Friday, 28 January 2011

Big names win big

Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick as United battered Birmingham 5-0 in Manchester and helped himself to 2 more in midweek at Blackpool as the league leaders came from behind to win 3-2, while Robin van Persie scored all 3 and missed a penalty in Arsenal’s home win over Wigan, and Chelsea powered past Bolton 4-0 away from home. Liverpool enjoyed a rise in the table after winning 3-0 at Wolves, thanks to 2 goals from Torres, and a 1-0 win at Fulham in the week while Everton scored a last-minute goal to draw 2-2 with visiting West Ham who had had Piquionne sent off for celebrating what he thought was the winning goal for the Hammers. Darren Bent scored the only goal of the match in his d├ębut for Aston Villa at home to Manchester City while Tottenham drew 1-1 at Newcastle and Fulham defeated Stoke 2-0 at the Cottage.
Arsenal and Birmingham will contest the Carling Cup final after the Gunners overturned Ipswich 3-0 at the Emirates and Birmingham came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at St Andrews.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sunday draws and Arsenal stay on course

Chelsea got back to winning ways with 2 goals at home to Blackburn while Manchester City were stretched at home by Wolves, eventually winning 4-3 and Arsenal found the going easy at West Ham scoring 3 goals without reply. On Sunday all 4 matches ended in draws with Tottenham and top of the table Manchester United firing blanks at White Hart Lane, and the derby matches between Sunderland and Newcastle, and Birmingham and Aston Villa ending a goal apiece while Kenny Dalglish earned his first home point as Liverpool manager in their 2-2 draw against Everton.
In FA Cup replays Stoke won 2-0 at Cardiff, Doncaster were devoured 5-0 by Wolves at Molineux, Manchester City put Leicester out 4-2 in Manchester and Arsenal returned 3-1 victorious from Leeds.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Cup hits north England

Liverpool’s 2-1 midweek defeat at Blackpool was the only Premier League match of the week as the FA Cup took centre stage with Liverpool managed by Kenny Dalglish losing to an early Giggs penalty for Manchester United at Old Trafford. Newcastle United were dumped out of the cup 3-1 at Stevenage and Sunderland lost 2-1 at home to Notts County while Middlesbrough suffered the same result as hosts Burton Albion came back with 2 late goals from Shaun Harrad to make it a bad day for the north with Carlisle also dropping out after their 1-0 loss at Torquay. In a tale of 2 penalties Arsenal earned a trip to Leeds with a last minute spot kick, and Leicester earned a trip to Manchester City with a 2-2 draw while Jermain Defoe scored a double as Tottenham put Charlton out 3-0 at White Hart Lane. Chelsea smashed Ipswich 7-0 at the Bridge while Queens Park Rangers lost to a single goal at Blackburn and West Bromwich Albion suffered the same fate at Reading. Millwall were demolished 4-1 by visiting Birmingham and a Diomansy Kamara hat-trick at the Cottage helped Fulham shatter Peterborough 6-2 while Sheffield Wednesday won 3-0 at Bristol City and Sheffield United lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa. . In the battle of the seasiders Portsmouth lost 3-1 at Brighton and Blackpool were beaten 2-0 at Southampton. Cardiff drew 1-1 at Stoke while Leyton celebrated a 1-0 win at Norwich and Wolves drew 2-2 at Doncaster. Nottingham Forest won 2-1 at Preston and Crystal Palace lost by the same scoreline at Coventry.
In the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg matches ten-man West Ham thrilled their crowd with a 2-1 success over Birmingham and the Tractor Boys of Ipswich bounced back from their humiliating hammering at Chelsea to send Arsenal back with a 1-0 defeat.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Chelsea losing ground

Manchester United remain top after winning 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion and at home to Stoke in the space of 3 days, while a single goal gave Manchester City a home win against Blackpool before holding Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates after the Gunners had cruised to a 3-0 win at Birmingham. Chelsea thought they had completed a late flight-back with the winner a minute from time but Aston Villa left Stamford bridge with a 3-3 draw, and days later the Londoners lost 1-0 at bottom side Wolves to move down to 5th in the table while Wolves who had earlier lost 2-0 at West Ham moved out of the relegation zone leaving the Hammers rooted to the bottom after their 5-0 humiliation at Newcastle who had earlier won 1-0 at Wigan making this period perfect for the north of England as Sunderland were the only other team to pick up 6 points with a 3-0 home victory over Blackburn and a 1-0 win at Aston Villa. Tottenham lost 2-1 at Everton but had already moved above Chelsea into 4th spot with a 1-0 home win over Fulham who went on to beat West Brom 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Liverpool enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Bolton but the pressure on manager Roy Hodgson mounted as they lost 3-1 at Blackburn while in other matches Everton lost 2-0 at Stoke and Blackpool were beaten 2-1 by visitors Birmingham.