Arsenal put the disappointment of losing to both Manchester clubs behind them by beating Roberto Martinez’s Wigan 4-0. Two goals from defender Thomas Vermaelen (above) and one each from Eduardo and Cesc Fabregas secured a much needed victory. Vermaelen, has been outstanding for Arsenal, and is now the clubs top scorer with four goals in his debut season, and fantastic return from a centre back. He may have been Wenger’s only buy this summer, but he’s certainly proving to be a very canny purchase.
Another week, another loss for sorry Portsmouth as they remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table following at 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa. The south coast club have now fell to their sixth consecutive defeat, rendering their start to the season the worst in the top flight since Leicester 26 years ago. Villa however, have now won four games on the trot, their best start to a season in a decade. Goals from James Milner and Gabby Agbonlahor secure the win for Martin O’Neill.
A last gasp penalty for Bolton secured them a point against Stoke, saving them from yet another defeat. It was certainly a lacklustre performance from Bolton, so they will certainly be the happier side; however, it was arguably their worst performance under Gary Megson. Stoke took the lead through a goal from Dave Kitson, his third in four games. But when Sam Ricketts was tripped on the edge of the box, the referee immediately pointed to the stop, which Matt Taylor duly converted. It doesn’t bode well for Bolton, but Stoke don’t look to be suffering from second season syndrome thus far.
All three of the promoted sides managed to win this weekend and gain three vital points. Burnley beat Sunderland 3-1, with David Nugent coming off the bench to score two goals for the Clarets, also on the scoresheet was Graham Alexander, while Darren Bent scored yet again for Sunderland. Elsewhere, Birmingham managed 1-0 win over Hull, while Wolves beat Fulham 2-1.
Two goals from Fernando Torres gave Liverpool a hard earned victory against West Ham. They now seem to have corrected last season’s problem of drawing too many matches, but their next objective should be to tighten their leaky defence having conceded 9 goals in six games. The final score in this game was Liverpool 3-2 West Ham; Dirk Kyut was also on the scoresheet for Liverpool, while Alessandro Diamanti and Carlton Cole goals weren’t enough for the Hammers.
Liverpool’s rivals Everton finally kick-started their season this weekend. A 4-0 victory mid-week in the Europa League gave the Toffees the boost they needed as they beat Blackburn 3-0. A Louis Saha brace, and a goal from Joseph Yobo was what it took to secure their second win of the season. Blackburn look to be out at sea, and with some big games to come they need to start notching up the points.
Chelsea made it six wins out of six on Sunday by beating London rivals Tottenham 3-0. They have now made a new club record of 12 consecutive wins, are unbeaten at home since November 2008. Spurs however failed to bounce back from last week’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester United, there is no shame to losing to both Chelsea and Manchester United, but it does show Harry Redknapp’s side aren’t title contenders. Goals from Ashley Cole, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba keep Carlo Ancelotti’s side top of the pile.
It was billed as the biggest Manchester derby of all time, and boy, it didn’t disappoint. It was a seven goal thriller at Old Trafford that ended in a Manchester United victory, but Manchester City showed they have got what it takes to keep in check with the big boys.
They were very unlucky not get at least a point out of the game having fought tooth and nail from the off. Manchester United took the lead after just two minutes through a Wayne Rooney goal, but the sides were level going into half-time, Gareth Barry scoring the equaliser for City, United regained the lead four minutes into the second half, Darren Fletcher heading in a Ryan Giggs cross. That advantage was short lived with Craig Bellamy striking for City just 3 minutes later, himself and Fletcher were on the scoresheet for their respective sides in the 80th and 90th minute, but it was Michael Owen who came off the bench to score in the sixth minute of added time giving Manchester United bragging rights after the first derby of the season.
It was by no means a flawless performance from either side, but it did make for compulsive viewing, City certainly showed they have the tenacity to crack the top 4, and if they keep performing like this they could well do so.
Very hard to believe we are only six games into the season, but there are certain patterns emerging already. There is Chelsea winning six on the trot, Pompey losing six on the trot, the top 4 seems to be growing into the big 6, while the rest remain in between.
As always we have a week to gather our thoughts, before we do it all over again next weekend.