by Evan Sobol
As the NFL begins the English Premier League is well under way across the pond, week four’s biggest matchups included the Manchester Derby and defending league champions Leicester visiting Liverpool at Anfield.
The Manchester Derby is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports and this weekend’s match was highly anticipated. Pep Guardiola made his Derby debut as City manager and Jose Mourinho made his Derby debut as United’s. Both sides entered the match undefeated, but it was the Citizens who emerged victorious in the season’s first Manchester Derby with a 1-2 win at Old Trafford.
City’s Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a low corner strike after running past United’s defense. The goal was left wide open for De Bruyne as United’s goalkeeper De Gea was left to defend by himself. It was the Belgian international’s first goal of the season. He is off to a great start this year after missing much of last season due to a knee injury.
Forward Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first goal of the season and a short range strike in the 36th minute. De Bruyne assisted the 19-year-old with a shot off the left post. The Nigerian international has played a big role for Guardiola this season so far with three appearances. Starting for Pep as a 19-year-old in the Manchester Derby is an impressive feat.
The last goal of the match was scored by United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He continued his hot start with a short range strike just before halftime. It was his fourth Premier League goal in four matches. He is currently tied with Michail Antonio of West Ham for most goals scored so far this season.
City played excellent defense in the second half to prevent United from making a comeback. It was their first Derby win since 2014. The league-leading Citizens continue their undefeated season with a home match next Saturday against middle of the pack Bournemouth.
United looks to rebound next weekend at Watford. The Red Devils are looking for more offensive presence from newly signed midfielder Paul Pogba. He is yet to record an assist or goal in three appearances. United currently sits at third in the league standings behind Chelsea and City.
Leicester City failed to get their slow-league-start back on track after a 4-1 loss to Liverpool. The Foxes defense could not keep up with Liverpool’s creativity and touch. Leicester was lucky to score their lone goal; it was practically given to them.
Brazilian Roberto Firmino started Liverpool’s onslaught with a goal in the 13th minute. He struck the ball between a defender’s legs and into the bottom corner of the net. Firmino scored again in the 89th minute.
Sadio Mane provided a goal for Liverpool in the 31st minute with a shot deflected off the goalkeeper. He is off to a great start with his new team. It was the Senegal international’s second goal of the season and his first at Anfield as a Red.
Jamie Vardy scored the Foxes’ only goal just before halftime in the 38th minute. He took advantage of a defensive mistake by Liverpool’s Lucas. Lucas tried kicking the ball back to his goalkeeper but kicked it right to Vardy who capitalized with a strike into the wide-open net. If not for this defensive blunder Leicester could have easily lost 4-0.
Adam Lallana scored a superb goal from mid-range in the 56th minute. The English midfielder shot into the top corner of the goal leaving Leicester’s defense stunned. It was Lallana’s second goal of the season. He is off to a much better scoring pace than last season; he has already scored half as many goals in 26 less appearances.
Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool looks to jump up the table next week against second-place Chelsea. They currently sit at fifth in the league and if they continue their offensive creativity, they could be a contender down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how Chelsea’s defense plays, especially with the return of defender David Luiz.
Defending league champions Leicester look to rebound from their dismal start with a win next week at home against Burnley. The Foxes are currently 15th in the table and have not looked like last year’s squad. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy need to carry the team as they did last year, if they hope to be title contenders again.