PREMIER LEAGUE: SATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER ROUND UP
The 2020/21 Premier League season is now in full flow and there were some very exciting fixtures on the Saturday of game week four, which saw torrential rain all across England throughout the day.
Chelsea took on Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, Brighton paid a visit to Goodison Park to take on high-flying Everton, followed by the battle of the tactical managerial masterminds as Leeds faced Manchester City and the day was finished off with Newcastle welcoming winless Burnley.
Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace - 12:30pm kick-off - Stamford Bridge
Chilwell shines on Chelsea Premier League debut as Blues comfortably sail past Palace
It was a routine win in the end for Frank Lampard’s Blues as they put four past Roy Hodgson’s side without reply, but it didn’t look as though it was going to be that easy to begin with.
Palace frustrated Chelsea in the first 45 minutes and the Blues struggled to create any clear-cut chances despite dominating the ball. The best opportunity fell to Jorginho who blazed a shot over the bar when the visitors failed to clear a corner.
In the second half Chelsea turned the pressure into goals and the opener came five minutes after the restart. A rare mistake from Mamadou Sakho allowed Cesar Azpilicueta to work a dangerous cross into the box with the ball ricocheting to the on-rushing Ben Chilwell who fired past Vincente Guita.
Hodgson would’ve been happy with how his side responded, but his mood soon changed when Chilwell crossed for Kurt Zouma, who rose powerfully above Sakho to head home the hosts' second.
Chelsea were firmly in control now and earnt two penalties in the space of three minutes. Tammy Abraham was tripped by Tyrick Mitchell for the first, while the bright Kai Havertz baited in Sakho for the second, with Jorginho tucking away both penalties.
Albeit there was a slight disagreement over the second spot-kick with Abraham wanting to take it, but captain Azpilicueta soon sorted out that disagreement.
The three points moves Chelsea into the top four and Lampard will be happy with the response after the shock draw with West Brom last weekend and cup loss to Spurs in the week. As for Palace it’s back to back defeats but victories in their opening two games means they remain in the top half.
Everton 4-2 Brighton - 3pm kick-off - Goodison Park
Everton maintained their 100% winning start to the season with a dominant win over Brighton
It’s now four wins from four for Carlo Ancelotti’s rejuvenated Everton, as they returned to the top of the league comfortably beating Brighton 4-2 at Goodison Park.
Carlo Ancelotti’s players started brightly forcing Matt Ryan into two early saves, one of which came at the expense of Dominic Calvert-Lewin but it didn’t take long for the striker to show exactly why he’s received his first call-up to the England senior squad.
A short corner caught Brighton off guard and Gylfi Sigurծsson’s delightful lofted cross picked out Calvert-Lewin, who leaped elegantly before powering his header into the back of the net.
Carlo Ancelotti lost Richarlison midway through the half and things went from bad to worse for the Italian when Brighton equalised completely against the run of play.
Tariq Lamptey picked out Solly March and his shot into the ground was spilt by Jordan Pickford at the feet of the alert Neal Maupay, who poked the ball through the legs of Michael Keane on the goal line.
The Toffees responded perfectly though and right before half time regained their lead. James Rodriguez delivered a wonderful free-kick straight onto the head of fellow Colombian teammate Yerry Mina who guided the ball past Ryan.
Graham Potter made the decision to swap out Lamptey for summer signing Joel Veltman during the interval but that defensive switch couldn’t stop Everton from grabbing their third early in the second half.
A poor ball from Leandro Trossard was picked up by Calvert Lewin who slotted in Alex Iwobi, allowing the Nigerian to cross for Rodriguez who calmly struck the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
The Colombian playmaker wasn’t done there either and 18 minutes later he had another one. Steven Alzate lost the ball high up the pitch and the Toffees raced forward with Iwobi sliding in Abdoulaye Doucouré who squared the ball over to Rodriguez and Everton’s number 17 finished brilliantly with his weaker right foot, in a goal almost identical to his first.
Both Trossard and Maupay had chances in the latter stages of the game but two terrific blocks from Mina kept them out, but there was nothing he could do about Yves Bissouma’s rocket in added time. Just a consolation though for the visitors as Everton continued their flawless start to the season in all competitions.
Heading into the International break, Ancelotti will be very happy with where his Everton side are in the league, but injuries to both Seamus Coleman and Richarlison will be of concern to the former Napoli coach.
