If you love watching goals, week five in the English Premier League was for you. More goalkeepers were left to pluck the ball from the back of the net, more defenders sent to sulk than in any week thus far this season. All told, there were 29 tallies, almost a third more than last weekend’s return.
Players who scored sported 11 different models of shoe and three different brands: Nike (16 goals), adidas (9) and PUMA (4).
The adidas Predator helped to score the most goals for the second week in a row. Leighton Baines’ brace helped give the revolutionary shoe with lethal zones seven strikes on the weekend, one better than the Nike Hypervenom, worn by winners with Aston Villa and West Brom.
- Saturday, Sept. 21
Aston Villa 1 Norwich 0, Carrow Road
Libor Kozák, Aston Villa, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Black/Black/Bright Citrus, 30th minute
Coming on for the injured Christian Benteke, the Villans’ primary goal source this season, the 24-year-old Czech player who moved in the summer from Lazio saw his initial shot rebuffed by Norwich’s John Ruddy after a gorgeous Andres Weimann through ball played him in.
Aston Villa wide man Gabriel Agbonglahor collected the rebound and dragged into the path of the backpeddling Kozák who clipped it in from six yards out, just two minutes into his second appearance with the Birmingham club.
His goal, which came after Aston Villa’s American goalkeeper Brad Guzan stonewalled Robert Snodgrass’ sixth minute penalty kick, helped seal the points on manager Paul Lambert’s return to Carrow Road.
Southampton 1 Liverpool 0, Anfield
Dejan Lovren, Southampton, Nike Tiempo Legend IV Light Bone/Black/White, 53rd minute
A summer signing from Lyon, the Croatian international defender was an unlikely source to spell the end of Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season. After the Reds conceded a soft corner kick, Lovren outmuscled Danish defender Daniel Agger to thump a header past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and captain Steven Gerrard, stationed on the line, and steal the three points for the Saints.
Hull City 3 Newcastle 2, St James’ Park
Loic Remy, Newcastle, Nike Tiempo Legend Sunburst/White/Total Crimson, 10th minute, 44th minute
French striker Loic Remy, on loan from Queens Park Rangers and making his Newcastle EPL home debut, grabbed a brace in this match, netting two striker’s goals.
First, he opened the scoring with a header from a scuffed Papiss Cisse pass. Then, Remy put Newcastle ahead again when he was alert to Yohan Cabaye’s deflected shot and opened up his foot to play the ball into the far side netting.
Robbie Brady, Hull City, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Volt/Black/Bright Citrus, 26th minute
Brady got the goal his team deserved after some poor defending from the Magpies. He stood up a ball at the back post that Danny Graham should have finished, and after Newcastle failed to fully clear the danger, Hull played the ball back to Brady who fired a left-footed low shot in between the legs of goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Ahmed Elmohamady, Hull City, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Black/Black/Bright Citrus, 48th minute
A glancing header off the post from a Robbie Brady served-up set piece gave Hull City its second equalizer and the Egyptian right back, who signed for the squad in the summer, his first goal with the Tigers. Newcastle was again punished for poor defending on this occasion.
Sone Aluko, Hull City, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Black/Black/Bright Citrus, 76th minute
What a way to score your first English Premier League goal. Aluko banged a left-footed volley off the post and in, uncorking it from the top of the box. It was a stunning goal well worthy of winning all three points in this cracking affair.
West Brom 3 Sunderland 0, The Hawthorns
Stephane Sessegnon, West Brom, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Black/Black/Bright Citrus, 20th minute
Playing against his former club and making his Baggies debut, Sessegnon was bright all day and was ready when his moment came to open the scoring. After Black Cats goalkeeper Keiren Westwood beat back a header, Sessegnon seized on the rebound and used the inside of his right foot to guide it into the net. He kept it classy, refusing to celebrate in the face of his old mates.
Liam Ridgewell, West Brom, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Black/Black/Bright Citrus, 76th minute
Ridgwell kept the Hypervenom scoring going for West Brom and effectively killed off the match. After Morgan Amalfitano split two defenders and played in a cross, Westwood punched it straight to Ridwell, who finished first time, plucking it from the air and sending it bound for the goal.
