English Premier League (EPL) 2020/2021 Gameweek 2 Review
EPL 2020/2021 Gameweek 2 was even more entertaining with more goals on offer.
With all 20 teams in action, fans were surely entertained with the quality of play and goals their teams offered, for the most part at least.
The new penalty rule this season means that we may be seeing more and more penalties, sometimes unfair, with each passing Matchday.
For the second week running, there was at least a goal in every match, with none ending in a draw.
The 44 goals scored in Gameweek 2 is the highest goal tally a single 20-team format EPL Matchday has ever produced.
6 of the 10 matches of Gameweek 2 saw the home side go away with the spoils.
3 of the 10 matches of Gameweek 2 produced 7 goals, for the first time ever.
Chelsea and Sheffield United, in Gameweek 2, each had a player sent off, got awarded a penalty and missed the penalty.
Only 3 of the 10 matches of Gameweek 2 had a clean sheet, with the away side coming away with the clean sheet in 2 of the 3.
5 of the 10 matches of Gameweek 2 had a goal scored within the first 10 minutes of the match.
Below is an extensive all-inclusive review with interesting stats of all the matches of EPL 2020/2021 Gameweek 2:
Everton 5 - 2 West Bromwich Albion
(Dominic Calvert-Lewin 31’ 62’ 66’, James Rodriguez 45’, Michael Keane 54’; Grady Diangana 10’, Matheus Pereira 47’)
The first match of Gameweek 2 was a proper goal fest as Calvert-Lewin’s predatory instincts proved to be the major difference between the two sides.
The early goal for West Brom in the first match set the early-goal tone for Gameweek 2. Everton lost the ball in midfield and Pereira fed Diangana who went on a marauding run unchallenged before sending a powerful strike from just outside the box into the bottom corner.
A minute after the half-hour mark Calvert-Lewin backheeled Everton level; his goal given following a VAR check after the linesman adjudged him to have scored from an offside position. Rodriguez put the Toffees ahead just before halftime with a precise left footed strike from outside the box.
A frustrated Kieran Gibbs was given his marching orders on the stroke of halftime for pushing Rodriguez in the face after the Colombian nudged him in a challenge.
West Brom manager, Slaven Bilic could only watch the second half from the stands as he was also given a red card following protests to the referee on the Gibbs’ red card incident at halftime.
The second half had barely started when Pereira sent a deliciously whipped freekick past Jordan Pickford to get the scores level. That seemed to be the trigger for an Everton side with the man advantage.
Keane was rightly positioned to tuck in his second goal in as many matches after Sam Johnstone reacted brilliantly to save Richarlison’s header.
Calvert-Lewin then got his second and third goals - the second a “slide-in” and the third a well-guided difficult header - in a 4-minute spell as Carlo Ancelloti’s men cruised comfortably to record consecutive wins in the first two matches of a season, their first since 2012/2013.
The win takes Everton to the second place, while the Baggies remain bottom.
West Brom have now lost 7 of their last 12 EPL matches at Goodison Park.
Calvert-Lewin’s first professional hat trick helped ensure consecutive victories for Carlo Ancelloti. He becomes Everton’s second youngest hat-trick scorer.
Pickford has now conceded more goals from outside the box, 25, in the EPL since 2017/18, than any other goalkeeper.
Seamus Coleman is the 6th player to have made 250 starts for Everton in the EPL.
Leeds United 4 - 3 Fulham
(Helder Costa 5’ 57’, Mateusz Klich 41’ P, Patrick Bamford 50’; Aleksandar Mitrovic 34’P 67’, Bobby Decordova-Reid 62’)
The EPL got to grace the iconic Elland Road again for the first time in 16 years, and oh did it deliver!!
Marcelo Bielsa’s men were high on confidence following their exploits at Anfield last weekend, and they produced that same scoreline although they were on the winning side this time.
Costa smashed an unstoppable shot in off the underside of the crossbar after Kalvin Phillips’ corner found him unmarked at the back post.
Mitrovic then levelled from the spot after Joe Bryan was brought down by Robin Koch, although Koch seemed to pull out from the tackle. Their leveller was short lived however.
Bryan in his own box fouled Bamford who was looking to get on the end of a cross, allowing the referee to point to the spot for a penalty, which Kilch calmly converted.
After the restart, Kilch turned provider for Bamford to roll in his second goal of the season. It was then Bamford’s turn to assist a teammate as his cutback found Costa who finished spectacularly again into the roof of the net.
