Man oh man. There were a number of incredible goals this week. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, a total of 36 strikes found the back of the net. So, plenty of goals to choose from. We’re seeing both fantastic attacking football and some horrendous defensive play. Goals/game is way above the average from last year. Is it the lack of fans? Are defenses taking longer to come together due to a lack of preseason play? Only time will tell. Perhaps as we get further into the season, the goals/game average will revert to the mean. Or perhaps this a byproduct of some of the new laws implemented into Premier League play this season.
No matter the case, I say just enjoy what we are getting to watch every weekend, as these players are putting on a show lighting up the scoreboard. My list this week features 7 goals total, two honorable mentions in addition to the actual Top 5 I have been listing thus far.
Diogo Jota –
Jota made his debut for Liverpool in the second half against Arsenal, and immediately found himself in positions to threaten the back of the net. He finally broke into the scoresheet in the 88′ of the match to seal the three points for the Reds after a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold was headed out by David Luiz. The ball came to Jota right on the edge of the box where he took a touch and immediately took aim. His right-footed half volley was placed wonderfully as it hit the left post and went past Leno who had no chance to make the save. Upon scoring, every teammate save for keeper Alisson embraced him to congratulate him on the effort. As a coach at the highschool level, this was a heartwarming display of affection for a teammates success.
Callum Hudson-Odoi –
Chelsea found themselves down 3-0 at halftime, and proceeded to make a furious comeback in the second half. That comeback was fueled by tremendous passing play in the final third. Werner played a ball for CHO, who took a touch and spotted Kai Havertz calling for a pass to his feet. CHO makes the pass and spots the space for him to attack, knowing that Havertz had also identified the space. Havertz makes a simple left footed one touch pass into that space, and CHO was unable to run onto the pass and make a simple one touch finish to the far post. This gave Chelsea life, and proved vital in them being able to make up the 3-0 halftime deficit.
#5 – Jamie Vardy
Not much needs to be said about Jamie Vardy’s goal scoring prowess. He is simply a machine when it comes to scoring. He has creativity, power, intelect, and finesse in front of goal. This goal was a combination of these assets. Youri Tielemans and Timothy Castagne combined to get the latter player in space on the right side of the box, leaving him free to play a ball into the box where Vardy made his near post run. The run was splendid, as he made sure to get in front of Man City center back Eric Garcia. The ball arrives perfectly to Vardy who makes a delightful touch to beat Ederson near post.
#4 Marcus Rashford
On the surface, this looks like tremendous individual effort by Rashford. And let’s not get things confused- it absolutely was. But Marcus was able to to get into such a position due to the brilliant vision and long pass by midfielder Bruno Fernandes. From about 20 yards outside of his own penalty area, Fernandes spots Rashford streaking down the left flank, with an opportunity to get in behind the defense. The pass was absolutely perfect, and almost deserves equal credit to what Rashford did himself in his effort to score. When Rashford finally makes his first touch on the ball, he is just outside the corner of the Brighton penalty area with three defenders sprinting back, and Mason Greenwood making his own run down the right flank to keep the defense honest. Rashford takes three touches into the box, cuts to his right twice, then chops back to his left and finally hammers it home to give United the lead in the 55′.
#3 Riyad Mahrez
This was a blink and you’ll miss it type of goal. One second, it arrives at the right foot of Mahrez, the next it’s already in the back of the net leaving defenders looking around asking, “what the hell just happened?” Early in the match, Kevin de Bruyne takes a corner for City, which finds itself headed out to Mahrez waiting for the leftovers outside of the box. With seven Leicester defenders inside the 6-yard box, Mahrez had ample time to decide his next move. He did not need much time however. He runs onto the bouncing ball and hits it perfectly first time- with his weaker right foot no less- into the far post giving City an early 1-0 lead. They certainly could have used a few more of those opportunities as Leicester ran away with the match 5-2.
#2 James Maddison
The third goal from this match to make this list came from a long range effort by James Maddison of the Foxes. Maddison makes a run with the ball from the left side touch line and dribbles towards the corner of the box. With three City defenders in front of him, and no one stepping to challenge, Maddison decides to take a rip. Good thing he did. His right footed effort curled into the top right corner of the net beating a diving Ederson for Leicester’s fourth goal of the match, effectively putting the game out of reach.
#1 Mason Mount
At number one one this week’s list was a dazzling effort that was as crucial as it was spectacular. Reece James switches the ball to the left hand side of the pitch to find Azpilicueta in plenty of space. Mount tracks back from the top of the ‘D’ to be able to receive a pass from Azpilicueta. What happens next was simply magic for the Blues. He lets the ball roll to his right in order to get to the inside of his marker, then takes an ambitious strike which snuck in to the near post, leaving West Brom’s keeper frozen on his line. The goal propelled Chelsea to keep digging for a result, which they finally got in the 93′.
That’s it for week 3 of what has been a marvelous season so far. Check back in on Friday for a preview of this weekend’s matchups, and some of my favorite bets for the matches to take place.
Also, a special tip of the hat to NBC Sports, whom I use not only to watch matches live, but for highlights of matches so I can do my analysis. Their YouTube channel makes it super easy to find specific highlights, and they have playlists for each match week of the Premier League season. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/c/NBCSports/playlists?view=50&sort=dd&shelf_id=4