It was a London derby sort of weekend with a 3-2 Chelsea win over Arsenal, the Gunners' second consecutive loss to open the new Premier League season. However, the match everybody is talking about is Brighton's 3-2 win over Manchester United.
Brighton & Hove Albion had been blanked by Watford in Week 1, and they practically cruised against the most storied club in Premier League history.
Richard Clark will tell you more about the match:
Brighton & Hove Albion was the better team today, practically cruising to a 3-2 win over the team that finished second in the league last year.
Paul Pogba scored a penalty kick in the 95th minute to make the last 20 seconds mildly interesting, but United wasn’t really in this game after Brighton’s first goal in the 25th minute.
Brighton scored its first two goals thanks to United’s defense switching off. Romelu Lukaku did score a header in the 35th minute to make it 2-1, but a poor ball out from David De Gea led to a quick attack by Brighton, which forced a bad challenge from Eric Bailly and earned BHA a penalty kick. The kick made it 3-1 just before the half and pretty much guaranteed a Brighton win.
It was a team loss for United. The defense gave up cheap goals, the offense barely managed a shot on goal and even De Gea contributed to the loss with a bad ball that led to a PK.
It’s difficult to understand how a team with so much talent can look so lost. Pogba grew frustrated by not being awarded fouls from the referee, other players made poor passes and bad decisions. No one was willing to take over the game and either score goals or put teammates in position to do so. With Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool playing so well, United cannot afford games like today’s.
Speaking of Tottenham, Ryan Welton has more on their 3-1 win over Fulham on Saturday. Spurs improved to 2-0-0 on the young season.
For Spurs, it's two wins in two matches, but Tottenham Hotspur's 3-1 victory over newly promoted Fulham was much tighter than a mere score indicates.
The match loosened up in the 73rd minute when Erik Lamela came in for Eric Dier. Kieran Trippier had just bent a beautiful ball for a free kick goal to make it 2-1 Spurs when Lamela stole the ball and led Harry Kane to his first August goal in the Premier League.
And that all happened in four minutes of play.
The same concerns for Tottenham in Match No. 1 were evident in Match No. 2, lackluster play in the middle. Spurs relied heavily on Kieran Trippier to wear down Fulham from the right side in the first half, but nothing from the right struck gold until Lucas Moura hustled one past goalkeeper Fabricio Agosto Ramírez (Fabri) to make it 1-0 in the 43rd minute.
This was a beautiful goal:
Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic evened the match up 1-1 in the 52nd minute, and it felt like the pressure was squarely on Spurs, whose team expectations are higher than ever at the start of this new Premier League campaign.
And then Trippier, who played so well on the wing in the first half, got a chance at a free kick in the 74th minute:
Trippier was one of the heroes of England's semi-final World Cup run.
But Lamela was the man who sparked the club late in the second half. He came on for Dier and looked fast and fresh. Happy for Harry Kane on the goal, but Lamela was running point and running it well:
There are six undefeated and untied clubs after two weeks including Spurs, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Watford and Bournemouth.
Spurs and Jose Mourinho's Manchester United club square off August 27 at 2 p.m. Central Time, so this column may be delayed by a day! However, we're pretty dedicated watchers of all-things beautiful game, as evidenced by Richard Clark's report on a 0-0 match between Cardiff City and Newcastle.
This game proved teams don’t have to play great soccer in order to provide a very dramatic contest.
Newcastle United finished 10th last season, so one would’ve expected a strong showing as it visited newly-promoted Cardiff City. Instead, both teams struggled to create many meaningful chances on goal, by either moving the ball too slowly or lacking enough quality and imagination with their touches.
The drama came in the form of fouls, misconduct and a blocked penalty kick. Newcastle’s Brazilian winger, Kenedy, should have been red carded for kicking Victor Camarasa in the 33rd minute. The replay showed that while referee Craig Pawson was only a few feet away, he was looking past the two players toward the ball which had been kicked away.
Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden WAS sent off, in the 66th minute, with a red card that was shown as much for stupidity as for violent conduct. Hayden made a bad and very late attempt to play the ball from behind a Cardiff player, instead putting his studs into the back of the player’s leg. No question it should have been a red card.
The biggest drama of the game came in the last two minutes of the six minutes of stoppage time. A Cardiff defender stuck his arm in the air to block a cross coming from the left wing, earning Newcastle a penalty kick. Kenedy took the kick, and in a beautiful display of poetic justice, played it right to goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who easily blocked it.
The game finished 0-0 but the drama still isn’t over. Kenedy will most likely face a 3-game ban for kicking Camarasa once the Football Association officials have a look at what he did.
UPDATE: No, Kenedy didn't get a ban! Read more here: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45247739