Takeaways from Matchweek Six in the Premier League

  1. Everton suffered their first loss of the new season

After an exhilarating 2-2 draw a week ago against their Merseyside rivals in Liverpool, table-topping Everton had a rough outing against Southampton on Sunday. After having a few good chances early on, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse scored a goal from some beautiful link-up play with Danny Ings in the 27th minute to get the boys from St. Mary’s going. 

From then on, the match was all Southampton. Forward Che Adams added a second in the 35th minute and Everton was sunk. The Everton squad looked defeated, and allowed Southampton to boss the game. To make matters worse, in the 72nd minute Everton wing back Lucas Digne was sent off for a brutal challenge on Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters. With only 10 men on the pitch, the match may as well have been blown dead right then and there. 

Southampton left the match with a 2-0 win and showed the rest of the Premier League that they can play with anyone. They dominated the match and deserved all three points. For Everton, it is back to the drawing board as they look to refocus for their match against Newcastle in Matchweek Seven. 

    2. Patrick Bamford, the Yorkshire Messi? 

With the way Leeds has begun this Premier League season, no result they pull out should be surprising. But this 3-0 victory over surging Aston Villa was absolutely shocking. Villa, having been unbeaten in the league and coming off wins over Leicester and Liverpool, looked like a legitimate top-four contender coming into the match. Meanwhile, Leeds was coming off a tough 1-0 loss to a struggling Wolves side. Surely, Villa was the favorite. 

But when the whistle blew to begin the match, all of that faded. West Yorkshire’s finest did their job yet again and looked brilliant doing it. They were close to scoring several times early in the match, as was Villa’s mastermind Jack Grealish on the other side of the pitch. Grealish was kept out thanks to a goal-line clearance and a couple of brilliant saves from young Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier. 

The match proceeded goalless, with Leeds getting the better of the chances until Patrick Bamford decided that Friday was his time to burst onto the scene. In the 55th minute, he scored the first of what would end up being a world-class hattrick. Often labeled as a poacher and a forward who can only score with his head, Bamford’s next two goals were struck exquisitely and precisely with his left boot to silence every critic. Leeds continued to dominate and left the match with a dominant performance and a place in the Premier League table’s top four. 

Villa will be disappointed, but they have to be fairly ecstatic to find themselves third in the table after a month of league football. There is no chance that they, having been battling for their Premier League lives at the end of last season, could have predicted such a strong start to their 2020-2021 campaign. 

      3. Chelsea and Man United drew in a match we all wish we did not watch

For such a historically great rivalry, this Manchester United-Chelsea match was one to forget. Maybe we were spoiled with the Wayne Rooney-led Red Devil sides facing the Didier Drogba-led Chelsea squads, but this match just did not live up to the hype.  

Apart from the occasional brilliant pass from United’s creative midfielder Bruno Fernandes or the rare chance from forward Marcus Rashford, the game was bland and uneventful. To be fair, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set out a lineup that was a bit puzzling. He included midfielder Fred, who has not seen the pitch in quite some time, as well as Juan Mata, who almost never starts for United anymore. United also may still have been feeding off the buzz from their massive Champions League road victory midweek over Paris Saint Germain.

But Lampard’s Chelsea side have no excuses. Lampard set out a team, filled with Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and others that should have created plenty of chances. The Blues got just one shot on target and rarely looked dangerous in the match. A silver lining for them is that new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy put on an absolute clinic in the net. His acrobatic save from a Rashford curling effort in added time saved the point and draw for Chelsea. He was the man of the match and the shining star in an otherwise cloudy night in Manchester.