Premier League – A Weekend Of Upsets




Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League

At the end of Saturday’s round of premiership fixtures, Manchester United was the team that was smiling and this, without even stepping on to the field. Defending champions and league leaders Chelsea lost to Manchester City while North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham fell to lesser fancied teams. Liverpool continued their disastrous start to the season as they drew 2-2 at home to Sunderland. But United’s smile was short lived as they only managed a draw at Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.

It was the clash of the Italian managers in the early kick off at Eastlands as Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City took on Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea. The game started off with both teams looking dangerous but either of them failed to create any clear cut chances as Chelsea came closest when Ivanovic hit the post. The first few minutes of the second half produced as much action as the whole of the first half as the City keeper Joe Hart denied Anelka, and Essien wasted a great chance from close range. But against the run of play, it was City who took the lead on the counter attack as Tevez ran ferociously at the Chelsea defence, created space and shot through Cole’s legs and the ball went in off the post. City, who has conceded only 2 goals this season, was tight in defence as Chelsea failed to get a decent shot on target and dropped their first points of the season as City moved to 11 points from 6 games.

The other title contenders Arsenal put on a lacklustre show as they lost 3-2 to unfancied West Bromich Albion at home. Arsenal, who decided not to sign a goalkeeper in the transfer window, were made to pay heavily as Almunia, in spite of saving a penalty in the first half had a game to forget. After a goalless first half, Peter Odemwingie and Gonzalo Jara put the Baggies 2-0 up, the second goal a gift from Almunia. Jerome Thomas scored a third as Arsenal were looking out of sorts. However Samir Nasri scored two quick goals to make it 2-2 but it was too little too late as the Gunners lost their first home game since January.

Liverpool, who just can’t seem to buy a win of late, had to settle for a 2-2 draw at home against Sunderland. After Kuyt’s controversial goal gave Liverpool the lead in the 5th minute, Darren Bent converted a penalty to level the scores. He added a second to continue his impressive form in the season. Liverpool however equalized through a Steven Gerrard header. The Reds were left ruing Agger’s missed opportunity in injury time as the draw left Liverpool 16th in the table.

Manchester United failed to cut Chelsea’s lead at the top to one point as they had to settle for a point against Bolton. Zat Knight’s early goal put Bolton in the lead while Nani’s individual effort leveled the scores. Petrov gave Bolton the lead once again but Michael Owen’s equalizer fetched United a point. United have now conceded 9 goals in the league as they continue to miss the presence of injured Rio Ferdinand at the back.

In other matches, West Ham’s Robert Green managed to keep a clean sheet as Tottenham suffered an upset defeat at Upton Park. Blackburn scored an injury time winner over Blackpool and Aston Villa started their life under new manager Gerard Houlier with a 2-1 win over Wolves. James Perch’s own goal gave Stoke all three points against Newcastle and Everton slumped to the bottom of the table after a goalless draw at Craven Cottage.

However this weekend will be remembered for the flurry of upsets where the big teams failed to capitalize on each other’s slip ups.

By: Monish Menon

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