It was a weekend of goals galore in the Premier League with 37 goals scored in the 10 ties, a great weekend for strikers, but a poor weekend for defences. There was also the shock of Chelsea falling to their first defeat in 24 matches since March and a run of eight straight victories brought to an end.
Wigan was Chelsea Achilles heel, as they gained their first win over a big team at the 35th time of asking. The Latics ran out 3-1 winners through goals from Titus Bramble, Hugo Rodallega and Paul Scharner, ending Carlo Ancelotti’s dream start as Chelsea manager. All eyes will be on them now to bounce back from this defeat, and not end up like Phil Scolari last season. The Blues had keeper Petr Cech sent-off in the game, and will be without him for the game against Liverpool next weekend.
Clinical finishing was central to the action at Anfield as Liverpool hammered Hull 6-1 with an in form Fernando Torres scoring a hat-trick. Steven Gerrard was on the scoresheet, along with two late goals from Ryan Babel. As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post Liverpool have now begun winning games they drew last season, and have made up for their two defeats at the start of the season. Their main aim now will be keeping Fernando Torres fit, goals not only win you games, they win you trophies.
Another team on fire is Spurs, bouncing back from back to back defeats against Manchester United and Chelsea with a 5-0 victory over Burnley. A mid-week hat-trick from Peter Crouch in the Carling Cup didn’t secure his place in the squad, instead Harry Redknapp opted for the partnership of Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane. Keane went one better than Crouch scoring four goals, Jermain Jenas scored the Londoners 5th, continuing Burnley’s travel sickness. They’ve now been beaten 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0, and have not yet scored on the road. Their home form will be key to their survival.
Manchester United have moved into top-spot in the Premier League for the first time this season after a 2-0 win over Stoke. United now make it seven wins in-a-row in all competitions. Dimitar Berbatov and John O’Shea provided the goals, but it was substitute Ryan Giggs who was the star man and breathed a new life into the Red Devils. Arsenals were 1-0 winners over London rivals Fulham, and have only one man to thank. Not goal scorer Robin Van Persie, but third choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone. The Italian made eight saves in the game to keep Fulham at bay, he is proving to be a class act, and Manuel Almunia will have competition when he returns from injury.
Elsewhere, Portsmouth fell to their seventh straight defeat at the hands of Everton, Louis Saha scored the only goal of the game. Also, Bolton beat Birmingham 2-1, and Aston Villa were beaten 2-1 by Blackburn. Sunday saw the return of Mick McCarthy to the Stadium of Light, but he won’t want to be returning too soon, after his Wolves side were beaten 5-2. Sunderland now lie 8th in the table on 12 points, while Wolves are in 16th.
Tonight saw Manchester City take on West Ham, and Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy taking on their former club. Tevez provided two goals for City, along with Martin Petrov. City were impressive, and bounced back from last weekend’s defeat at Old Trafford, to move back into 5th place.
It’s been an explosive start to the season, and is certainly living up to all the expectations. Let’s hope it stays that way.