Arsenal got back to winning ways after their Capital One Cup loss to Bradford. Arsene Wenger’s men put in a dominant display away from home against bottom placed Reading. Santi Cazorla was in sublime form for the Gunners and scored a hattrick displaying all the skill and technique which has made him such a favourite amongst Arsenal fans. Lucas Podolski also found the net and Theo Walcott playing in his preferred role as the central striker added a fifth to cap off a great day for the Gunners. This is the 3rd time that Arsenal have scored 5 goals or more this season and the London based club now sit just two points behind 3rd placed Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur climbed back in to the 4th place in the Premier League table after registering a win against Swansea thanks to a smart finish from new signing Jan Vertonghen. Both sides fought hard and chances were few and far between. Tottenham pushed hard for the victory on their home turf but could not breach a well organised Swansea defence. Vertonghen’s goal on the 75 minute mark ensured the three points for Villas Boas’ side who had 61% possession and 24 shots at goal. Tottenham are now level on point with Chelsea who have played a game less.
Meanwhile Manchester City kept the pressure on their local rivals by registering a 3-1 victory over Newcastle. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring after 10 minutes while Javi Garcia doubled the English Champions’ lead six minutes before half time from David Silva’s corner. Demba Ba clawed one back to give Newcastle hope but Yaya Toure made sure of the three points with a cool finish.
United responded in apt fashion and won against Sunderland with the same scoreline. Superstar strike duo Van Persie and Wayne Rooney were both on target again as the league leaders took the game by the scruff of the neck. Tom Cleverly’s smart finish shortly after Van Persie’s goal made it look like a rout was on the cards but Sunderland fought back valianty. Rooney scored on the hour mark to make sure of the three points as ex-Red Devil Frazier Campbell could only score a consolation goal for his club.
Aston Villa and Norwich City were the big gainers this game-week which saw very little movement in the league table. Paul Lambert’s men had their best performance of the season so far as they registered an emphatic 1-3 away victory against a deflated Liverpool side. Villa chose to sit back and hit Liverpool on the counter attack. Christian Benteke was the star of the show and put in a fabulous show of strength, speed and skill as he led the line for Villa. The Belgian forward scored two excellent counter attacking goals and had a lovely backheel assist for Weimann.
Norwich City secured a hard fought 2-1 victory over Wigan thanks to goals from Hoolahan and Pilkington. Chris Hughton’s men have been steadily climbing the table thanks to some solid defensive performances and smart attacking play down the flanks. This victory was no different as winger Pilkington continued his recent good form to register another goal and assist for his side. Hoolahan scored the winner after Shawn Maloney had levelled the score for Wigan.
Balotelli asks Premier League Tribunal “Why Always Me?”
Mario Balotelli continues to grab headlines for his actions off the pitch rather than on it. Balotelli missed 11 games in all competitions last season due to suspensions which prompted Manchester City officials to take disciplinary action and fine him two weeks’ wages. Balotelli responded in customary fashion and decided to appeal against the decision. City’s independent panel decided to uphold the verdict which prompted Balotelli to approach the Premier League Tribunal. Balotelli will be expected to be present along with his lawyer and a representative of the Professional Footballers’ Association for the hearing which will take place in London this Wednesday. The controversial Italian striker was subbed off shortly after half time in the Manchester Derby thanks to a horror show of a performance and Balotelli failed to even make the bench for Roberto Mancini’s side this weekend.
After the match Mancini was quoted “At this moment, Mario is not in good form and for this reason he is at home. It is only for this reason. To get back into the team he needs to work in training and when he plays, he needs to play well.”
It looks like time is running out for Mario Balotelli at Manchester City. With both the manager and the board losing patience with the Italians erratic behaviour, Balotelli may well find himself on the shopping window in the winter transfer season.
Furious David Moyes says Fellaini “deserves to get punishment!”
Everton drew 1-1 againt Stoke on Saturday but the headlines will be dominated by Fellaini’s headbutt to Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross. The incident was missed by referee Mark Halsey and the Everton midfielder escaped without a card. The Belgian was also caught on camera using his elbow and hand against the Stoke player on two other occasions.
David Moyes was distraught at his players actions and criticised Fellaini for his indiscipline on the pitch. When quizzed on Fellaini Moyes was quoted saying “He deserves to get the punishment, I’ve seen it, it’s a terrible thing to do and I expect him to be punished. It’s down to the FA. I’ve told him it’s not acceptable and whatever he gets, he and us deserve it.”
Fellaini will now face retrospective action for the offence. The FA has charged him with violent conduct and the player now faces a three match ban. The former Standard Leige man was highly apologetic after the match and commented
“I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team-mates and to our fans at the game,I lost my temper and it was unprofessional.. There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn’t feel I was getting any protection from the officials. Nevertheless I know I shouldn’t have done what I did. I have also apologised to the manager and the staff — I have no excuses.”
Along with the ban from The FA, Fellaini is also expected to be fined by the club for his actions. The Belgian has been in superb form for the Blues this season and has been instrumental to the Blues’ success. David Moyes will be hoping that Fellaini would learn from his actions and concentrate on his football.