Saturday’s Premier League action proved the surprises of early season aren’t going away just because the calendar has moved to 2016.
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West Ham, Norwich and West Brom each scored surprising wins, while Bournemouth held Leicester and Newcastle almost tripped up Arsenal.
Oh, and surprise! Manchester United scored two goals.
All that and more inside the roundup:
Watford 1-2 Manchester City — RECAP
Ben Watson‘s first Premier League goal since the 2012-13 season came when his corner kick spun off Aleksandr Kolarov’s head and beyond Joe Hart. But Big Yaya Toure used his left leg to pop Kolarov’s corner past Heurelho Gomes in the 83rd minute to level things up at Vicarage Road. Sergio Aguero scored his eight of the season moments later to put City ahead.
Manchester United 2-1 Swansea City — RECAP
Anthony Martial scored a headed goal and then played the cross that Wayne Rooney calmly back heeled past Lukasz Fabianski (who nearly found an equalizer in stoppage time). Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a class goal for Swans, who nevertheless stay on the verge of the drop zone.
Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United — RECAP
The Magpies walked into the Emirates and arguably had better quality chances than the hosts, but Arsene Wenger‘s side scrapped its way to a win when Olivier Giroud won a 50-50 ball that Laurent Koscielny scored in front of a napping Ayoze Perez. Gunners are top, and Newcastle remains in 18th.
Sunderland 3-1 Aston Villa — RECAP
Jermain Defoe‘s brace helped Sunderland overcome a scintillating goal from Carles Gil, and Patrick Van Aanholt also scored as the Black Cats moved to within four points of safety. Villa is now 11 points back of 17th.
Norwich City 1-0 Southampton — RECAP
The Canaries crept further up the table while putting Saints on the verge of a relegation scrap. Victor Wanyama was shown the red card for Saints, and Alex Tettey scored the late decisive goal.
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Stoke City — RECAP
USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron saw red from his defensive midfielder position on a pretty rash decision, and Jonny Evans scored a late goal to lift Tony Pulis‘ side to a surprise home win over Stoke. Stephane Sessegnon scored the other Baggies’ goal, while Jonathan Walters netted for Stoke.
West Ham United 2-0 Liverpool — RECAP
A pair of crosses from Enner Valencia and Mark Noble turned into goals from Mikhail Antonio and Andy Carroll, and Slaven Bilic‘s Hammers looked good even before Dimitri Payet subbed into the game after a surprising return to full fitness.
Leicester City 0-0 Bournemouth — RECAP
Finally getting a break from Premier League regulars, Leicester bungled a chance to pick up three points against newly-promoted Bournemouth. The biggest offense was Riyad Mahrez missing a penalty chance, admittedly well-saved by Artur Boruc.