The two-week break for international matches did nothing to suppress the continuing unpredictability of the Premier League this season.
Goals are pouring in at an unprecedented level in the world’s most popular league and the drama continues unabated, the latest show coming in Tottenham on Sunday as West Ham made an unlikely comeback that is starting to become the norm.
Trailing 3-0 after 81 minutes, West Ham scored three times to impose a 3-3 draw – the equalizer came 20 seconds four minutes into stoppage time, as Manuel Lanzini hit the river in the top corner from 25 yards (meters)).
No team had previously avoided defeat as they were 3-0 down in the 81st minute in the Premier League.
With Aston Villa defeating Leicester 1-0 thanks to a stoppage-time goal and Brighton drawing to Crystal Palace in overtime, the seasons remain the wildest.
Southampton returned twice from behind on Saturday to draw 3-3 with Chelsea, who recovered from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with West Bromwich Albion in the third round of matches. Who can forget the Liverpool champion lost 7-2 to Aston Villa and Manchester United 6-1 against Tottenham in the last matches before the international break? Then there was Manchester City’s 5-2 loss to Leicester to lose Pep Guardiola at home, the biggest home loss as a coach, and this amazing 4-3 victory for Liverpool over Leeds at the weekend.
There have been an average of 3.78 goals per match in the four rounds – a record in the Premier League for this stage of the season – and there have already been 27 goals in eight matches so far this weekend, with two more in the fifth round. on Monday.
Reasons offered for such fluctuating Premier League results so far included limited pre-season squads, a lack of fans reducing pressure on players, and being unusually clinical goalscorers. But nobody really knows.
“He’s really mad at the moment,” said West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, adding that the feeling after the final blow to Lanzini was one of the best he had in his career.
This wasn’t the homecoming that Gareth Bale had envisioned.
The Wales striker, who joined Tottenham Hotspur on loan from Real Madrid for a second term with the London club, was knocked off the bench in the 72nd minute in his first appearance since signing. Tottenham were 3-0 up at the time, thanks to goals from Son Heung Min and Harry Kane (2) in the first 16 minutes.
Even though Fabian Balboina’s header and Davinson Sanchez’s own goal made it 3-2 by the 85th minute, Bale had a chance to take the win when he crossed two defenders to break into the penalty area only to take the goal away.
Then Lanzini’s terrifying blow came after only a partial free kick was disallowed.
“Football has happened,” said Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho when asked about his thoughts on the dramatic ending.
“It was a pocket game. But we lost two points.”
Having scored seven goals against Liverpool two weeks ago, Aston Villa only needed one to beat Leicester and keep their 100% start for the season.
Ross Barkley’s long-range shot found the bottom corner in the first minute of stoppage time to seal the win at King Power.
Villa’s fourth successive victory left the team one point behind Everton, who played another match.
Barclay has scored in both matches since joining on loan from Chelsea.
The Late Brighton Show
There was another dramatic ending at Selhurst Park, as Brighton equalized in the 90th minute through Alexis McAllister before sending Lewis Dunk out in the third minute of stoppage time with a 1-1 draw against fierce opponents Crystal Palace.
Ballas only hit one shot per match, and that was the penalty that Wilfried Zaha counted in the 19th minute.
The first point
Sheffield United and Fulham finally earned their first point of the season, but both struggling teams wanted more 1-1 draws at Bramall Lane that included a penalty kick for each side.
Billy Sharp turned his partial kick to United, shooting the ball in the middle in the 85th minute to nullify Ademola Lookman’s staggering singles goal eight minutes earlier in his first start at Fulham.
Before that, Alexander Mitrovic squandered the opportunity to give the rising Fulham the lead when he lifted the penalty kick over the bar in the 58th minute.
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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