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Premier Analysis: Chelsea make light work of Arsenal while De Gea saves Man United

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal

Jose Mourinho has never lost as an opposition coach against Arsene Wenger in any competition, ever, and the record never really looked in doubt on Sunday afternoon as Chelsea made fairly light work of Arsenal to take Mourinho's record to P12 W7 D5 L0 against his old nemesis.

Though Arsenal started quite brightly and would go on to have 54% possession away from home and double the amount of shots at goal than the hosts (though not one on target) Chelsea's vastly superior game management always meant they looked much more in control of the match, with a constant attacking threat in the form of Eden Hazard in particular, who shone with 5/6 completed take-ons on the day and the all-important opening goal.

Hazard made a mockery of Calum Chambers repeatedly during the match as the Arsenal right back struggled, and it was the Belgian's brilliant run in the 27th minute that led to the opening goal. Beating all before him, Hazard was finally upended by Laurent Koscielny in the box - a clear penalty - which he duly got up to slot home coolly.

Much of the focus pre-match was on Cesc Fabregas playing against his old club, and the Spanish international didn't disappoint. He helped assert authority in midfield along with Nemanja Matic, though Jack Wilshere offered an intermittent threat at times.

Cesc outshone Mesut Ozil, who put in another jaded, ineffective performance on the right hand side (though the rest of the attack hardly fared any better, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck also kept quiet).

And the former Barcelona man played an outstanding and ruthless ball over the top to Diego Costa late on to allow Chelsea to wrap up the points.

Wenger has now won 0 of his last 15 Premier League meetings against Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, and with just 2 wins from 7 games so far this season - against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa - the Gunners have plenty to ponder heading into the international break. Already, they sit nine points behind table-toppers Chelsea, who look formidable.

Match facts

  • Diego Costa scored his 9th goal in his 7th Premier League appearance. The only player to score more in their first 7 Premier League appearances is Mick Quinn (10 in 1992).
  • 4 of Diego Costa’s 9 goals this season have been assisted by Cesc Fabregas.
  • Fabregas now has 7 assists in the Premier League this season for Chelsea; equalling the most that a Chelsea player had in the PL in 2013/14 (Hazard – 7).
  • Arsenal have won just 2 of their last 12 league clashes with Chelsea (D2 L8).
  • Chelsea have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 6 clashes with Arsenal, conceding just 2 goals in total.
  • Since he made his Premier League debut, Laurent Koscielny has given away more penalties than any other player in the competition (7).
  • Eden Hazard has scored all 7 of his Premier League penalties. Of players with 100% records, only Dimitar Berbatov (9/9) has scored more.
  • Arsenal have lost 3 successive league away games at Stamford Bridge for the first time since August 1970 (5 defeats).
  • This is Arsenal's second worst league start to a season under Wenger (10 points from 7 games) - the worst being 2011/12 (7 points from 7 games).
  • Arsenal failed to have a shot on target for the first time in a Premier League match since September 2003 (Manchester United away).

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Man United 2-1 Everton

This is what they paid all that money for. The names on the Red Devils scoresheet in Manchester United's 2-1 win over Everton read Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, the very kind of big-name players that were bought to be decisive in exactly these types of tight games.

But this was a hard-fought win for United, who had to battle until the end and only made sure of the three points thanks to an array of world-class saves from a man who is gradually becoming an old head in the Old Trafford dressing room - David de Gea.

Post-match, Louis van Gaal bemoaned his team's tendency to play well in the first half of matches before making a meal of things in the second half, and this was the pattern in the early kick-off in Manchester. Di Maria, bright as a button, led the charge as United took advantage of an Everton side who - unlike their opponents - had the weary legs of midweek European football to consider. Di Maria was the star of the first half and his goal was a reward for his lively, busy bee efforts.

Leighton Baines and Danny Blind saw the ball most in that first half, and just before the break one of the game's biggest chances was presented to the former. Tony Hibbert darted into the box only to be brought down by Luke Shaw and Everton were given a penalty. Baines stepped up but De Gea made an instinctive save to keep it at 1-0 at the break.

