Matchweek 6 was a massively important weekend in the English Premier League. Old rivals met and battled it out for bragging rights while a replay of the 2021 Champions League Final took place. Here are my 4 standout results and general thoughts on this weekend’s action.
ARSENAL 3 – SPURS 1
Ah, the North London Derby. Few fixtures throughout the season match this rivalry’s intensity and importance. Mikel Arteta’s side entered the Derby 13th place on 6 points. Just a single win separated them and the Spurs. The Spurs were ahead in 7th on 9 points. Right out the gate, the Gunners were taking the ball to the opposition. From about minute 5 it looked like one of those games where Spurs weren’t gonna get anything going. The atmosphere thanks to the home fans definitely rubbed off on the Arsenal players. Arsenal arguably played their best 45 minutes under Arteta since he took over.
All 3 goals were scored and or made by Hale End Academy graduates Bukayo Saka (2G & 1A) and Emile Smith-Rowe (1G & 1A). Captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored and then recreated the famous Thierry Henry Knee Slide celebration in front of the traveling Spurs fans. All the while Henry was watching and applauding from the stands. Son got a late consolation goal for Spurs. I’d say Arteta put out his best 11, while Nuno on the other hand just seemed to get it wrong with his team selection.
Nuno came out and said in his post-game interview that “The performance and game plan were not good.” “When you have a game plan, you have to make the right decisions in terms of who you want to put on the pitch to develop that game plan.” The Spurs manager went on to say he wouldn’t disclose which players he was referring to, obviously. One thing you don’t want to do as a manager is publicly out your players. That just creates a toxic environment in the dressing room and eventually, the pressure from both the fans and the media will be too much. That is if he wants to keep the job (IF they do continue on playing like this).
Arsenal finds themselves above Spurs in the table for the first time in a few seasons. A trend that Arsenal reigned supreme in for years prior to their recent decline. All in all, Sunday was a great day for me while the game left a bitter taste in the mouth of our Spurs supporting boss Chris Mancuso.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1 – CRYSTAL PALACE 1
The bitter rivals met once again in a match that would see Brighton go to the top of the table with a win. Palace was unbeaten in their last 4 matches against Brighton going into this match. Winning twice away from home and drawing another two. The atmosphere inside Selhurst Park was rocking. It was pretty open up until the 10th minute. Both teams hinting at a breakthrough goal. Man of the Match Connor Gallagher went down in the box and the ref awarded a penalty. Wilfred Zaha stepped up as per usual and scored from the spot on what was his 400th (yes, it’s been that long) appearance for Palace.
What followed was constant pressure from Palace until the halftime whistle blew. The second half was different. Brighton was on the front foot until the final second of 90’+5 minutes of added time. Usual suspect Neal Maupay does what he does best and spoiled the party with a cheeky chip over the keeper. Honestly, he’s a dick, and the things he’s done to Arsenal give me no choice to feel this way. But that was a goal you’d usually see in FIFA so credit to the tiny little Frenchman.
He exchanged some friendly banter (sometimes in French) with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry in a post-match interview for SkySport. Maupay shared his admiration for the former striker. Henry replied asking him to not do anything to Arsenal next game (based on my very loose translation to what I lip-read). But it was nice to see the two share that respect for each other. But yea this game was wild to watch.
BRENTFORD 3 – LIVERPOOL 3
Brentford is the gift that keeps on giving to neutral fans this season. Brentford’s only loss this season came by way of a 1 nil loss to Brighton. The newly-promoted side plays with this real purpose and belief about them. To the untrained eye, you’d assume they’ve been in the top flight forever. Liverpool hasn’t lost a game in all competitions this season. Given their general pedigree, I considered their favorites. But again the Bees play with some big ole balls, defending and pressing as a unit while being lethal on the counter. Goals for Liverpool were scored by Mohammed Salah, Diogo Jota, and Curtis Jones who scored the best of the bunch. He saw his thumping long-distance shot fly into the top left, maybe taking a slight deflection on the way. But he didn’t care.
Up until that point, Jones thought he had scored the game-winner. Due to Brentford drawing level at 2 apiece (Ethan Pinnock & Vitaly Janelt). But Yoane Wissa was first to a ball that deflected back at him. He grabbed the equalizer in the 82′ minute to keep Brentfords fine run of form going. Liverpool on the other hand showed their defensive flaws, a problem Jurgen Klopp thought he had solved this summer by signing Leipzig Frenchman Ibrahima Konate. Klopp, I assume ragged on his players after the game and probably was pissed, for good reason. Liverpool finds themselves still unbeaten and top of the table. Meanwhile, Brentford (9th place) is 1 place ahead of their London neighbors Arsenal but is level on points with 9 (ahead on goal difference).
MANCHESTER CITY 1 – CHELSEA 0
This one was a highly anticipated rematch of the 2021 UCL Final that saw Chelsea lift the cup for the 2nd time. This was basically a rematch for bragging rights. This time on English soil instead of neutral Portugal. Nothing much to report on here, with the only thing separating the two sides was a goal from Gabriel Jesus and a goal disallowed by the ref from Romelu Lukaku. Both teams are neck and neck in terms of their title challenge sitting level on 13 points. City sits 1 place up in the table due to goal difference (by 1 goal).
OTHER NOTABLE SCORELINES FROM THIS WEEKEND…..
–Raul Jimenez gets his first goal since returning from his horrific head injury last season, giving the Wolves the win away against Southampton.
–Everton cruise to a 2 nil victory against a weak Norwich City side yet to register a win this season. A penalty from club top scorer Andros Townsend and a cool finish for Abdoulaye Doucoure was the difference in a match that was almost always going Everton’s way.
–West Ham beat Leeds 2-1 with Michail Antonio scoring a 90th-minute dream goal, slipping past 2 defenders to poke it past the keeper.
–Aston Villa shock Manchester United at Old Trafford, with the Villains taking all three points in the 88′ minute by way of a header from Kortney Hause. One of the sickest names ever.
Leicester and Burnley drew 2-2 (Vardy 1 O.G. & 2G, Cornet 1G) while Watford and Newcastle drew 1-1 (Sarr 1G, Longstaff 1G).
MATCHWEEK 6 WAS GREAT, BRING ON MATCHWEEK 7
If this weekend didn’t convince you that this season is unlike any other so far then open your eyes chump. This league has it all and next week I’m sure we’ll see more of the same special football we all love. Until next week boys and girls!