The third week of the new Premier League campaign takes on a special level of importance. That's because the deadline for the summer transfer window looms on Monday, leaving managers one last chance to assess their squads before seeking any final moves.
While most of the major wheeling and dealing is already complete, those clubs off to a sluggish start may look to make one more splash. Others may opt to wait until the winter window before deciding whether it's worth investing anymore resources into the side.
Either way, decisions must be made in the coming days. So let's check out how the table is shaping up along with the results for Week 3, which will both be updated through the conclusion of play. It's followed by a recap of the matchday.
Premier League Table
|11||West Ham United||3||1||0||2||-1||3|
|12||Queens Park Rangers||3||1||0||2||-4||3|
|18||West Bromwich Albion||3||0||2||1||-3||2|
Matchday 3 Results
|Date||Home Club||Road Club||Result|
|Aug. 30||Burnley||Manchester United||0-0|
|Aug. 30||Manchester City||Stoke||0-1|
|Aug. 30||Newcastle||Crystal Palace||3-3|
|Aug. 30||Swansea||West Brom||3-0|
|Aug. 30||West Ham||Southampton||1-3|
|Aug. 31||Aston Villa||Hull||2-1|
Week 3 Recap
Manchester United are still seeking their first league win under new manager Louis van Gaal after a scoreless draw with Burnley. The match also marked the Red Devils debut of Angel Di Maria, who had flashes of outstanding play but clearly needs time to build chemistry with his new teammates.
The side, which was saddled with high expectations after a disappointing seventh-place finish last term, is off to a sluggish start. And the frustration will only continue to build with each passing week where the star-studded group doesn't live up to its potential.
Van Gaal talked about the need for results after the draw, as noted by the club:
Van Gaal: "The progress is there but a club like United has to win. Two points from nine isn’t enough and that’s disappointing." #MUFClive— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 30, 2014
Burnley deserve credit for a strong defensive showing. United controlled possession, but the Clarets did a terrific job of locking down the area in front of Tom Heaton, who also made a couple key stops.
Manchester City fared even worse. The reigning champions watched as Mame Biram Diouf gave the upstart visitors from Stoke a lead shortly before the hour mark, and the City attack was unable to generate the equalizer as the Potters completed the surprising upset.
Paul Carr of ESPN highlights how rare the result is:
Stoke City wins a league game at Man City for the first time since 1997, ending a 7-game losing streak there.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) August 30, 2014
Perhaps the most impressive performance from Saturday's early fixtures was delivered by Swansea. Nathan Dyer put the Swans ahead in the second minute and they never looked back en route to a comprehensive 3-0 win over West Brom.
EPL Stat Man provided a look at the first-half passing efficiency that spearheaded the success:
Southampton also found the win column with a strong showing against West Ham. The Saints had just one goal in their first two games, but were far more effective this week. Morgan Schneiderlin scored an equalizer just before halftime and added another in the second half to spur his side to a 3-1 victory.
Which club had the best showing in Saturday's early matches?
Queens Park Rangers got themselves out of the Premier League basement with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Sunderland. The Black Cats were actually in command for a good portion of the match, but their striker woes remain a major concern.
The early action wrapped up with a wild contest between Newcastle and Crystal Palace. Mike Williamson had seemingly given the Toon a victory with a goal to make it 3-2 in the 88th minute, but Wilfried Zaha struck back deep in stoppage time to salvage a point for the Eagles.
Finally, in a match few who witnessed it will soon forget, Chelsea stormed past Everton in a match that featured nine combined goals. Diego Costa scored for the Blues inside the first minute and both sides were off to the races.
A flurry of goals about midway through the second half seen Everton cut the lead to 4-3, but Ramires almost immediately stretched the lead back to two. Then the guy who started it all, Costa, also finished it in the 90th minute with his second goal of the match to make it 6-3.
The Toffees have now allowed 10 goals in three games, a massive concern for manager Roberto Martinez, even at this early stage of the campaign.
Looking ahead to Sunday's action, which are the last league fixtures until Sept. 13, it starts with an intriguing battle between Tottenham and Liverpool. Spurs are off to an extremely promising start while the Reds look to find top form after a busy summer.
Aston Villa and Hull will be facing off at the same time. Each side are sitting on four points through two weeks. Those matches will be followed by Arsenal looking to earn all three points on the road against Leicester after a confidence-building comeback against the Toffees last weekend.