The dominating story of the day in the Premier League was the debut of Jurgen Klopp. The new Liverpool manager has understandably drawn significant headlines and attention since replacing Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, but all the focus on his debut match against Tottenham Hotspur pulled some attention off very deserving matches elsewhere in England this weekend. There were 20 goals scored elsewhere in the EPL in a number of great games, including Raheem Sterling's first-half hat trick for Manchester City against Bournemouth, Manchester United throttling Everton, and Chelsea looking like themselves once more against Aston Villa.
Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Liverpool
Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa
Manchester City 5-1 AFC Bournemouth
Everton 0-3 Manchester United
Southampton 2-2 Leicester City
Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sunderland
Watford FC 0-3 Arsenal
Manchester City fans were worried coming into this match against Bournemouth. Not because the Cherries are a fearsome opponent, mind, but because Sergio Aguero is again sidelined with injury, with the timing looking terrible with a tough run of matches coming up and Aguero having just started to round into form again. Fans wondered who would step up to help replace him, with several other attackers injured or otherwise not terribly impressive this season.
Enter Raheem Sterling, who had one of his best-ever matches, notching a first-half hat trick and looking absolutely fantastic in doing so.
Sterling wasn't the only attacker to step up, either: Wilfried Bony looked extremely capable and confident in stepping into Aguero's shoes up top, scoring a brace of goals himself to help cement Manchester's 5-1 win over poor Bournemouth.
Everton sank without a trace
A big part of the story of Manchester United's 3-0 win was how impressively they bounced back for their loss to Arsenal by the same scoreline two weeks ago, looking significantly better than they did that day. Just as important, though, was just how surprisingly poor Everton looked, despite their bright start to the season before today. That point was not lost on our Everton blog, Royal Blue Mersey:
The most concerning thing for Everton at present is there current inability to start a game well, last three have been poor starts.— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) October 17, 2015
Also cannot understand why Everton decided to go long ball with Smalling playing so well today. Lukaku did well but it was aimless.— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) October 17, 2015
If you can't turn up put in a performance against the big sides, then you're not likely to do it against the lesser ones either.— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) October 17, 2015
I think we'll do well this season and the start has been okay at most, but there's already been several disappointing games.— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) October 17, 2015
Leicester City just won't die
Southampton were up 2-0 and cruising late in their match against Leicester City. The Foxes' form has cooled of late after their red-hot start, but they've still been a side that you can never count out -- a fact that Southampton forgot, and that Leicester reminded them of in brutal fashion.
Jaime Vardy has been the in-form striker in the Premier League in recent weeks, and he played the hero again today for Leicester. He first scored in the 66th minute to pull the match back to 2-1, then, in the dying moments of the match, found this huge equalizer.
Of course, it'd help if anyone but Vardy was scoring for Leicester lately -- he's scored in six straight matches for the Foxes, only two other Leicester players have scored since their 3-2 win over Aston Villa, going back four league matches.
Arsenal found the way to win
The first half of the Gunners' match away at Watford was, in a word, uninspiring. The Hornets figured out the weakness that Arsenal have shown in their Champions League matches earlier this season, aggressively pressing their attackers to disrupt Arsenal's ability to move the ball around in the final third. Watford even looked like the more dangerous side at times, breaking forward lethally when they won possession back and taking advantage of a shaky Per Mertesacker.
If that half brought back memories of Arsenal's Champions League follies, you weren't alone:
this match feels pretty Europe-y at the moment. Watford defending well, breaking quickly. Arsenal missing chances to get the first goal.— The Short Fuse (@TheShortFuse) October 17, 2015
The second half was a different story, though. Arsenal adjusted their approach to the match to get a little more direct and a little tougher for Watford to react to, forcing the hosts to spend more time chasing the ball. That wore Watford down quicker, and once Arsenal's fitness edge started to shine through, the match turned in a hurry. Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 62nd minute, and 12 minutes later it was 3-0 Arsenal and the match was essentially over.
It was an excellent reaction and adjustment from Arsene Wenger and company, and a rough result for a Watford side that performed brilliantly in the first half. Still, both teams have some pretty big positives to take away from this match, and this was an excellent match to watch and analyze.