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Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2
An emotional day for Liverpool, after the recent Hillsborough reports. Liverpool were reduced to 10 men after a somewhat strange decision. Jonjo Shelvey looked to have played the ball, replays suggest that too, but referee Mark Halsey thought otherwise, and Shelvey saw red.
You would have thought that that would have depleted Liverpool, but after the break, Captain Steven Gerrard took the ball on his chest, swivelled and thumped the ball into the bottom corner which saw Liverpool take the lead.
The lead didn’t last for too long, though, five minutes later Rafael guided a left footed curling shot in off the post to draw level.
Tackles started flying in, and the game really stepped up. Manchester United won a penalty, perhaps a little unfortunate for Liverpool, on 81 minutes. RVP made no mistake in tucking away the penalty, despite ‘keeper Pepe Reina getting a hand on it.
Liverpool still haven’t recorded a win this season, but I am sure it won’t be long until they register their first three points.
Manchester City 1 Arsenal 1
After Man City’s calamity in Spain midweek, they took the lead through England defender Joleon Lescott after he found faults with Arsenal’s zonal marking system with an unmarked header.
Man City were then on top for most of the game, changed formation, and struggled from then on.
Another defender, this time Laurent Koscielny converted his chance to draw level late on in the second half. City came incredibly close to re-taking the lead, when Vincent Kompany’s spectacular over-head kick effort was saved and then Sergio Agϋero glanced wide from a matter of yards.
I thought Silva, Kompany and Garcia played quite well for the Citizens, and as usual this season, Podolski and Arteta shined.
I feel Arsenal will be pleased that they got a point, and it was a closely fought contest.
Southampton 4 Aston Villa 1
It was a tale of two Lamberts at St Mary’s as Southampton looked to register their first league victory of the 2012/13 season. However, in the first half Villa dominated, Darren Bent scored his first league goal since February to send Southampton 1-0 down at half time.
Southampton came out all guns blazing and was a completely different side second half.
Thanks to two goals from in-form forward Ricky Lambert, a deflected Puncheon shot and a well taken goal from Nathaniel Clyne, Southampton came out the victorious side.
Influential playmaker Ramirez played really well, and his looped pass to set up Clyne was exquisite.
Swansea 0 Everton 3
After an emotional game at Merseyside mid-week, Everton managed to put behind what happened last Monday, by thrashing Michael Laudraup’s Swansea 3-0.
The Toffees squandered some great chances in the opening minutes of the game, however, Anichebe opened the scoring on 21 minutes through a well taken goal, which he struck into the bottom corner past ‘keeper Vorm – Fellaini the influential player in that particular attack.
Swansea had their chances on 39 minutes, with Danny Graham and Ki Sung-Yeung missing some good opportunities.
Mirallas scored Everton’s second of the game on 43 minutes, Fellaini again setting up the attack.
Swansea’s day got worse after Nathan Dyer saw red, his first a dubious decision, his second offence was a poorly timed tackle.
On 82 minutes Fellaini deserved to get his name pencilled onto the score sheet, albeit it took a big deflection.
Everton could have easily scored 5 or 6 goals, picking up many holes in Swansea’s defence.
All in all, a job well done by David Moyes’ Everton with three goals and a clean sheet.
Chelsea 1 Stoke 0
A change in personnel for Chelsea, after their Champions League draw against Juventus mid-week, as players like Lampard found themselves on the bench.
Walters rattled the crossbar early on, a warning sign for Chelsea of a difficult match-up.
Torres missed a sitter at the other end soon after, and really should have tucked it away. Chelsea were denied two penalties by referee Oliver, both players booked for simulation.
Chelsea continued to pile on the pressure, Torres, Mata and Ivanovic all firing over. If it wasn’t for Stoke’s ‘keeper Begovic, the score-line could have been embarrassing.
The breakthrough came on 85 minutes; Ashley Cole dinked it over an already diving Begovic, to seal a win for The Pensioners and a somewhat unfortunate defeat for the Potters.
