English Premier League Saturday Wrap-Up
Chelsea strutted to another win in style, Manchester City finally looked like champions (despite Mario Balotelli's latest manic moment) and Arsenal came from behind to beat an old nemesis.
The heavy hitters punched their weight Saturday in the English Premier League, but they weren't the only ones.
Man City and Chelsea are now the league's lone unbeaten teams, but Everton and West Brom recorded positive results and maintained their strong starts to the season.
Keep reading for all the details from another exciting Saturday of Premier League action.
Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland
Scorers: Man City—Aleksandar Kolarov 5', Sergio Aguero 60', James Milner 89'
Quickie Recap: Manchester City moved up to second place, kept a first clean sheet of the season and maintained their long unbeaten run at home with a confident 3-0 victory against overmatched Sunderland. Kolarov opened the scoring with a well-taken free kick, substitute Aguero doubled the advantage after the break and Milner wrapped up the points in the closing minutes.
The Result was Secure When…Aguero doubled City's advantage with a deft redirection early in the second half, moments after entering the match as a substitute.
Balotelli time: City striker Mario Balotelli was subbed out of the match early in the second half. Clearly displeased, Balotelli walked straight off the pitch and down the tunnel without looking at manager Roberto Mancini. His replacement, Aguero, scored moments later.
Fortress Etihad: Manchester City's last home loss in the league occurred Dec. 20, 2010, against Everton. The Toffees won 2-1 that day. The only team to take a point off City at the Etihad last season was Sunderland.
Half-Century: Saturday's clean sheet wasn't just City's first of the season. It was also Joe Hart's 50th in the Premier League.
Quotable: City defender Joleon Lescott (via MCFC.co.uk):
The performances haven’t been consistent, but the results have and we’re looking strong now, and we’re obviously disappointed to go into the international break after that performance. But I’m sure we’ll come back ready to go.
25 - Only five players have scored more goals for Manchester City in Premier Leaguehistory than Sergio Aguero. Prolific.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 6, 2012
Up next: Manchester City visit West Brom on Oct. 20. Sunderland host Newcastle on Oct. 21.
Chelsea 4-1 Norwich City
Scorers: Chelsea—Fernando Torres 14', Frank Lampard 22', Eden Hazard 31', Branislav Ivanovic 75'; Norwich—Grant Holt 11'
Quickie Recap: Chelsea stayed atop the Premier League table, turning on the style in a home win over struggling Norwich. The Blues trailed early to Holt's opener but recovered in plenty of time to maintain their 100 percent league start at home. Torres, Lampard and Hazard converted in the first half before Ivanovic sealed victory with a well-taken volley in the second.
The Result was Secure When…Really, it was secure as soon as Chelsea took the lead, but Ivanovic's emphatic volleyed goal provided the victory's exclamation point.
One-Two Punch: Hazard and Juan Mata, the dual driving forces of Chelsea's attack, combined in a sweeping move for the Blues' third goal. Mata played a clever final ball for Hazard, who finished with a low shot to the far post.
Just Call him Dave: Cesar Azpilicueta entered as a second-half substitute. But you can just call him Dave if you like.
Canaries Struggling: Norwich, still winless on the season, remained in the relegation zone. The Canaries slipped to 19th on goal differential after Reading drew with Swansea away.
Quotable: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (via ChelseaFC.com):
It seems at the moment they are enjoying playing football, that's what they love doing and they are lucky people to be able to do this as a job. We can only try and continue this momentum and form, and that will help everybody involved going forward.
We have a philosophy we are aiming to play and at the moment the team is in healthy form, we are creating lots of chances and scoring lots of goals, with different goalscorers. It's a team that's in good shape.
Right-back? More like right sided forward. It's amazing how efficient Branislav Ivanović has been for #CFC in the attacking third.— Allan Jiang (@allanjiangLIVE) October 6, 2012
Up next: Chelsea visit Spurs in the early kickoff on Oct. 20. Norwich host Arsenal in the day's late kickoff.
Swansea City 2-2 Reading
Scorers: Swansea—Michu 71', Wayne Routledge 78'; Reading—Pavel Pogrebnyak 30', Noel Hunt 44'.
Quickie Recap: Swansea erased a two-goal deficit in seven second-half minutes and denied Reading their first victory of the season. The Swans ended a run of three straight league defeats.
