English Premier League players delivered 27 goals on a marvelous weekend of soccer that included controversial stoppage time penalties at Stamford Bridge and Liberty Stadium, stunning upsets for Tottenham and Manchester City and an old face pegging back Arsenal and grabbing glory for David Moyes at Old Trafford.
The weekend also saw, in addition to the classy tributes to fallen soldiers in the form of poppies worn and moments of silence observed, the on-field debut of adidas’ Samba Pack. The visually stunning and eye-catching versions of each of the company’s signature cleats—adizero F50, adipure 11pro, Predator and Nitrocharge—were donned to bang home six goals, including two from Luis Suarez, a match-winner for Sunderland and a vital goal that probably should have been worth more than it was for West Brom.
Nike players still had their say, and those sporting the Hypervenom Phantom and CTR360 Maestri III led the way with five goals apiece. The back of the net was found in all matches save for the Saturday draw between Everton and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Here’s how it all played out:
- Saturday, Nov. 9
Aston Villa 2 Cardiff City 0, Villa Park
Leandro Bacuna, Aston Villa, 76th minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Electro Purple/Volt/Black
Libor Kozak, Aston Villa, 84th minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Electro Purple/Volt/Black
Goal of the match: Leandro Bacuna’s free-kick curler
Aston Villa broke the deadlock in this gritty affair late on when the 22-year-old Dutchman hit a glorious curling free kick that wrongfooted Cardiff City goalkeeper David Marshall. Bacuna was making a dangerous run forward when Gary Medel grabbed his shirt cynically to concede the free kick. It marked his second EPL goal in his maiden season in England after he scored an equalizer to inspire Aston Villa to a shock victory against Manchester City.
Chelsea 2 West Brom 2, Stamford Bridge
Samuel Eto’o, Chelsea, 45th minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Blackberry Cordial/Fluo Orange/Fluo Pink
Shane Long, West Brom, 60th minute, Nike Tiempo Legend IV, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Stephane Sessegnon, West Brom, 68th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple
Eden Hazard, Chelsea, 96th minute penalty, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Electro Purple/Volt Black
Eden Hazard’s precarious penalty to prevent a loss
Desperate to keep Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home record in the English Premier League alive, Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Ramires went down in the box in stoppage time when he rubbed shoulders with West Brom defender Steven Reid.
Some called it soft, others called it shocking, a fall, not a dive. Whatever the case, it took plenty of coolness and professionalism for Eden Hazard, back in the side after turning up late for training and missing the UEFA Champions League match Wednesday against Schalke, to step up and send goalkeeper Boaz Myhill the wrong way to seal a draw. West Brom probably deserved to win in Stamford Bridge for the first time in 30 years.
Liverpool 4 Fulham 0, Anfield
Fernando Amorebieta, Fulham, 23rd minute own goal, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Martin Skrtel, Liverpool, 26th minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Current Blue/Volt/Black
Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 36th and 54th minutes, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Suarez’s smart finish to put the cherry atop a flowing team move
At the double for Liverpool, Luis Suarez was one of five English Premier League players to score a goal in adidas’s new Samba Pack, a line of shoes bright, bold and bound for Brazil. His first of the two capped off a beautiful spell of possession with the talismanic Uruguayan making an astute diagonal run in the box and using only a single touch to fire the ball across the grass and into the back of the net.
Englishman Jordan Henderson made the final, perfectly weighted pass, the last of 10 in the sensational move. Suarez was on form all day as the Reds rebounded from last week’s comprehensive defeat to Arsenal. It was his header from a set piece that deflected off of an unfortunate Fernando Amorebieta for the opening goal.
Southampton 4 Hull City 1, St. Mary’s Stadium
Morgan Schneiderlin, Southampton, 16th minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Rickie Lambert, Southampton, 30th minute penalty, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Adam Lallana, Southampton, 37th minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Blackberry Cordial/Fluo Orange/Fluo Pink
Yannick Sagbo, Hull City, 55th minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Electro Purple/Volt/Black
Steven Davis, Southampton, 88th minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Adam Lallana’s weaving wizardry and marksman-like finish
The Southampton captain and recent England call-up was magnificent all day and got his reward with a goal of the highest quality. Lallana wiggled around and through five would-be Hull City defenders with a bit of fancy footwork and individual brilliance to slot the ball past goalkeeper Steve Harper from an acute angle with a pinpoint right-footed shot.
Earlier in the first half, Lallana’s cross started the move for Southampton’s opener and he won the penalty that Rickie Lambert smashed home for the second; not a bad way to perform in front of Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson.