Van Gaal has quickly abandoned the 3-5-2 that was the talk of the town at the World Cup. Here he switched to a 4-4-2 diamond, and consequently Antonio Valencia spent more time in central midfield than he's perhaps ever done in his career previously. It was a necessary sacrifice to help Blind out with the midfield hard graft, and helped add balance to United's play.

In the second half Everton improved and got a deserved equaliser. Baines made up for his penalty miss with an exceptional cross to Steven Naismith, and he did the rest to make it 1-1 with his fourth goal from only five shots on target in 2014/15.

An instinctive goal from Falcao would win the day, but not before De Gea made two quite breathtaking saves from Leon Osman and Bryan Oviedo. Di Maria and Falcao did the damage at one end of the pitch, but there could be no doubts over who would win the man of the match.

Match facts

  • Ángel Di María has had a hand in 6 goals in his 5 Premier League appearances (3 goals and 3 assists).
  • Juan Mata has been involved in 10 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances (8 goals and 2 assists).
  • United have scored 86 Premier League goals against Everton, the most by a team against a single opponent (second most is Arsenal’s 85 against Everton).
  • United had 9 attempts - 3 on target, 4 off target and 2 blocked - at goal before Everton recorded their first, in the 39th minute.
  • Leighton Baines failed to score a Premier League penalty for the first time – he has scored 14 and missed 1.
  • Baines failed to score from the spot for the first time in all competitions since 26th October 2011, in a League Cup match against Chelsea.
  • Baines has provided 3 assists this season, 1 fewer than he did in the whole of 2013/14.
  • Baines has provided more assists (3) and has also created more chances (16) than any other defender in the Premier League this season.
  • The Red Devils have conceded 7 penalties in 2014, more than any other team. They did not concede any in 2013.
  • United have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League matches.
  • James Wilson became the 30th player used by United this season, more than any other team.
  • United used 30 players in the whole of the 2013/14 season – only in 2008/09 (33) and 2011/12 (31) have United used more players in a season than 30.

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Tottenham 1-0 Southampton

Spurs have won their last five league meetings with Southampton, but it was a scrap to see off the Saints in this Pochettino Derby and the victory was narrow.

Southampton's start to the season has been their best since 1983/84 and Ronald Koeman has done a wonderful job thus far, allowing Saints fans to cast aside the summer's doom and gloom and forget the names Lambert, Lallana, Shaw and Chambers entirely. Statistically speaking, they also had the better in various key performance indicators, outpassing Spurs on their own patch and enjoying more of the possession against their old boss.

But in the end Spurs had Christian Eriksen to thank, with the Dane bagging his third goal against Southampton since signing up at White Hart Lane. Eriksen made more final third passes than any player on the pitch on the day and also grabbed the all-important winner.

It was a goal and a win that puts Spurs firmly in the hunt for fourth - though it's early days, of course, and the road is long, the win lifted Mauricio Pochettino's men up to sixth and a point above Arsenal. Southampton remain third - a testament to their excellent season so far.

Match facts

  • Tottenham have won their last 5 Premier League games against Southampton after losing 4 of the preceding five meetings.
  • Christian Eriksen has scored more Premier League goals against Southampton than any other team (3).
  • Eriksen’s last 3 Premier League goals have been right-footed – 1 of his first 6 goals were right-footed.
  • Nacer Chadli has been involved in 5 (4 goals, 1 assist) of Tottenham’s 9 Premier League goals this season.
  • Danny Rose made 6 interceptions in this game, the most by a Spurs player in a Premier League game this term.
  • Spurs completed only 274 passes in this game – they have only completed fewer in 2 of their 23 Premier League home games since the start of last season.
  • Southampton failed to score in a Premier League away game for the second time in their last 17 trips.

