#MoonSoccer 13 Saturday Soccerround
Premier League – Arsenal v Leicester City
ARSENAL 4 FOXES 3
The Premier League kicked off on Friday with a ding don seven goal thriller.It began at breathless speed with Shinji Okazaki equalising a Alexandre Lacazette opener within 5 minutes of the game. Jamie Vardy then put Leicester ahead but they could not hold on until half time with Danny Welbeck leveling just before the break
Vardy headed home a Riyad Mahrez cross to make it 3-2 but under pressure Arsenal got themselves out of trouble on opening night. An angled strike from Aaron Ramsey made it 3-3 and five minutes from time Olivier Giroud headed home the winner to break foxes hearts and get Arsene Wenger’s side the three points.
On this evidence Leicester have enough going forward to end up more than safe, but are clearly going to concede plenty too.
Premier League – Watford v Liverpool
WATFORD 3 LIVERPOOL 3
Liverpool’s defensive problems have clearly not been resolved as they threw away two points late on at Watford. A warning came as Stefano Okaka opened the scoring for the Hornets with a header from a corner. Sadio Mane leveled finishing off a superb passing move but Watford were back in front by the break through Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Liverpool stepped up a gear in the second half. A Roberto Firmino penalty and a debut goal from Egyptian Mohamed Salah turned it around for Liverpool. However just as it looked like they were heading for victory, more dreadful defending from a corner in injury time allowed Miguel Britos to bundle in an equaliser.
If defence wins championships, Liverpool’s chances of taking that elusive premier League title are slim on this evidence.
Premier League – Everton v Stoke City
TOFFEEMEN 1 STOKE 0
In sport things do not always go to script, however today at Goodison Park it most certainly did. 13 years since Wayne Rooney’s last goal for Everton, he came back to do it again with a winning goal against Stoke. Just before the break after a lackluster half, Dominic Calvin-Lewin crossed for Rooney to head home what proved to be the only score of the game.
Calvin-Lewin himself went close in the second half in a game of few chances but that Everton widely controlled. The perfect start for Rooney and everyone at the club for whom, this will only add to the sense of optimism. A youngster crossing to the experienced man to score is exactly the blend Ronald Koeman is trying to find, it won the three points today.
Championship – Brentford v Nottingham Forest
BRENTFORD 3 FOREST 4
The goal crazy weekend also struck at Brentford where Nottingham Forest continued their so far perfect start to the season. John Egen headed Brentford ahead but Forest had turned it around by half-time. Andreas Bouchalakis equalised with a volley and Daryl Murphy made it 2-1.
Bouchalakis struck again from 25 years to add a third. Brentofrd gave themselves hope through Andreas Bjelland but Kieran Dowell quickly restored Forest’s two goal advantage. Neal Maupay got a late consolation but there was no more time as Forest held for a hugely entertaining 4-3 victory.
The win was Forest’s first away from home since November continuing an excellent start to the season.
Championship – Derby County v Wolves
RAMS 0 WOLVES 2
A goal in each half saw Wolves defeat Derby County 2-0 at Pride Park. Leo Bonatini proved a handful early on as Wolves controlled the first half. The first goal came when Derby failed to clear a corner allowing Barry Douglas in at the far post to give the visitors the lead.
Derby improved in the second half with Bradley Johnson’s shot well saved the best chance for the home side to respond. However Wolves sealed the points with a left foot strike from Ivan Cavaliero fifteen minutes from time. Overall Wolves did enough to justify their victory.
The loss leaves Derby with just one point from two games. With the abandoned League Cup game also affecting their early season fixture list, it has not been a great start for the Rams.
League 1 – Blackpool v MK Dons
TANGERINES 1 MK DONS 0
Blackpool have their first win in League 1 defeating MK Dons 1-0 at Bloomfield Road. The strike came early and from range as Sean Longstaff dispatched the ball beyond the keeper. The possession was fairly even but Blackpool did more with the ball.
Bright Samuel had a number of chances to extend the lead for the Tangerines. As it turned out, the one goal proved to be enough as the defence gave a solid showing. They have built on their much improved League Cup performance in defeat to Wigan to claim a priceless three points in their first outing at home.
Home form will be key to Blackpool’s season and this is a very good start.
League 2 – Crewe Alexander v Newport County
CREWE 1 EXILES 1
It was all square at Gresty Road as Newport County could not take advantage of Crewe being down to 10 men for most of the game. Newport actually took the lead before the sending off via a tap in from Frank Nouble.
Perry Ng was then sent off for Crewe for a second yellow card only 17 minutes into the game. Unfazed Crewe were level within a minute through Craig Dagnall. Newport dominated the second half with Lemar Reynolds and Matthew Dolan wasting good chances.
Before the game Newport may have taken this away point, given how they game went, it will feel like two points lost.
League 2 – Mansfield Town v Forest Green
STAGS 2 FOREST GREEN 0
Mansfield Town finally broke down a stubborn and defensive Forest Green Rovers to claim their first win of the season at Field Mill. Rovers came to defend and managed to get to half time with a blank score sheet thanks to two fine save from keeper Bradley Collins.
