Fulham vs. Arsenal 1-3.
Arsenal stepped up gear to ultimately record a comfortable success at Craven Cottage. Podolski’s conversion rate was impressive last season and it looks as if he is to continue in the same vein. A similarly bright outlook can be forecast for Giroud who is now starting to regularly hit the target. Fulham on their part probably deserved more than just the one goal having kept Szczensy busy for much of the afternoon. Similar performances against lesser opposition should yield their just reward.
Hull vs. Norwich 1-0.
The predictably tight game as expected but Hull made it very hard work for themselves having a man sent off. Norwich didn’t take full advantage of the situation as they only worked the goalkeeper on 4 occasions during the contest. A poor return considering their numerical advantage.
Southampton vs. Sunderland 1-1.
Sunderland put in the performance in front of goal that could be expected and fortunately for them they came up with a goal. Southampton had much of the possession and many shouts for a penalty before breaking their duck very late on. They were busy in front of goal but their lack of efficiency ensured they came away with only the single score.
Newcastle vs West Ham 0-0.
Dire fayre at St. James’ where between them the two sides hit the target once during the ninety minutes. West Ham did seem to concentrate their energies on winning their home fixtures last season but for Newcastle there are few excuses and they are on a slide that they must arrest quickly.
Stoke vs. Crystal Palace 2-1.
Palace opened their account in front of goal for the season but Stoke were always likely to be stubborn opponents at home. Palace actually produced more in attack than may have been expected having rallied in the last half an hour of the game which will encourage them for the future.
Everton vs. West Brom 0-0.
Everton enjoyed no fortune in front of goal despite a huge effort and as a consequence West Brom were lucky to come away with a point having offered very little themselves. It remains to be seen whether the trend of the Toffees peppering the opposition goal without reward will continue and it must be source of frustration that they don’t have a top drawer centre forward. Their season will depend of whether they can convert effort into goals.
Aston Villa vs. Liverpool 0-1.
When the season is reviewed this result will probably be viewed as an excellent outcome for Liverpool. Not too many sides will come away with the 3 points from Villa Park. Sturridge remains one of the division’s most efficient goal scorers in terms of minutes on the field per goal and he proved to be the difference here. Villa again did enough to show that they will be dangerous opponents and probably deserved something out of the game in the end.
Cardiff vs. Man City 3-2.
The first big shock result of the season, especially after City had taken the lead. The effect of Kompany’s absence was clearly underestimated as City were under pressure at virtually every set piece. If the favourite has a key man missing the situation tends to become glossed over. If the underdog is missing the equivalent type of player, they become 100-1 shots in the eyes of the public. This was one most of us got wrong.
Tottenham vs. Swansea 1-0.
This game went to form as Tottenham, as expected, had a great deal many more shots at goal than Swansea, despite their conversion rate being poor. It does go to demonstrate that Tottenham are as likely to be as busy in front of goal as they were with Gareth Bale in the side but as with last season the level of efficiency needs to increase if Spurs are going to be challenging for a top four position.
Man Utd vs. Chelsea 0-0.
Overall a poor game where the final passes and crosses were not up to standard. United continually looked the most likely winners and surprisingly having packed the midfield in the first half, it wasn’t an area where Chelsea were particularly dominant. It was probably a result where neither camp were not too displeased, having not handed the initiative to the other. It was surprising that United had been shunted out to 3-1 to win the league after this effort, where they didn’t come under any serious pressure.