Monday, October 06, 2008

EPL Weekend Update

The following is the readers effort at following the EPL without me writing it. Thanks to Brandon, Mehul, and Paul for their work:

Here is Brandon's Take on the Weekend:

Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2 in arguably the most exciting Premier League match of the weekend. Mark Hughes couldn't have drawn up a better first half script for his side that took a 2-0 lead on Liverpool thanks to goals from Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido in the 19th and 41st minutes respectively. But a 55th minute score from El Nino got the Reds on the board to slice the deficit to 2-1.

Then came the turning point of the match as Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for an overzealous tackle on Xabi Alonso in the 67th minute. Six minutes later, the match was all level at 2-2 thanks to another goal from Fernando Torres. From that point on, City tried to hold on for the final 23 minutes in an effort to pull any points out of the match only to see Dirk Kuyt pick up a loose rebound off a Torres bid for a hat trick that was blocked by Robbie Keane. The Dutch striker converted into an empty net from three yards out to give the Merseyside squad a very valuable three points and City a potentially devastating loss.

Arsenal 1 Sunderland 1 thanks to a last minute goal in extra time from Cesc Fábregas, who headed a Robin van Persie corner just inside the near post to save a point for the visitors at the Stadium of Light. After looking very impressive in a mid-week Champions League tilt against FC Porto, the Gunners experienced yet another bout of inconsistency in the Premier League, adding this draw to a ledger that already includes defeats at the hands of Hull City and Fullham this season.

Manchester United 2 Blackburn 0 as the Red Devils win their second consecutive Premier League match to try and climb the table. In many ways, though, the match played second fiddle to Sir Alex Ferguson's public apology to Blackburn manager Paul Ince, whom Ferguson referred to as a 'big time Charlie'. Which probably wouldn't have been an issue for Fergie had he not done so on camera inside the lockerroom at Old Trafford.

Anyway, the pair have apparently reconciled their differences and were said to have had a drink at a local Blackburn watering hole after the match.

Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 0 in a methodical win for the Blues to keep them atop the table. Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka tallied for Chelsea at the 21st and 43rd minutes respectively to stake them to a 2-0 lead. From that point on, a stifling defense and ball possession offense snuffed any chance for the Villans to get back in this one.

Chelsea 8 GP: 17 (4 Points Dropped, +11 Goal Differential)
Liverpool 8 GP: 17 (4 PD, +6 GD)
Arsenal 7 GP: 13 (8 PD, +8)
Manchester United 6 GP: 11 (7 PD, +4)

The Premier League takes off next weekend will resume play on October 18th.

Sat, Oct 18 - Manchester United vs. West Bromwich - Old Trafford, Manchester
Sat, Oct 18 - Arsenal vs. Everton - Emirates Stadium, London
Sat, Oct 18 - Middlesborough vs. Chelsea - Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Sat. Oct 18 - Liverpool vs. Wigan Athletic - Anfield, Liverpool

Mehul's Report:

In what surely was the game of the week, Dirk Kuyt, scored in stoppage time to give Liverpool a dramatic 3-2 victory over Manchester City. The goal was Kuyt's first Premier League goal since November. Manchester City had built a 2-0 lead in the first half, however striker Fernando Torres pulled Liverpool even with two goals as City played much of the second half a man down. The win keeps Liverpool in a 1st place tie with Chelsea as each club have 17 points. The win did come at a high cost for Liverpool with a posterior cruciate ligament injury to defender Martin Skrtel. Some reports have him out as many as 6 months.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will be without defender Martin Skrtel for months after scans on Monday revealed he has suffered posterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee.

The Slovakian international appeared to twist his knee towards the end of the victory at Manchester City on Sunday and will now see a specialist to discover the extent of the damage.

"Martin underwent a scan this morning which showed damage to the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee,'' club spokesman Ian Cotton told the club's official website.

"He will see a specialist tomorrow to assess the extent of the injury and will then have an accurate idea of the timescales involved before he is back playing again.'' The 23-year-old has started every League and European match since being left out of the opener against Sunderland in August and has become an integral part of a settled defence which, until yesterday, has not conceded a goal away from Anfield all season.

