Wes Hoolahan

Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United: Payet drags Irons out of first half hole

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  • Payet shines again with goal, assist
  • Norwich blows 2-0 lead
  • Hammers move into fifth place

West Ham United overcame another sleepy first half, with goals from Dimitri Payet and Mark Noble leading the Irons back for a 2-2 draw versus Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan scored to stake Norwich to a lead that looked set to boost them out of the drop zone, but the draw keeps them behind Newcastle on goal differential.

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It was Brady who punished West Ham’s lackluster first 45 with a 20-yard laser in the 55th minute.

And after Slaven Bilic made a pair of attacking substitutions, Steven Naismith and Hoolahan made the Irons pay dearly for a partially blocked shot.

Naismith’s shot deflected into the 18, and Hoolahan was within a hair’s length of onside as he buried a low shot past Adrian. 2-0 on two shots on target. Wow.

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A poor touch or bounce, your call, for Michail Antonio stopped West Ham from getting a breakaway goal as John Ruddy had time to parry Antonio’s rip in the 69th minute.

Payet pulled one back with a rebound goal 17 minutes in scheduled time, after Victor Moses caused a turnover and took a quick shot.

And the newly-extended Payet continued his season wizardry with great vision to spot Noble from the end line. It was 2-2 within minutes after Noble blasted his shot home.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 16

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There’s a sentimental story amongst this week’s Premier League Team of the Week.

Bournemouth’s Harry Arter had a tough week, dealing with the tragic passing of his daughter during childbirth.

[ MORE: But who was the Player of the Week? ]

But he dedicated his performance to his family in helping the Cherries to a historic win over Manchester Untied, one week after Bournemouth toppled Chelsea.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 16 ARCHIVE ]

Goalkeeper: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United)

Defenders: Allan Nyom (Watford), Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion), Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfielders: Joshua King (Bournemouth), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).

Forwards: Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

2015-16 Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. I: Taking very early stock with Man City on top

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Three matches certainly don’t tell the tale of an entire season.

For one thing, some clubs haven’t faced significant competition while others have had to battle a trio of strong Premier League opponents.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

Yet there’s enough of a sample, enough of a taste, to adjudge which clubs look ready to roar and which ones need to hope there are big-time reinforcements coming ahead of Sept. 1’s transfer deadline.

Let’s stop yammering, and start ranking. As is the case with MLS, we won’t do these every week in order to limit overreactions from a single result.

RANKING
Up/Down

source:

1 Manchester City: Two road wins, eight goals scored, zero allowed, and Kevin De Bruyne on the way? They’re baaaaaaack.
source: 2 Liverpool: Caught a lucky break on Arsenal’s disallowed goal, but Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho both looked dynamite. Christian Benteke is the real deal and, like Man Utd below, more goals will come. Loved watching that Arsenal match. End-to-end stuff.
source: 3   Manchester United: Folks want to castigate Louis van Gaal for not scoring more goals despite dominant performances and a congested schedule? Please. The Champions League goal production doesn’t count? Not to mention, their clean sheet streak is solid. Marouane Fellaini as a No. 9, though? Not so sure about that.
source: 4 Leicester City: There’s the Fox! Drawing at home against Spurs is the first lost points of the year for the Tinkerman’s unit. Riyad Mahrez has been electrifying, quick and downright wonderful.