Norwich City 3 West Ham United 1, Carrow Road
Ravel Morrison, West Ham United, 32nd minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Electro Purple/Volt/Black
Gary Hooper, Norwich City, 54th minute penalty, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Robert Snodgrass, Norwich City, 72nd minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Electro Purple/Volt/Black
Leroy Fer, Norwich City, 93rd minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Robert Snodgrass’s free kick to key gritty fight back
What a second half response from Chris Hugton’s men as the Canaries hit three to come from behind and grab the points. After Jussi jaaskelainen carelessly fumbled a cross he should have collected and compounded the error by tripping Gary Hooper to concede a penalty, the former Celtic striker equaled the score from the spot. The West Ham keeper was not at fault, though, when Robert Snodgrass scored a glorious free kick from distance, using his left to beat the wall and curve the ball inside the near post to take the lead.
- Sunday, Nov. 10
Newcastle United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0, White Hart Lane
Loic Remy, Newcastle United, 13th minute, Nike Tiempo Legend IV, Sunburst/Total Crimson/White
Loic Remy’s clinical winner as Tottenham receives Krul treatment
If you are only going to make one senior signing in the summer, make sure its a player of Loic Remy’s quality. That formula is working well for the Magies, who, playing in their yellow third shirt, bagged another big scalp on Sunday, beating Tottenham on their travels to follow up a shock home win against Chelsea last time out.
The Frenchman on-loan from relegated Queen’s Park Rangers was ruthless in front of goal, rounding the keeper smartly before slotting home after Yoan Gouffran did well to play him in. The goal makes it seven scores for Remy in his last seven EPL appearances. Newcastle surely will be working feverously to sign him permanently.
Meanwhile, though Remy earns plaudits for his match winner, it’s his goalkeeper, Tim Krul, who should be bestowed with the majority of the praise. He made 14 saves to frustrate Spurs and hold tight to the victory.
Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0, Stadium of Light
Phillip Bardsley, Sunderland, 21st minute, adidas Predator LZ, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Slime
Phillip Bardsley’s glorious goal of out nothing
Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown was just lobbing the ball forward for Bardlsey to chase when the Scottish international defender shrugged off James Milner’s challenge and latched on to the ball. After Milner fell to the floor and Martin Demichelis ran hopelessly out of position, Bardsley still had to take a touch with his right to give himself enough room to fire from nearby the byline and uncork an accurate laser into the far side netting.
Unthinkably, given all of their world-class players and vast spending power, Manchester City has now lost on four straight trips for league matches at the Stadium of Light and has only managed one win and one draw in six away league matches this season. For all the title talk in the preseason and players signed in the summer, Manchester City will go only as far as their road form allows, and so far, that’s eighth place in the table.
Manager Gus Poyet scored another famous win, coupling this result with victory against derby rivals Newcastle, and is quickly endearing himself to the Black Cats faithful after taking the reins Oct. 8 in the wake of Paolo Di Canio’s dismal start to the season at the helm.
Manchester United 1 Arsenal 0, Old Trafford
Robin Van Persie, Manchester United, 27th minute, adidas F50 adizero, Infrared/Running White/Black
Robin Van Persie’s winner to down friends turned foes
You know the story by now; Robin Van Persie spent nine years at Arsenal, learning and perfecting his skills until, after battling through injuries that curtailed his growth, he developed into a world-class striker fit to fill the boots left by fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp. Then, he got tired of trophyless season after season and jumped ship to join bitter rivals Manchester United.
The story grew by yet another chapter on Sunday when Van Persie rose unmarked to meet a Wayne Rooney corner kick and loop the ball into the back of the net to slow the roll on Arsenal’s title hopes and bring David Moyes’ Red Devils back into the discussion. Arsenal are now only two points clear of Liverpool at the top, with Manchester United lurking five points back.
Van Persie has now scored in three matches against Arsenal since leaving the North London club, and, for the first time, he celebrated in front of his old mates, running and sliding with delight as a response to the chiding he received all day from his former fans.
Swansea City 3 Stoke City 3, Liberty Stadium
Jonathan Walters, Stoke City, 8th minute, adidas Copa Mundial, White/Black/Gold
Stephen Ireland, Stoke City, 25th minute, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Electro Purple/Volt Black
Wilfried Bony, Swansea City, 56th and 86th minutes, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, black out
Nathan Dyer, Swansea City, 74th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Charlie Adam, Stoke City, 96th minute penalty, adidas Predator LZ, Pride Blue/Running White/Orange
Stephen Ireland’s reward at the end of a long wait for an EPL goal
Few other than Swans and Potters supporters will have watched this contest as it was on at the same time as the Manchester United-Arsenal affair, but they missed a stunning show.
The finest in this six-goal thriller came from Stoke’s Stephen Ireland. Scoring for the first time since December 2011, the EPL journeyman started the move and found himself on the end of a beautiful triangle worked by Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch, with the lanky Englishman clipping the perfect ball into Ireland’s path.
Ireland needed only to touch it down with his right, and sweep it home with his left to give Stoke a 2-0 lead that Mark Hughes’s squad would later relinquish amid poor second half defending.