Title race hots up

by Mystical Mike

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
 

Good weekend for Arsenal and Man Utd as Liverpool drop more home points

A long three days of Premier League action, which saw the first ‘Super Sunday’ of the season, as Manchester City played host to bitter rivals Manchester United whilst Arsenal travelled to Chelsea being the highlights of an otherwise uneventful routine weekend.

We will get to those two massive games later on in the article but will start on Saturday when none of the big four were in action. The most eventful game coming at the Stadium of Light where Roy Keane saw his side suffer their fifth home defeat of the season as they were humbled 4-1 by Bolton. Despite taking the lead through Djibril Cisse Gary Megson’s side continued their recent good form by answering back, although Sunderland did gift the Trotters two goals.

Goals from Matthew Taylor, Gary Cahill, Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander sent Bolton up into the top half of the table while Sunderland slipped into the bottom three. Don’t worry though Black Cat fan’s, it’s only a trip to Old Trafford next week.

Just down the road Middlesborough were playing a goalless draw against Newcastle where the only highlight was Obafemi Martins storming off in a huff after being substituted for Mark Viduka. Being last on Match Of The Day will tell you all you need to know about how much else want on in that match.

Elsewhere Wigan came from behind after Ismael Miller gave West Brom the lead in what was a must win game for the Baggies even at this early stage. However goals from Henri Camara and Emerson Boyce in the last half an hour as the Latics recorded back to back victories. The most interesting stat to come out of that game was Scott Carson conceding his 146th and 147th goals in his 93rd Premier League start. England form that is not whilst Chris Kirkland produced an excellent display to send a reminder to Fabio Capello.

Hull and Stoke played out a predictable draw at the Britannia Stadium with Marlon King’s opener cancelled out by Ricardo Fuller’s penalty as the Tigers failed to win for the seventh game on the bounce. Finally for Saturday Aston Villa failed to break down a resilient Fulham side as they collected their third away point of the season. Gareth Barry and Steve Sidweel missed a number of guilt edged chances as Martin O’Neill sides failed to establish a firm grip on fourth spot.

Sunday produced the performance of the weekend as Arsenal came from behind to prove all the doubters wrong by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Johan Djourou put through his own net in the first half as the Blues looked to be on the road to victory. However a lacklustre second half where Chelsea failed to test Manuel Almunia once gave the Gunners the chance to get back into the match with Robin van Persie grabbing two goals in three minutes to secure a famous victory.

Whilst Arsenal halved their football odds for the Premier League Man Utd closed the gap on the top two with a victory over Man City. Wayne Rooney’s goal was the only one the two sides could conjure up with Cristiano Ronaldo’s sending off providing the flash point of the game.

Sir Alex Ferguson tried to defend Ronaldo’s actions, but after committing one late tackle, followed by a sarcastic round of applause and then a deliberate handball it seems like a lost call.

The other two fixtures saw Blackburn almost complete a remarkable comeback against Portsmouth only for Sean Davis to snatch the three points inside the last 15 minutes. Elsewhere Everton produced a by the numbers away performance to beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane, although the win came at a high price with Yakubu ruled out for the whole season after rupturing his achilles tendon.

Finally Liverpool failed to break down West Ham at Anfield and open up a gap over Chelsea at the top of the table with Rafael Benitez’s side showing that if Steven Gerrard doesn’t perform the Reds struggle.

By Chris Rivers – A freelance sports journalist who blogs after football betting.

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  • Stevie

    can someone please tell me what the hell Liverpool are doing on top of the league? They are quite possibly the worst team since Leeds United under Howard ‘toilet roll’ Wilkinson to top the league. SImply awful. One dimensional, no pace, if Gerrad has a crap game nothing happens.

  • Darren

    Aston Villa & Liverpool both bottled it. I agree with you mate, Liverpool have nothing about them. I actually fell asleep AGAIN. God they are so boring.

  • Dan Church

    December is always a very telling month. in exactly a month we shall have a lot clearer picture of the final positions of the top 4……and Utd have a pretty easy month….

  • Darren

    Arsenal have had a nightmare November, they’ve beaten United, Chelsea away and qualified for the Champions League with a game to spare. All we have to do now is beat the crap teams and we may surprise a few people. Eduardo & Rosicky should be back within the next few weeks. Roll on Jan, sign a centre midfielder (dream on) and who knows!

    After watching Chelsea and Liverpool it’s Uniteds to throw away!

  • Matt Quinn

    Villa have £18m to spend on a striker in January. The title will be ours by April.
    Liverpool are poor- but they are top. Still think Chelsea or United will go on a run of 10 straight wins and storm away from Liverpool. Dont think Liverpool have the capacity to go on a similar run.

  • Darren

    Rob Wolly Jumper, please stand up and support your crap team. Did u watch the game or were you fishing? Or did u go Christmas shopping at Wollies?

  • Martin Tibbetts

    Easy month for Arsenal – United away, Chelsea home, Liverpool away, week off

    Nightmare month for Arsenal – Stoke away, Hull home, WBA home, Sunderland away

    They can only raise themselves to perform against teams they deem worthy of them. Until they learn some humility they will win nothing.

    United and Chelsea will pull away after Christmas, though it would be nice to see Liverpool keep up with them, and Villa will sneak the top 4 as I said at the start of the season….

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    would you like a little wager then Martin? Arsenal will finish 4th, only just but they will. Villa have no bottle. Arsenal WILL buy a few players and go on a nice little run, Villa are incapable of doing that

  • Martin Tibbetts

    Gave up gambling many years ago Darren, now I just sound off with no financial comeback! I think Villa are capable of buying players, probably more so than Arsenal, and both can go on a decent run. It will be close thats for sure, and we shall see….

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