After last week's home loss to Hull, many have begun to question Arsenal's chance at the title. An impressive midweek showing in their Champions League match with FC Porto helped ease some of the doubt. However, Arsenal on Saturday narrowly escaped another colossal upset on the road at Sunderland. In the waning moments, it looked as if it would end in a scoreless draw, however late substitute Grant Leadbitter put Sunderland ahead in the 88th minute. Cesc Fabregas rescued Arsenal as he scored on a header in the 94th minute to level it at 1-1. The draw earned the Gunners only a point and they have fallen to 4th place.

Cesc Fabregas cane to Arsenal's rescue with an injury-time equaliser to deny Sunderland victory after a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

The Gunners were within seconds of suffering successive Premier League defeats for the first time since March last year, after substitute Grant Leadbitter smashed home an 86th-minute goal.

But Fabregas, a week after his side had lost at home to promoted Hull, ensured there was no repeat when he headed Robin van Persie's corner home deep into added-time.

Black Cats boss Roy Keane had not taken a point from one of the top-flight's big four before today, but looked to be heading for all three until the Spaniard's intervention.

Manchester United who still have a game in hand continue their climb up the standings after a win at Blackburn. They are getting healthy now with Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo back and as Dimitar Berbatov finds his place on the team, United will be a dangerous team again this season.
Blackburn manager Paul Ince discovered who the real 'guv'nor' is in the Premier League as Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson engineered a 2-0 win for his side at Ewood Park.

The nickname Ince attached to himself as a player is more suited to Ferguson given the enormous number of trophies he has acquired in a stellar managerial career.
And the view from his Blackburn technical area was an unpleasant picture for Ince as United sauntered to victory thanks to a goal in each half from Wes Brown and Wayne Rooney.
Watching England coach Fabio Capello must have been delighted at Rooney's contribution, although how he must wish he could call on Anderson and Dimitar Berbatov, the instigators of United's first back-to-back successes of the season.

An injury plagued Chelsea win 2-0 against Aston Villa and keep up with Liverpool in 1st place.
Luiz Felipe Scolari may have an injury crisis on his hands but Chelsea's title challenge continues apace, with Aston Villa the latest to be swept aside at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka kept Scolari's men at the top of the Barclays Premier League, and it could have been more but for the reflexes of Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
The hosts, already without the services of Didier Drogba, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien, were missing Alex from their starting line-up and then saw midfielder Cole limp off.
Anelka, struggling with muscle spasms before the match, was also taken off at the break meaning Franco di Santo was Scolari's frontline striker for 45 minutes.
Tottenham appear to be in major trouble as they lose again, this time 1-0 at home to Hull City. They find themselves still without a win this season and in last place. The questions are mounting now about the future of manager Juande Ramos. There were higher expectations when he was hired from Sevilla, and I think he will be the next manager fired. Speaking of messy situations, Newcastle who sit in the relegation zone, get a 2-2 draw to Everton.

In other action from the weekend, West Brom won 1-0 against Fulham, Middlesborough got a 1-0 win over Wigan, Bolton won 3-1 to West Ham, and Portsmouth got a 2-1 victory over Stoke.

World Cup qualifiers take place this weekend, so as players report to international duty, the Premier League will be on hold until October 18th.

And finally, Paul's effort:

Scattershooting while wondering what happened to my self esteem.

Contract Quick Hits

Despite Joe Harts claim that he is intent on signing a new contract to remain at Manchester City, my sources say that the takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group will lead to Hart going elsewhere. Actually, I have no idea whether he will resign or not and I may have exagerrated by saying I have a source.

Midfielder Darren Fletcher signed a three year extension with Manchester United. "Its a great honor to sign a new contract..." said Fletcher to the surprise of those who thought it would be a point of shame.

Injury Quick Hits

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is waiting the MRI scan on Martin Skrtel's knee after Skrtel collapsed on the field. "Martin has a twisted knee and we will have to wait for the scan but we think it could be serious. Skrtel who can now see the back of his kneecap agreed with his coach's assesment. "No Hell its serious!" Skrtel replied (editors note. Skrtel never actually said this)

I regret not being able to blog more however I am currently passing a kidney stone and the laptop is a little too heavy and expensive for holding while standing over a toilet.


Edith Wordsworth

1 comment:

Dan's Real Father said...

God Bless these three brave souls. Their words remind me of the old bard from Avon. The eloquence with which they speak is equalled only with the sound of the angels in heaven. One can imagine the quality women they drag home.