It’s Friday, August 31, 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on the phone. Her country and the world are at a standstill. On one of the lines patched into her 10 Downing Street office is the most dangerous man in the world. On the other, North Korea Dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Together. The world’s most frightening nightmare has become reality. United States President Donald Trump is playing mediator to the negations between May and the Jong Un-Putin alliance. Not surprisingly, it’s going nowhere.
Meanwhile, France President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel are on hold, being totally ignored. Nobody is surprised. Trump refuses to get off the line and making attempts to live tweet the event. Of course, he mentions Macron and Merkel’s exclusion from the conversation, spinning the phone call as another win for the MAGA Mob.
The world is on the brink of nuclear war. Cities shutdown, schools are left empty and professional sports are abandoned. The season is canceled.
Watford have qualified the Champions League.
Talk about a scary scenario. The Hornets have fought and cleated their way to nine points in the first three matches of the season. Troy Deeney found the fountain of youth during the World Cup while Roberto Pereyra and Christian Kabasele are performing well above their pay grade. With Tottenham and Manchester United looming in the next two matches, the Hornets are begging for Trump to start mediating negotiations between North Korea, Russia, England and America.
But before we jump ahead to matchday four and the future (hopefully), let’s take a look back at a memorable matchday three. We saw four red cards spread between our beloved club Outside the Top 6. We also saw late drama. Fulham poured on the goals and Huddersfield got their first point. Come on you, Terriers!
Again, this blog is a hobby. I was at a wedding and missed some matches. Luckily, this neat website called WhoScored.com is here to help. To the stars!
3. Harry Maguire, Center Back — Leicester City
Harry Maguire’s offensive prowess lands him with the third star of matchday three. The England international found himself swirling in transfer rumors this summer after he proved his stardom in the World Cup. Manchester United was reportedly targeting the big man and he was set to go. The bid was too low, according to Leicester, who departed with Riyad Mahrez during the summer window.
Maguire returned to Leicester and it didn’t take long for him to play the role of hero. With Southampton reduced to 10 men, Leicester were able to break the 1-1 tie in the 91st-minute when Maguire rolled one past Jannik Vestergaard and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. Scenes ensued as the Foxes center back joyfully popped his top.
It was everything you could ask for in a mid-table scrap.
2. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Striker — Fulham
Fulham’s second reference of the blog and it won’t be their last. They were all over the place this week with a 4-2 drubbing of Europa League participants Burnley. Mitrovic is out to a blazing start with three goals in the season’s early stages. He has headed his way to the top of the Golden Boot race, headbanging two more goals into the back of the net on Sunday.
After being sold from Newcastle for just under $21 million, the Serbian striker has continued his tallyman ways for Fulham. His eye for goal and aerial ability has him primed for a Jamie Vardy-esque breakout season. It will be up to the rest of the Fulham squad to service the big man if Fulham want to succeed.
1. André Schürrle, Right Winger — Fulham
Welcome back to the Premier League, Mr. Schürrle. The 27-year-old former Chelsea and World Cup-winning winger scored his first goal for his new club Fulham to seal the three points.
In one of the most jaw-dropping stats of the season, thus far, Schürrle fired 11 balls toward Burnley keeper Joe Hart. Eleven shots in 89 minutes, to be exact. 1.5 percent of the shots in the Premier League, so far, per Opta-guy Duncan Alexander. It was also one less than the entire Burnley squad.
Fulham registered their first three points of the season over the weekend after back-to-back two-goal losses against Crystal Palace and Tottenham. The $125 million they spent this summer is finally paying off with all four of Fulham’s goals coming from summer signing.
It was the first time Fulham deployed a Schürrle-Mitrovic-Luciano Vietto frontline and all it did was register three goals and two assists. This could spell bad news for the young Ryan Sessegnon, who came off the bench on Sunday. This is definitely a storyline you’ll want to follow in the coming weeks. Can Slaviša Jokanović involve the young Englishman into a front three that was firing on all cylinders against a strong Burnley side?
Matchday 3 Team of the Week
André Schürrle — Fulham
- One goal on 11 shots (!) with five on target
- Three key passes on 25 total passes
- Two successful dibbles
- Two tackles
Aleksandar Mitrovic — Fulham
- Two goals on four shots
- One key pass on 24 completed passes for a 96 pass percentage
- Two aerial wins
Luciano Vietto — Fulham
- Two assists on five key passes
- 30 completed passes for an 81 pass percentage
- Three shots
Jean Michael Seri — Fulham
- Just watch.
- 103 touches for 10.2 percent of possession
- Four key passes on 85 completed passes for a 92 pass percentage
Gylfi Sigurdsson — Everton
- Two key passes for an 87 pass percentage
- One shot and one successful dribble
- Three interceptions and two tackles
Idrissa Gueye — Everton
- 50 total passes for an 86 pass percentage
- Two successful dribbles and three aerial victories
- Seven tackles and five clearances
Harry Maguire — Leicester City
- One goal on one shot
- One key pass on 44 total passes for a 90 pass percentage
- 10 clearances, one tackle and interception
- Three aerial victories
Shane Duffy — Brighton & Hove Albion
- 11 clearances, five interceptions and two tackles
- Four aerial victories
Sol Bamba — Cardiff City
- 11 clearances, four interceptions and two tackles
- Six aerial victories
- Two shots
Christian Kabasele — Watford
- Six clearances, six interceptions and five tackles
- Nine aerial victories
Mat Ryan — Brighton & Hove Albion
- Six total saves