The English Premier League’s gameweek 5 ended yesterday, and it has to be noted that both Chelsea and Manchester City have continued on their unbeaten runs, 5 for Chelsea while City have 4, with one game in hand.
Saturday had seen 8 matches played, and the last 2 games were played on Sunday.
The 2 big games on Saturday opposed Man City to Arsenal, while Tottenham faced Man United in London.
Manchester City versus Arsenal, a big test for both teams as City had yet to concede a goal after 3 games played, while Arsenal had lost the week earlier to Man United from a Diaby’s own goal. The match indeed started really well, with Arsenal putting pressure while City were more content to drop back and play on the counter-attack. And City’s tactics paid off well when Micah Richards headed the ball after a freekick onto Almunia’s right post, and the ball came back, hit the keeper behind the neck and went in. 1-0 City, Arsenal were stunned but still went on doing their usual business but without being able to trouble Given at the other end. In the second half, Arsenal still put pressure, and their efforts paid off as Van Persie managed to open his account for this season on the 62nd minute.
But City proved to be more realist as they conterattacked perfectly, and Bellamy gave them the lead once more on 74th min, and Adebayor (80th min) and Wright-Phillips (84th min) added 2 more goals to give the Citizens some breathing space. Rosicky popped on in for the Gunners on 88th min to make the margin only 2 goals, but they failed to capitalize on some good opportunities which could have levelled things up. Eventually City managed a 4-2 win, and Abebayor maintained his 100% scoring record in 4 matches played. He, however, was also involved in some nasty incidents, first stamping on Fabregas’ ankle, then kicking Van Persie in the face, but to add salt to injury, he celebrated his 74th min goal by racing across the full length of the pitch to provoke the Gunners fans at the other end. In the incident a steward was knocked out as he received a bottle thrown by the angry Gunners fans. Adebayor immediately asked for forgiveness after the match, but the FA is now probing in the matter and he may face a 4 match ban if all incidents incriminate him.
Another facinating match was at White Hart Lane, where Spurs faced Man Utd, and indeed the match was off to a flyer as Defoe opened the scoring for Tottenham as early as 50seconds with a beautiful acrobatic kick inside the penalty area. But from then on Spurs barely looked dangerous, and United got back in the game. The combination of Giggs, Fletcher, Anderson and Scholes kept the ball flowing and Spurs were being ripped apart from all sides. Berbatov was proving to be a nuisance to his former team, and it was a tackle on him by Palacios which gave United a 25yards freekick. Giggs, in the absence of C.Ronaldo, took charge, and a dummy run from Rooney followed by Giggs curling the ball over the wall and into Cudicini’s left hand top corner gave United a deserved equaliser. They kept on piling the pressure on a clueless Spurs without their talisman, Modric, and when the Spurs defence failed to cleanly clear a shot from Scholes, Anderson was the quickest one to react and volley home United’s second, and his 1st in the Premier League as a United player. It was also a way to redeem himself in the manager’s eyes after the much-talked bust-up between the two of them. 1-2 at half time, the second half started more brightly for Spurs, but yet again they failed to cause real trouble. Scholes was eventually red carded after committing some needless fouls on 60th minute, but although reduced to 10-men, United were playing better. Carrick came on for Berbatov to strengthen the midfield, and Rooney just revved into action after having a rather anonymous night out, and he was giving the Spurs defence a nightmare to cope up with him. He was eventually rewarded on 78th minute, when he collected a pass from Fletcher, beat two defenders and cheekily shot between the keeper’s legs. Spurs by that time had no answer whatever although having a one man advantage. 1-3 the game ended in United’s favor, and apart from the Scholes’ sending off, no major incidents in the match.
Liverpool for their part were up against Burnley, and the Kops somewhat gave the newcomers a thrashing at Anfield. The man of the match was Yossi Benayoun, the Israeli international who scored three out of the four Liverpool goals. His first came on 27th minute, then in the second half on 61st and finally 82nd minutes, while Kuyt was on target in the first half on 41st minute. Liverpool, after two defeats, first against Spurs in the opening match and against Aston Villa, seem to be getting back on track as they are playing more the Liverpool way they showed last season.
Chelsea for their part were up against Stoke in an away match, and the Blues must be heaving a sigh of relief after managing a narrow win. Stoke were up for the challenge, throwing themselves into every challenge and not allowing Chelsea players to dominate them. In fact they lost two players early in the 1st half due to injuries, but still they composed themselves and faced Chelsea valiantly. Faye scored the first for Stoke on 32nd minute, and Drogba managed to pull Chelsea level in the added-time after Lampard played the ball through to him. 1-1 half time, the second half saw both teams create opportunities but it was Malouda who saved Chelsea’s winning streaks as he scored in the added-time once again after a pass from Anelka. Chelsea proving to really want lift the title once again after 3 years without.
In other games on Saturday, Blackburn rather easily won against Wolves, 3-1, the scorers being Diouf (19th min), Roberts (56th min) and Dunn (64th min) for Blackburn, while Wolves scored through Maierhofer (88th min).
Portsmouth were beaten once again, 2-3, against Bolton, with the scorers for Portsmouth being Kaboul (25th min) and Boateng (63rd min), while Bolton’s scorers were Cohen (13th min), Taylor (41st min pen), and Cahill (89th min).
Sunderland thrashed Hull, 4-1, with Bent scoring a double (13th min pen & 66th min), Reid (49th min) and a Zayatte’s own goal (75th min), while the same man scored for Hull on (44th min),
Wigan managed to see off West Ham with the only goal for the Lactics scored by Rodallega on 55th min.
The remaining two games were played on Sunday, with first Birmingham defeated by Aston Villa, the only goal of the match scored by Agbonlahor on 85th min, while Fulham got the upper hand versus Everton, 2-1 the score, with Konchesky (57th min) and Duff (79th min) scoring for the Cottagers, while Cahill (33rd min) had given the Toffees the lead.
The Big 4 will be in action tomorrow and Wednesday for the Champions League group stages, while Fulham and Everton will be in action on Thursday for the Europa League. Not to forget another exciting encounter next Sunday between Man United and Man City, a derby match which already promises to be great.