Wigan 2 – Wolves 0
Wolves show too much bite:
The early kick off saw Wolves visit Wigan at the DW stadium, but they didn’t get off to the best of starts with Wolves captain Karl Henry being sent off in the 11th minute when he steamed in and went right through Jordi Gomez, flipping him in the process. Gomez is lucky to have not sustained any injury, as when you see the replay of the tackle it’s clear to see how dreadful the challenge was and Karl Henry was rightfully sent straight off. Wolves had a chance to get a goal with a free-kick from Fletcher but it was just over and that was about it in goal opportunity for Wolves who then spent the remainder of the match with two flanks of four defending. Wigan with most of the possession kept the pressure up with di Santo and Rodallega going close, but Hahnemann was there to keep them out. And it wasn’t until the 65minute when Wigan took the lead with an excellent free-kick from Jordi Gomez. N’Zogbia was a constant threat and he was fouled on the edge of the box. Up stepped Gomez with a short run up if u can call two or three quick steps that and bent it round the wall and into the top right hand corner. Wigan kept up their pressure on goal and again di Santo was unlucky not to get on the score sheet but on the 85th minute Hugo Rodallega scored and Wolves succumbed to their fourth straight league loss.
Birmingham 0 – Everton 2
Pretty in Pink:
If football results could be determined by form and history then you would have had this down as a Birmingham win, with their unbeaten home record standing for 12months now and Everton having a terrible start to the season. But football doesn’t work that way, and that is the beauty of it, you can be assured of any result. Everton, sporting their Pink away kit today as they share the same home colours as Birmingham, have another similarity, neither of them have been brilliant in front of goal this season but Birmingham’s Cameron Jerome came close to put them in the lead but couldn’t keep his shot on target. Everton stood the best chance in the first half and had a few penalty claims and had a shot by Yakubu cleared off the line. The opening goal didn’t come until the second half and was coincidentally an own goal by Roger Johnson when he put in Leon Osman’s cross. Birmingham went on the attack with Stephen Carr a real threat down the right flank. Birmingham and Everton again both had claims for a penalty went unanswered and on the 90th minute Cahill scored to give Everton their first win of the season.
Stoke City 1 – Blackburn Rovers 0
Battle for Positions:
Stoke v Blackburn was a tight affair with only one goal separating them and gives Stoke their fourth unbeaten game. Jon Walters scored his first Premier League goal to give Stoke the win today. Kenwyne Jones flicked the ball on and then it was passed through to Walters who kept calm and kept his shot on target to give Stoke the win. Tony Pulis is building a strong attacking team with Ethrington and Pennant on the wings and Kenwyne Jones and Ricardo Fuller up front, Stoke are going to be pushing for a high mid-table league finish this season and build upon that and I wouldn’t be surprised that if they continue in this fashion that in a few years do a Fulham and get a good run in the Europa League
Sunderland 0 – Manchester United 0
United grab a point:
Manchester United again slipped up and are not looking like contenders as they drew their fourth consecutive away fixture in a row. With Michael Owen starting having faired well and scoring in his last few games, he had a chance to show he can be a United first team regular but like most of the united team put in a sub par performance and it was Sunderland that dominated but were unable to gain an advantage. Van der Sar kept out Malbrnaque and when he was beaten by Zenden it was the post that denied him saw the best chances go begging for the homes team as the first half came to a close. Dimitar Berbatov, who has been on good form recently but didn’t started the match, came on at half time helped United to be a more potent threat but still were unable to break down Sunderland. Lee Cattermole put in a solid performance and kept Sunderland midfield ticking and in the end it was Sunderland who had the best chance late on but Darren Bent was unable to get his shot on target, putting it win, summing up the match.
Tottenham 2 – Aston Villa 1
A Touch of Dutch
Aston Villa took and early lead when Emile Heskey, who under Houllier seems to have regained confidence, used his strength to muscle off Bassong and put the ball across goal for up and coming Marc Albrighton to put it away, getting his first senior goal. But after that Tottenham showed their attacking qualities keeping pressure on Villa’s goal and Pavlyuchenko going close multiple times. But most dangerous was Rafael van der Vaart. Van der Vaart did get his goal but after all the spectacular shots he scored with a header in the six yard box. In the second half Tottenham again went on the attack and again Van der Vaart went close missing from close range, but with his movement and tricky feet he soon got more opportunities to score and when Spurs took the lead it was no surprise that it was Van der Vaart who scored it. When Lennon crossed it in Crouch was there to head it down to Van der Vaart and as he side stepped Richard Dunne’s lunge and with a deft touch and then on the half volley smashed it home. Even with Tottenham’s defensive problems if they keep up scoring then for the moment it doesn’t matter but, for the long run Harry Redknapp would like to have some stability at the back.
