It’s break time in the Premier League.
England’s top flight has reached the first international break of the 2015-16 season. The respite comes at a good time for some of the 20 teams, while others wish the season could continue apace in order to capitalize on their current form. Actually, that’s only the case for Manchester City, which boasts the only perfect record in the Premier League standings, having won all four of its games.
Last weekend’s contests featured a number of unexpected results, particularly involving clubs which consider themselves among the biggest in the competition. Liverpool and Chelsea lost home games to West Ham and Crystal Palace, respectively. Manchester United slipped on its visit to Wales and Swansea City. These results suggest the gap between the Premier League’s haves and have-nots is shrinking, as we speculated last week.
We react to each result below (home team listed first):
Saturday Aug. 29
Newcastle 0 – 1 Arsenal
Arsenal dominated play against 10-man Newcastle but settled for a narrow win at St. James’ Park. The Gunners still have yet to hit high gear. Newcastle took a step back after drawing against Manchester United in the previous round.
Bournemouth 1 – 1 Leicester City
The game between two of the league’s upstarts failed to produce a winner. Both sides will accept the hard-earned point, which could come in handy during an expected battle against relegation.
Aston Villa 2 – 2 Sunderland
The back-and-forth game at Villa Park had plenty of goals, but extended win-less runs are the only definitive conclusions to take from the results. Struggling Sunderland hasn’t won any of its four games. Aston Villa hasn’t won since the opening round.
Manchester City 2 – 0 Watford
That Manchester City only scored twice is the biggest surprise here.
Stoke City 0 – 1 West Brom
West Brom claimed its first win of the season, beating a Stoke City side which is enduring a torrid start to the season. The Potters haven’t won in four, and relegation battle now looks more likely to feature in their season than does a fight for a European place.
Tottenham 0 – 0 Everton
Lots of passing. No goals. Tottenham still is searching for that elusive first win.
Sunday, Aug. 30
Southampton 3 – 0 Norwich City
Southampton responded forcefully to its elimination from the UEFA Europa League, beating the Canaries at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Swansea City 2 – 1 Manchester United
Manchester United looked like it would grind out another win after taking the lead, but Swansea City overturned the deficit in quick and stunning fashion. The Red Devils’ unbeaten start to the season is over. The Swans are off to another fast start, having won two out of their last three games.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@premierleague