- Manchester United 2 Crystal Palace 0, Old Trafford
- Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 1, Villa Park
- Fulham 1 West Brom 1, Craven Cottage
- Hull City 1 Cardiff City 1, KC Stadium
- Arsenal 3 Sunderland 1, Stadium of Light
- Tottenham Hotspur 2 Norwich 0, White Hart Lane
- Everton 1 Chelsea 0, Goodison Park
- Liverpool 2 Swansea 2, Liberty Stadium
The return of the English Premier Leauge after a week off for international play featured goals in eight of the 10 top-flight matches; all save for Manchester City and Stoke’s draw at the Brittania Stadium on Saturday and the stalemate at St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday between Southampton and West Ham.
The Nike CTR360 Maestri thumped the most balls into the back of the net this week thanks to Gylfi Sigurdson’s brace for Spurs, Steven Naismith’s game-winner for Everton and the penalty kick of Sunderland’s Craig Gardner.
Overall, though, adidas players got on the score sheet most often, scoring nine of the weekend’s 20 goals, one more than those sporting Nike shoes. PUMA players were on point, too, rescuing draws for West Brom and Swansea and opening the scoring for Arsenal.
Here’s how it happened:
- Saturday, September 14
Manchester United 2 Crystal Palace 0, Old Trafford
Robin Van Persie, Manchester United, adidas F50 adizero custom, 45th minute penalty
The deadly Dutchman stepped up to the spot after Ashley Young was adjudged to have been taken down in the box and Kagisho Dikgacoi was sent off. Wearing an adizero that he designed himself using miadidas, white on the heel instead of the usual black, Van Persie sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, rolling the ball into the corner with the inside of his foot.
He rattled the crossbar earlier in the half after chesting down a teasing lobbed ball from Wayne Rooney and hitting it on the volley.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, 81st minute
Returning to action for the first time since receiving a nasty headwound that sidelined him for England’s recent FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Wazza sported a Storelli headguard and smashed in an unstoppable free kick from distance, the ball curving over the wall and sneaking inside the post. The strike sealed David Moyes’ first home win at Old Trafford.
Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 1, Villa Park
Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle United, Nike Mercurial Vapor black out, 18th minute
For the second time in as many EPL weekends, the fabulous Frenchman opened the scoring for the Magpies. Last time out it was a case of individual brilliance, but on this day, Ben Arfa only had to sweep home a ball that fell his way inside the six yard box after Newcastle’s only summer signing, the on-loan Queens Park Rangers man Loic Remy, did well to dribble at defenders and play in a ball from the byline.
Christian Benteke, Aston Villa, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, 67th minute
Who else? The imposing Belgian striker made it four goals from four EPL matches this season leaping majestically from a corner kick to beat goalkeeper Tim Krul, who came for the cross and failed to make contact. Defender Antonio Luna is the only other man to score in an Aston Villa shirt this season having beaten Arsenal on the counterattack in the dying embers of the curtain-raiser.
Yoan Gouffran, Newcastle United, adidas F50 adizero, 73rd minute
Gouffran can thank his Les Blues compatriot Ben Arfa for his game-winning goal. Dangerous all day when running at back-peddling defenders, Ben Afra unleased a low left-footed shot that American Brad Guzan could only palm into the path of Gouffran. The No. 11 gratefully ran onto the rebound and side-footed the Nike Incyte into the net as Guzan lay prone.
Fulham 1 West Brom 1, Craven Cottage
Steve Sidwell, Fulham, adidas Predator, 22nd minute
The former Arsenal and Chelsea man playing for his third London side scored the first English Premier League goal of the season in the new Pride/Blue/Running White/Orange colorway of the legendary adidas Predator.
After Philippe Senderos won the ball in the box from a corner kick, Sidwell pumped it into the ground, the resulting ricochet deflecting off of the fingertips of West Brom stand-in goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and into the net.
Gareth McAuley, West Brom, PUMA SL King, 92nd minute
After Fulham had three goals disallowed for offsides, Gareth McAuley stunned the home crowd with a simple headed goal from a corner kick in stoppage time as Cottagers captain Brede Hangeland failed the deal with the danger. The Baggies will be buoyed by this smash-and=grab draw, only their second point of the campaign.
Hull City 1 Cardiff City 1, KC Stadium
Curtis Davies, Hull City, adidas Nitrocharge, 40th minute
The hosts were relieved to deservedly grab a first-half lead through defender Curtis Davies after their striker Danny Graham missed an early open net sitter that you or I probably could have put away. Davies took his chance, a point-blank header after Tom Huddlestone’s exquisite cross bounced in the six-yard box.