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5 Swansea City: Looked quite legit until they coughed off a point against insipid Sunderland. The Chelsea draw works for us, and the Newcastle win was comprehensive. A home win, or at least points, against Manchester United on Sunday would raise the reality to Swans’ supporters expectations.
source: 6 Arsenal:  I want to place them higher for the entertainment value of the Liverpool draw alone (which they should’ve won if not for a faulty call). Still, there hasn’t been much to like in terms of the final product and that West Ham loss looks uglier and uglier as we see more of West Ham. Listen to Titi, Arsene.
source: 7 Chelsea:  Folks are rushing to say Jose Mourinho has spoiled the soup at Stamford Bridge, and there’s certainly the look of a championship hangover at Chelsea. John Terry’s looked off since the preseason, and can a title contender really afford to risk John Stones, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma as their hopes for center back success in the PL and UCL? They’ll rebound, as Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have yet to really awaken, but it should come soon, eh? And Paul Pogba? Yes, please.
source: 8 Everton: The Man City loss wasn’t a barrel of monkeys, but the Toffees are looking more like the 2013-14 version than last year’s strugglers. Would cashing in on Stones really hurt that much? Doesn’t look like we’ll find out.
source: 9 Crystal Palace: Maybe the “Pardiola” label attached to Alan Pardew by peeved Newcastle fans isn’t far off. We’d like a better pelt than Norwich or Villa to believe in the silver fox, though.
source: 10 Stoke City: Mark Hughes’ bunch has a home loss to Liverpool and a pair of road draws. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, though for the Potters to break into the next level they’ll need three points more often than not.
source: 11 Newcastle United: There’s some excitement at St. James Park, even if that point earned at Old Trafford might as well have a horseshoe glued to it. The Magpies lost to Swansea when key defender Daryl Janmaat took a silly second yellow, but looked decent at home against Saints and haven’t been back since Opening Day. Arsenal comes to SJP this weekend, and that could be a bad, bad score line.
source: 12  Tottenham Hotspur: If you believe in Leicester as a possible top-half side, then Spurs should be higher than 12th. Their loss to Man Utd came on an unlucky own goal after Wayne Rooney took his time firing from close range, and drawing Stoke and the Foxes could be chalked down to luck. Disappointment is a real feeling here. Heung-min Son sounds like a good move.
source: 13 SouthamptonContending with the Europa League schedule hasn’t been easy for Saints, who also played a trio of tricky opponents. Two of those were on the road. Saints won’t be this low for long (especially if they flame out of Europe on Thursday).
source: 14 Watford: Saturday’s been alright for drawing when it comes to Elton John’s favorite squadron. The Hornets have been game in scoreless home draws against West Brom and Southampton, and that road point against Everton works for us. Can they find some consistent scoring? How about converting sitters? Will Troy Deeney find his rampant Championship touch in the Premier League? The defense is working, and Sebastian Prodl has a good look early in his Premier League career.
source: 15 Norwich City: Four points for Alex Neil’s Canaries, and they could’ve had more if a bounce or two went their way against Palace to open the season. We’ll wait to see a win against someone other than Sunderland before we call relegation an aberration, but Wes Hoolahan and Nathan Redmond have impressed early this season.
source: 16 AFC Bournemouth: It’s safe to say Eddie Howe’s bunch have exceeded expectations just by claiming a win, and that it came after the Cherries were very much alive in 1-0 losses to Liverpool and Aston Villa is a good sign for their survival fight.
source: 17 West Ham United:  Slaven Bilic must be shaking his head. After trumping Arsenal to open the season, at the Emirates, the Hammers have slumped to sloppy performances and zero points versus Leicester City and Bournemouth. Not too good.
source: 18 Aston Villa: That Rudy Gestede-rescued win against Bournemouth on opening day seems ages ago, and getting shut out by Chris Smalling and Manchester United is no shame. Plus the other loss was Crystal Palace, but you want more from Villa.
source: 19 West Bromwich Albion:  Feels a bit unfair to keep Tony Pulis’ men so low considering their losses came against Chelsea and Manchester City, but both were at home. A drastic climb would not be surprising. The end to this Saido Berahino saga would be satisfying.
source: 20 Sunderland: Managed to post consecutive 2-goal losses to clubs perceived to be their relegation opponents. Then went to the Liberty Stadium and somehow drew Swanse City. Hey, at least they’ve scored in all three matches. And “every player is for sale“. Here’s a scary question: What if Costel Pantilimon wasn’t standing on his head?

Watch Live: Norwich City vs. Stoke City (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Carrow Road is the venue for Saturday’s matchup between Alex Neil’s Canaries of Norwich City and Mark Hughes’ Stoke City Potters. (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

Wes Hoolahan will help conduct the Norwich attack behind Cameron Jerome, while ex-WBA man Graham Dorrans is also in the midfield for the Canaries.

USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron is on the back line for Stoke, which has Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic to help hassle the Norwich defense.

WATCH LIVE AND ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA AT 10 A.M. ET

LINEUPS

Norwich City: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Bassong, Brady; Redmond, Tettey, Dorrans, Howson; Hoolahan; Jerome. Subs: Rudd, Wisdom, Johnson, Grabban, Hooper, R Bennett, O’Neil.

Stoke City: Butland; Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, v.Ginkel; Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic; Diouf. Subs: Given; Ireland, Joselu, Wilson, Adam, Crouch, Wollscheid.

Sunderland 1-3 Norwich City: Canaries fly past bumbling Black Cats

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  • Hoolahan the star man as Canaries roll
  • Watmore scores in PL debut for Black Cats
  • Martin, Whittaker, Redmond net in win
  • Black Cats winless through two matches

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Russell Martin, Martin Whittaker and Nathan Redmond helped Norwich cruise to a 3-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday, as dozens of fans departed the Stadium of Light well before time.

Duncan Watmore scored on his Sunderland debut, as the 21-year-old Englishman was able to put a bouncing shot past a confused John Ruddy late in the match.

Sunderland is last in the Premier League with a minus-4 goal differential, while Norwich rises with its first three points of the season.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Norwich forced Costel Pantilimon into a fine save in the 26th minute before netting moments later.

Johnny Howson ripped a shot that Pantilimon dove to push out for a corner, and the keeper was called on again off the corner, only to see his parry go right to Martin. The Scottish defender netted his first Premier League goal since the Canaries’ 2012-13 season.

Norwich added to Sunderland’s misery before the half was through as Wes Hoolahan and Whittaker worked a 1-2 that left both Patrick van Aanholt and Younes Kaboul in the dust. Just like that, it was 2-0 Canaries in the 37th minute.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Loads of Sunderland fans left at halftime, which means they missed Hoolahan and Redmond hooking up for a 1-2 that ended with the latter beating Pantilimon to the near post and a 3-0 lead for Norwich after 57 minutes.

Watmore scored on his Premier League debut, as the 20-year-old was in the team of the tournament for the 2015 Toulon Tournament.