Saturday’s EPL Results

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The early game saw Manchester City host Everton in by far the hardest game so far this season for both sides. City had the chance to move to the top of the EPL table, if only for a few hours, and wanted to keep the pressure on their streaking neighbours. Everton meanwhile have been boosted by positive performances from their young stars, including on loan midfielder Royston Drenthe who scored his first goal for the club last week.

City dominated the majority of the game and had by far the better chances. Everton had to settle for opportunities on the counter but their were few of these to suffice a real threat to their much more favoured opponents. Everton did defend heroically for the majority of the first half and significant portions of the second but the endless class of Manchester City pushed through to secure a 2-0 victory. Mario Balotelli came off the bench to score a deflected goal and give City the lead before James Milner made a beautiful run in behind the centre halves and toed it past Tim Howard who had a good game between the sticks. At the other end Joe Hart made some uncharacteristic brash mistakes which were luckily left unpunished.

Arsenal were one of several teams following the showdown in the city of Manchester as they moved to forget their hugely disappointing second half at Blackburn and saw a huge opportunity hosting the lowly Bolton. Arsenal almost conceded within the first five minutes, only for their sensational young goalkeeper Szczesny to push the ball around the post. It took some time but the gunners slowly hit their stride and found some form more reminiscent of the Arsenal we know. Robin van Persie led the way with two goals which took him to 100 career goals for Arsenal. The first was a beautiful low drive at the front post to nip inside Jaaskelainen. The second was some fantastic wing play from Theo Walcott who delivered an inch perfect low cross for the Arsenal captain to tap in. Alex Song completed the rout with a gorgeous strike from the edge of the box.

The win helped relieve a lot of pressure off the struggling club, but Theo Walcott seemed to damage his hamstring towards the end of the game which was the only negative the North Londoners could find.

Chelsea hosted Swansea at Stamford Bridge and looked to erase the memory of their incredibly eventful loss at Manchester United last week. It didn’t take long for the Spanish duo of Torres and Mata to combine again as Chelsea’s under fire striker took a lovely touch from a lofted ball and finished like we all know he can. Ramires finished off some lovely build up play to give the home side a 2-0 lead in just over half an hour.

Unfortunately for Torres he again continued his unbelievably inconsistent and uncharacteristic play by providing a stupid and unnecessary two footed challenge which earnt him a straight red card and ensured he will miss Chelsea’s next three premiership matches. This will be even more disappointing given the Spaniard was beginning to find form again.

Ramires doubled his tally and extended Chelsea’s lead to three in the second half before Didier Drogba scored in injury time to complete a 4-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile Liverpool unconvincingly beat Wolves at Anfield, Newcastle pumped Blackburn 3-1 at St James’ Park, West Brom and Fulham played out a scoreless draw and Tottenham continued their winning form against Wigan, finishing 2-1.

Manchester United headed to Stoke for the final game of the day. The Britannia Stadium may well be the hardest away game the Premier League has to offer and had already held Chelsea to a draw their this season. Stoke are grappling with their first taste of European football this season and are attempting to find a way to handle the extra fixtures. Manchester United have been at the centre of European football for decades and have started this season on an incredible run that has seen them claim maximum points, despite playing teams like Arsenal and Chelsea. Wayne Rooney was absent for the first time and left a huge hole in the side which was attempted to be filled by Michael Owen. Nani continued his rich vein of form by scoring in the first half to seemingly begin another successful 90 minutes of football for the champions. However, as they always do, Stoke rallied in the second half and found a towering Peter Crouch off a corner to draw level not long after half time and were able to hold the red devils out, whilst creating chances themselves, to earn a valuable point and break United’s win streak to start the season. Stoke’s efforts allowed United’s closest rivals, City, to draw level at the top of the table.

The two clash in few weeks. It may be the most hyped Manchester derby of all time.