Morgan Amalfitano, West Brom, adidas Predator LZ Ray Green/Black/Electricity, 93rd minute
On loan from Marseille, the French midfielder heaped misery on Sunderland when he bashed a shot from an acute angle with his right foot past Westwood and into the far post side netting, scoring one for himself. The goal was hammer blow in what proved to be Paolo Di Canio’s last match in charge of the Black Cats. As Sunderland supporters chanted, he was sacked in the morning.
Everton 3 West Ham 2, Upton Park
Ravel Morrison, West Ham, Nike T90 Laser IV Mango/Black/Total Crimson, 31st minute
Coming into this match, the Toffees and Hammers had combined for one goal in the past three weeks of play, but Morrison got the goal-scoring parade started in this one with a kindly deflected strike form the top of the box. Everton allowed the 20-year-old Englishman too much space, and when his shot struck Phil Jagielka, it left USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard stranded, only able to pick the ball from the back of his net.
Leighton Baines, Everton, adidas Predator LZ Pride Blue/Running White/Orange Firm, 62nd minute, 83rd minute
England manager Roy Hodgson was on hand to scout for the Three Lions, and no player available to him shown brighter than the classy Leighton Baines, who is fighting to beat Chelsea’s Ashley Cole for a place in the starting XI.
The left back equalized twice, striking two unstoppable curling free kicks from nearly the same spot to earn a brace. Cheeky and skilled, Baines went far post with his first strike and followed it up by striking the near post and leaving Jussi Jääskeläinen absolutely helpless in goal.
Mark Noble, West Ham, adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX Vivid Red/Running White/Electricity, 76th minute penalty
Kevin Nolan won a penalty kick off of James McCarthy as Everton scrambled in its area, and Noble stepped up to send Howard the wrong way and reclaim the lead for the East London outfit. Five minutes later, though, Noble was sent off after taking down Ross Barkely from behind. The tackle earned the longest-serving West Ham player his second yellow card on the afternoon. The resulting free kick from his foul served as the launching pad for Baines’ second smash.
Romelu Lukaku, Everton, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Volt/Black/Bright Citrus, 85th minute
Wearing custom Mercurial Vapors, the big Belgian who moved to Everton on loan from Chelsea on deadline day came on a substitute to grab the winner. Making his debut for the club, Lukaku showed bravery in sticking his head in to nod the ball home from a Kevin Mirallas cross, banging noggins with West Ham’s Joey O’Brien and missing out on a celebration as he lay groggy on the ground. In fact, he had to be informed that he scored.
Chelsea 2 Fulham 0, Stamford Bridge
Oscar, Chelsea, adidas Predator LZ Pride Blue/Running White/Orange Firm, 52nd minute
Favored by Jose Mourinho ahead of Juan Mata in the attacking midfielder role, the Brazilian rewarded the faith by unleashing his creative skills on the Cottagers all afternoon. Amid a nervy atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, where the Blues lost to Basel in the UEFA Champions League in the midweek, Oscar eased fears and calmed talks of a crisis when he capitalized on a rebound in the area. After two parries from Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale, Oscar was right where he needed to be to guide the ball into the net.
John Obi Mikel, Chelsea, Nike CTR360 Maestri III Current Blue/Volt/Black, 84th minute
The imposing Nigerian defensive midfielder finally scored an EPL goal for the Blues on his 185th appearance since moving to the club in 2006. Captain John Terry got his head to a corner kick and the ball fell for Mikel, who scissored it into the net, a quality goal from a player who has the talent to score more often.
- Sunday, Sept. 22
Arsenal 3 Stoke City 1, Emirates Stadium
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal, adidas Predator LZ Pride Blue/Running White/Orange Firm, 5th minute
Arsenal’s high-priced star Mesut Özil, credited with all three assists on the day, curled in a low lining free kick that was beaten back by goalkeeper Asmir Begović. Ramsey, the on-form Welsh midfielder in North London, had his tail up ready to respond and raced onto the rebound to power it past the Bosnian shotstopper with his left foot.
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City, Nike CTR360 Maestri III Current Blue/Volt/Black, 26th minute
The American former Houston Dynamo man struck his first EPL goal to even the scoring at the Emirates. Marko Arnautović’s volley caromed off the post and back to a grateful Cameron, who got a good clean strike with his left to beat a scambling Wojciech Szczęsny in the Arsenal net.
