The English Premier League 2021/22 Matchday 2 saw a couple of matches involving the big sides, with Liverpool and Manchester City emerging victorious.
Liverpool 2-0 Burnley
Liverpool followed up on their three-nil win against Norwich on an opening day with a routine 2-0 win against a stubborn Burnley side that ended their 68 games unbeaten run at Anfield last season. With Anfield packed to the rafters, Diogo Joto headed home a Tsimikas cross in the 18th minute before Sadio Mane latched on a beautiful laid pass from Trent Alexander Arnold and volleyed it home in the second half, propelling Liverpool to second place in the table.
Mohammed Salah also found the net but was rightly flagged for offside. Jürgen Klopp and his boys look to have found form with the return of Virgil Van Dijk bringing defensive solidity at the back while Tsimikas has really impressed at the left-back position, you would hardly believe Andy Robertson is out injured. Despite the clean sheet, Alisson looked a bit shaky at the back with Chris Wood having a few decent chances, especially from set-pieces in the first half.
Manchester City 5-0 Norwich City
In a match that saw Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus called back to the squad even though their future at City hangs in the balance, the Cityzens ran riot, hitting a naive Norwich City side for five with no reply. A Tim Krul own goal was followed up with a lucky goal from Jack Grealish before Laporte, Sterling and Mahrez added to the tally in the second half.
Gabriel Jesus started on the RW in place of Riyad Mahrez and caused havoc, linking up with Kyle Walker to devastating effect to the point that Daniel Farke, Norwich City’s manager, pointed out that four of the goals they conceded came from the right-wing. With Kevin De Bruyne still to start a Premier League match this season and Harry Kane potentially arriving late in the transfer window, Man City are already playing like a well-oiled machine and will take some beating to pry the Premier League title away from them.
Pitchside view: Gabriel Jesus’ assist and celebration vs Norwich
Take a look at Manchester City first goal in the 5-0 win against Norwich from August 2021. A ball was fizzed across the box by Gabriel Jesus and Hanley turned it in past his own keeper.
Southampton 1-1 Manchester United
A script that we have seen several times already, Manchester United followed up an impressive opening day win against Leeds United with a lacklustre performance against the Saints. Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer dropped Daniel James and Scott McTominay in favour of Anthony Martial and Matic. In what was expected to be a routine win for the Red Devils, the Saints had other ideas.
Bruno Fernandes was forcefully knocked off the ball by Stephens before Che Adam’s off-target shot ricochetted of Fred, leaving De Gea helpless on the goal line as Southampton took the lead after half an hour. Sustained pressure in the opening part of the second half saw Mason Greenwood slot home after a good exchange between Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes. The match’s flow was then disrupted by a series of fouls which disrupted any kind of pressure that United tried to build, bringing to a close a frustrating day in the office for the red half of Manchester.
Wolves 0-1 Tottenham
Spurs secured a narrow one nil win through a Delle Alli penalty after he was tripped by Sa, the Wolves goalkeeper. It was a match that saw new Spurs manager, Nuno, return to his former club that he led from the championship to a now solid mid-table Premier League team. Wolves had the best of the chances but could not breach Hugo Lloris, who put in an excellent performance. Wantaway Spurs talisman, Harry Kane, was brought on in place of Son in the second half. He had one decent chance, but was otherwise quite in his first game of the season.
Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea
In what was arguably the biggest game of the week. The London Derby definitely lived up to expectations, unless you are an Arsenal fan. Fresh from a two-nil drubbing against newly-promoted Brentford, Arsenal came face to face with a Romelu Lukaku led Chelsea team that definitely means business. Lukaku’s hold up play caused problems of all sorts to Holding and Mari as they just could not live with him. He expertly held up Mari, laid the ball off to Kovacic who played in Reece James.
Lukaku then made a run into the box, tapping in the cross from the young English fullback for the opening goal. The second goal also came in similar circumstances, but instead of crossing, the young fullback rifled the ball past Leno in goal. The second half performance was much better from Arsenal, but the damage had already been done. Chelsea held on to their two-goal lead, which takes them top of the table after Matchday 2. Arsenal on the hand looks to have hit rock bottom, with fans already calling for the board to sack their manager, Mikel Arteta. Next up in the Premier League is a match against Man City that could really turn embarrassing, going by the first two performances from the Gunners.
Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle
Crystal Palace 0-0 Brentford
Leeds United 2-2 Everton
Brighton 2-0 Watford
West Ham 4-1 Leicester City