Leeds then slacked off a bit and Fulham responded with two quickfire goals and could have gotten a fourth but Neeskens Kebano’s effort hit the post. Ultimately, the Cottagers were unable to get the extra goal which would have earned them a point at Elland Road.
Scott Parker’s men are now placed 18th on the league table, while the Peacocks are 10th.
Manchester United 1 - 3 Crystal Palace
(Donny van de Beek 80’; Andros Townsend 7’, Wilfried Zaha 74’P 85’)
A well-drilled Palace team got a very deserved rare win at Old Trafford against a United team that looked drab and uninventive in their first EPL match of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solkskjaer has to be disappointed with a performance that showed a slack United side, who have seemingly not yet come to terms with the start of the football season.
Palace started with intensity and caught the Red Devils, still sloppy, probably from lack of an adequate pre-season, completely off guard.
Jeffrey Schlupp got free on the left of the Palace attack and made light work of Victor Lindelof before crossing across the goal for Townsend to fire Palace into the lead. United tried to get back into the game, but were not allowed by a resilient Palace team.
Although United heavily dominated in terms of possession, it was Palace through Zaha, who had never scored against United in 9 prior attempts, who put Solksjaer’s men to the sword with 2 goals either side of a United consolation.
The first was a retaken penalty after VAR advised the penalty to be retaken because David de Gea was off the goalline when he saved Jordan Ayew’s effort.
Van de Beek then put United back in contention with a clean strike into the bottom corner, becoming the 20th Reds’ player to score on his debut. But Zaha would have the final say, beating Victor Lindelof, who had a woeful performance, to a pass from Eberechi Eze, holding him off and finishing with aplomb past a helpless De Gea.
United finished the Matchday in 15th, one of 7 sides yet to record a point this season. Roy Hodgson’s Palace at 5th are at their highest ever league table position this early in the season.
After having not lost any of 21 EPL matches to Palace, United have now lost the last 2.
Palace have now won their first 2 matches of an EPL season for the first time ever.
Palace have now beaten United at Old Trafford in consecutive seasons for the first time.
Prior to this match, Palace had not managed to score more than two goals in any of their last 39 EPL matches.
De Gea has now failed to save any of the last 18 penalties he has faced in the EPL.
Arsenal 2 - 1 West Ham United
(Alexandre Lacazette 25’, Eddie Nketiah 85’; Michail Antonio 45’)
David Moye’s West Ham were very unlucky to lose their London derby at the Emirates in the dying stages.
Arsenal started the match with some intensity and could have scored in the first two or three minutes, but after that brief spell they fell short and couldn’t find their rhythm.
West Ham then took the initiative with a few chances of their own, including a penalty shout which the referee waved away. Against the run of play however, Arsenal opened the scoring. Bukayo Saka danced about a bit before sending Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through down the left.
Aubameyang then crossed for Lacazette to bullet a header into the roof of the net. Arsenal continued in a slow ascendancy but couldn’t add to their solo goal. Right on the halftime mark, West Ham sprang forward on the counter and this time the move ended up with Antonio prodding home from a low right-winged cross.
In the second half, West Ham had chances to take the lead, but Antonio could not get his shots past Leno and the crossbar, leaving the scoreline intact. Just when the match looked to be ending in a draw, substitute Nketiah got the winner as Dani Ceballos, played through by the impressive Saka, slide a pass to the Englishman, who had an empty goal to convert into.
The Gunners held on to get the win, which takes them to 3rd in the standings. The Hammers, still without a win or point, are in 16th.
- Antonio has scored 9 goals, more than any other player, since the EPL restarted in June.
- West Ham have now lost 32 EPL matches to Arsenal, more than they have to any other club.
- Arsenal have now won 11 of their last 12 home matches in all competitions against West Ham.
Southampton 2 - 5 Tottenham Hotspur
(Danny Ings 32’ 90’P ; Son Heung-Min 45+2’ 47’ 64’ 73, Harry Kane 82’)
Son and Kane, in a 5-Star double performance inclusive of finishing and passing masterclasses, powered Spurs to a big win on the South coast.
In a perfectly executed Mourinho counterattack masterclass, Son scored 4 brilliantly-taken goals, from 4 outrageously-good Kane assists - the first time a player has assisted all 4 goals for another - before Kane got himself one too.
Just like Ings, who had an effort disallowed earlier (his for handball though), Kane thought he had opened his account for the season, but the England captain’s effort was ruled out for offside.
