While this weekend saw Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle stroll to victory in their respective matches, Manchester United were rather subdued against Fulham at Craven Cottage, and could have easily lost the game, but in the end managed to hold on for a 2-2 draw, with Nani fluffing his penalty shot as Fulham’s reserve goalkeeper kept it out easily, while at the other end, just before United’s second, Vidic committed a foul in the box which was unseen by both linesman and referee, and which could have given Fulham the lead then if a penalty was awarded to them, a lucky escape for the Red Devils on that one.
Manchester United had started the game well with Scholes scoring in the 10th minute as he brilliantly took a first time shot from outside the box after Berbatov laid a pass to him, but from there on, Fulham upped the tempo and United had to defend deep to hold on to the 1 goal advantage till half time, with Van Der Sar making a miraculous double-save from Etuhu to keep Fulham at bay. But half time provided no inspiration to the Red Devils as Fulham came back on level terms on the 57th minute as Davies thumped the ball past Van Der Sar, who got something on the shot, but not enough to keep it out. Fulham were continuing to press, but United sent in some fresh legs, as Park first made way for Nani, then the ineffective Chicharito along with Valencia made way for Giggs and Owen. United’s game then picked up some pace, and eventually they took the lead again, but this time it was a fortunate one, as Nani’s corner kick went straight against the shin of Hangeland, who could do little about it as he was facing his own goal, and depite Greening’s and Stokedale’s attempt to stop the ball, it went in. Then United won a penalty as Duff was sanctioned of what seemed an unintentional handball in the box, but Nani, who stepped up to take it, could not get the better of the keeper as the latter palmed the shot out, while a quick look before taking it could have made Nani change the angle to outfox Stockdale.
Fulham had not given up yet, as on the 89th minute, Hangeland made up for his mistake as he powered a corner past Van Der Sar to give Fulham a well deserved point, while Nani must have been left ruing his missed penalty, and Fulham deservedly claimed the draw after besting United throughout the game. Conclusions for this match were that the United defense is still not yet up to a good level, while Chicharito seemed lost in attack as he was hardly a threat to the Fulham defense, while he had dazzled in the World Cup and in the pre-season games. Berbatov is still the same lanky player, no impact at all if United need at some point to rely on him to produce results, while Scholes impressed yet again with his work rate and passes, and completed his 150th goal of his career.
Elsewhere, in last night’s encounters, both Arsenal and Chelsea strolled, with a 6-star display for both teams. Arsenal had no trouble in seeing off 10-men Blackpool at the Emirates Stadium, as Walcott celebrated a hat-trick, with Arshavin, Chamakh and Diaby also scoring for the Gunners to give their fans a wonderful performance after their lucky draw with Liverpool last week.
Chelsea travelled to Wigan, the latter losing 8-1 in last season’s encounter for the last match at Stamford Bridge, and also last weekend beaten 0-4 by Blackpool. Hosting Chelsea was a massive task in itself, but to everyone’s surprise, the Lactics held on brilliantly for the first 30 minutes, as they pinned Chelsea at the back with some fast flowing football on both wings, but the Blues, defending their title, absorbed all the pressure rather disconcertingly, and went ahead on the 34th minute thru man in form, Malouda. Anelka then doubled their lead 3-minutes in the second half, and grabbed his second on the 52nd minute. 3-0, Chelsea operated some changes, and Kalou was then gifted a goal by the brilliant pass of Drogba to make it 4-0 on the 78th minute, and then added his second as well as the same Drogba sent in a wonderful cross for his team-mate to rise and flick past the keeper. Ex-Liverpool man, Benayoun scored the 6th in added time to give his new team an impressive win, and a +12 goal difference in 2 games, without conceding any, thus sending a warning to all those interested in lifting the title that it could well remain at Stamford Bridge for yet another season :devil:
In other games, Birmingham managed to see off Blackburn on a 2-1 scoreline, while Everton and Wolves drew 1-1, Spurs won 2-1 away to Stoke, while West Brom saw off Sunderland 1-0, and West Ham’s nightmare start to this season continued with a 1-3 defeat by Bolton. Another game which took place earlier today, saw Newcastle give another 6-0 thrashing, this time to Aston Villa, which have lost Milner to Man City. Carroll scored a hat-trick in that game, with Barton and Nolan(2) scoring for the Toons.
Gameweek 2 of the Premier League ends tomorrow night with another exciting duel, as Manchester City will face Liverpool in yet another epic battle, both teams currently on 1 point each, but City have been reinforced with the arrivals of Balotelli and Milner, and look more impressive than ever given the quality of the squad.