Thank God it’s monday folks. It was a weekend full of goals, controversies and talking points in the most entertaining league in the world the English Premier league. This bright monday morning, Footynyx will be analyzing some of the major happenings in some key games last weekend in the EPL. We start things off with the lunch time kick off on saturday between Everton and Manchester City. Both teams went into the game in contrasting fortunes. Everton were booed off the field last in their previous encounter after they lost 3 nil at home to Wigan in the FA cup, a tie many expected them to win while Manchester City produced a stellar five star performance by whipping five goals past a hapless Barnsley with Carlitos Tevez banging in a hat trick. Before kick off, City’s chances of a good performance suffered a blow when Yaya Toure was withdrawn from the starting line up because of a migraine. At the end of the game however, City manager Roberto Mancini would have had a headache of his own. Despite playing against 10 men for over half an hour, his team put up a laboured performance losing 2 nil. Mancini must surely now dread playing against the toffees as they have now proved to be City’s bogey team. There was a moment of HUGE controversy in the game though when referee Lee Probert denied City a clear penalty after Everton’s Marouane Fellaini handled inside the box. The ref controversially blew for a free kick OUTSIDE the box. The city players were so enraged they must have been tempted to tell Mr Probert to take a trip to Spec Savers after the game. It was City’s 6th defeat in 8 to Everton and city’s Fourth successive loss to Everton at Goodison park since Mancini took charge. For David Moyes of Everton, it was a fantastic triumph after a week of turmoil and a perfect way to celebrate his 11 yrs in charge at Everton. After the game, City assistant manager David Platt said his team will ‘fight to the end’. With a 15 point gap to close and an inferior goal difference of 13 goals to Manchester United I have to say fight for what exactly? Manchester United took full advantage of City’s slip up by beating Reading 1 nil at Old Trafford courtesy of a deflected Wayne Rooney strike after a sleek solo run from Rio Ferdinand. It was Rooney’s 13th goal in 17 games. It was an insipid performance from the champions elect but they wouldn’t mind with what now looks like a healthy 15 point lead with 9 games left. Sir Alex though is taking nothing for granted yet. He said after the game People can say what they want about the title being over, but you don’t get points and medals for being complacent,’ he snapped.
‘It is a great position to be in but all we can do is make sure we win our next game.’ Manchester united will now be looking to consolidate on their lead and not allow last season’s capitulation repeat itself and are setting their sights on the record number of points to win the EPL (95) and the highest winning margin of 18points achieved in the 1999/2000 season over Arsenal.
It looks like De ja vu all over again for Tottenham and their fans. Last season, the let a sizeable lead slip and failed to qualify for this season’s champions league. This weekend they lost third place to Chelsea with a 1-0 loss at home to Fulham. It was the Cottagers first win at White Hart Lane in 10 years and victory was achieved with a brilliant finish from ex Spurs player Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian scored 46 goals in two seasons for Spurs before his big money move to Man Utd. With big fixtures coming thick and fast for Spurs with them playing Everton(H), Chelsea(A) and Manchester City (H), their fans and manager have every reason to be very afraid.
- Who would have thought it by November. With 9 games remaining, Chelsea are now just FOUR points behind second placed Manchester City, have a good chance to progress in the FA cup with a replay at home to Man Utd and are in the Q/finals of the Europa league. The ‘interim one’ Rafa Benitez has not done a bad job after all. Chelseas’s victory against West Ham was secured with goals coming from Frank Lampard scoring against his old club and Eden Hazard. Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea and is just 2 goals short of record scorer Bobby Tambling. West Ham are now looking nervously over their shoulders as they are now creeping gradually into the relegation dog fight. Just 6 points separate them from the drop zone.
- If you search up the word ‘inconsistency’ in the dictionary, you’ll find Liverpool FC attached to it. Merciless in their last away game spanking Wigan 4 nil at the DW stadium, they were outplayed, outpassed, outmuscled and outscored sorry I’ve run out of ‘outs’ by Southampton at Saint Mary’s. Any hopes of qualifying for the champions league may now have evapourated with that loss. Southampton were simply brilliant. They seem to save their best for the big boys. They outplayed(out again) Man Utd at old Trafford last month though they lost narrowly 2-1 and were fantastic in beating champions Manchester City 3-1 a month ago also. Manager Mauricio Pochentinno has them playing with belief and this 3-1 victory over Liverpool certainly does their confidence and their chances of survival a whole world of good. The Saints are now seven points clear of the drop zone. The same cannot be said of QPR after their relegation six pointer against Aston Villa. It was a cracking game at Villa park and QPR’s 3-2 loss consolidated their position at the bottom. With just 3 wins all season out of 30 games, QPR surely now need divine intervention. It was also a great weekend for Wigan after they beat Newcastle with an injury time goal from Arouna Kone and Arsenal who convincingly beat Swansea 2 nil at the Liberty Stadium to boost their chances of champions league qualification especially with Spurs losing to Fulham.
Finally, West Brom and Stoke played out a boring goalless draw at the Brittania. The entertainment however came after the game with want away West Brom striker Osazee Odemwingie taking to twitter AGAIN to blast his club at the way they were treating him. He seems to be spending more time on Twitter these days than on the field of play. There seems to be no way back now in this bad romance between the striker and his club. Footynyx