9 September 2017
Manchester United went into their MatchDay four fixture with a 100 per cent record – 12 goals scored, four in each of their three matches, and no goal conceded. But coming up against Stoke City away at the Britannia Stadium, pundits touted the match as United’s toughest test yet.
And so it was as Mourinho and his men left the Britannia dented with two goals conceded and only a point after a hard fought 2 – 2 draw. After the first half, Mark Hughe’s men matched their more illustrious opponent with shots on target and shots at goal, three and six respectively, though were well beaten in possession.
The first half ended 1 – 1 with Marcus Rashford canceling Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 43rd minute strike. The Cameroonian was at the end of Mame Biram Diouf’s cross. Rashford on the other hand was lucky as he unintentionally directed Paul Pogba’s header from a corner kick into the net.
On resumption of hostilities in the second half, Stoke took the game to United, but were quickly punished for committing too many men to attack in the 57th minute when Romelu Lukaku had to be alert to rebound home his earlier blocked shot after he was set up one-on-one with the goalkeeper by Henrik Mkhitaryan. Choupo-Moting had the final say as he headed home Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner kick for his second goal and equalizer in the 63rd minute.
With the game ending in stalemate, United sit above city rival, Manchester City, on goal difference thanks to their impressive results in their first three outings.
City had an awesome game against Liverpool as they put five past Jurgen Klopp’s men, just two weeks after the Reds put four past Arsenal.
Sergio Aguero rounded Simon Mignolet for City’s first in the 24th minute after a defence splitting pass from Kelvin de Bruyne. In the 37th minute, Premier League’s player of the month, Sadio Mane was shown a straight red for dangerous play against City’s goalkeeper, Ederson, as he raised his leg high to hit the Brazilian in the face. He was stretchered off.
The Citizens made it two in the 45th minute with Kelvin de Bruyne turning provider again with an inch perfect cross to Gabriel Jesus who directed the cross home. Aguero assisted Jesus’ second goal and City’s third before Leroy Sane came on and scored two goals to make it five to the good. Klopp’s were sloppy in all departments, especially in defence.
Defending champion, Chelsea, continued their redemption from their MatchDay one defeat to Burnley as they held on for their third straight win with a 2 – 1 win at the King Power Stadium over Leicester City.
The two teams started two Nigerian internationals, but it was the one wearing white on the afternoon that celebrated at the end. Moses and his Chelsea teammates secured the win even though Jamie Vardy’s penalty meant they had to be cautious at the tail end of the match with little energy left to run around.
Club record signing, Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea the lead in the 41st minute after he met Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with a perfect header. The Spaniard now has three goals for Chelsea, all of them headers. His two assists are also headed passes. Five minutes into the second half, N’golo Kante made it two with a low drive into the far corner from all of 30 yards. Vardy, however, pulled one back for the host after Thibaut Courtois brought him down in the box for a penalty. The Belgium goalkeeper gave away the cheap penalty even though he could have let the English international run the ball into a tight angle or even out of play. Vardy stepped up and scored even though the powerful shot went in off Courtois’ left hand.
Chelsea responded well as they saw off the game with no real threat from the host. The Blues now sit third with the result.
Tottenham Hotspurs rode to victory at a dreaded ground (Everton’s Goodison Park) on the back of Harry Kane’s brace. The England international scored on either side of Christian Eriksen’s goal to hand the London side a 3 – 0 win and send his team to 5th place behind Watford.