As for Potter he’ll be very disappointed as it’s another loss for the Seagulls with a lacklustre performance going alongside it, leaving them in the bottom half of the table.
Leeds 1-1 Manchester City - 5:30 kick-off - Elland Road
Rodrigo’s equaliser cancels out Sterling’s opener in highly-entertaining stalemate at Elland Road
Another chapter of Guardiola vs Bielsa is in the books and it was another cracker as Leeds and Manchester City played out a competitive 1-1 draw.
The visitors started the game on top and very nearly went ahead when Kevin De Bruyne’s cleverly disguised free-kick cannoned off the near post, but City were eventually rewarded for the early pressure.
Raheem Sterling received the ball on the left of the Leeds box, before cutting inside far too easily leaving Liam Cooper for dead in the process, before curling the ball expertly into the far corner.
Marcelo Bielsa would’ve been pleased with how his side responded though and through a string of first half chances they were unlucky not to be level.
A delightful move from the hosts ended with Stuart Dallas closing in on Ederson, but the Brazilian International made a good save at the feet of the Irishman.
Ten minutes later Luke Ayling channelled his inner Lionel Messi by beautifully jinking past the sliding Aymeric Laporte but yet again Ederson made a wonderful save with his outstretched right arm.
Record signing Rodrigo who joined Leeds from Valencia for £27m was introduced ten minutes into the second half and he was straight into the action.
The Spaniard jinked his way into the box thumping an effort against the bar via the fingertips of Ederson and it was that duo heavily involved in Leeds equaliser.
The City shot-stopper came off his line to punch the ball clear but fumbled his attempt and Rodrigo was in the right place at the right time to stroke the ball into an empty net for his first goal under Bielsa.
Leeds had their deserved equaliser and very nearly took the lead minutes later with Ederson and Rodrigo in the spotlight again, a stooping header from the latter expertly tipped onto the bar by the Man City number 31.
The remaining half an hour was filled with half chances as both sides continued to try and push on for the winner. Yet somehow despite 35 attempts throughout the 90 minutes there were only two goals. A brilliant back and forth game but it finished all square at Elland Road.
Guardiola’s City haven’t had the easiest run of fixtures in their first three games but the Spaniard may be disappointed with four points out of possible nine. For Leeds their good start back in the Premier League continues as they move into 5th place ahead of the International break.
Newcastle 3-1 Burnley - 8pm kick-off - St James Park
Saint-Maximin magic and Wilson brace helps Magpies to hard-fought win over Burnley
Newcastle ended the run of four games without a win at home, with a 3-1 over Burnley who remain without a point in the new season.
Early in the first half the Burnley backline were heavily tested by Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin and it was the latter who struck first for the hosts.
A simple lofted clearance from Kyle Darlow was chested into the path of Saint-Maximin by Wilson and the Frenchman drove at the visitor's defence, jinking one way and then the other before unleashing a rasping shot which beat Nick Pope at his near post.
Sean Dyche would’ve been disappointed with how Burnley played in the first half as they barely threatened Darlow’s goal with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood only having a combined five touches in the 18-yard box.
However, the opening 15 minutes of the second half were completely the opposite of the first. The Clarets came out fighting and were soon back on level terms.
Phil Bardsley's cross eventually arrived at the feet of stand-in skipper Ashley Westwood who fired a volley into the bottom corner with extreme precision past the in-form Darlow.
Despite getting back into the game, Burnley were still struggling to live with Saint Maximin’s pace and just four minutes after equalising they were behind again.
Saint-Maximin breezed past Charlie Taylor with ease and expertly picked out Wilson who had the easiest of tap-ins for his 3rd goal of the season.
The Magpies lost star man Saint-Maximin when he went down off the ball 20 minutes from the end with Ryan Fraser replacing him.
The Scotsman was involved straight away harassing Pope after a poor touch from a pass back, resulting in the English keeper taking out Fraser and gifting the hosts a penalty.
Wilson confidently stepped up, delightfully chipping the ball down the middle from 12 yards for his second of the game.
Steve Bruce’s team comfortably saw out the remaining 15 minutes to take themselves into the top six for the time being. Burnley on the other hand, need to find a spark from somewhere and Dyche now has two weeks to work out where it’s gone wrong in the opening weeks of the season.