South Coast stalemate: Bournemouth, Southampton draw

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  • King misses big chance
  • No goal in four games for Saints
  • Bournemouth unbeaten in three

Bournemouth and Southampton drew 0-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with the South Coast derby a tight, tense affair.

Charlie Austin spurned a good chance in the first half, while Bournemouth did plenty of probing but failed to break through.

With the point Bournemouth now have 17 for the season, while Saints have six.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Bournemouth showed some promising moments early on but both Adam Smith and David Brooks got their efforts wrong.

At the other end Charlie Austin was the danger man for Saints, but his heavy touch took the ball out of his reach despite beating Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic to it.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The first half ended with no goals in a tight encounter in a South Coast derby.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half King missed a glorious chance after being picked out by Wilson as the Norwegian striker scuffed his shot.

At the other end Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s dipping volley was tipped over by Begovic as Saints finished well.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Manolo Gabbiadini nodded onto the roof of the net late on with their best chance of the game.

In the end, both teams settled for a point in the sun and Saints will be the happier team.

Premier League leaders through eight matches

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images
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The sample size remains relatively small, but the Premier League season is closing in on its quarter-point and we’re able to get a decent perspective on whose hot starts are becoming solid seasons.

The international break is a good time to analyze the early season numbers, so let’s run through WhoScored.com and a number of other sites to see who’s shining in England (and Wales, though we don’t expect to see a lot of Bluebirds).

[ MORE: Hazard would play for Mourinho again ]

Let’s start with team stuff. Obviously, Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool all boast league-best 6W-2D records, while Newcastle and Cardiff are league-worst 2D-6L.

City has scored the most goals (21), while its tied with Liverpool for fewest allowed in league play (3). Huddersfield Town and Cardiff (4) have scored the fewest, and Fulham has allowed the most (21).

City also has the most possession (65.3 percent), shots per game (21.8), and pass accuracy (89.9 percent). Worst possessors? Newcastle. Worst passers? Cardiff. Fewest shots? Newcastle.

Now, the fun stuff. Let’s praise individuals in a sport with 22 players on the field most of the time.

It will come as no surprise that this season is all about Eden.

Goals: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (7)

Assists: Six players have four, with Benjamin Mendy of Man City doing it in the fewest amount of minutes (450).

Man of the Match awards: Hazard (5)

Key passes per game: David Silva, Man City (3.7)

Dribbles per game: Hazard (2.8)

Times fouled per game: James Maddison, Leicester City (3)

Average passes per game: Jorginho, Chelsea (106.6)

Crosses per game: Kieran Trippier, Spurs (2.6)

Tackles per game: Idrissa Gueye, Everton (5.3)

Interceptions per game: Etienne Capoue, Watford (3.4)

Clearances per game: Steve Cook, Bournemouth (7.9)

Blocks per game: James Tarkowski, Burnley (2)

Yellow cards: Jose Holebas, Watford (5)

Red cards: Wes Morgan, Leicester City (2)

What did we learn in the Premier League?

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It was a wild Saturday in the Premier League, as we had blowout wins, red cards, stunning goals and some huge shocks all rolled into six games.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Below we focus on the key stories to come out of Saturday’s PL action, and there’s only one place to start…


Jose Mourinho and Manchester United are still a mess

My word, what a comeback. Manchester United beat Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday just when it seemed like Mourinho was on the brink of being fired. Newcastle crumbled in the second half after racing into a 2-0 lead but they still had plenty of chances to score against United’s shaky defensive unit. However, with their backs against the wall, United’s players dug deep and fought for Mourinho. That was a huge question mark heading into this game with the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and others said to have fallen out with their manager. This could be the turning point and heading into the international break there will be some kind of positivity around United.

But they are still in a mess. And how much is Mourinho to blame? Reports had circulated that Mourinho would be fired regardless of the result. United had called that report as “nonsense” but the situation is still far from being sorted. Surely the only way is up from here? The subs he made and the way his senior players stood tall told us that they still want to play for Mourinho. That’s huge.

