to have picked up their first point of the new campaign.

Man of the Match: Hatem Ben Arfa. The Frenchman was electric! Spearheaded majority of the Magpies attacks and scored one of the goals of the season!

About Thomas Clarke

Currently in year 10 at Coburg Senior High School. Love my sport, in particular football (soccer). Play in a seniors indoor team on Wednesday nights at Box Hill indoor sports centre. Diehard Manchester United fan. Support the Bulldogs in the AFL.


  1. Friedel or al-Habsi as the stopper of the season so far? On form alone it would be an interesting “best of” team from the first 3 rounds. Hazard has to be first picked…probably RVP gets a gig now too.

  2. Ben Arfa’s goal on his wrong foot was a gem. I think teams are starting to work out Cisse and Ba now. We badly need a creative left-back.

  3. Whichever of Arsenal or Liverpool lost was going to be “in crisis”. Spurs and Newcastle have a chance to move up a tier and slot in behind the Manchesters and Chelsea. The good news is the brand of football so far…fantastic! Keep the updates coming Tom – it and EPL highlights show keep me in touch.

  4. I’d personally say Friedel over Al-Habsi right now. RVP was brilliant on the weekend, proving to all that he wasn’t a waste of money.

    Ben Arfa’s goal was sensational, but you’re definitely right about Newcastle needing a left-back, seeming to be your only weakness so far,

    As for Liverpool, I think Rodgers thought he would be able to sign another forward after Carroll departed. Borini’s just not up to it. I think that Liverpool will be a 7th-9th place finish, unless they pull off a major turn around. I think it will be Tottenham and Newcastle who finish 5th and 6th to the Manchesters, Chelsea (3rd) and Arsnenal (4th)

  5. And on the topic of Cisse and Ba. It’s not that teams are working them out, it’s that they can’t play together. Cisse signed in January, and in the time he got 13 or 14 goals toward the end of the season, Ba didn’t score once!

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