Wigan 1 Fulham 2
Hugo Rodallega, who was Wigan’s saviour last season, and on his return to the DW stadium scored against them to head Fulham in front with muted celebrations.
Fulham carried on pressing, Wigan didn’t present too much of a threat until Gomez’s effort thumped the wood-work. Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz then came close from a free-kick which was saved well by Ali Al Habsi.
On 68 minutes, Damien Duff doubled the Cottagers lead with a spectacular right footed effort, his third league goal this season.
I think Fulham are looking a strong side with the new recruits and could pose a big threat this season if they carry on playing like they did today.
Wigan got a consolation goal on 90 minutes thanks to Kone, but it was too little too late for the Latics.
West Brom 1 Reading 0
West Brom were on top throughout the game, Reading really haven’t played to their full potential yet have they?
Refreshed striker Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, put West Brom in front on 71 minutes, a superb left footed effort. He really is a top class player, and when he returns to Chelsea, expect him to make a few first team starts.
Reading had their chances in the dying embers of the game, but couldn’t capitalise.
All in all, West Brom will be happy with the win, Steve Clark is doing a fantastic job and he really has impressed me.
His counter-part Brian McDermot will be asking questions of his Reading side, they need to step up their performances to survive this closely contested season.
West Ham 1 Sunderland 1
Sunderland took the lead early on, from who else other than Steven Fletcher? His razor sharp form is truly outstanding; all four of his Premier League shots have resulted in goals. Not a bad start, eh?
The Hammers tried to get back into the game, Ricardo Vaz Te and Diame linking up well, but they couldn’t breakthrough the strong Sunderland defence.
Kevin Nolan had two overhead kicks saved, but he eventually scored his 16th goal for West Ham since he joined at the start of the last season in the 90th minute to nick a point. But the scoring could have been more if chances hadn’t been pondered early on, most noticeably from both Collins and Benayoun.
Martin O’Neil will be very unhappy as they were denied their first win of the season; Sam Allardyce should be and will be glad that the Hammers rescued a point.
Tottenham 2 Queens Park Rangers 1
Spurs’ boss Andre Villas-Boas registered his first home league win at QPR, despite initially going behind.
QPR started strongly, Bobby Zamora and Shaun Wright-Phillips linked up well in the early stages. Zamora put QPR ahead on 33 minutes, with a well taken goal.
That goal inspired Tottenham to score twice in two minutes in the second half. The first was a really unfortunate own goal, a corner was whipped in, the ball went past everyone and bounced off of Alejandro Faurlin’s shoulder as he turned. I think that his positioning could have been better, and if QPR are to survive this season, they need to stop giving away easy goals like that.
Tottenham kept on pressing, this time Jermain Defoe was the hero, after Gareth Bale’s initial cross cannoned off the cross-bar and into the path of the England frontman who only had to tap-in.
Defoe looks to be flourishing this season when played off of another frontman, and I think with Jermain’s recent scoring efforts, Adebayor may have to wait.
Newcastle 1 Norwich 0
Demba Ba criticised the management team’s selection policy in the week after he came off the bench to score twice in the Toons’ 2-2 draw against Everton. He started against the Canaries, and of course scored.
Suddenly doesn’t look too fazed by Pappis Cissé anymore, does he?
Newcastle have looked as if playing of Thursday’s in the Europa League is taking its toll on the squad, and when that happens you have to grind out a result. Despite not being at their best, 8 of their 16 shots were on target, whereas Norwich had 8 shots and only 3 forced saves from stand-in ‘keeper Harper’s goal.
Newcastle could have made it 2-0 but Cissé’s penalty soared high into the stands at the Sports Direct Arena.
Norwich boss Chris Hughton has his work cut out, as Norwich currently sit 17th in the table, with three points from five games.
My Team of the Week
Written by Adam May
Follow him on Twitter @Adam132Football
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