22 October 2006

The weekend in the Premiership

Wigan 4-0 Manchester City: The score says it all. City has had periods this season where they’ve been simply terrible, like this game, and this one was lost by the 5th minute. Emile Heskey (!!!) scored after about a minute, and in the 4th minute, City captain Richard Dunne headed the ball into his own net. Wigan added two more in the second half, City looks to be perilously close to a free fall, and Stuart Pearce has to fear for his job. After recent performances, changes obviously have to be made, but I really hope Pearce stays. It’s impossible not to like Psycho, we need more people who speak their mind and wear their heart on their sleeve in the league.

Everton 2-0 Sheffield United: Sheffield had little chance after Everton went up 2-0 around the 30th minute, and they went down to 10 men because of Claude Davis’ sending off. Nonetheless, it’s impressive Sheffield held Everton scoreless for the rest of the game while still looking to attack. Neil Warnock has molded them into a scrappy, fighting team, and if they begin to find the net on a consistent basis, they’ll be a threat to stay up.

Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth: Honestly, this was much more one-sided than it appears. Calamity James made something like 12 saves; it was one of those games he pulls out of thin air every so often, which means we should be on the lookout for a howler next week. Pompey got a goal through Benjani Mwaruwari in the second half, but Chelsea easily earned their three points. Not thrilled to see Shevchenko and Ballack scoring, both players looked more in tune with the game than they have in previous outings.

Charlton 0-0 Watford: These two teams are currently propping up the bottom of the table, and this game was evidence why. Both teams squandered their opportunities, and both sides had periods in the game where they were on top and really should have gone ahead. Charlton has to be unhappier with the result. Less was expected of recently promoted Watford this season, while Charlton has been established in the Premier League, and was at home. They were booed off the field by their own fans, and Iain Dowie’s job has been rumored to be in jeopardy for a time now. Not a good time in the Valley.

Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham: Villa maintains the only unbeaten streak in the Premiership, and yet I doubt their fans went home happy from this one. Ridgewell, Angel, and Baros missed chances in the first half, and Villa ended up resorting to the long ball to try and break down Fulham in the second. Fulham, on the other hand, most certainly will be pleased. Last season, their away form was dreadful, while this season they’ve already picked up points at Aston Villa, Watford, Tottenham, and Newcastle.

Blackburn 0-1 Bolton: Blackburn versus Bolton is always going to be a low scoring affair, and the hero today was Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who saved penalties from Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts in the last five minutes. Ivan Campo scored the winner in the 63rd minute, and Kevin Nolan was sent off late on after picking up two yellow cards.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Newcastle: Yakubu spared Boro’s blushes with a goal in the 85th minute and gave them their first back-to-back wins of the season. It was a pretty much standard Northeast derby, mostly a defensive game with few chances between the sides.

Tottenham 1-0 West Ham: Both teams continue to underperform, but both can take some positives out of the game. Tottenham was able to put the ball in the back of the net, with Mido providing the lone goal, and both Defoe and Keane also looked like threatening at times. Lennon’s return from injury, and fine form today, is also a good sign. While West Ham still disappoints, at least they showed fighting spirit today, and it's a start. Highlight of the game was probably the spat between Defoe and Mascherano with both men play-acting, leading to handbags between all 22 players.

Reading 0-4 Arsenal: Reading has not looked out of depth in the Premier League until today, and they've already gone up against both Manchester United and Chelsea. Arsenal put on an absolute clinic, the scoreline should have been even worse than 4-0. Unlike Liverpool, Arsenal look to have put their poor start to the season far behind them, and are going to be very dangerous as the young team starts to gel. Henry scored twice, bringing his total up to 5 for the league. If players like Fabregas, Hleb, van Persie and Walcott continue to develop while Henry's scoring at a clip like this, Arsenal will be up there with United and Chelsea.

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