Another weekend has come and gone in the English Premier League, a weekend that featured a couple of big showdowns and plenty of drama. Manchester City hosted Newcastle in the battle of the league’s only two undefeated teams, and Liverpool traveled to Chelsea hoping to add to the Blues’ woes.
This Weekend’s Scores:
Norwich City 1-2 Arsenal
Everton 2-1 Wolverhampton
Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle
Sunderland 0-0 Fulham
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Bolton
Wigan 3-3 Blackburn
Stoke City 2-3 Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City 0-1 Manchester United
Game of the Week: There was plenty of competition for game of the week this time around. Manchester City and Newcastle put on a good show in their bids to stay undefeated, but in the end only City would hold on to that honor. Chelsea and Liverpool squared off in a tight showdown, with Glen Johnson’s goal giving Liverpool an exciting late win at Stamford Bridge.
But the best game honor this week has to go to the match between Wigan and Blackburn. This game had everything: Excitement, controversy, and of course goals. Blackburn took an early lead through a Yakubu goal, only to give up the lead five minutes later to a great Jordi Gomez half-volley. Gary Caldwell put Wigan ahead on a corner kick in the 31st minute, but Blackburn fought
back after halftime with a controversial second goal. Morten Gamst-Pederson appeared to take a corner kick to himself, and then crossed for Junior Hoillett to head in to tie the game. Wigan were understandably upset that the goal counted, but they regained the lead in the 88th minute and looked to be on their way to a hard-fought victory. The drama wasn’t finished however, as Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson came up for a late corner kick and was fouled, earning Blackburn a penalty kick. Yakubu stepped up in the seventh minute of injury time and calmly scored to tie the game for good.
Goal of the Week: There were lots of high-quality goals this weekend, with Jordi Gomez of Wigan meriting mention for his half-volley against Blackburn, and Glen Johnson scoring a well-finished winner for Liverpool against Chelsea. But the goal of the week honor goes to Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham. Adebayor scored both goals in tottenham’s victory over Aston Villa, but it is his first, an acrobatic bicycle kick, that wins him this week’s award.
Save of the Week: Mark Schwartzer, Fulham. Schwartzer’s kick-save on a deflected shot in injury time kept Fulham from losing their game against Sunderland. Schwartzer had already started diving to his left when the ball was deflected to his right, but he had the presence of mind to extend his right leg as he was falling away and kick the ball to safety.
Surprise of the Week: Tottenham Hotspur in third place. It seemed improbable after a couple of big losses at the start of the season, but Tottenham is playing well and has jumped into third place. That leaves just one of the so-called “big four” in the top four spots of the standings, something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Although they are still nine points behind first-place Manchester City, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has said this week that if his team continues to play like they have been recently, they will win the league. There are a couple of teams in Manchester who might argue with that point, but if Tottenham can keep their momentum, they will certainly be in the running.
Top Scoring Shoe: The adidas AdiPower Predator outscored all other shoes in the Premier League this week, with goals in over half of this weekend’s games coming from adidas’ top-of-the-line shoe.
Discussion Point: Newcastle loses to Manchester City and is no longer undefeated. Is this just a speedbump on the team’s road back to relevance, or will this be the start of a long fall back to earth for the Magpies?