Norwich 0-0 West Ham
John Ruddy and Jussi Jaaskelainen were the stars of Saturday’s early kick off with the two keepers both putting in brilliant performances to keep clean sheets. A point for both teams will do nicely.
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton
A first home win of the season for Arsenal as they but in a scintillating performance to ease past newly promoted Southampton. Jos Hooiveld put a Kieran Gibbs cross past his own keeper to give the Gunners an early lead; Lukas Podolski doubled the lead with a 25 yard free kick on the half hour mark before further goals from Gervinho and a Nathaniel Clyne own goal gave Arsenal a 4 goal lead. Wojciech Szczesny, returning from injury, was at fault for Southampton’s goal as he dropped a routine high ball at the feet of Danny Fox. Arsene Wenger watched as his side cruised through the second half adding 2 more goals, through Gervinho and Theo Walcott, and will now turn his attentions to Europe with tomorrow’s game against Montpellier. After a tough start, Southampton’s season starts in earnest next week with a game against Aston Villa.
Aston Villa 2-0 Swansea
Paul Lambert got his first win as Villa manager this week as Matthew Lowton’s spectacular strike gave his side a lead they never looked like relinquishing. Lowton’s swerving effort flew past Michel Vorm on the quarter hour mark. Swansea were poor and a mistake by Ashley Williams allowed debutant Christian Benteke, who was impressive in his cameo, to take the ball past Vorm and score with 2 minutes left to play to secure the win.
Fulham 3-0 West Brom
Dimitar Berbatov opened his Fulham account with two first half goals as Martin Jol’s men eased past a 10 man West Brom side. The Bulgarian was at his graceful best; stroking The Cottagers into the lead after half an hour. Peter Odemwingie was then sent off for kicking out at Sascha Riether and that effectively condemned Albion to defeat. Berbatov scored his 2nd from the penalty spot before Steve Sidwell wrapped up the scoring late on with a simple tap in. Fulham’s home record in the top flight really is remarkable, and it looks as though they will again be a formidable opponent at Craven Cottage.
Manchester United 4-0 Wigan
This weekend’s game at Old Trafford started in familiar fashion, United striker goes down in the area under little to no contact and a penalty is awarded. Danny Welbeck was the man this time, Ali Al-Habsi was nowhere near him when he threw himself to the floor but the penalty was awarded anyway. Justice was done though as Al-Habsi saved Javier Hernandez’s poor spot kick. The onslaught continued though as United scored 3 times in 15 second half minutes to put the game out of reach. Paul Scholes, playing in his 700th game for the club, opened the scoring before Hernandez got his goal, turning in a cross from debutant Alex Buttner. The Dutch left back then got his name on the score sheet as he rode a couple of challenges before seeing his shot squirm under Al-Habsi. Nick Powell, a summer signing from Crewe, rounded off United’s comfortable performance with the 4th goal late on.
QPR 0-0 Chelsea
A game dominated by the pre-match handshake, or lack of handshake, between Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea players John Terry and Ashley Cole. The court case surrounding alleged comments made in the corresponding fixture last season dominated the storyline of a game that was niggly throughout. Ryan Nelsen appeared to haul Terry to the ground in the penalty area but nothing was given and Eden Hazard also had appeals for a penalty turned down. Bobby Zamora missed the best chance of the game for the hosts as both sides failed to score. A draw was probably a fair result.
Stoke 1-1 Manchester City
Before this game Manchester City’s 3 previous visits to the Britannia had ended 1-1 so it was almost no surprise that this game ended in a draw as well. City gave debuts to Scott Sinclair, Maicon and Javi Garcia (full disclosure I’m a massive fan of his) as they rested some of their big names before a trip to Real Madrid in midweek. Stoke opened the scoring with what Roberto Mancini described as a goal that “belonged in the NBA” as Peter Crouch handled the ball not once but twice before giving the hosts the lead. To Crouch’s credit he did admit handling the ball in the post-match interview. Javi Garcia rescued a point for the champions with a header on 35 minutes. Edin Dzeko nearly won the game for City but Ryan Shawcross brilliantly cleared off the line with seconds remaining in the game.
Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool
A landmark week for Liverpool football club ended with a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light. With the revelations regarding the Hillsborough disaster, and ensuing cover up, now public knowledge you’ve got to say that football doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. But football was played, so we will talk about that.
Steven Fletcher got his 3rd goal for Sunderland since joining from Wolves to give Martin O’Neill’s a half time lead. Luis Suarez turned in a cross from Raheem Sterling, the 17 year old was again impressive, to level the scores with 20 minutes left to play. Much like last season Liverpool where thwarted by the woodwork on multiple occasions and the game ended as a draw. However, the real victories were made off the field this week as a huge step was made towards Justice for the 96.
Reading 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Andre Villas-Boas got his first win as Spurs boss as Reading were swept aside with consummate ease. Jermain Defoe continued his impressive start to the season with 2 goals, either side of a Gareth Bale strike. Tottenham could have had a few more although the game could have been different had Reading been awarded a penalty for a clear handball by Kyle Walker in the first half. Hal Robson-Kanu got a late consolation for Reading as he poked home Adam Le Fondre’s cross. In truth a comfortable win for Spurs and a beginning of the AVB era.
Everton 2-2 Newcastle
Everton were denied all 3 points by yet another goal line technology incident. With the score at 1-1 Victor Anichebe clearly scored but the officials failed to spot it and the game continued. Leighton Baines had given the Toffees the lead in the first half before substitute Demba Ba levelled the scores 4 minutes into the second half. The game was brilliant throughout and with 10 minutes to go Victor Anichebe’s header seemed to come down off the crossbar behind the line but the goal wasn’t given. Anichebe then looked to have won the game with an 88th minute goal only for Demba Ba to snatch a point a minute later after getting on the end of Shola Ameobi’s flick on.