Premier League teams are busy making the Manchester sides’ lives easier, making punditry and predictions an exercise in futility. With the rest of the league in turmoil, you could take consolation from the few constants. Manchester City seem to be determined to stay put, en route to the summit, while United are refusing to part with their 19th League trophy without a fight. The red and blue halves of Manchester notched up vital victories against Spurs and Arsenal ai??i?? two sides who have had a tough start but a smooth ride then onwards. The race for the Premier League crown just got more exciting.

London wasnai??i??t exactly a happy place this weekend. Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea failed to climb up the ladder but the travelling faithful from the small haven of Craven Cottage would have given the local bars a good round of business after watching their team walk all over Newcastle United in a 5 ai??i?? 2 home win. Such was not the case at Liverpool though. Television sets were slowly going off across the homes in the Merseyside as they endured a bitter loss to Bolton who, prior to the game, were staring at the Championship.

The men from Stoke City were left looking juvenile as they went down to West Brom at the Britannia while David Moyes didnai??i??t really have much to smile about as his team shared the spoils at Goodison Park with Blackburn. The Sunderland and QPR games were embellished with some eye-catching goals as both sides clinched home wins against Swansea & Wigan respectively. And finally, Robbie Keane made his debut against the club he started his career at and even ended up scoring the winner against Wolverhampton. We know you didnai??i??t celebrate Robbie but you sure did enjoy that champagne after the game didnai??i??t you?

While players spend the rest of their much-deserved breaks buying new SUVs, getting tattoos done or simply playing some pool in their cribs, letai??i??s take a closer look at this weekendai??i??s highs, lows and funny must-knows:

Match Of The Weekend: Manchester City 3 ai??i?? 2 Tottenham

Well, the Blue Moon is indeed rising at the Etihad stadium! Spurs visited Sheikh Mansoor’s little investment home hoping to get a better view of what the League looks like from up above. However, Roberto Manciniai??i??s men had no such intentions of being good hosts. Looks like the FA Cup exit followed by a slightly disappointing run of results really drove away the hangover. The first half was like pretty much like the first round between Muhammad Ali & Sonny Liston ai??i?? both teams throwing the punches while defending with everything they got. The second was more blockbuster material, with a side order of popcorn. In the end, it was Super Mario who made Harry Redknapp change his post-match interview he was busy scripting till extra time. Oh ai???Arry, when will you learn? It’s never over, till it’s over.

Moment Of The Weekend: Robbie Keane (Wolverhampton v Aston Villa)

The Republic of Ireland international finally completed his world tour when he was signed by Aston Villa from LA Galaxy on loan. The funny thing about fate is, it evens out its blessings across your career. Robbie Keane would have wanted to ring in his latest debut with a difference. And make a difference he did, Robbie Keane. The 31 year-old striker, although expected to don the Villa shirt only till the end of February, scored twice against one of his former clubs to give Alex McLeish one more reason to celebrate his 53rd birthday (We donai??i??t really know how many reasons he had. His rep refused comment). Suffice to say, the Scot went for a costlier bottle of champagne after Keaneai??i??s double.

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Player Of The Weekend: Clint Dempsey (Fulham)

Fulham are slowly climbing the ladder and one man stands out when it comes to contributions ai??i?? Clint Dempsey. The 28 year-old from Texas scored his second hat-trick in fourteen days, the earlier one coming against Charlton in the FA Cup. Assisted with some quality teamwork courtesy Murphy and Zamora, Dempsey looked clinical in his finishes and finally brought Martin Jol alive. Dempsey gets our kudos for now joining Dr.Frankenstein as the only other person, to have brought something inanimate to life.

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Goal(s) Of The Weekend: Sessegnon & Gardner (Sunderland v Swansea)

Yes, there were several splendid goals scored this weekend that youai??i??d pay to watch. However, we thought that the strikes coming in from midfielders Stephane Sessegnon & Craig Gardner were worthy chart toppers due to the sheer technique and skill required in both cases. Sessegnonai??i??s curling first time strike into the far corner from a tight angle and Gardnerai??i??s volley are easier read than done, as you will see here:

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There Is No Afro-Maniac Like Fellaini:

