Premier League Match Day 2: Goals on Goals
Is it a plethora of offensive talent or a dearth of defensive talent?
A review of Matchday 2
If the Premier League wanted fireworks to spark the season, they got it this week, because it was a HAUL of goals for the league. A stunning 13 of the 20 teams had multi-goal games, compared to just 7 of the 16 teams that had multi-goal games on Matchday 1.
Everton and Tottenham scored 5 each.
Leeds United and Leicester City scored 4 each.
Fulham, Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Manchester City scored 3 each.
What a start for the league.
Staying on the topic of goals, did anybody expect Leeds to be tied for 1st in Goals scored through 2 games with 7 goals? Hélder Costa, Patrick Bamford, and Mateusz Klich all have 2 goals apiece. Costa and Bamford have been in midseason form to kick off the season, which hasn’t allowed club-record signing Rodrigo to play more than 45 minutes in either game. Bielsa’s men have been a part back to back 7-goal thrillers with a loss against Liverpool from a Rodrigo handball and win after holding off Fulham in the last 30 minutes of the game. Leeds score goals like their manager ride the bus: easy, efficient, and with time to enjoy the view. It’s only two games so far, but Bielsa’s team is looking like a top-half team in the league so far. They’re playing with confidence, a gameplan and belief set by the manager, and an overall fitness level that has taken the Premier League by surprise.
Another team that has surprised is the new look Everton squad behind Carlo Ancelotti. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been a revelation for Toffees in the Centre-Forward role. He followed up the lone goal in the Matchday 1 game against Spurs, with a hattrick against West Brom, good enough to put him tied atop the race to the Golden Boot. Ancelotti’s every-three-years-transfer target James Rodriguez arose as a blue Phoenix draped in the tattered white and red of the Los Blancos and Die Bayern. (Some fun history: Ancelotti signed Rodriguez for Real Madrid in 2014, on loan for Bayern Munich in 2017, and now for Everton in 2020.) The implementation of the Ancelotti 4-3-3 has worked perfectly with the foundation of his inherited team while also making the perfect signings to compliment the current squad. Ancelotti brought on Allan from Napoli, his previous coaching stop before the Toffees, and fills the role of deep playmaker perfectly, linking the back to the creative attackers at the front and dictating the direction of play.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Manchester United played a catastrophic disaster of a game against Crystal Palace. The team looked lethargic, uninspired, and complacent to just see out the game instead of trying to finish the game and salvage some form of points. Crystal Palace came out with energy and pace that United was not fit to handle nor did they look to want the challenge as well. The lone transfer for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Donny Van De Beek, scored the only goal for United in the 80th minute, after already going down 2-0. Victor Lindelof played a roll in all 3 goals allowing the cross on the first goal, giving up the Penalty Kick on a handball in the box, and a poor mark on Zaha’s run and shot in the 85th. It’s hard to see him being selected in the starting eleven come Saturday against Brighton.
All in all, its been a stellar start to the season with enough goals and close matches that have kept the intrigue of each individual game. With the additions of talent into the league and the absence of fans (for now), it’s looking like this is the most competitive Premier League season in recent memory.
Match of the Week - Leeds United Vs. Fulham FC
This one was a “hold on to your butts” kind of game. Leeds continue their hot streak of scoring in just the first 5 minutes by Costa. Mitrovic answers for Fulham in the 34th minute with a Penalty Kick. Leeds then scores 3 unanswered with Klich then answers with a penalty kick of his own, Bamford netting one in the 50th and Costa completing the brace in the 57th. Fulham mounted a furious comeback with 2 goals in a 5 minute span from the 62nd minute to the 67th minute. ________ had chances in the final 25 but could not find the back of the net. What a closely contested game by both clubs. The game had a total of 13 shots on target with each keeper needing to make 3 saves and a posession split of 50/50.
Team of the Week
GK - Allison, Liverpool
DEF - Tariq Lamptey, Brighton
DEF - John Stones, Manchester City
DEF - Lewis Dunk, Brighton
DEF - Andrew Robertson, Liverpool
MF - Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
MF - Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
MF - James Rodriguez - Everton
MF - HeungMin Son, Tottenham
FW - Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton
FW - Patrick Bamford, Leeds United
Player of the Week - Heung Min Son, F Tottenham Hotspur
Easily the best individual performer of the week. Son was absolutely brilliant with his clinical finishing and is looking to bounce back after an injury-hampered start to the 2019-2020 campaign. The South Korea captain hit struck 4 goals into the back of the net grabbing Player of the Match honors and a word from Harry Kane that Son is paying for dinner. Ah, what a lovely bromance. Kane assisted on all of Son’s goals as well. Son only took 4 shots. All shots were on target, All shots were goals. He also completed 73.9% of his passes with 2 key passes that led to chances. Absolutely a world-class performance. Nothing should be taken away from Kane’s 4 assists as well, but this was Son’s show with his movement and finishing. Well deserved.
Goal of the Week - Hélder Costa, MF Leeds United
Matheus Pereira’s free-kick for West Brom was a contender for the award this week as well, but I’m a sucker for a great open field goal coming off of some great team passing and runs. So Hélder Costa’s goal gets the nod.
Jack Harrison’s side/back header was the catalyst for the goal. It was perfectly weighted and placed to get Patrick Bamford into space on the wing to run. Bamford then takes on Denis Odoi and drops his inside shoulder to beat him along the outside. Harrison and Klich continue their run into the box drawing all of the centrebacks and holding midfielders. Tyler Roberts was wide open at the far post but the angle for the pass would’ve made it a difficult shot on goal. Bamford cuts it back right towards the penalty spot where Costa continues his run into from the right-wing. 4 touches + the shot. Goal for Leeds.