West Brom 1 – Bolton 1
Johan Elmander is continuing his good start to the season and is starting to earn back some of the record transfer fee they paid for him as he continues to score more goals but James Morrison’s header cancelled out Bolton’s lead. After West Brom’s impressive win over Arsenal they must feel that they had it in them to win at home today and Morrison and Odemwingie showed promise. But with those goals that was about it for the goalkeepers to be troubled with. With both teams cancelling each other out it was a game that was great for the midfield but maybe not for the fans and neither side got the result they wanted but probably both will take the point they got.
West Ham 1 – Fulham 1
So We Meet Again:
A draw in this London derby also saw Dempsey come up against Rob Green again. And again Dempsey scored against green but this time there was not goalkeeping errors to be seen. Clint Dempsey gave Fulham the lead on the 33rd minute when he volleyed one past Green. But West Ham were not down for long as six minutes later Frederic Piquionne scored again as he and Avram Grant seem to be fitting in at West Ham. But with Everton winning their first match of the season the draw wasn’t enough to keep them off the bottom. The draw does keep Fulham’s unbeaten record intact and has them 10th.
Manchester City 2 – Newcastle United 1
When Luck Doesn’t Go Your Way:
Newcastle didn’t have the best start to the game as Hatem Ben Arfa was stretchered off with a double break following a crunching challenge from Nigel de Jong that at the time wasn’t given a free kick for. Ben Arfa has been a key attacking force for Newcastle and he is going to be sorely missed. Things got worse for Newcastle when Mike Williamson brought down Carlos Tevez on the 18th minute. Tevez stepped and slammed it down the middle and keeper Tim Krul only managed to get some of his knee to it and was unable to keep it out. Replays show that the tackle was outside the box and may not have been a foul either. But Newcastle didn’t give up and on the 24th minute drew level when Jonas Gutierrez, a Newcastle favourite as he stayed with them through relegation and promotion, smashed home a poor clearance from his own cross. And then celebrated with an interesting line dance. The game seemed as if it could be heading for a draw but the game got turned on its head when Adam Johnson was brought on for Gareth Barry and he again showed his talent down the right flank cutting in onto his left foot and scoring a now trademark Adam Johnson goal. A great response to not playing the last few games and only 3 minutes after being brought on too. Newcastle can feel aggrieved with the loss those as late on they had a penalty claim turned down but it seemed much more of a foul than the one on Tevez and was clearly in the box too. Ameobi had his standing leg taken away from him when Lescott came in for a needless challenge but sometimes luck isn’t with you and in football sometimes that is the difference between a win, lose or draw.
Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 0
Clash of Styles: Substance Over Style.
You don’t see Chelsea sit deep many times at Stamford Bridge, but today they did and Ancelotti’s tactics paid dividends. Arsenal could have though taken the lead in the opening 10mins with Koscielny missing a header from close range and really should have scored. Arsenal kept up their attacking play but still up against the big sides come up short and are wasteful in front of goal. Fabianski stayed in goal while Almunia is still “injured” and was doing ok but couldn’t withstand Drogba as he continues his good goal scoring form against Arsenal no matter who is in defence or in goal. Cole put the pass into Drogba who swivelled on his defender and back heeled it as it went off the post at the near post and in. it was a delightfully beautiful goal that needs to be seen to be appreciated. Arsenal kept up their style of play and chances just kept going begging and seems to be the same story when they play the best teams and when a sloppy foul was given away Arsenal weren’t taught another lesson when Alex fired in a supreme free-kick through a gap in the wall. Yet another goal that needs to be seen to be full appreciated. A real rocket by Alex. Fabianski got a slight fingertip to it but no keeper in the world was going to stop that one going in. Chelsea win today and leave Arsenal seven points behind but more importantly showed that pleasing football on the eye isn’t going to beat tactics that are aimed to win games. A lesson Arsenal maybe should have learnt a few years ago.
Liverpool 1 – Blackpool 2
Doom and Gloom: Anfield Rocked Yet Again.
With only 10 minutes in Torres requested to come off with an injury, but he just doesn’t seem to be happy. And with rumour Jovanovic is already thinking of getting out things aren’t right at Anfield and things got worse when Charlie Adam put Blackpool in front after Glen Johnson brought down Luke Varney for a penalty. Varney again was a threat this time though he scored just before half time. Boo’s rang out when the Liverpool team went in for at half time and were hoping for a better performance in the second half. And when Sotirios Kyrgiakos scored on the 53rd minute the Anfield faithful were hoping that would lead to a goal rush but that didn’t occur. Gilks produced a superb point-blank save to keep out Kyrgiakos’ header right at the death to secure Blackpool’s win. Manager Roy Hodgson has not had the start he would have liked and most probably has had a worst start than he could ever envisioned and now Liverpool find themselves 3rd bottom and with relegation form and their best players not performaning, it’s a struggle to see where things can change. If they don’t Liverpool could be the biggest team ever to be relegated from the Premiership and with fans chanting for Dalglish, you have to wonder how long Roy Hodgson has left and wonder if he is regretting taking up the post and not staying at the stable Craven Cottage.