Weekend’s English Premier League Results


One of the things I am going to be doing with this blog is providing at least a once a week VLOG on the results of the weekend’s action and any other important news.

This weekend’s fixtures extended into a Monday night game (which was 6:45am in Sydney, Australia where I live), meaning the video that normally would have gone out on Monday would have to be delayed a day. Normally the VLOG will be shown on Monday’s so make sure you come in for it next week.

Because work decided they did not want me to have a social life, I was working Saturday and Sunday night, meaning I was only able to watch a couple of games over the weekend. I caught Arsenal’s home win against Everton and Chelsea’s shock comeback against Manchester City, but only managed to see small sections of the other games.

I am not someone to do something half heartedly and I did not want to sit here and talk about results when I had not seen at least a third of each game. Yes, normally I watch about a third of each game over the weekend, or at the very least the extended highlights of each game. Work has not allowed me to do so.

Before this sounds too much like an excuse to a teacher for not doing homework (which I guess in some twisted metaphorical way it is), I will get to the point. The results VLOG will not be up this week because I have not seen enough of each game to warrant doing so. If I get up here and start ranting about how good Manchester United were in their dismantling of Wolves, when it turns out they were 4 rather lucky goals and Wolves deserved a point, then not only do I look stupid but the site does as well.

I will be posting a VLOG later in the week previewing this coming weekend’s fixtures and talking about some more of the issues of the league. As for now, I will run through the results and give an analysis of the two games I saw.

Arsenal 1-0 Everton

The Gunners had been busy celebrating their 125th anniversary much of the weekend, including the unveiling of three statues of club legends. Thierry Henry, Herbert Chapman and Tony Adams were the deserved recipients. For more on that and the three figures, scroll down and have a read of the article I posed a few days ago.

Arsenal came out quickly and had numerous chances to go ahead early, but Walcott and Gervinho both managed to miss simple chances, condemning Arsenal to a hugely frustrating 0-0 score at the half.

A freak wave of defensive injuries has Arsenal currently playing four centre halves across the back four, forcing in form Vermaelen and Djourou onto the flanks. Their unfamiliarities with the fullback position was clearly plaguing Arsenal as they had no real contribution from either when going forward. Because Walcott and Gervinho like to drift infield when they are in possession or in the final third, this makes the Arsenal fullbacks hugely significant in the structure of the team and this was lacking first half.

The beginning of the second half showed a clear intention from both out of position defenders to get forward. Arsenal were still being left frustrated by Everton, as the Toffees began to hold more possession and launch attacks on the Arsenal defense.

The theme of the second half was offsides, as neither team was managing to stay behind the last man, leaving the situation even more frustrating for both sides.

Robin van Persie was having a uncharacteristically quiet game, the second in a row following his below average performance away to Wigan last week, and had failed to have anything of an impact on this game. He had shown several poor touches, was not showing the offensive fluency that has made him the world’s best striker and was failing to settle amongst the fierce defending of Jagielka and Heitinga. Despite this you can never count the best players out.

Song lofted a ball to the right edge of Tim Howard’s box and van Persie proceeded to volley it first time. Howard, unfairly, was left rooted to his place and could only watch as the growing legend of Robin van Persie continued in the most spectacular of fashions. He even managed to impress Thierry Henry, who was on his feet applauding in the crowd. It was reminiscent of the type of finishing van Persie has made look so simple this year and took his 2011 Premier League total to 33 goals, one short of Henry and 3 short of Alan Shearer’s record.

The game fittingly was decided by that strike and Arsenal continued their incredible run of form, having taken 20 of the past 22 points on offer to them in the league.

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

The undisputed game of the week featured a heavy weight showdown of money bags. Chelsea, the original big spenders and the newest participants of England’s elite hosted the world’s richest and moral-less team who are looking to establish themselves in the same company as Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

City are undefeated in all competitions, other than their spectacular failure in their first attempt at the Champions League, and started as well as they could have hoped, with Aguero feeding Balotelli who rounded Cech and slotted home. Balotelli has quickly become as good on the pitch as he has been controversial off it.

It looked as thought it was going to be a long night for Chelsea as Aguero wasted a glorious chance for a second and City failed to capitalise on their pressure.

