Another weekend of unexpected results made the headlines in the English Premier League. While, both Arsenal and Chelsea lost their duels, United went level on top of the table with Chelsea and Liverpool made easy meat of West Ham.
Spurs shock for Arsenal
As it happened: After the Carling Cup win against Spurs not so long ago, Arsenal were quite determined to bury this one too, especially it being a home fixture, in which they haven’t lost to their bitter rivals in 17 years. The home side started the match in style, dominating possession and dictating play through the brilliant vision of Cesc Fabregas and the man-in-form Samir Nasri. The two combined to give Arsenal the lead as the Frenchman scored from an extremely tight angle. A counter-attack later, Cesc fed the ball to Arshavin to drove in a cross from left; Chamakh did the rest, putting Arsenal two goals ahead of their rivals. The Gunners created many more chances but failed to add anything to the scoreline before the break.
Spurs came back in the second half a little stronger as in-form Gareth Bale cleverly placed the ball past Fabianski to reduce the lead to one goal. Minutes later, Cesc Fabregas handed a free kick inside the penalty box giving Spurs a chance to equalize things from the spot. Rafael Van Der Vaart did the honours, calmly placing the ball and making the scoreline 2-2. Moments later, a free-kick from the Dutchman gave Kaboul a chance to write history and claim the upper hand for the time being as far as the North London rivalry goes. Arsenal lost their second consecutive game at home, something that hadn’t happened in 13 years.
Two losses in a row for the defending Champions
As it happened: Having lost to Sunderland at the Fortress of Stamford Bridge, the champions traveled to the Midlands facing a Birmingham side, never short of surprises. Lee Bowyer, opened the scoring with his left foot as early as the 17th minute, giving Chelsea another battle to fight out. The rest of the match was all about Chelsea trying to beat the English keeper, Ben Foster, who was as determined as ever, to keep the visitors away from scoring. A string of fantastic saves from the Birmingham keeper was the difference between the two sides at St.Andrews. In between all that, Kalou had gone one-on-one with the keeper failing to convert what was a decent chance. Though, the travelling Blues dominated most of the proceedings, the Birmingham defence were too determined to keep a clean sheet. Didier Drogba came closest to scoring for the Champions, as his header hit the crossbar from a Malouda cross. Two losses in as many games for the defending Champions. It is anybody’s title this time!
United and Rooney are back!
As it happened: Wayne Rooney made his return back from wilderness, though he didn’t score, United managed to pick up three points on a day when both their title rivals lost their respective fixtures. Involved in all good things throughout the day, Rafael threw-in to Ji Sung Park, who turned and delivered a tasty cross towards the far-post as Patrice Evra headed towards goal to give United the lead at the stroke of half-time. Roberto Martinez was left totally disappointed as two of his men were given marching orders, captain Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega. Nine-men Wigan found it impossible to fight against United, as The Red Devils could have easily added quite a few to set up a fancy score-line. Javier Hernandez did manage to head one in from a Rafael cross to give United the two goal cushion and more importantly, the three points.
Liverpool get the better of the Hammers.
As it happened: Liverpool didn’t do Avram Grant, whose job is on the line, any favour by thrashing West Ham by three goals. Glenn Johnson returned back from his injury layoff with a fantastic goal to start proceedings for Liverpool. The English Full Back had a great outing as he kept The Hammers busy on the right wing all the time. In the absence of talisman Steven Gerrard, through injury, Poulsen got a rare start and he made the most of it, having a very decent outing. The home team made it 2-0 with a Dirk Kuyt penalty, as early as in the 27th minute. Raul Meireles did his reputation no harm by playing where the Liverpool captain plays, he was quite convincing in his new role. The host went three-goals ahead in 38 minutes, thanks to a Maxi Rodreguez header. The game and Avram Grant’s West Ham career looked over even before the half-time break. There were no goals score in the second half. West Ham are now placed at the bottom of the table, staring towards relegation at such an early stage in the season.
Team of the Weekend
Bolton Wanderers – Another powerhouse performance from Bolton took them to the fourth place in the league, as they thrashed a Newcastle side by five-goals-to-one.
Match of the Weekend
The North London Derby was our match of the weekend as Spurs wrote history by winning at The Emirates. They hadn’t beaten Arsenal since 1993 when Theo Walcott was just four years old.
Miss of the Weekend
Hernandez missed a sitter from three yards out after Rafael had crossed from the right. The ball came across the goalkeeper and Chicharito just had to tap it into an empty net but he somehow managed to miss.
‘Gossip’ of the Weekend
Samir Nasri not shaking hands with William Gallas.