Remembrance weekend in England will surely be remembered as the round of comebacks as United, City and Everton all came from behind to win while Liverpool maintained their proud record at the Bridge as Rodger’s side earned a well deserved point. In other top of the table clashes, Newcastle were handed a home defeat by the returning Sam Allardyce as the Hammers continue to punch above their weight.
Also playing above everyone’s expectation and surprising fans and critics alike are West Brom who consolidated fifth position with a thrilling away win against the Latics. While at Britannia, Stoke pulled clear of the drop zone and heaved further misery on Queens Park Rangers as Tony Pulis’ side did enough to earn all three points.
North London giants Arsenal and Spurs came up cropper as both rivals let leads slip through against Fulham and Man City respectively. The pressure seems to be growing on Wenger with every slip up as fan patience runs thins. Villa Boas’ Tottenham side paid the price for their negativity as Man City’s perennial comeback men Aguero and Dzeko brought welcome relief to the under fire Roberto Mancini. In other games, Swansea and Southampton played out a highly entertaining one all draw at Liberty Park.
Comeback Kings of Manchester
“Anything you can do, we can do better” seems to be the mantra in Manchester as United and City look to dominate the Premier league at times not by brilliance but by sheer mental fortitude and power of will. Man United under Fergie have almost mastered this art, coming back from behind is no more out of the ordinary; on the contrary, it’s a directive. Nobody is fooled anymore, the opposition knows it, the fans are well aware and surely the whole football fraternity has come to expect it. This time Aston Villa were the recipients and as soon as Chicharito pulled one back, the script played out its normal course. The Mexican completed a richly deserved hat trick as he continues to play the role of super sub to perfection.
Man City aren’t far behind as they too have a game changer among their ranks; Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian hit man, was at it again to save his manager’s blushes. Dzeko, in his short City career, has proved his worth off the bench time and again, but this begs the question should the Bosnian start games or still be used as the game changer par excellence that he has proved to be? Well, City won’t mind as long as they keep accumulating points and despite their troubled start to the season, Mancini’s Citizens are just two points off the top and ready for yet another title tilt. Ominous signs for rest of the league.
Arsenal drop points but found the Giroud silver lining
At times like these, it’s hard for Gooners to look for positives but surely the form of their main front man Giroud must be heartening. The Frenchman has taken his time to settle and at times come under criticism but the tide looks to be finally turning as Wenger’s star signing seems to be getting into his grove.
Importantly enough, Gunners might have finally cracked the code for utilizing the abilities of Giroud. Arsenal racked in a total of 39 crosses, Giroud was at the end of most of them and made Fulham pay dearly. Crosses and long balls will never be ‘Plan A’ at the Emirates, nevertheless Wenger’s men can perhaps look to mix and match more often like this Saturday and Giroud can flourish on that service.
Chelsea’s overuse of the fantastic trio and Torres’ sorry saga continues
First few games of the new season and Roberto Di Matteo’s Blues took the league by storm as the Stamford Bridge club unleashed the three musketeers – Mata, Oscar and Hazard – to deadly effect. It was swashbuckling football, devastating at times as first Hazard and later on Mata looked to be unplayable at times. Lately though, the wheels have come off a bit and the trio’s magic is floundering, three games in a week over and over again is indeed taxing and the Italian manager must look to provide some respite to his three aces. Mata was rested at Swansea and Chelsea looked listless without his presence; rather astoundingly though the Spaniard was made to toil in the league cup victory over United. A question of jumbled up priorities for Di Matteo or lack of trust on the bench, whatever be the reason but the festive season could prove taxing for the Blues. Fernando Torres has officially failed as a Chelsea player and no one can or should deny that now. The Spaniard knows it and so do the Chelsea fans, as the former Liverpool striker once again failed to lift his side with another dismal showing. Torres substitution said it all with Liverpool fans jeering their former player and Chelsea fans resigned to their fate, looking on ponderously at a lost cause that the Spaniard is.
The growing use of Full-backs as wingers
Liverpool preferred Enrique over downing, Mancini brought on Maicon over Sinclair while also starting both Clichy and Kolarov on the left wing. Both manager’s were vindicated as Jose Enrique was one of the two most outstanding performers on the night for the Merseyside club whereas the Clichy – Kolarov duo Kept a lid on Lennon and Walker. But this begs the question, is Premier League going a bit too cautious or does it point to a lack of quality in wide areas, even for the bigger clubs?
West Ham and West Brom continue their amazing starts
Eleven games into the season and if two teams have surprised every pundit and critic they are Sam Allardyce’s Hammers and Steve Clark’s Baggies. Both sides have surpassed all expectations and with their sustained run proved that their showings were no flash in the pan. Also, with the glut of points on the board both clubs have for sure calmed any preseason relegation fears and confirmed their top flight status for good, already. Can either of the two clubs push for Europe and mix it with the big boys? Well that might yet be a bridge too far.