Chelsea slowly fought their way back into the game and produced a Mereiles (who is getting uglier by the week) goal via from lovely build up from the extremely talented Daniel Sturridge.

After the break it was a largely even game, with Chelsea looking the most likely.

With around 20 minutes to go Mancini produced a series of astonishing managerial decisions that led to him bringing on Kolo Toure for Aguero and Nigel De Jong for David Silva, leaving Balotelli as the lone attacking player on the park. I was sitting on my cold leather couch at 8 in the morning in complete shock and outrage over what Mancini was doing, signalling to Chelsea they had no intentions of winning the game and that it was up to them to decide who took home the points.

I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, for a team that has been so dominant and free scoring this season and who are leading the league by a significant amount to park the bus to that extent was unfathomable. They put 6 past Manchester United at Old Trafford but felt they couldn’t score more than 1 at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea’s leaky defense that let in 5 against Arsenal only a month ago? I will never support the tactics Mancini continues to use, and tactics that are becoming more prevalent in club football, known simply as parking the bus, because of two reasons.

1) it is completely and utterly boring to watch. How glad I am that from a young, naive and clueless age I decided to follow Arsenal who play the best football in the world rather than a team like Manchester City who are beyond painful to see. When they open up they are nearly unstoppable, yet Mancini continues to harness their talent with his confusing tactics. I still maintain that if Manchester City want to achieve their potential they will need a much better manager than Mancini. There are really only 4 top managers in the world and I can’t see either of the four coming to the Eastlands.

2) You’re asking for trouble. If you concede a draw is a good result, take your foot off the gas and break the balance of the team by bringing on defender, after defender, at some stage it is going to backfire. You cannot play 20 minutes in your own half. You need to get forward. A good offense is the best defense. Arsenal have been able to avoid their defensive ineptitude over the past half decade because their attack was good enough to score more goals than they conceded. Teams that travel to the big clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United attempt to employ more numbers in midfield, normally in defensive roles, and largely are broken open and the damage that is inflicted is greater than if they played their normal game.

In spite of this City went on and Lescott (who is one of the worst defenders in the league and certainly the most overrated and overpaid, the Andy Carroll transfer of defending) delivered a blatant handball with only minutes remaining handing Lampard an opportunity off the bench to put pressure on AVB to give him a start and redeem himself for a penalty miss at Newcastle last week, which he took. City then hurriedly brought on Dzeko for Lescott but it was much too little too late.

Karma was victorious and City’s severe tactical deficiencies and arrogance was led to their downfall for the first time. It sets up a mouthwatering clash with inform Arsenal next weekend.

Stoke 2-1 Tottenham

Stoke City broke Tottenham’s unbeaten run via former Spur Matthew Etherington’s first half double. Adebayor scored Tottenham’s lone goal.

Sunderland 2-1 Blackburn

Lowly Blackburn were unable to back up their strong last performance, allowing Sunderland to come back at the Stadium of Light thanks to Vaughan and the heroic Larsson deep in injury time.

Bolton 1-2 Aston Villa ss

First half goals from Petrov and Albrighton (who used to play with a friend of mine in school) were too much for Klasnic and Bolton, who stay below Blackburn at the bottom of the table. Their great run in the top flight may be coming to an end.

Liverpool 1-0 QPR

Liverpool were able to hold off QPR for a much needed win and a much wanted clean sheet. Luis Suarez was sensational, but should have had a bag full of goals. He scored the only goal.

Manchester United 4-1 Wolves

Manchester United successfully put their week of hell behind them with a dominant display over lowly Wolves. Rooney and Nani both poured in doubles.

Norwich 4-2 Newcastle

Everyone’s second favourite team, Norwich, continued their impressive start to life at the top by smashing Newcastle at Carrow Road. Newcastle, who were undefeated only a few weeks ago, suffered their second consecutive hefty defeat following their 3-0 loss at home to Chelsea last time out.

Swansea 2-0 Fulham

Swansea too have been impressive so far this season, downing Fulham who were upbeat after their point away to Liverpool last week.

West Brom 1-2 Wigan

Wigan moved on from their home shellacking at the hands of Arsenal last week by beating fellow strugglers West Brom away and earning a valuable 3 points to take them off the bottom of the table.