Results from and reaction to Saturday’s Premiership Games: 15/09/07

  • Tottenham 1 (Bale) Arsenal 3 (Adebayor x2, Fabregas)
  • Chelsea 0 Blackburn Rovers 0
  • Birmingham 1 (Kapo) Bolton 0
  • Wigan 1 (Koumas, pen) Fulham 1 (Dempsey)
  • Portsmouth 0 Liverpool 0
  • Everton 0 Manchester Utd 1 (Vidic)
  • West Ham 3 (Bowyer, Young o.g., Ashton)  Middlesbrough 0
  • Sunderland 2 (Jones, Wallace) Reading 1 (Kitson)
  • Playing Sunday, 18th: Man City Vs Aston Villa
  • Playing Monday, 19th: Derby Vs Newcastle

So, new leaders (Arsenal), same old problems (Spurs) and winning games like potential champions (Man Utd). Throw in a poor performance from Liverpool, the goal that got away for Chelsea, Sunderland doing it for the old boy, West Ham playing like Brazil, Fulham and Wigan getting a draw as predicted by anyone who’s ever watched football and Birmingham taking another valuable three points, and it looks like the Premiership is back.

Unfortunately, Saturday kicked off with three entertaining games being played at overlapping times. Utd’s trip to Everton is rarely easy, sometimes comical (last season’s 4-2 win) and occasionally dull as a politician’s wife (see yesterday’s game). Utd toiled, Everton toiled and 0-0 looked about right until the game’s outstanding performer Nemanja Vidic powered what is fact becoming a signature bullet header into Everton’s rarely tested net. While the goal was seemingly harsh on Everton, Vidic has established himself as an absolutely vital part of Utd’s team. Everton may wish they had shown greater attacking threat and they could have been the happier of the teams, however Ferdinand and Vidic were in no mood to be bullied by Yakubu and Johnson.

Liverpool were desperately dissapointing in their stalemate at Fratton Park. Portsmouth occasionally played some outstanding football, creating excellent chances and having a penalty saved, Jose Reina diving to his right to keep out what Harry Redknapp later described as Kanu’s “crap” penalty. While the decision to award the spot-kick caused controversy, thefc100 stands by the decision. Arbeloa clearly uses his grip on Kanu to gain an advantage in getting to the cross, the fact that Kanu barely thought it was a penalty shows how far wrestling in the box goes unpunished these days. Liverpool didn’t conjure up enough, James had a quiet day in goal for the home side, and the midfield of Benayoun, Alonso, Sissoko and Pennant never sparkled.

Arsenal racked up another impressive win to keep confounding the critics, this time winning at Spurs, who continue to struggle against the top 4 sides. Spurs took the lead through Gareth Bale’s free-kick that will have had Lehman giggling at his deputy’s attempt to keep it out. Does Lehman giggle though? Or even laugh? Probably not. Probably goes hunting to express his amusement. Local sheep beware. Spurs had several excellent chances against a makeshift Arsenal back four. Berbatov’s one-on-one the pick of the bunch, rounding Almunia before attempting to round Kolo Toure. One too many attempts to round methinks. The kind of situation, according to RTE pundit Graeme Souness, that will have Martin Jol “tearing his hair out”. Really Graeme. Which hair is that then? 

Goals from Adebayor (why Robinson went charging out to swipe at thin air we’ll never know), Fabregas (why Robinson went for it with his left paw we’ll never know) and an absolute beauty for Adebayor’s second (why Robinson bothered diving we’ll never know) ensured Arsenal fans went home absolutely delirious. Top of the league. Oh and Spurs are kicking their heels down by the relegation area.

Elsewhere, West Ham put on a great show for their fans. Lee Bowyer got to perform his ‘i’m the world’s biggest scumbag’ celebration for the second time in three weeks. Nice. Dean Ashton in silly blonde hair and shiny red boots prodded in the third. His first goal in nearly a year and a half. And it showed; celebration was a bit rusty. Birmingham beat Bolton 1-0 to leave the Trotters in the relegation area and looking in big trouble. Failure to pick up points is one thing, but against potential relegation rivals…..uh-oh. The only team Bolton have beaten this year is Reading who lost again, this time to Resevoir Dog wannabe Roy Keane’s Sunderland. Kenwyne Jones apparantly played a blinder on his debut. Gotta wonder how impressed Keane is by the man’s ‘cirque du soleil’ impression for a celebration. Man wasn’t built to do ridiculous flips through the air. Just ask Lua-Lua. So Sunderland are back on track. Fulham are not. Kinda. Despite dominating for periods against Wigan, a ridiculous challenge by Bouazza on Melchiot (ooh if I just knee him from behind chances are there won’t be a goalscoring opportunity. What? Penalty? Ah so that’s the downside…..) meant Wigan continue their decent start to the season.

European Previews will be up shortly. Peace.

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