Happy Labor Day, TSFers. Workers of the world unite, or something. While Labor Day is to appreciate workers, there was one class of them who are very much not appreciated right now — Premier League referees. It was a banner weekend for bad referee decisions, so much so that there will be an emergency inquest into VAR sometime this week.
Everton 0 - Liverpool 0
The Merseyside Derby was great. Jordan Pickford stood on his head to keep the Toffees in it, but it wasn’t entirely one-way traffic. Everton had a handful of chances they didn’t convert and generally played much better than they were, especially in the opening weeks of the season. Was it a derby bump or is Frank Lampard’s side improving? I guess we’ll see against Arsenal this weekend!
Tottenham 2 - Fulham 1
Spurs mostly controlled the match but couldn’t capitalize on their dominance to put the match out of reach. Alex Mitrovic scored an 83rd minute goal for Fulham to make it a nervous finish and a close scoreline. Sounds familiar to Arsenal’s match against Fulham. They’re a tough side. They stick around in matches. If Mitrovic keeps scoring (and it seems like I was wrong on him), they’ll definitely be in the mix to stay up.
Nottingham Forest 2 - Bournemouth 3
A big, big win for the Cherries. Three second half goals turned around a 2-0 halftime deficit. I only caught part of the match, but from what I saw, it was an open, exciting game. I could definitely get onboard with bottom half matchups being 5-goal, scoring bonanzas.
Chelsea 2 - West Ham 1
This should have been a 2-2 draw. West Ham thought they had an equalizer through Maxwel Cornet, but it was ruled out by VAR because Jarrod Bowen was deemed to have fouled Edouard Mendy in the build up. Except for me, he really didn’t foul him. Mendy came out, Bowen jumped to get over him, and one of his feet caught the Chelsea keeper. If that’s anybody other than the keeper, that foul isn’t given.
Brentford 5 - Leeds United 2
What a wild match. It was a fun watch, another open, fast-paced, attacking match. Ivan Toney scored a hat trick. Jesse Marsch was sent off for arguing about a non-penalty call.
Wolves 1 - Southampton 0
I’ll be honest, I saw none of this match. Daniel Podence scored to lift Wolves to their first win of the season. The Saints could have managed a draw, but Che Adams had a goal ruled out for handball. I guess it was the right call (I saw the highlights), but that’s not the kind of thing I want ruled out. He jumps for a header, it maybe glances off his head, then bounces off his arm (well up his arm, too), and into the goal. For me, it was totally accidental. Yes, the rule is any handball by the scoring player denies the goal, but come on. Sometimes the ball just hits you. Wolves “deserved” to concede there and were bailed out by a lucky bounce.
Newcastle 0 - Crystal Palace 0
Another VAR-affected result. Newcastle thought they had a winner, but VAR determined that Joe Willock fouled Vicente Guaita in a collision with the keeper. The problem is that Willock looked to have been pushed into Guaita by teammate Tyrick Mitchell, who then bundled the ball into his own net.
Aston Villa 1 - Manchester City 1
A big result for Steven Gerrard, who probably cooled off his scorching hot seat with the draw. City dominated the game but couldn’t find more than Erling Haaland’s (because who else would score for them) goal. Villa had one shot on target all match, Leon Bailey’s goal.
Brighton 5 - Leicester 2
Wild, open, attacking matches were a theme this Premier League weekend. Leicester scored inside the opening minute. Brighton forced an own goal less than ten minutes later, then went ahead five minutes after that. Patson Daka equalized at 2-2 before halftime. Brighton took over the second half with three more goals. We were denied a goal of the season candidate from Alexis Mac Allister (who is Argentinian, FYI) because a teammate of his maybe tried to play the ball from an offside position and may have affected Leicester defender Justin Thomas’ clearance attempt. VAR ruled out the goal for offside, which is a darn shame because it was a 30-yard heat-seeking missile into the top corner. Mac Allister did get his goal (and then another) later in the match.