Newcastle started well, but a Jonjo Shelvey giveaway sprung Bournemouth into the Magpies third for an early corner kick.
Matt Ritchie laced a left-footed shot that Asmir Begovic pushed wide of the far post in the sixth minute. And Dwight Gayle, getting a rare start, headed Ritchie’s 13th minute cross off a defender and out for a corner.
Begovic stopped Christian Atsu soon after, as the Magpies kept knocking. That’s when Ritchie cranked a shot off the post and Gayle’s rebound goal was deemed offside. It was razor thin if off.
Joselu missed Newcastle’s next chance, after an uncharacteristic turnover from Andrew Surman. It remained scoreless in the 29th minute.
Bournemouth turned the tide for a five-minute span, and Rob Elliot made a pair of strong saves including a remarkable stop on Joshua King.
Harry Kane is really good, and finished September with a combined 13 goals for club and country after scoring a brace Saturday at the John Smith’s Stadium. Even Moussa Sissoko scored for Spurs, who also found a goal from Ben Davies.
Squad rotation was no problem for Jose Mourinho, as Marouane Fellaini scored twice to go with Juan Mata‘s 145-second opener at Old Trafford. Romelu Lukaku bagged one late to doom Palace to a seventh-straight goalless loss.
7 – Crystal Palace are only the second team to lose their opening seven games in a @PremierLeague season, after Portsmouth in 2009-10. Woe.
Don’t let the score line fool you: Manchester City was very, very good on a day without Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany. The goal came from Kevin De Bruyne, and it was wonderful, but this was a total win. The final shot total was 17-4 in favor of City.
The Hornets were dormant out of the gates, and both Salomon Rondon and Jonny Evans reaped the spoils to open a 2-0 lead for the hosts. But Abdoulaye Doucoure scored and Brazilian magician Richarlison added an equalizer for Watford.
With Liverpool this season, it certainly hasn’t been easy but it’s often entertaining. The Reds had 2-0 and 3-1 leads, the first through a fantastic Philippe Coutinho free kick, but needed a Simon Mignolet stop of a Jamie Vardy penalty kick to hold on for all three points.
Joshua King‘s opener had the Cherries dreaming of a second victory and Ronald Koeman likely wondering about his job, but Oumar Niasse — yep — scored a pair of second half goals to give Everton a much-needed win.
Don’t give the big Belgian two bites at the apple. Romelu Lukaku scored off his own rebound after Ashley Young sent in an early cross at St. Mary’s, then United held on through Jose Mourinho’s sending off to top Saints.
Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne played a game of “Can you top this?” with service to their teammates, and Sane also scored as Man City clobbered struggling Palace to doom the Eagles to a Premier League-worst (ever) six matches without a goal to start the season. Raheem Sterling had two of City’s goals, with Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph also netting markers.
Bournemouth, led by rising coaching star Eddie Howe, finished a club-record ninth last season in the Premier League, recording 46 points and winning three of its last four matches. The club’s offense was something to behold, scoring 55 goals, the sixth-best mark in the league.
But the club isn’t resting on its laurels. Howe and co. made some impressive summer signings, bringing back three players with a history at the club. Jermain Defoe, Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake, the club’s new record signing, all played at some point in their careers for the club on loan, while youngster Connor Mahoney joins from struggling Blackburn.
Now the question for Bournemouth is whether its reached a ceiling. And if not, how much more could it improve in the standings.
Best, worst case scenario: The best case scenario for Bournemouth right now is another mid-table finish, perhaps pushing Everton or Southampton on the edge of a European place, as well as a nice run in the League and FA Cups. Worst case, it’s another relegation battle for Bournemouth that it can’t seem to extract itself out of, whether due to a fractured locker room or injuries keeping important players off the field.
Star player: Joshua King – The former Manchester United youngster had a breakout season in the Premier League, scoring 16 goals and helping stave off relegation for Bournemouth for a third-consecutive season, all while putting himself in the shop window for Europe’s biggest clubs. Now the question is whether he can repeat these numbers, or how his production will change alongside Jermain Defoe. Bournemouth will need to find goals from somewhere, and another 15-plus goal season from King should keep the club in the Premier League for another season.
Coaches’ Corner: Eddie Howe has done the unthinkable, keeping tiny Bournemouth in the Premier League for yet another season. It’s why his name is constantly linked with other Premier League openings, including Arsenal should Arsene Wenger ever retire or be forced out. But more impressively, Howe’s done it his way, choosing to play an expansive brand of football in a league where sometimes that is punished. And in a way, he was punished, with his team giving up 67 goals last season. But by scoring 55 goals, many of those timely towards the close of the season, it ended up canceling out some of the rough games earlier in the year. Howe is a future England National Team managerial candidate for a reason, and with an even stronger squad in 2017-2018, it will be interesting to see where he can guide the team.
PST predicts: If Bournemouth’s current squad remains whole through the end of the transfer window (with perhaps another defensive signing), the club have a terrific chance of repeating its mid-table finish. PST believes that Bournemouth will be in the thick of the relegation battle, but should manage to separate itself from the rest by at least 10 points once more.