Peter Whittingham, Cardiff City, PUMA PowerCat, 59th minute
This was classy stuff from the Welsh side. Whittingham finished off a flowing move with a one-touch, left-footed finish to equalize after racing in behind the defenders. The English Premier League new boys are showing they have what it takes to compete at this level. After stunning league favorites Manchester City in Wales, they have now earned two draws on the trot, a sign that they might be in the EPL to stay.
Arsenal 3 Sunderland 1, Stadium of Light
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal, Puma EvoSPEED, 11th minute
Arsenal have scored the first goal in all four of its EPL contests thus far, all by the prolific Olivier Giroud, who is hitting his stride in his second season at the club. This was a goal for the memory book, the first of what promises to be many assists from Mesut Ozil. The man who made a club record deadline day move from Real Madrid had a glorious first touch with the outside of his left cleat from a Kieran Gibbs long ball and played in an inviting cross that reached Giroud in stride.
The on-form Frenchman smashed it low with his left to the near post before Black Cats goalkeeper Kieren Westwood could set his feet. Chants of “Giroud” to the tune of “Hey Jude,” and “O-zil to the Arsenal,” rang out among the visitors section.
Craig Gardner, Sunderland, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, 48th minute penalty
Halftime substitute Craig Garder stepped up to the spot after Laurent Koscielny needlessly conceded a penalty with Adam Johnson bearing down on goal from a scramble resulting from a corner kick. The former Birmingham City player who triumphed against Arsenal in the 2011 Carling Cup final again sent Gooners’ heads sinking when he forced Wojciech Scezney to go the wrong way and equaled the scoring.
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, adidas Predator, 67th and 76th minutes
Gareth Bale might have left North London for Madrid, but there’s still a Welsh star in the English capital. Ramsey scored a brace of the highest quality to win the three points for Arsenal and collect Man of the Match honors. First, Carl Jenkinson picked out the man they call “Rambo: at the top of the box and the 22-year-old box-to-box midfielder unleashed a venomous volley with his right, the type of strike that causes goalkeepers to have sleepless nights.
Within 10 minutes, Ramsey finished off Sunderland with a typical Arsenal goal. Three pinged passes in short succession played in a tight triangle from Ozil to Giroud to Ramsey were capped off by a professional, sweeping finish. Wearing the same new Predator colorway sported by Ozil, it was Ramsey who was the brightest star at the Stadium of Light.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Norwich 0, White Hart Lane
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tottenham, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, 28th and 49th minutes
Taking advantage of his start in an overhauled Spurs side that brought in seven new faces to replace Gareth Bale, Sigurdsson rewarded Andre Villas-Boas’ faith. He collected a cheeky pass from Christian Eriksen, one of the men making his debut, and fired into the side-netting with his right after making an incisive run to split the defenders.
In the second half, the Icelandic international doubled the lead by tapping in from close range after Paulinho, another summer signing, played a teasing low cross across the face of the goal.
Everton 1 Chelsea 0, Goodison Park
Steven Naismith, Everton, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, 45th minute
Jose Mourinho’s first loss in his second reign at Chelsea came from an unlikely head. Just before the halftime whistle, midfielder Leon Osman played in a cross that was met by at the far post by stirker Nikica Jelavic, who knocked the ball back to Naismith for the close-range nod past Petr Cech into the back of the net. The goal, scored on Naismith’s 27th birthday, earned Roberto Martinez’s first win at the helm of the Toffees.
- Monday, September 16
Liverpool 2 Swansea 2, Liberty Stadium
Jonjo Shelvey, Swansea, adidas Predator, 2nd minute
Wearing the red-and-black version of the 2012 Predator, Shelvey wasted no time in scoring against his old club with a rampaging run. The England U-21 international had two shots blocked as he muscled through the defense before finding the back of the net at the third time of asking with a curling left footer. It was the first goal the Reds have conceded this season.
Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool, Nike Hypervenom Phanthom, 4th minute
Shelvey turned from hero to goat just two minutes later when his backpass failed to find its target and was latched onto by Daniel Sturridge, who scored his fourth goal in four games thus far. Sturridge was gifted a one-on-one with Michel Vorm and needed only a single touch to find the net with his left foot.
Victor Moses, Liverpool, adidas F50 adizero, 26th minute
The up-and-down day of Shelvey took another nosedive when his wayward pass at the midfield line was picked off by Liverpool debutant Victor Moses, on loan from Chelsea. The Nigerian carved out space at the top of the area and wrongfooted Vorm with a low shot to the near post.
Michu, Swansea, adidas adiPure 11 Pro, 64th minute
Guess who set up this goal? Yup, Shelvey. This time he flicked a header on to last year’s EPL transfer star Michu, and the Spanish attacker found the back of the net to salvage a draw for the home side and spare a few blushes for his teammate.