Bradley makes los­ing start to life in Pre­mier League

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Wel­come to the Pre­mier League, Bob Bradley.

The first Amer­i­can coach in the 24-year his­tory of the Pre­mier League got a taste of the fran­tic na­ture of Eng­land's top di­vi­sion in his de­but match in charge of Swansea, a 3-2 loss at Ar­se­nal on yes­ter­day.

Lots of goals, a red card, mo­men­tum swings, a nerve-wrack­ing fin­ish. It was some first game for Bradley, but ul­ti­mately a sixth loss in the last seven league games for Swansea and a re­minder of the scale of the task fac­ing the much-trav­eled, 58year-old coach.

"That was an ex­cit­ing game," Bradley said, "but it didn't fin­ish the way we wanted."

De­fen­sive mis­takes by Swansea al­lowed Theo Wal­cott to score twice and put Ar­se­nal 20 ahead by half­time at Emi­rates Sta­dium. Bradley's new team showed spirit to fight back against the league's most in­form team, with Gylfi Sig­urds­son mak­ing it 2-1 and Borja Bas­ton set­ting up a tense end­ing with a 66th-minute goal to make it 3-2.

In the end, Me­sut Ozil's stun­ning vol­ley in the 57th minute was the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two teams, earn­ing Ar­se­nal a sixth straight win that left it tied on 19 points with first-place Manch­ester City af­ter eight games.

Ar­se­nal fin­ished with 10 men af­ter mid­fielder Granit Xhaka's 70th-minute red card.

Bradley's task now? To pick up Swansea af­ter its worst-ever start to a league sea­son, hav­ing col­lected just four points from eight games to lie sec­ond-to-last in the stand­ings.

"Of course we are con­fi­dent we can turn this around," Bradley said. "Af­ter the week of train­ing we have just had and the men­tal­ity of the team, for me we are go­ing to be­come a good team."

City stayed in top spot de­spite a 1-1 draw at home to Ever­ton. Tot­ten­ham missed the chance to take over in first place af­ter also draw­ing 1-1 at West Brom.

Here's a look at Satur­day's ac­tion as the Pre­mier League re­turned af­ter a two-week break for in­ter­na­tional matches:

MANCH­ESTER CITY 1, EVER­TON 1

Af­ter start­ing his City ten­ure with 10 straight wins, Pep Guardi­ola has now gone three matches with­out a victory af­ter this draw at Eti­had Sta­dium. City will won­der, though, how it failed to beat Ever­ton.

City had two penal­ties saved — by Kevin De Bruyne and Ser­gio Aguero either side of half­time — and needed a 72nd-minute goal by sub­sti­tute Nolito to earn a point from a game it dom­i­nated.

Ever­ton went ahead in the 64th through Romelu Lukaku, his sixth goal in the last five league games.

WEST BROMWICH AL­BION 1, TOT­TEN­HAM 1

With City draw­ing, Spurs could have gone top with a fifth straight league win but needed an 89th-minute goal by Dele Alli to claim a point at The Hawthorns and pre­serve their un­de­feated record.

Nacer Chadli put West Brom ahead in the 82nd minute with his fourth goal in five games since mov­ing from Tot­ten­ham for a club-record trans­fer fee.

Alli fi­nally broke the re­sis­tance of West Brom and its im­pres­sive goal­keeper Ben Fos­ter when he turned home a fin­ish from 10 me­ters, his sec­ond goal in as many league matches.

CHELSEA 3, LE­ICES­TER 0 Strug­gling de­fend­ing cham­pion Le­ices­ter slumped to a third big away de­feat this sea­son — and all of them have come be­fore Cham­pi­ons League games.

Af­ter 4-1 losses to both Liver­pool and Manch­ester United, Le­ices­ter's lat­est heavy beat­ing was ad­min­is­tered by Chelsea, which won a sec­ond straight game since man­ager An­to­nio Conte switched to a three-man de­fense.

Diego Costa — with his sev­enth goal of the sea­son — Eden Haz­ard and Vic­tor Moses were the scor­ers at Stam­ford Bridge.

Le­ices­ter has lost four games this sea­son, one more than in the whole of its title-win­ning cam­paign.

OTHER GAMES Af­ter seven games in care­taker charge, Mike Phe­lan was fi­nally an­nounced as per­ma­nent man­ager of Hull on Fri­day. A day later, his first match as full­time coach was a 6-1 loss at Bournemouth.

Sun­der­land stayed in last place — and is still with­out a win this sea­son — af­ter los­ing 2-0 at Stoke, whose goals came from Joe Allen.

Swansea's Neil Taylor, left, clears the ball from Ar­se­nal's Theo Wal­cott

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