“In the second half the players gave absolutely everything. There was nothing left to give. I am 55, I am mature, I can cope with it and I can live with it. I think clearly, some of the boys, they are not coping well with it,” Mourinho said. “The way they started the game was absolutely panicking. Every ball that was in our box, I thought in some moments we could even score in our own goal. For me, it is not easy, but life is made of experiences and some are new and some are deja vu. This is new but makes me not just a better manager but a better person. I now understand things better in the industry. There is a lot of wickedness in something that should be beautiful.”

So far this season, Mourinho has created a cloud of negativity at Old Trafford with his players looking scared to play and they made a very poor Newcastle side look like world beaters early on. He called out Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford for criticism after the game which may not help him in the long run, but he continues to clash with his players. With Pogba and Nemanja Matic playing at center back in the second half, Mourinho also seemed to be sending a thinly-veiled message to Ed Woodward and the board at United: you didn’t get me the players I wanted this summer and this is your fault. Of course, the fault for United’s worst-ever start to a Premier League season lies at the door of Mourinho, his players and the hierarchy, and you get the sense that this situation can be turned around with everyone pulling in the right direction. But so much has to change. United’s players need time away from the club over the international break to take a breather. So does Mourinho. He looks like a man who needs a break from the criticism amid all of the pressure.

They still have the squad to at least finish in the top four, even if a serious title push looks far away this season. After all of their struggles so far, United are in eighth place and just four points off the top four. That’s not that bad, right? This seems like a turning point but there’s still a huge mess to sort out.


Bournemouth’s attacking quartet key to European bid

Callum Wilson, Josh King, David Brooks and Ryan Fraser ripped Watford apart on Saturday and they are the main reason Bournemouth sit in fifth place in the Premier League and dream of qualifying for Europe. After their fifth win in eight games this season, Eddie Howe said he believes his team are “capable of beating anyone” and David Brooks hailed the “on fire” attacking unit for the Cherries. With games against Southampton, Fulham, Manchester United and Newcastle coming up, you can expect to see Bournemouth hanging around the top six between now and December. The longer they stay there, the more belief they will gain and Howe’s youngsters are playing with so much confidence right now. Bournemouth can be the Burnley of this season and finishing seventh certainly isn’t out of the question. In a week where the South Coast club halted a bid to move to a new stadium and away from their 11,000 capacity home, their ambition on the pitch remains. Bournemouth are the perfect model of how to run a club, how to develop young players and how to keep faith in a young manager with a clear philosophy. The Cherries have now been in the Premier League for four seasons and this is the first time it feels like they can turn their fluid attacking play into a genuine push for a top seven finish.


Sigurdsson and two Brazilians spark Everton’s revival

Everton went to Leicester and won on Saturday and Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s late stunner was worthy of winning any game. The Icelandic playmaker has now scored four goals in his last two PL games (as well as missing a penalty kick) and his play, alongside Bernard and Richarlison, is key if Marco Silva‘s time at Goodison Park is going to be a success. Now that their defensive issues are sorting themselves out with injuries clearing up, the focus should be on their misfiring attack. With Theo Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard and Richarlison all starting on Saturday, Silva has a similar problem to his predecessor Ronald Koeman: without a top central striker, Everton must focus on spreading around the goals and assists between their wingers and attacking midfielders. That is harsh on Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but with the trickery of Bernard and Sigurdsson, plus the pace of Walcott and Richarlison, there’s actually a really good balance in Everton’s attacking positions. Those four should be given a run of games together for the Toffees. Silva is known for his his direct attacking play and so far Everton have meandered along under the much vaunted Portuguese coach. With back-to-back wins against Fulham and Leicester, they’ve dragged themselves into the top 10 and there is plenty of room for improvement. Silva knows that and after crashing out of the League Cup in midweek he needed this win today.

Bournemouth ‘on fire’ as they surge up to fifth

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Bournemouth have 16 points on the board after eight games of the Premier League season.

At this stage last season they only had four points from a possible 24.

