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Matchweek 3 Review – Nunez writes latest chapter in rivalry

Matchweek 3 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw Liverpool snatch a stunning win, Arsenal concede ground and Ange-ball continue at pace.

Nunez stuns St James’ Park

Liverpool versus Newcastle is one of the storied rivals of modern Premier League football. It includes perhaps the best ever EPL fixture — Liverpool’s 4-3 win in 1996 — and a host of other huge moments. And on Sunday, the Reds’ Darwin Nunez wrote the latest chapter.

Uruguayan Nunez, a huge £85m signing, has had a mixed bag for results or Liverpool since arriving at the club. He by no means disgraced himself with 15 goals from 42 appearances in his first campaign. However a reputation has emerged of him missing key chances and according to Opta, he missed 28 ‘big chances’ (scoring 12) in his first campaign. However after Sunday, that reputation may be erased. Liverpool arrived in Newcastle as $3.00 underdogs and, half an hour into the clash were 1-0 down (Anthony Gordon $10 first goalscorer) AND down to 10 men against the Magpies ($2.15) as Virgil van Dijk was given his marching orders in controversial fashion.

When Eddie Howe’s men missed a host of big chances early in the second half, it looked like the home side were set to run away with it. But Nunez had different ideas. The substitute’s inch-perfect strike on 81 minutes sent the away fans ecstatic at the prospect of leaving with a point. But when he smashed home another in stopping time, Reds fans were delirious. Nunez was $13 to score 2+ with Palmerbet, and has now well and truly made his biggest mark in the EPL.

Gunners concede early ground

After just three games, Manchester City remain the only side with an unblemished record with three wins from three. They did it the hard way against Sheffield United, requiring a late Rodri stunner ($6.75 anytime goalscorer) to prevail as $1.16 favourites. The main story at the top, however, is Arsenal who dropped their first points of the EPL season. The Gunner’s early frailties were again on show at home against Fulham — despite starting heavy $1.22 favourites — when they conceded inside 60 seconds. Andreas Pereira’s finish meant Mikel Arteta’s side became the first EPL side to concede three first-minute goals inside a calendar year. Arsenal pulled things back to go 2-1 up after 72 minutes but Joao Palhinha struck late to earn a point for the Cottagers.

Questions immediately emerged about the Gunner’s leaky defence but a punchy Arteta was having none of it post-match, channeling his inner-Guardiola to tell the press just how good they had been. “If I compare the game this season to last season, we were 10 times better than last season. At least 10.” But he was fooling no one. Arsenal were 2-1 up, at home, against a relatively unimpressive side, who were down to 10 men. When you think that they similarly almost conceded late against Nottingham Forest at 2-1 up at home on the opening Matchweek of the season, that’s two of three games the Gunner have appeared shaky.

Just three games in, and City have shortened from $1.72 into $1.45 for the EPL title.

Ange’s start gets better

Elsewhere in North London, it’s happy days. The Ange Postecoglou revolution at Spurs continued apace in Matchweek 3 as Tottenham ($2.00) overcame a determined Bournemouth away from home. Seven points in three games, and third on the EPL table, gives an undeniable tick to the start of Postecoglou’s reign. They’ve already shortened from $4.20 into $3.60 Top 4 hopes with Palmerbet.

One player who has completely bought into Ange-ball is James Maddison, who has unsurprisingly thrived since arriving from Leicester and was player of the match on Saturday. He’s been handed the keys as the main man, and is loving it. “He’s the kind of guy that when the ball gets to his feet, things happen,” Postecoglou told the BBC post-match. “He also works hard for the team, which is important for us. We can’t just have players who are good on the ball. He embraces that side of it.”

Ange has made an enormous mark in his short time in England to date. He’s even got Port Vale fan Robbie Williams aboard the bandwagon.



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