It was another topsy turvy round of fixtures in the Premiership but unlike the midweek action, the goals dried up. Thankfully, the quality of the football didn’t. The big clash of the weekend took place at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ where Roberto Mancini’s City side was beaten by a goal befitting of the momentous occasion. Gunners kept pace with their Manchester rivals inspired by another Van Persie brace, while the other North London side warmed up to their Champions league clash against AC Milan by beating Steve Bruce’s Sunderland. Liverpool’s renaissance under King Kenny went off the boil as they dropped silly points at home to Roberto Martinez’s Wigan. However, rather unexpectedly the clash of the weekend took place between relegation threatened West Brom and West Ham, the proverbial game of two halves ended in a mouth-watering 3-3 draw.
Game of the weekend:
West Brom 3-3 West Ham:
The much maligned former Liverpool manager Woy Hodgson watched from the stands as his side squandered a three goal lead to send shock waves through the Hawthorns. Goals by Graham Dorrans, Jerome Thomas and an own goal by Winston Reid saw the Baggies take command of the game before a remarkable second-half comeback by the Hammers – with a double from January signing Demba Ba and a simple header for Carlton Cole making it 3-3.
Stars of the weekend:
Robin Van Persie:Van Persie can’t stop scoring at the moment; the Dutchman is fit for a change and is banging them in for fun at the moment. Another double this weekend makes it 10 goals in his last seven league starts for the Gunners. If Van Persie can stay fit for the remainder of the league campaign, Arsenal would definitely be favorites for the league crown.
Van Persie – Back With A Bang!
Luis Nani: It was another breathtaking performance from the mercurial Portuguese winger. Nani has always had it all, now he is bringing it out in the big games. He gave the Argentine Zabaleta a torrid time all afternoon as he skinned the left back on numerous occasions. Nani’s control, composure and finish in United’s first goal were the stuff of champions.
Daniel Sturridge deserves an honorable mention for his match winning performance against the Toffees at the Reebok that earned all three points for Owen Coyle’s Bolton side. Liverpool’s new signing Suarez was also in fine form and looks to be settling in nicely.
Goal of the Weekend:
Wayne Rooney vs Man City
Like it was ever in doubt, Wayne Rooney’s physics defying wonder strike will probably go down as the goal of the season if not the decade. Rooney would find it hard to replicate his feat even on the training ground but as long as he keeps doing it on the big stage, United fans would hardly complain. Rooney later acknowledged the fact that he hasn’t scored a better goal since turning pro, well that should settle any arguments then.
On a weekend of brilliant goals, Robin Van Persie’s brilliant second and Gyan’s opener against Spurs deserve some credit as they were fabulous efforts in their own right.
A Blooper To Forget
William Gallas: The eccentric Gallas has always been his own man, not sticking by norms or conventions. This weekend his blunder to choose the wrong set of studs left his team in a bit of a soup only to be bailed out by Kranjcar. Gallas decided to change his footwear while the play was in progress and in the process left his team short of a man. Taking full advantage, Asamoah Gyan scored to the ire of Harry Redknapp and the embarrassment of Gallas. Professional footballers could surely do better, certainly someone with the experience of the Frenchmen.
Miss of the Weekend:
David Silva: Silva’s miss in the early stages of the Manchester derby proved very costly at the end as United continued their enviable home form. Silva found himself with only Edwin van der Saar to beat after an incisive City attack also involving Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez. However, his short never had the direction to trouble Van der Sar and United were let off the hook as early as in the fourth minute of the game. Silva has been a fantastic signing for Roberto Mancini, if only he could add the goal scoring knack to his repertoire.
Where is the Silva lining?
Save of the Weekend
Wayne Hennessey: Another inspiring performance from the Wolves shot stopper who is making it some kind of a habit to feature in this section. Mic Mcarthy’s men were beaten easily by Wenger’s sublime Arsenal side but Hennessey’s brilliance between the post kept the score line respectable. On one occasion, Persie thought he had scored after being played through by Song, only to be denied by Hennessey’s sharp reflexes.
Blackpool’s Corner kick mystery
Special mention to Charlie Adam and the corner kick routine that he has all but perfected. Sir Alex claimed Adam’s corner kicks are worth 10 million, it’s not hard to observe why. Another Adam delivery and other Blackpool goal this weekend, kept the routine going, which team will finally unravel the code is yet to be seen.
The Race for the Golden Boot
• Berbatov – 19
• Tevez – 18
• Carroll – 11
• Nani (12)
• Brunt, Rooney (both 10)
• Arshavin, Drogba, Fabregas (all 9).
Weekend Results from the Barclay’s Premier League
Man Utd 2-1 Man City
Arsenal 2-0 Wolves
Liverpool 1-1 Wigan
West Brom 3-3 West Ham
Birmingham 1-0 Stoke City
Bolton 2-0 Everton
Blackpool 1-1 Aston Villa
Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham
Blackburn 0-0 Newcastle
Fulham vs Chelsea (yet to be played)
Team of the Week