The 2014-15 EPL season is still young, but there have already been enough wild and unpredictable matches to fill the quota for an entire campaign.
That trend continued Saturday, as there were several surprising results that had a major impact on the Premier League table. The current standings are likely to look much different when the season reaches its conclusion in several months, but it is interesting to assess regardless.
With that said, here is a look at all of the results from Matchday 3 thus far, as well as a full rundown of the current EPL table.
|Home Team||Road Team||Result|
|Burnley F.C.||Manchester United||0-0|
|Manchester City||Stoke City||1-0, Stoke|
|Newcastle United||Crystal Palace||3-3|
|Queens Park Rangers||Sunderland A.F.C.||1-0, QPR|
|Swansea City||West Bromwich Albion||3-0, Swansea|
|West Ham United||Southampton FC||3-1, Southampton|
|Hull City||Aston Villa||2-1, Aston Villa|
|12||Queens Park Rangers||3||1||0||2||-4||3|
Breaking Down Notable Results
Stoke City Shock Manchester City
On the heels of winning the Premier League title last season, many are expecting Manchester City to repeat. Their defense hit a major snag Saturday, however, as they were shocked at home by unheralded Stoke City 1-0.
The Citizens dominated statistically with 73 percent of the possession, but they were unable to beat Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. In the end, Stoke picked up the unlikeliest of victories, per SportsCenter:
MASSIVE Premier League upset. Stoke City go to Manchester City and win 1-0. Stunning defeat for the defending champs. pic.twitter.com/0Iar3sAGzM— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 30, 2014
The difference was a 58th-minute goal by Stoke City forward Mame Biram Diouf. That marker shocked the home faithful at the Etihad Stadium, and it was with good reason.
According to WhoScored.com, Diouf made Stoke City history by ending their goalscoring futility as visitors against Manchester City.
Stoke City: Mame Biram Diouf's goal is the first Stoke City have ever scored at Manchester City in the Premier League— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 30, 2014
The Sky Blues won each of their first two matches, and another win Saturday would have kept them atop the table. Instead, they find themselves three points off the pace. Manchester City are most definitely talented enough to bounce back from this loss, but these are the types of matches that they can't afford to lose regularly.
As for Stoke, they are now 1-1-1 through three contests, and this win figures to give them a ton of confidence moving forward. If they can keep this up, then they may prove to be a mid-table team or possibly even better.
Manchester United Remain Winless
Manchester United entered the 2014-15 season with hopes of putting a nightmarish campaign behind them. Things couldn't have gotten off to a worse start with a Matchday 1 loss to Swansea City, though, and there hasn't been much improvement since then either.
The Red Devils faced a Burnley team pegged as a top relegation candidate Saturday, but they remained unable to tally a victory. United played the home side to a disappointing 0-0 draw, which clouded the debut of new acquisition Angel Di Maria.
Di Maria showed flashes of brilliance throughout the match, but his day ended early when he was removed by manager Louis Van Gaal in the 70th minute. There was some concern that he was injured, but Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph is reporting that it was simply precautionary:
Di Maria got a "kick on his calf" according to Van Gaal. Taken off as a "precaution" #mufc— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 30, 2014
As encouraging as that is, United's play is exactly the opposite. The uninspiring draw makes the side look even worse on the heels of Van Gaal's comments prior to the match, per Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail:
"We can be the champions still in England now, in my first year," Van Gaal said. "Maybe you shall laugh, but also in my former clubs I have started like this, so for me it's not big news or different, because I have already said that."
The Red Devils have a great deal of talent, but it didn't jell last year and it hasn't meshed through three matches this season either. Perhaps they simply need more time, but the fans at Old Trafford are getting restless.
Swansea City Continue to Roll
Which team's Matchday 3 performance surprised you most?
There has been no more pleasant surprise in the EPL so far this season than Swansea City. Swans surprised Manchester United in the opening week, but they have proven that they are far more than flash in the pan over the ensuing weeks. In fact, Swansea had their best performance to date Saturday in a 3-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion.
Swansea struck right off the bat as midfielder Nathan Dyer scored in the second minute. They didn't look back from there with Wayne Routledge scoring in the 24th minute and Dyer netting another in the 71st.
Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson assisted on both of Dyer's goals, and he has unquestionably been Swansea's most valuable player after a trio of tilts. The 24-year-old Icelander now has four assists this season, which matches what he did during his entire tenure at Tottenham, according to OptaJoe:
4 - Gylfi Sigurdsson has assisted four goals already this season, as many as he managed in 58 Premier League appearances for Spurs. Home.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 30, 2014
It is unclear if Sigurdsson and the Swans will be able to maintain this pace, but they are definitely worth watching moving forward. The true test will come when Swansea have to face some of the EPL's elite teams, however, they are in that discussion currently.
There always seems to be one club that obliterates expectations and finishes much higher than originally thought. Perhaps Swansea are that team in 2014-15.
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