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City party spoiled by VAR again and newcomers mean business: EPL Matchweek 2 Review

Matchday 2 gave us our first taste of title contenders facing off against each other whilst the other big clubs all had tricky fixtures to try and navigate. Plus, the newly promoted sides are showing they mean business and Aaron Mooy gets his first minutes in a Brighton shirt.

Manchester City 2 – 2 Tottenham

It was a cruel case of deja vu for Pep Guardiola’s side with what City thought was an injury time winner to Gabriel Jesus being ruled out by the VAR.

It was the Kevin De Bruyne show with two assists, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero the benefactors of his sublime crossing. Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura cancelled out each goal for Spurs though, with the latter nodding home just seconds after being subbed on.

Just like in April when City thought Sterling had scored a last minute goal to secure passage past Spurs in the Champions League, Gabriel Jesus thought he’d done it for them this time. But VAR was to spoil the party again, ruling that Aymeric Laporte handled the ball in the lead-up to the goal – a contentious decision to say the least. 

Southampton 1 – 2 Liverpool

Fellow title contenders Liverpool thought they’d done well to get through a tough Southampton side with a clean 2-0 win before UEFA Super Cup hero Adrian gifted the Saints a late goal.

The howler brought the high-flying Spaniard keeper crashing back to Earth after his midweek penalty shootout heroics.

It was former Saint, Sadio Mane, doing the damage against his old club smashing the ball into the top corner late in the first half before pressing well and stealing the ball for Firmino to slot home a second with 20 minutes to go.

Liverpool would have expected to cruise to full-time from there but keeper Adrian was far too cavalier in trying to play out from the back with his pass blocked by Danny Ings, the ball rolling into the net to set up a very tense final 10 minutes.

Norwich City 3 – 1 Newcastle United  |  Sheffield United 1 – 0 Crystal Palace

Norwich impressed a lot of people with their brave performance against Liverpool in Matchweek 1, intent on trying to play the same attacking brand of football that got them promoted from the Championship.

It may not have worked against Liverpool but it worked a treat against a struggling Newcastle United with Finnish striker Teemu Pukki scoring a hattrick to put himself equal top of the Golden Boot tally.

Fellow newcomers Sheffield United are defying early expectations as well securing a vital three points at home against Crystal Palace in front of a raucous Bramall Lane crowd.

 

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Brighton 1 – 1 West Ham

Brighton will be disappointed not to have taken all three points, controlling the majority of possession and creating plenty of chances. Their fans feared the worst when former Man United striker, Chicharito, poked home on the hour mark against the run of play. But the Seagulls struck back quickly to even the scores before Maty Ryan pulled off some vital saves to keep West Ham out.

Fellow Aussie Aaron Mooy made his debut for Brighton coming on in the 85th minute and he’ll be pushing for more minutes as he settles into his new club.

Wolverhampton 1 – 1 Manchester United

It was a similar old tale for Manchester United who had the lion’s share of possession but only went into half-time with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a slick team move down the left flank finished off by Anthony Martial. 

Wolves leveled the score early in the second half with Ruben Neves scoring a signature screamer from long range after a well-worked corner. Amazingly, Neves has now scored 10 of his 14 goals for Wolves from outside the box. 

United thought they’d stolen a result when Pogba earned himself a penalty only to see his spot kick saved by Rui Patricio. The Frenchman’s face at full-time said it all, knowing how crucial those lost points could be later in the season. 

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