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West Ham 2-0 QPR

QPR are now rock bottom of the Premier League after slumping to defeat at West Ham. Though Upton Park is the famous old stomping ground of Rs manager Harry Redknapp and Rs captain Rio Ferdinand, it was Sam Allardyce and his increasingly-entertaining band of bubble-blowing brothers that triumphed here, in what eventually became a routine win for the Hammers. They climb up to 7th in the table - above Arsenal on goal difference.

Playing in his new, central position, Stewart Downing was at the heart of proceedings early on as West Ham stamped their authority.

A new-look side, Allardyce's team showed very few of the early teething problems that appear to have beset QPR, and it wasn't long before they went in front thanks to a Nedum Onuoha goal. Not long at all - in fact it took five minutes, as the former Manchester City man turned into his own net from a corner.

Statistically QPR managed just one shot less than West Ham (10 to 11) and edged possession with 50.9% of the ball. But what the Hammers did in possession was far livelier, far more assertive and just generally far better than anything QPR could conjure.

At the heart of it was the midfield combination of Downing and Alex Song. Song is often considered a rather curious chap, antics like his ridiculous, completely crazy elbow on Mario Mandzukic's back in the World Cup hardly helping his case when the character assassinations are penned. But the balance he brings to West Ham's game in midfield is already obvious. By sitting in midfield he allows Downing and other more adventurous players in the team the freedom to express themselves.

Between them, Song and Downing bossed midfield, and in attack Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho profited. Sakho celebrated the own goal like it was his own, but by the end of the game he had a real-life, actual goal to his name and the points were West Ham's. Downing's running from midfield had been a key contributing factor to the game's outcome.

Match facts

  • West Ham have scored more goals from set-pieces than any other team this Premier League season (6).
  • Diafra Sakho is the first West Ham player to score in 4 consecutive Premier League games since Carlton Cole (5) in the 2008/09 campaign.
  • Sakho has scored in all 5 starts he has made for West Ham in all competitions, with 4 of these in the Premier League.
  • The Hammers have won the most corners in this Premier League season (53).
  • QPR have won 1 of their last 18 away London derbies in the Premier League (at Chelsea, in January 2013).
  • QPR have failed to score in 9 of their last 13 Premier League fixtures. They have lost 10 of these games.
  • QPR have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 20 Premier League matches.
  • West Ham recorded their second clean sheet in their last 19 Premier League games.
  • Rio Ferdinand made his 500th Premier League appearance in this match, becoming the 11th player to reach this landmark.
  • Ferdinand has conceded 2 fouls and has not been given a single card in his last 36 Premier League appearances.
  • QPR have have faced 40 shots on target this Premier League – the joint-most with Leicester.

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Aston Villa 0-2 Man City

For the fourth week running, Villa faced one of last season's top four, and for the third week running, they were beaten to nil without having played terribly.

That's not to say there weren't severely tested by Manchester City in this Saturday tea time clash, because the champions had their hosts penned in for much of the match. Manuel Pellegrini's site may not have managed a shot on target in the first half, but they certainly flexed their muscles and kept Villa exactly where they wanted them.

The second half was a different story, with shots raining in on Brad Guzan's goal - 14 of them in all, 7 on target. It was a truly heroic defensive 'shift' from Villa. Sadly for them, in the 82nd minute, Yaya Toure finally broke the deadlock.

It was a goal that will have boosted City more than it bruised Villa. Two points dropped here could have left the men from the Etihad seven points adrift of Chelsea, if the Blues won their game in hand against Arsenal on Sunday. Certainly not insurmountable with 31 matches to play, but a huge psychological blow, particularly given Chelsea's relentlessness when they build up a head of steam - they're more likely to panic when it's close than get complacent when it's not.

It was certainly the kind of result you can imagine looking back on as significant should City be crowned champions again in May.

Having endured much cake-related criticism this season, Yaya Toure will have been more than a little chuffed to score what could prove to be a crucial goal for the champions.

Yet, although the Ivorian was a constant presence in this match, he was a largely unspectacular one. He kept things ticking over in midfield - making 128 passes - but didn't make the kind of lung-busting runs forward we were used to seeing last season... although that may have been because the ball was generally already in or around Villa's box.