The Result was Secure When…Swansea sub Pablo Hernandez chipped his shot over the bar late in the second half. Reading's Jem Karacan then came close with a header, but Ashley Williams cleared off the line.
Hit and Fade: Reading held just 29 percent of possession and stunned Swansea with two goals against the run of play. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy made eight saves as Swansea peppered the Reading goal with 26 attempts.
Still Winless: Reading have not won a match this season, their first since being promoted back to the Premier League from the championship. The league's two other winless clubs are QPR and Norwich.
Last Time: These teams last met in the 2011 League Championship playoff final on May 30, 2011. Swansea won 4-2 that day to secure promotion to the Premier League.
5 - Michu has scored five goals from just seven shots on target this season in the Premier League. Bargain.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 6, 2012
Up Next: Swansea host Wigan on Oct. 20, while Reading visit Liverpool.
West Bromwich Albion 3-2 Queens Park Rangers
Scorers: West Brom—James Morrison 5', Zoltan Gera 22', Youssuf Mulumbu 85'; QPR—Adel Taarabt 35', Esteban Granero 90' plus 2'
Quickie Recap: West Brom moved into fourth and heaped more pressure on QPR boss Mark Hughes with a 3-2 victory at the Hawthorns. Still winless on the season, QPR remained rooted at the foot of the table.
The Result was Secure When…Jose Bosingwa shot over the bar from close range moments after Granero's late consolation goal for QPR.
Away Blues: QPR have taken only three of the last 51 available points on their travels (via BBC Sport).
Pressure in Queens Park: QPR spent heavily in the summer transfer window, but Saturday's loss was Rangers' fifth in six matches this season. Hughes received support from QPR chairman Tony Fernandes this week (via The Telegraph).
1919 - West Brom have won their first four top flight home matches of a season for the first time since 1919-20. Memories.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 6, 2012
Up Next: West Brom host Manchester City on Oct. 20. QPR host Everton on Oct. 21.
Wigan Athletic 2-2 Everton
Scorers: Wigan—Arouna Kone 10', Franco Di Santo 23'; Everton—Nikica Jelavic 11', Leighton Baines 87' (pen.)
Quickie Recap: Everton maintained their strong start to the season thanks to Baines' late penalty. Wigan had built a 2-1 lead in the first half through goals from Kone and Di Santo. The draw dropped Everton to third behind Manchester City.
Hint of Offside: Kone's opener had a hint of offside, but the referee let the goal stand. Jelavic leveled for Everton with a header moments later.
Old Boy: Baines converted his dramatic penalty for the equalizer against his former team. Baines came through Wigan's youth system and played as a senior professional with the club from 2002 to 2007.
76% passing accuracy Everton's lowest since the first game of the season. 80% and above last 5 PL games.— Matt Cheetham (@Matt_Cheetham) October 6, 2012
Up Next: Wigan play at Swansea on Oct. 20. Everton play at QPR on Oct. 21.
West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal
Scorers: West Ham—Mohamed Diame 21'; Arsenal—Olivier Giroud 41', Theo Walcott 77', Santi Cazorla 83'
Quickie Recap: Olivier Giroud scored his first Premier League goal and assisted another as Arsenal came from behind to beat old nemesis Sam Allardyce at Upton Park. West Ham had led Arsenal in the table before the match, but the win sent Arsenal up to fifth.
The Result was Secure When…Cazorla made it 3-1 with a stunning left-footed finish across the face of goal.
Old Nemesis: Before Saturday, Allardyce had won four and drawn three of his team's nine Premier League matches against Arsenal (via ESPN FC).
Breakthrough: Giroud scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal and also assisted Walcott's winner. The Frenchman played the final ball to Walcott on the right before Walcott finished with a low shot at the near post.
Thin Ice: Diame received a yellow card for the celebration following his opening goal. He escaped a second booking moments later for a poor challenge on Arsenal's Mikel Arteta.
This is why the time it takes you to score your first PL goal is irrelevant: Chamakh (173 mins), Henry (464).— David Wall (@1DavidWall) October 6, 2012
Bonus Tweet (from before the match):
3 - Olivier Giroud has the most goal assists of any Arsenal player in all competitions this season. Provider.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 6, 2012
Up Next: West Ham host Southampton on Oct. 20. Arsenal play at Norwich the same day.