Wood brace sees Burnley past Norwich City

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Chris Wood scored a pair of early goals as Burnley punished Norwich City 2-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Clarets rise seventh with eight points, while Norwich City has six points and will finish the weekend on the outskirts of the relegation zone.


Three things we learned

1. Wood comes good: Chris Wood entered the match with zero goals through five matches after scoring 10 in each of his first two Premier League campaigns with the Clarets. He’s got two now, using his noggin and boot to score a pair of typical Chris Wood goals. Very encouraging for the Kiwi striker, and his coach Sean Dyche.

2. Canaries defense undone: The many injuries to Norwich City’s back line have been well-documented, and the club would have the league’s worst goal conceded total were it not for Watford’s abject display at Man City on Saturday. Teemu Pukki and the win over Man City are great stories, but these are the concession numbers for Norwich over six matches: 4, 1, 3, 2, 2, 2. The one is lowly Newcastle.

3. Pope delivers a clean sheet: Twenty-seven year old Nick Pope isn’t even the first Nick Pope that shows up in a Google search, but he’s proven two England goalkeepers second-best in his time at Burnley. There wasn’t a lot for Pope to do, but his early save on Teemu Pukki is not something to be overlooked from the win.

Man of the Match: It’s Wood, but give a lot of credit to Ashley Westwood. The 29-year-old has been a service machine for Burnley the past two seasons, and also went in for five tackles on Saturday.


What a start.

You were almost putting 1-0 on the board when Teemu Pukki cut his defender to the inside and shot on goal, but Nick Pope made a fine save in the 8th minute.

Burnley went ahead two minutes later through Wood, who was the near post difference maker at the front of a sea of bodies from a corner kick.

 [ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Wood made it 2-0 with another leaping header, the Kiwi finisher putting the defensively-solid Clarets in fine position with 76 minutes to play.

Watch Live: Man City v. Watford headlines 10am ET games

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Three Premier League games take center stage at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as potential upsets are the focus.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Manchester City aim to get back on track as they play Watford, while Norwich head to Burnley and Everton host Sheffield United.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for the three games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Man City v. Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Norwich – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton v. Sheffield United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League most underrated XI

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On Twitter, we asked Premier League fans to submit their choice for most underrated player in the English top flight right now. There were a host of fascinating answers, with plenty of different teams represented.

Tottenham and Liverpool players appeared a lot, not surprising given they reached the Champions League final but have just a handful of true superstars on the roster, with Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino preferring to put together a squad that plays as a greater whole than the sum of its parts.

So, with that in mind, we thought we should take it one step further and put together a full-blown starting XI of underrated Premier League players.

While putting these together, obviously being just five matches, prior seasons are of course taken into account, but this season’s early performances are also heavily weighed. Behold, our most underrated players all together in one squad. How well would these lineups perform in the league?

Our Premier League Underrated XI’s

Kyle Bonn: [ ]

Kasper Schmeichel

Ricardo PereiraJoel MatipWilly BolyLucas Digne

Declan Rice — Ruben Neves —

— Emiliano Buendia — James MaddisonHeung-Min Son

Roberto Firmino —

Nicholas Mendola: [ ]

Bernd Leno

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — Willy Boly — Tyrone Mings — Ricardo Pereira —

Harry WinksFabinho

— Heung-Min Son — James Maddison — Felipe Anderson

Callum Wilson

Daniel Karell: [ ]

Angus Gunn

Matt DohertyMaya YoshidaYerry MinaPatrick Van Aanholt

Todd CantwellManuel LanziniJack GrealishRyan Fraser

— Callum Wilson — Raul Jimenez —

The highlights

Heung-Min Son was probably the most often mentioned name in our Twitter question, and so he earns a spot on two of the lineups. A number of Liverpool players also cropped up, and Bonn responded with the inclusion of do-it-all striker Roberto Firmino and defender Joel Matip, who often finds himself in Virgil Van Dijk‘s shadow but has risen from injury substitute to regular starter.

Also appearing twice are Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, Wolves center-back Willy Boly, Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, and Foxes full-back Ricardo Peirera. Otherwise, the writers all went in their own directions!

Jack Grealish is mentioned on Karrell’s list, and he has already proven a divisive topic amongst our writers. Mendola included Reds midfielder Fabinho while also singing the praises of West Ham attacker Felipe Anderson who is doing his best to make up for the departure of Marko Arnautovic. The Hammers also appear on Karrell’s lineup with Manuel Lanzini, who owns two assists on the young season. Many folks may still be learning Emiliano Buendia’s name, but the young Argentine has been the brains behind Teemu Pukki‘s breakout season at the head of the Norwich attack.

Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is mentioned, although is he really underrated after moving for $60 million this summer? Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves could lay claim to the label as the best player outside the Premier League top six clubs, although Declan Rice might claim he’s not even the best midfielder. Who is a bang-on starter for your most underrated Premier League squad?

Guardiola: Man City must ‘learn’ and ‘carry on’ after loss to Norwich

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It’s what everyone least expected: Norwich City walking out victors in their match against defending champions Manchester City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays | Three things we learned]

But it happened, and even Pep Guardiola, who has very little experience of floundering against underdogs, had to come to terms with the hard reality that his team was outplayed in their 3-2 loss to a recently-promoted side in what could well be the upset of the year. From the BBC:

“Congrats to Norwich. The first goal was from a set-piece and the second on the counter so credit to them. It is what it is. We have to learn from this and carry on.

“Our passing was not bad. We created chances but we could not score them today. They are a really good team with good players with quality, we saw that in the Championship last year, they were clinical today.”

Perhaps a bigger pill to swallow for the two-time Premier League winning manager is the fact that his side are five points behind league-leaders Liverpool, who comfortably ahead of the pack, show no signs of wear and tear. Ultimately, it’s losses like Saturday night’s that will have Guardiola and Co. on the outside looking in for the majority of the long season ahead.
There is enough blame to go around at Man City. In the 50th minute, Nicolas Otamendi coughed up the ball inside the box for an easy, game-winning goal for the Canaries. Guardiola’s side also struggled to create clear-cut chances in the attacking third, despite dominating the stats sheet. Overall, it was an underwhelming night from a side that lives and breathes success under the 48-year-old.

“We did not have urgency in the final third that we normally have,” Guardiola added. “In football you can’t always avoid mistakes. I don’t know how many shots we had or how many they had, but football is about goals and about what you do in the boxes.”

It’s only September – there is plenty of time for Man City and Guardiola to figure things out, obviously.

Norwich ‘buzzing’ after historic victory v. Man City

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Newly-promoted Norwich City were in dreamland after shocking Manchester City 3-2 at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Daniel Farke‘s injury-hit squad were missing 11 players but dug deep and went 2-0 up as Teemu Pukki grabbed a goal and an assist to lead the Canaries to one of their biggest-ever wins in the Premier League.

Throughout the game Norwich tried to keep the ball and even though Man City had chances, they made so many mistakes which the Canaries took advantage of.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Man of the Match Pukki revealed that Norwich were a little scared of facing City before the game.

“Of course, we were a bit scared about their quality, and I think you could see from the beginning that we felt we had a chance and we built our belief,” Pukki said. “They are very good, but we made it hard for them and we had chances to score maybe one more. The whole team defended unbelievably well and Tim [Krul] saved everything. I believed I could score at this level but maybe not as much as this so far.”

Man City made it very hard for themselves too.

Pep Guardiola started Kevin De Bruyne on the bench which seemed to set the tone for a sluggish Man City display all over the pitch.

Without the injured Aymeric Laporte, the central defensive duo of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi struggled massively, with the latter at fault for Pukki’s goal which sealed the win.

But focusing on Norwich and how they overcame injuries to prevail, Pukki praised the home supporters who created an intense atmosphere in Norfolk to help their team slay a giant.

“The atmosphere today at Carrow Road was probably the best since I have been here,” Pukki said. “It was crazy in some moments of the game. If you can beat Man City, you can beat whoever. Nothing is coming easy, we need to work today to win games in the Premier League.”

The celebrations in Norwich are underway and they are well deserved.

Pukki has scored six goals in his first five Premier League games and the Finnish striker epitomizes the hard-working Norwich squad. He led from the front and had the likes of Cantwell and Buendia supporting him in pressing Man City’s defense and Farke’s plan worked perfectly.

“We had to be special in our plan for City because they are the best team in the world but we had setbacks too with our injuries, but we deserve the win today we were exceptional,” Farke told the BBC. “[Ibrahim] Amadou was beautiful today playing in an unusual positon and a debut for Alex Tettey and Sam Byram too. I can’t praise the lads enough today. We had so many things too overcome… We want to win each and every game and we will try to defend. But with our philosophy we cannot just press an button and park the bus, we have to go with what we’ve got and what we believe in which is being on the front foot. But today it wasn’t possible to dominate the ball today so we had a special plan and thankfully it worked well.”

This is a historic, famous win for the Canaries as they made the most of a slack and error-strewn Man City display.