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Eddie Howe’s youngsters smashed 10-man Watford 4-0 on Saturday to secure back-to-back wins in the Premier League as they’ve won five of their opening eight games of the season. In a week where the club revealed they aren’t moving ahead with plans to move to a new stadium and instead stay at their 11,000 capacity home at the Vitality, at least their ambition on the pitch shows how far they can go.

Howe was delighted with the manner of the win at Watford and believes his team are capable of beating anyone, on their day.

“We are very pleased with the result. This is a tough place to come and Watford have been in good form. It wasn’t the perfect performance but we are happy,” Howe told Sky Sports. “We believe we are capable of beating anyone when we are on top of our game. It is good that I think there is room to improve. We like to stay in the background and as underdogs. We will go about our work in a controlled way.”

Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Welsh youngster David Brooks (who has now scored in back-to-back games) detailed the key to Bournemouth’s incredible start.

“Hopefully I can continue this form but the main focus was three points and we got that. As an attacking player you want to create and score as many as you can. The boys are on fire,” Brooks said. “I came here to prove I was good enough for the Premier League and I hope I am doing that.”

Brooks, 21, is certainly making a big difference and alongside Callum Wilson and Josh King they tore Watford apart as Christian Kabasele was sent off in the first half and gave a penalty kick away. The combination of pace and slick passing has seen Bournemouth begin this season by surprising many, but Howe and his players don’t seem that surprised with their form.

Bournemouth’s fixture list has been kind to them, as the only top six team they’ve faced so far is Chelsea, but they’re making the most of their fine early season form. This is their best-ever start to a PL season in their fourth campaign in the top flight and it has set them up for a decent run of games coming up.

Next up they have a South Coast derby against Southampton after the international break, then they play Fulham, Manchester United and Newcastle before facing Arsenal.

So, we could well be talking about Bournemouth making a sustained challenge to finish in the top six and qualifying for Europe between now and December. On this form, they could be the Burnley of 2018-19.

Bournemouth hammer 10-man Watford

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  • Bournemouth’s biggest away win in Premier League
  • Kabasele sent off, gave away PK
  • Two goals from Josh King
  • Cherries up to fifth in table

Bournemouth beat 10-man Watford 4-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday, as the Cherries secured their biggest-ever away win in the Premier League.

Two first half goals from Josh King and another from David Brooks made it 3-0, then Callum Wilson made it 4-0 after the break as Watford’s Christian Kabasele was sent off as he gave away a penalty kick.

With the win Bournemouth move up to fifth in the table and have 16 points as they jump above Watford who remain on 13 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

After a lively start to the game, the first key moment arrived as a free kick into the box saw Watford’s Kabasele flatten Asmir Begovic and was booked for his troubles.

Moments later Begovic saved Will Hughes‘ volley after a goalmouth scramble as the hosts settled well but then Bournemouth struck on the counter to take the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Josh King flew down the left flank moments after Watford called for a handball in the box, and he found Wilson in the box but his shot was well saved by Ben Foster. However, Brooks was on hand to calmly slot home to put the Cherries 1-0 up.

Craig Cathcart somehow headed wide when completely unmarked at a corner, as the Hornets pushed hard for an equalizer. Wilson was then guilty of missing a big chance at the other end as he headed wide with the goal gaping.

Kabasele then took down King in the box and was handed a second yellow card as King scored the penalty kick to give Bournemouth a 2-0 lead and leave Watford with 10 men. And it got worse for Watford as King nodded home Wilson’s cross right on half time to make it 3-0. Game over.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half it was a case of damage limitation for Watford but they conceded again within two minutes of the restart.

A cross from the left from Ryan Fraser found Wilson and he finished at the second attempt after being left wide open. 4-0. Troy Deeney and Etienne Capoue then had a disagreement on a sorry afternoon for the Hornets.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Bournemouth eased to victory in the latter stages as they threatened to score more on the break, but Howe’s side settled for four goals and a clean sheet as their fantastic start to the season continues.