Southampton however managed to legitimately open the scoring 5 minutes later through marksman Ings, who has now scored in 3 consecutive matches against Tottenham. Tottenham would go into the break level though as Son got Mourinho’s men a foothold in the game with their only shot on target in the half.
Two minutes after the restart and Son had given Spurs the lead, racing onto a perfect through ball from Kane. Southampton poured men forward in an attempt to get a goal back and they were punished on the counter three times as Son scored two more before Kane gobbled up one for himself.
The Saints would have a late consolation though, as Ings got his second from the penalty spot after the ball had inadvertently struck Doherty’s arm.
- Since December 2018, no EPL team has lost more points from winning positions than Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Southampton.
- With his 4 goals, Son becomes only the 28th player, and the first South Korean, to score four times in a single EPL match, doing so from his 4 shots in the match.
- With his 4 assists, Kane becomes only the 6th player to make 4 assists in a single EPL match, doing so with only 4 chances created.
- Spurs’ form on the road is now looking strong as their unbeaten streak away from home stretches to 4 matches.
Newcastle 0 - 3 Brighton and Hove Albion
(Neal Maupay 4’P 7’, Aaron Connolly 83’)
Sunday’s midday kickoff featured a near-perfect Brighton performance flawed only by an unfortunate late red card incident involving Yves Bissouma.
Brighton opened the scoring with 2 early quickfire goals in a manner reminiscent of Wolves’ early double last week.
Tariq Lamptey, whose value is increasing with each Matchday, had an excellent game before he was subbed off at the interval due to injury concerns.
Newcastle’s left defensive side had a torrid half defending his speed and trickery, in similar fashion to Chelsea’s last week, and after just 3 minutes into the match he was brought down in the box and presented Maupay a chance which the latter didn’t allow to go begging.
Three minutes later and Maupay had Brighton 2 goals up. Lamptey, involved again in the build up, found Leandro Trossard whose cross from the right was turned in by Maupay.
The linesman’s initial offside decision on the effort was overruled by VAR and the goal stood. Another 3 minutes and there was another penalty appeal, this time for Newcastle, but VAR deemed the incident unworthy. The action petered out until the end when Lamptey had a sight at goal, but unfortunately for him, his shot was straight at the keeper.
The second half started and it was mostly all Brighton in attack. Callum Wilson had a clear header chance, but he uncharacteristically put it wide off the mark. Brighton had chances to kill the game as Trossard hit the post and Connolly scuppered a few of his own.
Connolly would have the last say on the scoreboard however; he finally got the curl on his shot right and sent a beauty into the net in the closing stages.
Shortly after Connolly’s goal, Bissouma caught Jamal Lewis in the face with the underside of his boots, a very dangerous but not malicious challenge. He was initially shown yellow, but after checking the incident on the pitchside monitor, the referee overturned the yellow to red.
Newcastle’s finishing in the match was woeful as they were unable to muster a single shot on target throughout. Their defending won’t give Steve Bruce any joy either as they were overpowered by a trigger happy Brighton side.
Graham Potter will be happy to see his side finally turn dominion into goals at St. James’ Park after last weekend’s misfortune at the Amex.
- This win, Brighton’s second at Newcastle, now means that St. James’ Park is the ground Brighton have won most at in the EPL.
- Brighton have now not lost any of their last 8 EPL away matches.
Chelsea 0 - 2 Liverpool
(Sadio Mane 50’ 54’)
Mane produced another solo world-class performance to power the Reds past the Blues, being involved in all the major talking points in the match.
The first half was pretty even and uneventful, save for an early Kepa Arrizabalaga error, which Andreas Christensen atoned for and Christensen pulling Mane down on the stroke of halftime to deny him a clear goalscoring opportunity, for which Christensen got an early bath.
The second half was much different as Liverpool capitalised on their extra man presence. On the 50th minute mark, Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah did a lovely interchange on the edge of the box, which resulted in the former crossing for Mane to head home.
4 minutes later and another Kepa howler gifted Mane his second goal. Mane closed down Kepa’s poor pass and tucked the ball in from a difficult position. Liverpool then dominated for long periods, but couldn’t find another way past the Chelsea rearguard.
The Blues had a lifeline back into the game in the 73rd minute when Thiago Alcantara brought Werner down in the box, but the normally reliable Jorginho could not convert his spotkick.
Liverpool didn’t need to up the ante and despite some good opportunities for themselves and Lampard’s lads, the match ended without further alteration to the scoreline.
- Liverpool have now beaten Chelsea in their last 4 EPL matches, and with this win have become the first reigning Champions to win away to the Blues in 18 years.
