As the Premier League prepares to go on another international break, we were once again given an action packed and goal filled weekend in Europe’s most exciting league.
Not the ideal place to start, but we have to start somewhere, and that is with the tie of Bolton and Tottenham, where Harry Redknapp’s men had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2. Spurs failing to end their 13-year wait for a league victory in Bolton. If you go to the Reebok you have to be prepared to graft, and that’s what Liverpool did a couple of weeks ago, along with Stoke. Spurs were also made to do the same, and after Bolton took the lead after four minutes, Ricardo Gardner scoring the goal, Niko Kranjcar levelled things up on the 34th minute. Also on the scoresheet were Kevin Davies and Vedran Corlucka respectively.
Speaking after the game Harry Redknapp certainly came out with one his usual bizarre quotes ‘To come back was fine. Obviously you want to pick three points up but when we were 2-1 down I would have certainly taken a point.’
Burnley kept up their 100% home record in the Premier League as they beat Birmingham 2-1, goals from Steven Fletcher and Andre Bikey gave the Clarets all three points. Elsewhere, Hull secure their second win of the season, and only their third in 30 games since last December. The final score was 2-1, with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Geovanni scoring for Hull. Also victorious, were crisis club Portsmouth, their first of the season. Hassen Yebda giving the south coast club a 1-0 over Wolves.
Saturday’s late kick off was that of Manchester United and Sunderland. United had to be rescued by a late goal from Ferdinand, but it wasn’t Rio, it was brother Anton scoring an own goal prevent his team, Sunderland a shock victory. The Red Devils had been on an eight game winning streak, but that was ended by The Black Cats deadly strikeforce of Kenwyne Jones and Darren Bent. Dimitar Berbatov was on the scoresheet for United, but it was Ferdinand’s own goal that saved Fergie’s blushes. A draw isn’t really a fair result, Sunderland deserved to win this one, but they will no doubt be happy at taking a point away from Old Trafford.
Sunday saw another round of fixtures with eight teams in action. It was Arsenal who were the most impressive as they hit Blackburn for six. The star of the show had to be Cesc Fabregas, as his display helped the Gunners come from behind to earn three points. Leading 3-2 at the break, the Gunners managed another three in the second half, keeping up their 100% home record.
Elsewhere, Everton, Stoke, West Ham and Fulham all shared points, as they played out 1-1, and 2-2 draws respectively. Everton are finally racking up the points after a poor start to the season, while Stoke continue to be a stumbling block. They are certainly showing no signs of second season syndrome. West Ham and Fulham continue to their poor starts to the season, and a draw is perhaps the best result for both sides.
Perhaps the biggest game of the weekend was at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea took on Liverpool, and it was the home side who bounced back after last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Wigan. Goals from Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda put Chelsea back at the summit of the Premier League. Rafa Benitez’s side have now lost three games out of eight this season and their bench looks increasingly weak these days.
Aston Villa take on Manchester City tonight, in what is Gareth Barry’s return to his former side. City are flying high, and another win will keep them in check with the league leaders. It will certainly be an interesting match, and is certainly worth watching.