After a two week international break we are back and ready to go for another Premier League weekend and it while it might have looked to be a boring fixture list it was far from that with controversy the centre of attention.
As you may have seen Liverpool’s title hopes were burst at the weekend, losing 1-0 to Sunderland, their fourth defeat of the season, after only nine games. While Sunderland’s goal should have been ruled out because it did in fact touch an outside agent, the beach ball. It may be easy to blame the referee for not disallowing the goal, but in fact Sunderland is a team Liverpool should really be beating if they want to win the title. Without Torres and Gerrard they will win nothing, their defence is weak, and they can’t even keep clean sheet. Title winning sides are built on a tight defence; things far from alright on the Kop.
Another title chasing side, Chelsea, fell to their second away defeat of the season, this time to Aston Villa, a side who has already beaten Liverpool. Once again goalkeeper Petr Cech left himself exposed, and proved he is not the same keeper he was three years ago. Chelsea took the lead through Didier Drogba in the 15th minute, but the sides were level going into the break after a Richard Dunne header from a corner. Villa wrapped up the victory in the 52nd minute, another corner and another header, this time James Collins. Worrying from a Chelsea point of view, they came flying out of the blocks, but now seem to have hit a blip.
Elsewhere, Stoke beat West Ham 2-1, two goals from James Beattie, keeping up Stoke’s solid record at home. Worrying for West Ham who have not won since the opening day. Everton drew 1-1 with Wolves, which is a valuable point for Wolves. Goals from Kevin Doyle and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov made sure both sides got a share of the spoils.
Harry Redknapp’s return to Portsmouth ended in a 2-1 victory for Tottenham. Ledley King opened the scoring on the half our mark, before Jermain Defoe made it 2-0 for Spurs. Some fantastic goalkeeping from Heurelho Gomes managed to keep Pompey at bay, they did however get one goal back from Kevin-Price Boateng, but it wasn’t enough. Defoe turned into bad-boy after stamping on Aaron Mokoena, and was sent off; Michael Brown was also sent off for Pompey after a second bookable offence.
While Chelsea and Liverpool lost, the other two of the Big Four, Manchester United and Arsenal managed vital victories. United made it 10 games without defeat in all competitions, but it was far from an easy victory against Bolton. An own goal from Zak Knight, and a first goal from Antonio Valencia gave United a 2-1 win over the Trotters. Arsenal beat Birmingham 3-1 at the Emirates with goals from Robin Van Persie, Abu Diaby and Andri Arshavin, showing that they shouldn’t be written off just yet.
In the Sunday games Blackburn beat rivals Burnley 3-2, the Clarets keeping up their abysmal away form. One positive is this time they managed to score. In the other game of the day Wigan managed to grab a point against Manchester City.
Tonight, Fulham are taking on Hull, and as I write Fulham are leading 1-0, Bobby Zamora scoring two minutes before half-time.