Barclays Premier League Review – August 2014

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After a World Cup summer, domestic football returned in August and the Premier League made it’s presence felt with numerous exciting games, plenty of mind-blowing goals and no shortage of drama. It was certainly showing us what we’ve missed.

The table on September 1st
The table on September 1st

What we can see from the table

  • Chelsea and Swansea were the only teams who won all three of their opening games to sit joint top of the table.
  • Most of the usual suspects are also up in the top half of the table, whilst Aston Villa are surprisingly sitting in third.
  • Manchester United and Everton, two teams expected to do well this campaign are both lower down the table on two points.
  • They are two of eight teams without a win in their first three games – the teams from Sunderland down.
  • QPR are the only one of the three newly promoted teams who have won a game – Burnley sit bottom after just a draw, whilst Leicester’s tough start has resulted in them getting two hard earned draws.

Player of the Month

Diego Costa – Chelsea

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Since signing for Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in July, Diego Costa’s first month in the Premier League has seen him hit the ground running in the capital, taking the division by storm. His goal tally of four (the most in the league) has come from nine shots to date – six on target – and while the forward has also created six chances for teammates, he showed what he can add defensively at Everton too, completing four tackles. He started and finished the scoring in the 6-3 thriller at Goodison Park. Even injury concerns have not seemed to faze him. The 25 year old looked set to miss the game on Merseyside through a hamstring problem, but went on to be the star of the show, despite only training the day before the game. Two yellow cards in three games suggest he is still adapting to English football, but from the majority of what we’ve seen from the £32 million man, he could definately be the answer to Chelsea’s striker problems.

2nd – Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City)

3rd – Steven Naismith (Everton)

Manager of the Month

Garry Monk – Swansea City

Garry-Monk-Swansea-City

There was pre-season talk of relegation in South Wales, but although it’s still only days, Swansea have started the season brilliantly, banishing the drop zone worries. Garry Monk has guided his team to three wins out of three, including a 2-1 victory at Manchester United on the opening day – the first time ever The Swans have won a league game at Old Trafford. They have not conceded another since, and scored six times last month, mostly due to the stand-out performances by Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nathan Dyer, who Monk seems to have made the pinpoints in his team. The former player has also sent his team with different but equally effective tactics, from the grit that saw them see off Burnley to the style in which they tore into West Brom. Only Chelsea also have an 100% record and they are Swansea’s next opponents when the Premier League returns this weekend. After a positive start, Monk will be confident that anything is possible.

2nd – Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

3rd – Paul Lambert (Aston Villa)

Goal of the Month

Wayne Routledge vs West Bromwich Albion

2nd – Mauro Zarate vs Crystal Palace

3rd – Lee Cattermole vs West Bromwich Albion

Others worth mentioning

  • Stewart Downing vs Crystal Palace
  • Aidan McGeady vs Leicester City
  • Andre Schurrle vs Burnley
  • Marouane Chamakh vs West Ham United
  • Eden Hazard vs Leicester City
  • Alberto Moreno vs Tottenham Hotspur
  • Mame Biram Diouf vs Manchester City
  • Ki Sung-Yueng vs Manchester United

Game of the Month

Everton 3-6 Chelsea

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Diego Costa scored twice as Chelsea clinched a thrilling victory over Everton to keep up their 100% start to the new Premier League season. The Toffees fought back from conceding two goals in the first three minutes and had hope of a remarkable comeback as the sides traded five goals in a manic 10-minute second-half spell. But ultimately Jose Mourinho’s side survived an incredible match to take the three points with a performance that showed their progress since a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park this time last season. Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Nemanja Matic also got on the scoresheet for Chelsea, who also had the help of a Seamus Coleman own goal, whilst Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith and debutant and former Blue Samuel Eto’o were Everton’s scorers. You can read the full match report here.

2nd – Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace

Read the full match report here.

3rd – Everton 2-2 Arsenal

Read the full match report here.

Managerial Sackings

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Barclays Premier League

No managers were sacked during the month, but Tony Pulis left Crystal Palace by mutual consent two days before the start of the season and was replaced by Neil Warnock on the 27th August.

Games to look out for in September

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The current international break means that the Premier League doesn’t return until the 13th, but when it does, there are some great matches in store…

  • Arsenal vs Manchester City (13/09)
  • Manchester City vs Chelsea (21/09)
  • Liverpool vs Everton (27/09)
  • Arsenal vs Tottenham (27/09)
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