Villa were no doubt starting to tire by the time Toure's goal came - it was exactly the kind of effort they would've hurtled out to block in the first half, and the same could possibly be said of Sergio Aguero's second, too.

Toure may have scored the decisive goal, but there can be little question the star of the show was the one and only David Silva. This was a showing that did little to quell the talk that City's No.21 is the best player the Premier League has to offer right now. He was simply magical.

The Spaniard was at his mercurial best, making 39 successful passes in the attacking third - more than any other player on the pitch - and never giving the Villa defence a moment's rest. He created 3 chances for team-mates, but sadly didn't get the assist his elegant performance deserved.

Word too for the ever-dependable James Milner, who is currently enjoying something of a purple patch. The England man was - as ever - always showing for the ball, providing under-pressure team-mates with an option. He also created a game-high 8 chances for team-mates, one of which was rattled into the net by Sergio Aguero.

Players like Silva and Aguero need willing runners like Milner to make those tidy little one-twos possible. He's like the tiki-taka-tape holding it all together. Maybe...

Match facts

  • Yaya Toure has scored in his last 3 Premier League games against Aston Villa.
  • In fact, Yaya Toure's last goal before today was against Aston Villa in May 2014, ending a run of 6 Premier League games without scoring.
  • Sergio Aguero has netted 3 goals in 3 Premier League games against the Villans.
  • Aguero has found the net 11 times in his last 13 away games, and in each of his last 5 on the road.
  • It took 47 minutes for either side to register a shot on target in this match.
  • Villa had 1 shot on target in the whole match. They have managed just 10 shots on target in the league this season, 11 fewer than anyone else.
  • City have lost just 1 of their last 17 Premier League away games (W12 D4 L1).
  • Manuel Pellegrini's side have scored at least twice in their last 7 Premier League away games.
  • Villa have failed to score in 5 of the last 6 Premier League games against City.

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Hull 2-0 Crystal Palace

Hull were forced to wait before inflicting defeat on Neil Warnock's Crystal Palace - the first the Eagles boss has suffered in the league since returning to Selhurst Park for his second stint as boss.

Steve Bruce's team scored in the 59th minute with their 12th shot of the game - all of the previous 11 had failed to test visiting goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

The Tigers may not have been particularly clinical in front of goal, but they could at least rely on a solid defensive performance from their back three. Of the trio, Michael Dawson arguably performed best. The former Spurs man made a whopping 18 clearances over the 90 minutes, beating colleagues Curtis Davies (13) and James Chester (10).

Although the less said about Dawson's long-range passing, the better - only 2 of 12 found their mark...

Crystal Palace's creative frustrations were probably best summed up with the below graphic. Between them, Eagles wingers Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon attempted 15 take-ons - they completed just one each...

Match facts

  • Mohamed Diame has scored 3 goals in 4 Premier League games for Hull; the same total he managed in his last 25 games for West Ham.
  • The Tigers ended a run of 5 games without a league win at the KC Stadium (W1 D2 L3).
  • Hull's win also ended a run of 8 league games without a win against Palace (D4 L4).
  • Nikica Jelavic has scored 4 Premier League goals already this season; the same total he managed in the competition last term.
  • Palace have conceded at least twice in 4 of their last 5 away league games.
  • Steve Bruce’s side kept their first clean sheet on home soil since April (1-0 vs Swansea).
  • The Tigers scored with both shots on target in this game.

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Leicester 2-2 Burnley

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson summed up his frustration with this result by inverting that old parenting saying: "I'm annoyed today, not disappointed, I'm annoyed."

"We should win the game," he added. "I think we're better than we were last year and I don't think they are as good as they were last year."

That may sound a little catty, but he has a point. A team capable of putting five past Manchester United just two weeks ago should have enough to overcome a team who had previously scored just once in six Premier League matches.

Things had seemed to be going so well, too. Pearson's wing wonders Jeffrey Schlupp and Riyad Mahrez both looked particularly threatening. Few teams now play a 4-4-2 with two out-and-out wingers, and these two flying Foxes are providing some great entertainment. The pair both scored and had two other shots each in a first half that saw the Foxes walk off the field with a 2-1 lead.