Per Mertesacker, Arsenal, adidas Predator LZ Pride Blue/Running White/Orange Firm, 36th minute
Özil’s corner kick found the head of his German compatriot Per Mertesacker. The large lad called BFG had all the work to do as he contorted his neck muscles to send a looping header toward the far post and into the side netting to put the Gunners back in front.
Bacary Sagna, Arsenal, PUMA PowerCat 1.12 SL Black/Fluo Yellow/Blue, 72nd minute
Almost a mirror image of Mertesacker goal, Sagna’s tally to seal the points came from a free kick. The French fullback beat two Stoke players to the ball and sent a arching header across the line.
Swansea 2 Crystal Palace 0, Selhurst Park
Michu, Swansea, adidas adiPure 11Pro TRX Running White/Black/Metallic Gold, 2nd minute
Swans broke down Crystal Palace from the word “go,” and their Spanish star Michu raced onto the end of a beautiful wave of attacking passes that he ignited and rocketed a right-footed bullet in between goalkeeper Julian Speroni’s legs. Jonjo Shelvey got the assist.
Nathan Dyer, Swansea, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX Volt/Black/Bright Citrus, 48th minute
Making his league debut for the Welsh club, Alvaro Vazquez, on loan from Getafe, raced onto a through ball only to see his initial strike turned away by Speroni. Vazquez then played the rebound to the on-rushing Nathan Dyer, who gratefully lifted the ball into the back of the net.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Cardiff City 0, Cardiff City Stadium
Paulinho, Tottenham, Nike CTR360 Maestri III Current Blue/Volt/Black, 93rd minute
One of seven international-level signings made by Spurs in the summer, Paulinho paid dividends with a typically Brazilian goal to grab the win with the final whistle looming. Another fresh face, Argentine attacker Erik Lamela, fired in a low cross that Paulinho steered home with a stunning back heel.
The Bluebirds will be disappointed to concede so late on, but on balance, Spurs surely deserved the points after smashing 29 shots, 12 on goal, compared to just six shots by the promoted side.
Manchester City 4 Manchester United 1, Etihad Stadium
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 Blackberry Cordial/Fluo Orange/Fluo Pink, 16th minute, 47th minute
The first man to play in the new PUMA evoSPEED colorway now has three goals in two appearances wearing the eye-catching signature cleat. After scoring in UCL play, Aguero inspired the Citizens to a dominant Manchester Derby victory.
Red Devil Antonio Valencia failed the track the overlapping run of Aleksandar Kolarov, who played in a cross that Aguero reached back with his left foot to direct past a helpless David de Gea to set the Sky Blues off and running.
Just after halftime, Manchester City showed why they are unplayable at times as Samir Nasri played a through ball into Álvaro Negredo who swiveled and clipped in a cross that Aguero ran onto beautifully and tapped home with his right to put the game out of reach, setting supporters at the Etihad into ecstasy.
Yaya Toure, Manchester City, PUMA King SL Metallic White/High Risk Red/Black, 46th minute
The Ivorian midfielder won’t care how this one looked, just that it helped beat Manchester United. Toure snuck to the back post on a corner kick and met the ball with his knee after Negredo nudged it forward with is head. It was a huge goal that was prettier in the score box than it was to witness.
Samir Nasri, Manchester City, adidas Predator LZ Pride Blue/Running White/Orange Firm, 50th minute
After playing a part in both of Aguero’s goals, Nasri notched one for himself. Jesus Navas used his blistering pace to run down the right flank and balloon in a cross that fell for the unmarked Frenchman at the back post, where a right-footed shot was too much for De Gea.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, Nike Hypervenom Phantom Black/Black/Bright Citrus, 87th minute
Playing in his Storelli headguard for the third time, Rooney kept his streak of scoring in all three contests alive with a top-drawer free kick. Though it was of little consolation to Manchester United supporters, the England striker stepped up to smash a curler past the diving Joe Hart from distance, a goal that on another day would have been cause for rapturous celebration but on Sunday was merely worth a sunken head trot back to start play once more.