Game Week Three in the 2016/17 Premier League season provided more late-drama and fantastic goals – with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all maintaining their perfect starts to the campaign. Here is our review of all the big game action.
Manchester United maintain 100% Premier League record under Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho, such an admirer of Sir Alex, has put together a squad who have many of the characteristics of the great man. Not least fighting right to the final whistle … and it paid off against Hull deep into injury time.
Under Van Gaal United would most probably have settled for a draw, but not Mourinho. He sent on Marcus Rashford and United suddenly had Hull on toast. The home side had been battered the whole of the second half but were holding out thanks to desperate defence.
Paul Pogba smashed three shots off target and United’s superstars were looking anything but. Instead Rashford started running at the tiring Hull defence, stretching aching legs, providing penetration and asking big questions.
But when the goal came it was a combination of young and old. Rooney escaped on the left, skipped along the goal line and put a searching ball into the box. It was on a plate for Rashford who swept it in. Looked easy but good players get into the right places. Pure instinct.
Manchester United win 1-0. Rashford brings something different and special to United. Mourinho says he can play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the partnership looks promising.
It will be interesting to see how many games Rashford is given and whether he can force himself into a regular starting position. He is surely too good to be simply used as a game-changer off the bench. Harsh on brave Hull, but United deserved it.
Next up for United – a Manchester derby against City.
“He did brilliantly when he came on – he’s an important player for us.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 29 August 2016
Chelsea make it three out of three under Conte in the Premier League
They will both go into it with three wins out of three, equalled only by Chelsea. What could turn into the Big Three from the Big Six, with Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal so inconsistent. Under Pep Guardiola the City players are facing new demands and new targets, with the likes of Joe Hart already discarded.
Ruthless. And Manchester City certainly were with West Ham, 2-0 up early doors through Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho. West Ham pulled a goal back in the second half thanks to Michail Antonio but Sterling sealed it late on for a deserved 3-1 outcome.
Chelsea battered Burnley at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard – back to his best after effectively taking a season-long sabbatical – opened the scoring, a weaving run from halfway ending in a conclusive strike. Willian then added a second and substitute Victor Moses wrapped up the win.
Chelsea are looking quality. Burnley could have set themselves up any way they wanted and would still have lost. Chelsea were just different class as away manager Sean Dyche admitted. “They were far too good,” he accepted.
— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) August 27, 2016
Liverpool left frustrated as Spurs hold out for draw at White Hart Lane
Liverpool, who lost 2-0 to the Turf Moor outfit the weekend before, need to show similar ruthlessness with the Burnleys of this world if they want to win honours. The Reds were the better side against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, going ahead through a James Milner penalty.
But a Danny Rose strike saw the points shared. Frustrating for Liverpool FC who should really have won but a good result away to a team who came so close to winning the Premiership last season.
The hugely talented Daniel Sturridge was taught a lesson, if only he would learn it.
Misses so many games injured and then has the temerity to moan when he is played on the flank rather than through the middle. He has much to prove if he is to make the most of his talents. What should be a glittering career is in danger of becoming an ordinary one.
Arsenal back on song with sensational first-half display at Vicarage Road
At the Watford it was one of Arsenal’s better days. A comfortable 3-1 win via a Santi Cazorla penalty, Alexis Sanchez’s scrambled effort and Mesut Ozil’s header, Watford’s new signing Roberto Pereyra pulling one back on his debut.
For the fans, Arsenal’s inconsistency is only matched by that of Liverpool. Yet the Gunners have so many class players – to be strengthened by German defender Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish striker Lucas Perez.
Will they make the difference?
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 28, 2016
Watford have just the one point and will be hoping Pereyra, signed from Juventus, Younes Kaboul from Sunderland and fellow defender Daryl Janmaat from Newcastle are enough to keep them in the Premiership.
Elsewhere Everton’s strong start continued with a 1-0 victory over Stoke, while Leicester were more like the dynamic league winners of 2015/16 putting Swansea away 2-1.