We witnessed yet again the wonders and drama that the Premier League delivers week in week out.
Everton 2 Liverpool 2
The honours were all even after a tasty Merseyside derby. Everton had to come from 2-0 down to draw level, and a point was about right for both sides. Liverpool took the lead early in the first half through a Suarez striker which took a slight deflection of Toffee’s left back Leighton Baines. Suarez then doubled Liverpool’s lead after heading in a perfectly weighted cross from captain Steven Gerrard after twenty minutes.
Two minutes later, Leon Osman netted to half the deficit, then Everton went on from there. Everton kept on pressing and were eventually rewarded, as Steven Naismith converted a Marouane Fellaini cross to draw level on 35 minutes. The pace slowed down come the second half, but still provided top entertainment.
In the dying embers of the game, Luis Suarez believed to have secured the three points, only to look across to see the Linesman’s flag raised. I think Everton will be very happy to come away with a draw, especially being 2-0 down. Liverpool clearly have some work to do, and if they didn’t have Suarez, then who knows what position they would be in.
Chelsea 2 Manchester United 3
I think Chelsea were still frightened from their Halloween party on Saturday night! They were caught cold by United, and in the fourth minute, a Robin van Persie shot cannoned of the post to hit the wrong footed David Luiz to put past his own ‘keeper. Eight minutes later, van Persie got his name on the score-sheet. His movement was world class to lose his man, and he took the finish well, curling in a right footed shot from a Valencia cross.
Manchester United were in utter control, although Chelsea still looked to be threatening, but they just couldn’t convert their chances from numerous set pieces, most notably Gary Cahill. Chelsea’s persistence paid off, and just before the interval Juan Mata wonderfully guided a free-kick past the helpless united goalie De Gea to send the Pensioners with something positive to think about.
This game was a true test for Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo, as since he took over from AVB he hasn’t been in such a challenging position (excluding the Champions League final, of course!) Chelsea came out fighting, and were yet again rewarded for their efforts, this time Ramires converted a header from close range.
The drama didn’t stop there though. Chelsea were the victims of two sending’s off, the first came on 62 minutes when the on running Ashley Young, who was back from injury, was clipped by Ivanovic who was the last man and he gave referee Mark Clattenburg no other option. Six minutes later, Torres was also shown his second yellow for an alleged dive, perhaps harshly. Justice was done however, as the Spaniard committed a dangerous foul earlier on in this fast-paced game.
The two red cards forced Di Matteo to reshuffle the side by bringing off Oscar, Hazard and Mata – his most influential players.
Prior to Torres’ sending off, Sir Alex Ferguson brought on Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, who changed the scope of the game completely. A scramble in the box saw Rafael stab the ball goal wards for it to find the Mexican, who was in an offside position, to slot past Peter Cech.
Chelsea will find themselves hard done by, and who can blame them.
Manchester City 1 Swansea 0
Man City wanted to bounce back from their mid-week Champions League heartache by beating a strong Swansea outfit. It was a close fought game, with a second half Carlos Tevez strike separating both sides. A reshuffle in personnel by boss Mancini, which saw Lescott replaced by Nastasic and Agϋro in for Dzeko, seemed to work.
The first half came and went, and the second half was a mere improvement. Carlos Tevez smacked in an effort from far out. Goalkeeper Vorm was injured as a result of the goal, and had to be stretchered off.
Wigan 2 West Ham 1
West Ham ended their run of good form at the hands of Wigan at the DW stadium. The Hammers looked weary throughout the game, and the Latics thoroughly deserved the three points. Wigan went in front in the eighth minute via a wonder strike from centre back Ramis, which saw his left footed volley (from a corner) sail past Jaaskelainen.
Wigan further dominated the match, and doubled their lead just after the interval, this time midfielder McArthur pounced on a miskick by the Hammers ‘keeper. West Ham failed to test Latics goalie Ali Al Habsi until the final minute, when James Tomkins netted to half the score line.
Arsenal 1 QPR 0
Arsenal left it late to secure the three points and avoid further embarrassment. Last weekend they lost 1-0 to Norwich and also lost 2-0 to Schalke in the Champions League.
The Gunners defence has been inconsistent lately, and the finger has been rightly pointed at assistant manager and former player Steve Bould, but they managed to keep a clean sheet against struggling Queens Park Rangers.
One of England’s and Arsenal’s most promising talents Jack Wilshere made his first senior appearance for seventeen months and played sixty minutes at the Emirates, and he didn’t look to have lost his magic touch. He has done really well to stay strong throughout his time on the side-lines, as it is a true test of one’s character. Nonetheless, he played really well and his future looks ever so bright.
Arsenal had a few chances to take the lead but couldn’t capitalise, and they were dominating the match more that the score line suggests. The winning goal came moments after Mbia was shown red for a kick on Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. Arteta’s initial shot hit the bar, but he followed up to poke in from close range.
Aston Villa 1 Norwich 1
Villa boss Paul Lambert was the centre of attention in this game for only one reason. The legal battle that surrounds Lambert and the two clubs is still in the air, and all is not forgotten. Villa have been struggling for goals lately, but went 1-0 ahead via Belgium forward Benteke who slotted calmly past ‘keeper John Ruddy.
Villa were reduced to ten men after Joe Bennett was sent off for a second bookable offence. That sending off put Villa on the back foot, and from that moment onwards they struggled to contain the Canaries.
Norwich had the last chirp as Turner headed in to earn a deserved point.
Reading 3 Fulham 3
This was a cracker at the Madejski Stadium. The deadlock was broken after 26 minutes as midfielder Leigertwood scored a wonderful goal to put Reading ahead. Fulham then equalised after Bryan Ruiz came off the bench to make the score 1-1 with a spectacular strike on 61 minutes, his first of the season.
Fulham then turned the game on its head as this time they took the lead through Chris Baird’s near post header. Then a dramatic last five minutes ensued. McCleary leveled for Reading from seven yards out on 85 minutes. Three minutes later, Dimitar Berbatov curled in a shot for what he believed to be a winner.
In the 90th, Robson-Kanu came out on top in a defensive scramble to poke home past Mark Schwarzer to earn a point. In the last minute of injury time, Reading had a chance to win, but Schwarzer made two superb saves to keep the spoils even.
Newcastle 2 West Brom 1
Another dramatic game! Newcastle took the lead through Demba Ba’s strike on 31 minutes. Romelu Lukaku, on-loan from Chelsea netted to equalise. Newcastle were on the back foot for the majority of the match, but found themselves ahead with less than a minute to play, as Shola Ameobi’s shot cannoned off the back of Cisse’s back and into the goal.
When asked for his reaction to the loss, Baggie’s boss Steve Clark told BBC Sport, “I certainly didn’t think it would be a game we were going to lose. I thought we had good control in the first half and created good chances. I felt we were unfortunate to be behind at half-time. It was a horrible moment, a big deflection in injury time and it’s in the back of the net.”
Southampton 1 Tottenham 2
Gareth Bale headed in against his former club to give Spurs the lead after 15 minutes. Clint Dempsey then doubled the lead after Jermain Defoe’s initial shot was cleared off the line. Rodriquez then gave the Saints some hope after he scored to make the score-line 2-1.
Southampton couldn’t keep the momentum going, and Tottenham fully deserved their three points. A disappointing loss for Nigel Adkins’ Saints.
Stoke 0 Sunderland 0
A poor game, and one to forget really. Mignolet’s double save in the first half was the highlight of the game, and the Black Cats have him to thank for the point. A draw was well deserved for both sides, although I feel Stoke will be a bit frustrated with their performance.
My Team of the Week
Written by Adam May
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