After telling everyone that Chelsea were after him, despite no evidence to support it, Fellaini really needed a lift in his spirits. He got none.Ai??It seems like Belgium not qualifying for the Euro has hit Evertonai??i??s Marouane Fellaini hard. Ai??Seeking to vent frustration over this latest misery. In an attempt to do so, he came up with a lowly imitation of the ai???Hand of Godai??i?? only to assist Tim Cahill to slot the ball into the back of the net. Here is what the humble Belgian, who has much to be humble about, did:

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Assist Of The Weekend: David Silva (Manchester City v Tottenham)

Many years down the line, if you are going to recount this game, there is no way you can miss David Silvaai??i??s killer pass to Samir Nasri, setting up Manchester Cityai??i??s first goal. The little Spaniard threw light on one of his many talents as he started his run from the center of the park, went past Modric and fed an absolute peach to Nasri on the inside of Kyle Walker.

A great pass followed by a great finish is the hallmark of a team that is playing well, playing confidently and knows what it is doing. Kudos for that Silva! The Scarf would’ve been thrilled.


Blooper Of The Weekend: Thomas Sorensen (Stoke City v West Brom)

On one hand, you have the likes of Joe Hart, Valdes, Casillas, Neuer and the like. On the other, you have Thomas Sorensen. The 35 year-old Danish keeper made use of all the time in the world, to successfully dodge James Morrisonai??i??s shot which was travelling straight, low and directly at him. Clearly those days playing Counter-Strike have finally begun to payoff. Well, in case you’re a West Brom fan who missed it, the 23rd second of this video is sure to make your day!

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Miss Of The Weekend: Fernando Torres (Norwich v Chelsea)

Torres, who’s come dangerously close to betraying his role as Liverpool’s Trojan horse at Stamford Bridge, will spend the break practicing his short range scoring prowess. From being a player who earned his captaincy at Atletico during his teens to now becoming a player who missed a shot right in front of goal, one which required no effort at all, Torresai??i?? England career is getting darker with each passing day. The player has now gone 15 games on the trot without scoring. Blues indeed. Here is another look at this terrible miss:

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Controversy Of The Weekend: Mario Balotelli Comes Out With Stamp

Why always him? No, really. We’re asking. Super Mario probably has the most happening life in all of England right now. A few days ago he was paying for everyoneai??i??s fuel at the gas station and over the weekend, he decorates Scott Parkerai??i??s face with some stud impressions. Now, either Howard Webb forgot to carry his red card or he forgot which Manchester side he was supposed to be on. Either way, the challenge by Balotelli should have seen him leave the stadium early, so that he could get back to being a public nuisance. Who knows what he could have achieved with an early exit? Maybe he’d have headed to Buckingham Palace, and told the Queen’s guards that he’d like to see her. Or declared war on France. Such a wasted opportunity.

Letai??i??s take another look at this incident shall we?


Shock Of The Weekend: Wenger Substituting Oxlade-Chamberlain For Arshavin

First, he said this:

“When it was 1-1 it looked like we would win but in the end one tactical mistake lost us the game.”

And then, he said this:

ai???He started to fatigue. Iai??i??m 30 years in the job, I’ve made 50,000 substitutions, I donai??i??t have to explain every decision.”

Yes Arsene, you donai??i??t. However, that doesnai??i??t mean you make frivolous calls on the pitch. Oxlade-Chamberlain had a great game right from the start. He was giving Evra and every other defender a hard time in attack and was fully committed in defense. In fact, he was the opposite of Walcott for much of the game. By bringing in Arshavin on for Chamberlain, Arsene and his Arsenal shifted down by a gear. The Gunners were already slow in attack with Chamberlain on; taking him off for Arshavin was never going to change that. Shocking.


Team Of The Weekend:

John Ruddy (Norwich), Zak Whitbread (Norwich), Jonas Olsson (West Brom), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), David Silva (Manchester City), Reo-Coker (Bolton), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Robbie Keane (Aston Villa)

football formations


Results From Round 22:

Norwich 0 ai??i?? 0 Chelsea

Everton 1 ai??i?? 1 Blackburn

Fulham 5 ai??i?? 2 Newcastle

Stoke City 1 ai??i?? 2 West Brom

Wolves 2 ai??i?? 3 Aston Villa

Sunderland 2 ai??i?? 0 Swansea

QPR 3 ai??i?? 1 Wigan

Bolton 3 ai??i?? 1 Liverpool

Man City 3 ai??i?? 2 Tottenham

Arsenal 1 ai??i?? 2 Man United

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