- Jorginho has missed a penalty for the first time in the EPL, after scoring 8 consecutively.
- Allison has saved a penalty in the EPL for the first time, the first goalkeeper this season to save one.
- Thiago in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch for Liverpool completed 75 passes, more than any Chelsea player completed in the whole match.
Leicester 4 - 2 Burnley
(Harvey Barnes 20’, Erik Pieters 50’OG, James Justin 61’, Denis Praet 79’; Chris Wood 10’, Jimmy Dunne 75’)
Leicester had not won their first two matches since they did so in 2015/2016, and were a goal down in the 10th minute when Wood got the better of Justin from a cross to smash home for the fourth consecutive EPL match.
The Foxes however recovered soon after when Jamie Vardy held the ball brilliantly to set up Timothy Castagne, who teed up Barnes to roll the ball into the bottom corner.
In the second half, the Foxes rallied to steamroll past Burnley, just as they did last week against West Brom.
Just 5 minutes after the restart, Leicester went ahead as Castagne’s cross deflected off Pieters. Justin got Brendan Rodgers more settled with a 2-goal lead just after the hour mark.
EPL debutant, Dunno halved the deficit with 15 minutes to go, but Praet regained the 2-goal lead to put any hopes of a Clarets fightback to bed with a rifled finish into the top corner just 4 minutes later.
- Leicester go top of the league on goal difference as a result.
- Rodgers has become the 23rd manager to win 100 EPL games and the fourth-quickest Briton to reach the landmark.
- Sean Dyche’s Clarets have now lost back-to-back EPL matches after losing only 1 of the previous 15.
- The Foxes are now unbeaten in their last 5 EPL home matches against Burnley.
Aston Villa 1 - 0 Sheffield United
(Ezri Konsa Ngoyo 63’)
It was a night luck failed to shine on the Blades.
Dean Smith’s men entered the match hoping to win the first home match of an EPL campaign for the first time in 6 attempts.
John Egan was unlucky to get a red card in the 12th minute for preventing Ollie Watkins from having a run at goal.
Sheffield weren’t destabilised however and they could have found themselves ahead on the 33rd minute had John Lundstram been able to put his effort past Emiliano Martinez.
Villa had the better chances and dominated possession throughout the rest of the match. Their man advantage counted when Konsa got on the end of Tyrone Mings’ flick to head his side in front. The Blades kept on looking for a way back but it was the Villans who came close to scoring on multiple occasions.
Konsa’s effort was in the end enough to give Chris Wilder’s Blades their second consecutive loss in the new campaign.
Sheffield’s poor form away at Villa continues. They have now not won at Villa Park in any of their 5 EPL matches there.
- The Villans have now won 3 consecutive EPL matches for the first time since 2007.
- Lundstram had the first penalty of his professional career saved by new Villan, Martinez.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 - 3 Manchester City
(Raul Jimenez 78’; Kevin de Bruyne 20’P, Phil Foden 32’, Gabriel Jesus 90+5’)
City came into the match wary of a Wolves team that completed a league double over team in the previous campaign, and were looking to set the records straight.
City began very brightly and had a penalty appeal correctly waved away. On the 19th minute, they finally got their penalty, Romain Saiss clattering into De Bruyne, who coolly converted the penalty to open the Citizens’ EPL goals account.
12 minutes after they scored, they were 2-0 up. De Bruyne released Sterling through into the box and rather than try his luck against the onrushing Rui Patricio, he cut the ball back for Foden to thump into an empty net.
Just before halftime, De Bruyne had a chance to get his second, but Patricio did well to turn the effort behind.
The second half started and Wolves came out hungrier than they were in the first time. They had some very good chances, with Daniel Podence, Jimenez and Ruben Neves all failing to find the back of the net.
Adama Traore with his speed and power time and again tore down Wolves’ right side, but his teammates were unable to convert. Wolves would finally have a way back in as Podence cleverly nutmegged De Bruyne before whipping a delightful ball in for Jimenez to power home a header.
Wolves continued to look for the equaliser, but they were made to pay for all their missed chances at the death as Jesus’ shot went in off Conor Coady to seal all 3 points for Guardiola’s troops.
- With their Monday night win, City have become the only team to win 10 successive season-opening matches.
- Only Manchester United, with 14, have gotten more penalties in the EPL than City’s 12 since the start of last season.
- After losing only 2 of their previous 13 home EPL matches, Wolves have now lost 2 of the 4 home matches since then.