Uneventful Saturdays are few and far between in the Premier League, and this Saturday, Sept. 30, showed exactly why.
Because for around 80 minutes, the five games that kicked off at 3 p.m. local time were relatively uneventful. But they did not end that way.
Peter Crouch rolled back the years to snatch a late winner for Stoke against Southampton. Diafra Sakho, who’s spent long periods out of favor at West Ham since arriving last summer, scored the only goal of the Hammers’ home date with Swansea in the 90th minute. And Richarlison completed Watford’s two-goal comeback at West Brom with a stoppage-time header.
Fellaini at the double as United cruise
In the least surprising Premier League result since, well, last week, United made light work of still goalless, still point-less Crystal Palace. Some wing wizardry from Marcus Rashford set up Juan Mata for an opener inside three minutes:
The Marouane Fellaini Show got going later in the first half. The oft-criticized Belgian midfielder ghosted in at the back post for United’s second …
… and then stood tall above Palace’s defense to nod home United’s third.
Fellaini is a legitimately good player. He still looks goofy, and occasionally is clumsy, but he has earned Jose Mourinho’s trust, and has been effective whenever he’s played this season, both in the Premier League and in Europe. The goals are a just reward.
Lukaku tapped in Anthony Martial’s cross late on to make it 4-0 – United’s fourth 4-0 victory of the season. And this one was the most comfortable of them all.
Peter Crouch beats Southampton
Crouch flicked in a scrappy winner after a generally scrappy game at the Bet365 Stadium.
Southampton struggled to create much of note throughout the afternoon, and went behind in the first half to a Mame Biram Diouf header.
The Saints could have been 2-0 down in the second half after Virgil Van Dijk foolishly brought down Saido Berahinho in the box. But Fraser Forster stepped up with a massive penalty stop to keep the visitors in the game.
They then equalized via an acrobatic Maya Yoshida volley:
But Crouch arrived to save the day for Stoke.
Sakho beats Swansea
When Andy Carroll came inches away from an 87th-minute winner, West Ham looked set to slump to a disappointing draw. Slaven Bilic’s team, on the whole, was poor again, and two dropped points at home against one of the worst teams in the league would have heaped yet more pressure on the Croatian boss.
But Sakho, who hadn’t scored in a Premier League game since last November, might just have rescued Bilic from unemployment.
Richarlison at the death!
For the second straight weekend, the young Brazilian came through in the closing stages for Watford away from home:
West Brom was two goals to the good midway through the first half. Salomon Rondon scored a wonderful opener, and Jonny Evans tallied an opportunistic second three minutes later. But Abdoulaye Doucoure slashed West Brom’s advantage in half before the break, and Richarlison’s heroics earned Watford a point in the final minute of added time.
Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester
In Saturday’s early game, a Harry Kane masterclass led Tottenham to a 4-0 win at Huddersfield.
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Henry Bushnell covers soccer – the U.S. national teams, the Premier League, and much, much more – for FC Yahoo and Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.