Barclay’s Premier League’s third round of matches saw plenty of action and goals, as the Manchester clubs sent out a warning message to the rest of the league. All the London clubs, barring Chelsea, suffered defeats at the hands of their oppositions.
The weekend was kicked off with the midlands derby as Aston Villa hosted Wolves at the Villa Park. To be fair it was a disappointing game for the viewers, with chances few and far between. It was a scrappy game with both the side losing possession most of the time. Villa did have a go at Wolves in the second half with Agbonlahor and N’Zogbia providing much of the threat. Wolves held to a draw in the end, as it finished goalless. Wolves and Aston Villa maintained their unbeaten start to the season and at the end both the managers were happy with the point.
Wigan Athletic took on QPR at the DW stadium in the second match of weekend. It was an exciting game that unfolded between the two sides. Di Santo scored a brace as Rodallega and Moses caused havoc on the QPR defence. QPR might consider them a bit unlucky as Adel Taarabt hit the post twice, but in the end Wigan walked away with three points deservedly.
Blackburn Rovers and Everton went head to head at the Edwood Park. In what turned out to be an eventful game, Mikel Arteta scored the winner from the penalty spot moments before the final whistle after Blackburn missed two penalty kicks. Blackburn were left to rue their missed chances as both Junior Hoilett and Radosav Petrovic failed to convert their spot-kicks. Blackburn are yet to register their first points this season as the pressure on Steve Keane keeps increasing. Everton meanwhile have got their post points of the season and will be pleased with the result immediately after their victory in the Carling Cup.
Norwich traveled to London to face Chelsea. What looked on paper to be a comfortable outing for the men in blues, turned out to be a tricky affair. Chelsea dominated the early parts of the match and it didn’t take much time for them to open the scoring. Bosingwa scored an absolute beauty in the sixth minute to put Chelsea ahead. Norwich didn’t sit back after conceding that goal, Paul Lambert made some tactical changes and their performances improved a lot. Grant Holt, who looked a menace throughout the match, put Norwich back on level terms after a howler from Hilario.
The Norwich Goal Keeper, John Ruddy returned the favour to Chelsea after he brought down Ramires in the box and conceded a penalty. Ruddy was shown a straight red. Lampard scored from the spot and gave Chelsea the lead with ten minutes remaining. Juan Mata and Lukaku were brought on as substitutes. Just before the final whistle, Mata scored his debut goal for Chelsea after being put through by Ritchie De Laet. The fans will be happy with another win, but their main worry at the moment will be the fitness of Drogba. The striker was stretchered off the ground and was visibly in lot of trouble. Norwich meanwhile are yet to register their first win of the season.
Swansea recorded their second consecutive goalless draw as they hosted Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium. Both side had chances to win the game, but lack of clinical finishing saw the game edge towards a stalemate. Swansea were the better side on the day and should have won the game. Sunderland’s lack of firepower upfront was exposed once again as Gyan gave a lackluster performance. While Sinclair hit the crossbar with a right-footed effort, John O’shea saw his effort hit the woodwork as well. Both the goalkeepers were in top form, as Vorm continues to shine for Swansea. The result didn’t help either side as both are still looking first victory.
Liverpool hosted Bolton at the Anfield in a very one-sided match. Kenny Dalglish’s side was very impressive and continued their excellent start to the season. Henderson and Adams scored their first goal for the club along with a thumping header from Skrtel. Bolton did get one back in the end when a mistake from Carragher allowed Klasnic to score. Other than this small blot, this was a perfect day out for Liverpool. For Bolton this was their second defeat of the three matches so far this season.
St.James’ Park was the venue for the first match on a super Sunday. Newcastle welcomed Fulham in what promised to be entertaining match. Fulham started off well with Newcastle’s midfield failing to impose themselves on the visitors. Despite all the possession in the beginning, Fulham managed just one shot at the goal in that period. Newcastle’s midfield regained composure and made Fulham pay just after the second half started. Leon Best scored from the rebound as Schwarzer palmed Cabaye’s shot onto the crossbar. Best scored his second goal in the 66th minute from a Demba Ba’s cross. Although Dempsey managed to pull one back later on in the game with a wonderful header, Fulham couldn’t salvage the match. Tim Krul was once again in superb form and the goalkeeper made three excellent saves to deny Fulham.
Manchester City visited White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur. This was a match that was expected to be competitive but turned out to be an exhibition of attacking football from City. Edin Dzeko scored four goals with Aguero scoring another as Tottenham was put to sword. Samir Nasri, the new boy at Manchester made three assists on his debut as City looked a class apart from Spurs. Dzeko was unstoppable on the day as Tottenham defence failed to live up with the pace and guile of City’s attack. Kaboul scored a consolation goal for Tottenham in the 68th minute from a corner. City sent out a signal of warning to the rival clubs with this sumptuous performance, while Spurs dropped down to the bottom of the table still looking for their first point of the season.