However there were always signs that Burnley were bubbling under - and not just the Michael Kightly equaliser that was immediately followed by Mahrez's goal. There was more attacking purpose than there was in last week's feeble showing at West Brom, a match the Clarets lost 4-0.

The attacking third passes tell their own story. At The Hawthorns, Sean Dyche's men completed just 50 passes in attacking areas. At Leicester, it was 91. In the West Midlands, Burnley had just 2 shots on target, in the East Midlands it was 4.

The last of those shots on target came in the 96th minute. Ross Wallace, a 79th-minute substitute, had made little impact on the game - he'd completed just 1 of 2 attempted passes during his 15-odd minutes on the pitch. Yet the Scot saved the day with a superb last-gasp free-kick. It was the first time the Clarets had scored a second goal in an away Premier League match since their 4-1 win at Hull in April 2010.

Match facts

  • Jeffrey Schlupp scored his first Premier League goal and his first goal in any competition since New Year’s Day (vs Millwall).
  • Burnley have only kept 1 clean sheet in 23 Premier League away games.
  • Michael Kightly’s goal ended Burnley’s run of 565 minutes without a league goal; it was the 10th longest in Premier League history.
  • Leicester have scored more home goals than any other Premier League team this season (10).
  • Ross Wallace’s last-gasp equaliser was the latest scored in the Premier League this term (95:15).
  • Leicester have won 5 and lost 0 of the last 8 league meetings with Burnley.
  • Nigel Pearson’s side have lost just 1 of their last 19 league games on home soil (W12 D6 L1). They have scored in every game in that 19-match run.
  • Burnley scored as many goals today as they had in their last 5 Premier League away games combined (2).

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Liverpool 2-1 West Brom

With Daniel Sturridge injured and Mario Balotelli 'rested', it fell to Adam Lallana to help inspire Liverpool's first win in four matches

The former Saint was neat and tidy in the middle third, completing all 16 of his passes in the midfield zone. That's not to say he kept things too simple, however - he also succeeded with 4 of his 6 attempted take-ons.

But what of his 'end product'? The 26-year-old was only able to create one chance for a team-mate, which perhaps isn't enough for a player in his position. He did, however, score the opening goal of the game - and what a goal it was.

Beating two West Brom defenders with a nifty drag-back, he burst forward and exchanged passes with Jordan Henderson, before gliding into the box and tucking the ball past Ben Foster. In the words of Shakin' Stevens, "lovely stuff".

West Brom certainly didn't make it easy for Liverpool, with Saido Berahino a particular thorn in their side. The England Under-21 international not only drew five fouls - one of which was adjudged by the referee to be worthy of a penalty, despite being outside the box - but also mustered 4 shots at goal, 3 of which hit the target.

In converting the aforementioned penalty, Berahino took his tally to the season to six in all competitions - a record worthy of a youngster considered one of the best in the Premier League.

Match facts

  • Only 4 Premier League players have made more assists than Jordan Henderson (10) since the start of last season.
  • Adam Lallana scored his first Premier League goal since March 29th; a run of 189 days without one.
  • Against no side has Lallana scored more Premier League goals than he has against West Bromwich Albion (2, level with Newcastle and Tottenham).
  • Saido Berahino has already equalled his Premier League tally from last season (5).
  • The Reds have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 13 Premier League matches and are without a shutout in 7 at Anfield.
  • Since the start of last season, Liverpool have scored 56 Premier League goals via English players, 15 more than any other team.

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Sunderland 3-1 Stoke

Sunderland went into this game without a Premier League win to their name this season - they had only scored five goals in six matches which saw them draw five times and lose once. In that time, none of their strikers had managed to net themself a league goal.

The pressure was therefore on the Black Cats, and in particular their forwards, to earn three points.

Steven Fletcher - who hadn't scored in 16 league matches - started as a lone central striker, with the man who scored the goals which kept Sunderland up last season, Connor Wickham, deployed on the left.

