The Saturday of Gameweek 3 of the Premier League will not go down in history. All four afternoon kickoffs were goalless at half-time, and it took until the 68th minute before that unwelcome run ended.
Manchester City grinded out a 2-0 win over Hull City in the Premier League’s lunchtime match whilst Newcastle earned their first win of the season with a deserved 1-0 win over Fulham.
Here’s a complete look at Saturday’s results.
|Manchester City vs. Hull City||2-0|
|Cardiff City vs. Everton||0-0|
|Newcastle United vs. Fulham||1-0|
|Norwich City vs. Southampton||1-0|
|West Ham United vs. Stoke City||0-1|
|Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland||3-1|
Manchester City 2 – 0 Hull City
Manuel Pellegrini’s City recovered from their shock 3-2 defeat against Cardiff with victory over Hull thanks to goals from Alvaro Negredo and Yaya Toure. It could have been so different as the visitors perhaps should have even been ahead at half-time as Sone Aluko blasted wide with only Joe Hart to beat.
It was hardly vintage stuff from the 2011/12 Premier League champions as they struggled to carve up a dogged opposition defence, but they finally struck in the second half to get the three points on the board and, as always in football, that’s the main thing.
After demolishing Newcastle 4-0 in their opening match, City have struggled to find top form. Against Cardiff their defensive fragilities were exposed with the important Vincent Kompany missing through injury, as reported by The Independent. Although those problems didn’t manifest in the same way, they still looked shaky at the back against Hull.
Newcastle United 1 – 0 Fulham
Hatem Ben Arfa’s strike four minutes from time secured a huge win for Alan Pardew and Newcastle. The Toon followed up their opening-day defeat to City with a shaky boring draw with West Ham—hardly the start they wanted after flirting with the drop last season.
The introduction of Yohan Cabaye, who had previously refused to play following Arsenal’s interest in him, changed the match as the hosts started to dominate. But their impotency in front of goal almost cost them as Adel Taarabt struck the bar before Ben Arfa notched the winner.
Although they face three away games in their next four, the fixtures are relatively kind for Newcastle with visits to Aston Villa, Everton and Cardiff and a home tie with Hull ensuring they should pick up a nice collection of points to keep them clear of any early danger.
Norwich City 1 – 0 Southampton
Remember the name Nathan Redmond. The teenager cut inside and fired past Artur Boruc in the Saints' goal to earn Norwich their first win of the season. He has looked lively already this season and if he carries on in the same vein, it won’t be too long before Roy Hodgson offers him an England call-up.
Southampton looked set for a big season after recruiting well in the summer—striker Pablo Osvaldo recently joining new recruits Dejan Lovren and Victor Wanyama per the BBC.
These are the sorts of games Saints will be looking to win if they are to establish themselves in the top half. Mustering just two shots on target isn’t going to help their cause, albeit they also struck the post and had a strong penalty shout turned down.
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