West Brom entertained Stoke City at the Hawthorns this Sunday. It was a very lackluster game to be honest, with chances few and far between. West Brom were the better side as Begovic made some good saves. The game was decided late on when a mix up between Foster and Tamas allowed Shotton to score the winner. West Brom will be very disappointed with the result, as they did deserve something out of the match, while Stoke registered their first win of the campaign after two draws in the opening games.
The most anticipated clash of the weekend took place in Old Trafford, as reigning champions Manchester United took on Arsène Wenger’s ‘under pressure’ Arsenal team. Arsenal’s ‘makeshift’ team was under pressure right from the first whistle. Welbeck opened the scoring for Manchester United with a header after Anderson set him through with an improvised chipped pass. The writing was on the walls after this goal. The Arsenal team, which has already lost nearly half of its squad to Injury, suspension and transfers, couldn’t cope with the electrifying pace and movement of the new look Man United team.
The gunners didn’t help their cause either as Van Persie missed a penalty after Walcott was brought down in the box by Johny Evans. Ashley Young made them pay soon after that with a wonder goal as Wayne Rooney added a third from free kick. Theo Walcott gave the gunners a lifeline as he scored just before the half time, it was 3 – 1, but it was not to be. The second half was an absolute riot. Rooney scored two more goals in the second half, the first from another free kick and then from a penalty kick he completed his superb hattrick. Nani and Park completed the humiliation handed over to Arsenal. Van Persie got another consolation goal for Arsenal, but that didn’t take the shine away from an unbelievable performance from the Red Devils. The last time Arsenal conceded eight goals in a match was against Loughborough in 1896.
Here is the look at some of the best and the worst from an action-packed weekend.
Goal Of The Weekend
There was plenty of competition for the honour this time around, as the viewers were treated to some wonderful goals. Edin Dzeko wins this award for this wonder left foot curler that gave Friedel no chance at all. Dzeko combined with Nasri on the right and played a one-two with the Frenchman. When he received the ball from Nasri just outside the box, he unleashed a wonderful curler into the top right hand corner of Freidel’s goal.
Honorary mentions must go to Bosingwa’s pile driver against Norwich, Ashley young’s wonderful curler against Arsenal and Wayne Rooney’s wonderful free kick that left Szczesny stranded in the goal.
Assist Of The Weekend
Anderson bags this price this weekend for his assist to Welbeck, against Arsenal. The midfielder created the chance for the Englishman, with an improvised chip-pass over the top of the Arsenal defence. When Anderson received the ball on the edge of the box there didn’t seem to be much of a danger. He somehow lifted the ball over the defence, Welbeck rushed onto it and scored with his head.
Miss Of The Weekend
This dubious honour goes to Graham for his unbelievable miss against Sunderland. Graham missed the best chance of the half as he headed wide from inside 12 yards with the goal at his mercy. Graham, who scored 24 goals in the championship last season, could have won the match for Swansea.
Gyan gave Graham good competition in this honour, after missing three opportunities in the same match.
Save Of The Weekend
Tim Howard receives this prize for his wonderful penalty save against Blackburn. Hoilett couldn’t believe his luck when the American pulled off this save. Brilliant!
The other two honorary mentions are :
Tim Krul made a series of excellent saves in the match against Fulham. Sidewell thought he had scored after meeting Duff’s cross with a wonderful header, only for the Dutchman to turn it onto the bar. Further in the match Krul made important saves from Baird and Murphy.
Wes Brown should also be mentioned over here, as he pulled off a fine block from Graham’s shot which otherwise would have been a certain goal, in the match against Swansea.
Controversy Of The Weekend
Ryan Shotton’s goal in the match between West Brom and Stoke caused some controversy. It was the only goal of the game. Jon Walter’s lofted pass didn’t seem too dangerous at that time, but Shotton went for the ball with raised boot that distracted Fosters and he turned his back. Hodgson felt his team should have had a free kick over there. Tony Pulis seemed to disagree though, he felt that it was a legitimate goal and Shotton didn’t foul the keeper.
Blooper Of The Weekend
Hilario takes this honour for the weekend. Hilario’s moment of madness saw him needlessly race of the line to claim a cross. He collided with Ivanovic in the process and gifted Holt an empty net to score for Norwich. The Chelsea fans will be praying for Cech’s fast recovery.
Moment Of The Weekend
The Arsenal fans feature in this segment. While Arsenal were being drubbed by Manchester United, the fans kept on singing for the team. After being handed over the worst defeat since 1896, the players won’t expect anything except boos, but that wasn’t the case. In an incredible show of support the traveling away fans kept on singing “We love Arsenal” even after the game has ended.
Team Of The Weekend
Tim Krul (Newcastle), Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea), Roger Johnson (Wolves), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Chris Herd (Aston Villa), Lucas (Liverpool), Nasri (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Henderson (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City)
Premier League Results
Aston Villa 0 – 0 Wolves
Wigan 2 – 0 QPR
Blackburn 0 – 1 Everton
Chelsea 3 – 1 Norwich
Swansea 0 – 0 Sunderland
Liverpool 3 – 1 Bolton
Newcastle 2 – 1 Fulham
Tottenham 1 – 5 Manchester City
West Brom 0 – 1 Stoke City
Manchester United 8 – 2 Arsenal