Wickham has featured on the left regularly this season, but it's not always looked like a role that has suited him. He has certainly shown good work-rate and a willingness to make runs into the opposition box, but he's struggled to create from wide areas. In fact, he made more crosses from the right against Stoke than he did from the left.

Still, he did make himself available for Fletcher's first-half cross, and headed home to open the scoring.

Fletcher was largely used as an outlet for long balls - an area in which he had mixed success, winning five and losing five of his aerial duels. Where he fared far better was in the opposition penalty area - the Scot was only presented with two goalscoring opportunities during the 90 minutes, and he found the net with both.

Match facts

  • Connor Wickham’s goal was his first in his last 10 Premier League appearances.
  • Stoke have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 15 away Premier League matches.
  • Charlie Adam has now netted 3 goals against Sunderland in the Premier League, against no side has scored more.
  • Victor Moses has provided an assist in each of his last 3 Premier League apps, the first time the Nigerian international has ever done this.
  • Steven Fletcher’s goals were his first in his last 14 games for the Black Cats in all competitions.
  • Fletcher has now both scored and provided an assist in 5 Premier League games.
  • The Scottish striker’s goals came from his only 2 shots of the game.
  • This was the Potter’s first away defeat in their last 6 Premier League games on the road.
  • This victory for the Black Cats was their first win in the top division in 8 games.
  • This is only the second time in their last 21 Premier League games where Sunderland have netted more than 2 goals.
  • Sunderland scored with all their 3 of their shots (not including blocked).

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Swansea 2-2 Newcastle

With Swansea having started the season positively, and Newcastle being Newcastle, there only looked one winner in this fixture. Yet the Magpies did enough to make the journey back to the North East with a hard-earned point.

The early signs were that things were going to the script, with Swansea taking the lead after 17 minutes. Unsurprisingly, Gylfi Sigurdsson took centre stage. The Icelandic playmaker found Wilfried Bony with a neat through-ball, and the Ivorian burst into the box to score his first Premier League goal of the season.

Sigurdsson also set up Swansea's second - Wayne Routledge the recipient this time - taking the summer signing's assist tally for the season to 6 in 7 matches. Maybe struggling Spurs are regretting that bit of business...

Yet Alan Pardew told Sky Sports before the game that he 'had a feeling' Papiss Cisse would score for his team at the Liberty Stadium. For once, the Toon boss got one right.

The Senegalese may not always be the most industrious player when his team are out of possession, but there can be little doubt Newcastle missed his 'box presence' during his injury layoff.

To highlight the point, Cisse - largely starved of the ball in the attacking third - got shots away within the six-yard box no fewer than four times. Two of those ended up in the back of the net.

But it wasn't just Cisse whom Pardew had to thank for a point which should ease the pressure a teeny-tiny bit. Second-half substitute Sammy Ameobi popped up on either wing and caused bother on both. He created one chance from the left, one from the right (the latter of which being the assist for Cisse's second goal), and also completed four take-ons in his 32 minutes on the pitch.

Match facts

  • Wilfried Bony netted his first goal in his 8 games for Swansea this season after netting 25 in 48 games for the Swans in 2013/14.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson now has 6 assists this season, level with Cesc Fabregas after providing 7 assists in 76 Premier League games.
  • Bony’s goal was Swansea’s first in the Premier League this season to come from a striker.
  • Bony has now netted 3 goals in 2 Premier League matches against the Magpies.
  • Papiss Cisse has now netted 4 goals in his 3 Premier League visits to Liberty Stadium.
  • He has also now scored more league goals this season (3) than in the whole of 2013/14 (2).
  • This was also Cisse’s 6th Premier League brace and his second double against Swansea.
  • 9 of Routledge's 10 Premier League goals for Swansea have come at home.
  • Sammy Ameobi’s assist was only his 2nd in the Premier League, coming almost two years after his first (vs West Brom 28/10/12).
  • The Magpies have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 8 Premier League games, shipping a total of 16 goals in those games.

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