I have delayed the writing of this particular entry because I am still grieving a bit over Chelsea’s surprise lost to Aston Villa on Saturday. But in my sad attempt to escape denial and accept the inevitable, I shall report the results of the weekend. I will do so chronologically as to further delay my recognition of reality.
Bolton 1 – 2 Everton: Yakubu Aiyegbeni made a spectacular debut for the Toffees with a goal off an Andy Johnson assist in the 11th minute. Bolton came even with a beautiful volley from Nicolas Anelka on 55 minutes, but with 75 seconds shy of full time, Joleon Lescott headed home a Thomas Gravesen corner. Man of the match for Bolton was obviously goal scorer Anelka, while Everton selected the Lescott for his last minute heroics.
Fulham 3 – 3 Tottenham: The Cottagers came back from a 1-2 deficit at halftime to take a point against the Hotspurs. Younes Kaboul scored first from a rebounded Antti Niemi block off a Gareth Bale corner in the 10th minute. By the 26th minute Tottenham skipper Robbie Keane fed the ball nicely to Dimitar Berbatov, who easily sailed the ball home. But Fulham would not lie down, and Clint Dempsey scored a header off a Simon Davies’ corner 3 minutes shy of the interval. Before the hour, Keane assisted Bale for a soft goal on Niemi, but Alexei Smertin's deflected effort off Ricardo Rocha put Fulham just one goal down. Kamara completed the comeback with a goal in the 87th minute off a long throw in to the box by Chris Baird. Clint Dempsey was the man of the match for Fulham while Dimitar Berbatov took the honor for Tottenham.
Liverpool 6 – 0 Derby: I don’t feel like going into deep detail for this game because it’s just too embarrassing and I just don’t want to take the time. Goal scorers for the Reds include: Alonso free kick ‘27, Babel with world class finish ‘45, Torres assisted by Mascherano ‘56, Alonso ‘69, Vorronin from close range after goalkeeper Bywater rebounded a shot from Kuyt ’76, Torres after a capitalizing on a defensive error ‘78. Man of the match for the Reds was obviously Xabi Alonso with a double in both goals and assists, while the Rams don’t deserve one, frankly.
Middlesbrough 2 – 0 Birmingham City: Boro started the scoring first with a David Wheater header off Andrew Taylor's cross in the 12th minute. The second goal came in minute 36, when George Boateng knocked down a ball from a Maik Taylor cross that was picked up by Stewart Downing for an easy short range goal. David Wheater had a superb performance for Boro, while the Blues goalkeeper can only be commended for keeping the score at such a respectable low.
Newcastle 1 – 0 Wigan: Michael Owen has returned to the league with a commendable last minute header to score from an Obefemi Martins’ cross to secure three points for the Magpies with 3 minutes to spare. The goal represented the first at home since the tenth of February. Newcastle dominates most the game with close calls from Mark Viduka, Nicky Butt and Alan Smith. Kevin Kilbane was sent off shortly after returning from the break for his second bookable offense of the game. Man of the match for the Magpies was easily selected for Owen for his many shots on target, while the Latics honored goalkeeper Chris Kirkland for keeping Newcastle at bay.
Reading 0 – 3 West Ham: New signing Craig Bellamy scored the first for the Hammers after a pass from Lee Bowyer and merely dribbling past the entire Royals defense to put the ball easily behind Marcus Hahnemann. Moments after the interval Matthew Etherington scored his first, while making it a double seconds shy of full time. Nicky Shorey practically covered every blade of grass for the Royals, while man of the match was easily decided for the Hammers with Etherington.
Manchester United 1 – 0 Sunderland: His return to Old Trafford may not have gone exactly to play, but Roy Keane’s Black Cats showed a stubbornness in holding the Red Devils to a goalless draw until the 72nd minute when French striker Louis Saha but the ball in the net. Craig Gordon was the man of the match for Sunderland, while Saha was the obvious selection for United.
Arsenal 3 – 1 Portsmouth: Emmanuel Adebayor gave the Gunners an early lead after a penalty kick in the 7th minute, after David James flipped striker Robin Van Persie. Cesc Fabregas put a ball in goal after a corner kick from Tomas Rosicky was put into a havocked penalty box in the 35th minute. Phillipe Senderos was sent off for clipping the back of Kanu’s heels in the 48th minute. Rosicky blasted a shot between James and Glen Johnson on minute 59 after collecting a free kick from Fabregas. Portsmouth finally scored on 60 minutes with Nwankwo Kanu back heeling a shot in which would only go into goal after ricocheting off his own legs past Manuel Almunia. John Utaka seemed to light the fire under Pompey in moments, but Fabregas was the key for the Gunner’s victory.
Blackburn 1 – 0 Manchester City: Benni McCarthy scored the only goal of the game in after only 13 minutes. Much of the action from the game came from Mike Dean who dished out 6 yellows and 2 reds. Kerimoglu Tugay received a red for his second yellow after tugging on Dietmar Hamann on 53 minutes. Richard Dunne was dismissed shortly after ('64). Ryan Nelson was a stronghold at the back for the Rovers and Micah Richards was constantly working hard for City.
Aston Villa 2 – 0 Chelsea: (God I really don’t want to write this.) After an incredibly dull first half, Zat Knight scored on his debut for Villa with a header from a Gareth Barry corner kick. After sending John Terry to the front line, Jose Mourinho weakened Chelsea’s defense, leaving it susceptible to a raid from opposition. Inevitably, Gabriel Agbonlahor sealed the three points for Villa with a goal on 88 minutes after collecting an Ashley Young cross from the left. With another confident performance under his belt Shaun Wright-Phillips is looking more and more like a contender for the national side, while Ashley Young exhibited competence far beyond his years.
Videos can be found at 101 Great Goals (link to right)
Saturday Round-Up from SkySports:
Weekend Review and Team of the Week from SkySports: http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11096_2705366,00.html
Best of the Weekend from SkySports: http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11096_2705366,00.html