However two goals in six minutes put the Stags in control. Danny Rose headed home a Joel Byrom corner for the first, then Paul Anderson beat the offside trap and finished at the second attempt for the second. Mansfield could have had more but it was a very satisfactory day in the end for the home side.
The in puts Mansfield second in the table behind Coventry on four points.
League 2 – Notts County v Chesterfield
MAGPIES 2 CHESTERFIELD 0
A fiery first half between Notts County and Chesterfield ended with Scott Wiseman being sent off. A moment that turned the game in favour of the Magpies who went on to take full advantage.
A looping header from substitute Jorge Grant gave County the lead on the hour. It would be Grant who would seal the win with his second with a superb 25 yard free kick. An impressive win for Notts over a relegated side and one of the favourites for promotion.
This win suggests at least their home form should be good enough to avoid a prolonged relegation battle this time around, they still need to improve away if they are to make a promotion push of their own.
National League – Chester v Halifax Town
SEALS 0 HALIFAX 0
Both sides had chances but it was a point a piece at the Diva Stadium. Ross Hannah went close for Chester early on against his old club but Halifax had the better of the first half with Tom Dalton’s header being cleared off the line their best chance before the break.
Both sides had further chances in the second half. A Josh MacDonald cross came back off the bar which Chester scrambled to clear. The Seals nearly stole the win themselves in the final minute as James Akintunde had a shot well saved.
Chester have drawn both their games so far. Too many draws last season stopped them making a serious promotion push, the same may be the case again this time around.
National League – Tranmere Rovers v Sutton United
ROVERS 0 SUTTON 1
Tranmere Rovers lost for the first time this season going down 1-0 to Sutton United at Prenton Park. After a tight opening Tranmere were caught cold from a throw in allowing Craig Dundas to race clear and slot the ball home.
Andy Cook hit the bar for the home side in the second half which was the closest they came to an equaliser. Sutton move up to fourth while this will be a blow for Tranmere as this was a home game they will have expected to win.
National League North – Leamington v Southport
LEAMINGTON 0 SANDGROUNDERS 1
It’s three wins out of three for the Sandgrounders as they left it late to beat Leamington 1-0. Leamington had the better of the first half with winger Ahmed Obeng having the best chance. Southport keeper Iain Turner made three fine saves in the first half to keep the core level.
Southport improved in the second half, Andy White had a good chance but shot into the side netting. The breakthrough came from substitute Ethan Jones who struck in from a tight angle to ensure Southport take the three points back to the seaside.
FC United of Manchester are the next test of Southport’s thus far perfect start to the season.
Scottish Championship – Dundee United v Queen Of The South
DUNDEE UNITED 2 DOONHAMMERS 1
Queen of the South will feel a golden opportunity was thrown away as they got the chance to play title favorites Dundee United with 10 men for the whole second half and still came off second best going down 2-1. Scott McDonald gave United the lead before Queens fought back as Callum Fordyce was put through and slotted home an equaliser.
Momentum was with Queens as Paul McMullin was sent off before half time. However the Doonhammers failed to take advantage with it being the home side more likely to grab a winner. They did just that when Billy King played in Scott Fraser to score the winner.
This wasted opportunity may suggest Queen Of The South could be again short of what they need yet again to get among the promotion battle.
MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD
#MoonSoccer13 Classified Results
Arsenal (2) 4 (Lacazette, Welbeck, Ramsey, Giroud) – Leicester City (2) 3 (Okazaki, Vardy 2) – At The Emirates Stadium, Islington, London
Watford (2) 3 (Okaka, Doucoure, Britos) – Liverpool (1) 3 (Mane, Firmino, Salah) – At Vicarage Road, Watford
Everton (1) 1 (Rooney) – Stoke City (0) 0 – At Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool
Brentford (1) 3 (Egan, Bjellman, Maupay) – Nottingham Forest (2) 4 (Bouchalakis 2, Murphy, Dowell) – At Griffin Park, Brentford, Hounslow
Derby County (0) 0 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (1) 2 (Douglas, Caveleiro) – At Pride Park, Derby
Blackpool (1) 1 (Longstaff) – MK Dons (0) 0 – At Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
Crewe Alexander (1) 1 (Dagnall) – Newport County (1) 1 (Nouble) – At Gresty Road, Crewe
Mansfield Town (0) 2 (Rose, Anderson) – Forest Green Rovers (0) 0 – At Field Mill, Mansfield
Notts County (0) 2 (Grant 2) – Chesterfield (0) 0 – At Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Chester (0) 0 – Halifax Town (0) 0 – At The Diva Stadium, Chester
Tranmere Rovers (0) 0 – Sutton United (1) 1 (Dundas) – At Prenton Park, Birkenhead
National League North
Leamington (0) 0 – Southport (0) 1 (Jones) – At The New Windmill Ground, Whitnash
Dundee United (1) 2 (McDonald, Fraser) – Queen Of The South (1) 1 (Fordyce) – At Tannadice Park, Dundee
MOON OF LIBERTY SATURDAY SOCCERROUND STAR MAN OF THE WEEK – Andreas Bouchalakis (Nottingham Forest)