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Arsenal 6 Southampton 1
Thanks to two own goals, Arsenal carried their great form to thrash pointless Southampton.
The Saints could hardly have asked for a tougher opening to their season, playing the two Manchester clubs and obviously Arsenal.
Southampton found themselves 4-0 down in the first 38 minutes thanks to some pretty shoddy defending. Saints ‘keeper Kelvin Davis could and should have done better after not efficiently dealing with Kieran Gibbs’ cross.
Podolski secured Arsenal’s second goal of the day by crafting a spectacular free-kick into the top corner on 31 minutes.
After that Arsenal shifted into another gear and the Saints just couldn’t keep up.
Gervinho then ran through on goal and waited for the perfect opportunity to strike before hammering in at the near post four minutes later.
Things went from bad to worse as Southhampton conceded another somewhat unfortunate own goal as Kieran Gibbs drilled in a cross for it to find Nathaniel Clyne who turned it into his own net.
Just before the break Southampton showed glimpses of a comeback, Fox pounced on a fumble by Szczesny to make it 4-1. But it was too little too late.
After half time, the pace slowed down, although Arsenal weren’t finished scoring just yet. Gervinho tapped in from three yards after an initial shot hit the post.
The final goal came from former Saints player Theo Walcott, who curled in an effort from just inside the box.
Great performance by Arsenal, but questions have to be asked about Southampton.
Norwich 0 West Ham 0
All in all a dire game, with both sides failing to capitalise on chances.
I think West Ham will be the happier side after keeping out numerous chances from the Canaries.
West Ham started the stronger, and Carlton Cole, who came in for the injured Andy Carroll, was unlucky not to score.
Grant Holt was poor for Norwich, and they don’t look as good this season under boss Chris Hughton.
The Hammers will be looking forward to their next game at home to Sunderland where they could be looking at three points.
Norwich, however, face a tough test away to Newcastle, who are flying high in Europe.
Aston Villa 2 Swansea 0
Aston Villa registered their first victory of the 2012/13 season and they were worthy winners.
It’s a step in the right direction for Paul Lambert’s Villa, after a disappointing start to the season.
I thought that Steven Ireland had a very good game for The Villa. His passing was sharp and he could have bagged himself a goal, too. Matthew Lowton’s wonder striker, his first goal for Villa, put the hosts ahead.
In the dying minutes of the game, debutant Christian Benteke ran on through goal after reacting well to a weak Swansea header to round ‘keeper Michel Vorm to tap in.
A great defensive display by Aston Villa, Brad Guzan in particular, and Swansea just need to move on and learn from their mistakes, and look forward to next week’s game at home to Everton.
Fulham 3 West Bromwich Albion 0
Dimitar Berbatov grabbed the headlines after scoring a brace in his home debut against the Baggies. His first goal was great; his second was a calmly taken penalty.
Martin Jol described Bervatov as ‘The best signing in Fulham’s history’, and what a way to answer to that with two goals in front of the Fulham faithful!
Steve Sidwell rounded off the scoring in the last minutes with a tap-in.
Dimitar Berbatov said after the game, ‘It was a great home debut. I had a feeling before the game that it would be a good day for the team and me. And it’s a great feeling. I feel satisfied with the result and my play, and all the supporters are happy as well’.
Manchester United 4 Wigan 0
The game was labeled by various pundits as a game of milestones, what with Paul Scholes making his 700th appearance for the Red Devils, veteran Ryan Giggs coming off the bench to secure his 600th appearance, and Dutch forward Alexander Buttner making his first.
Manchester United earned a dubious penalty after Danny Welbeck appeared to be fouled but replays suggested that the England frontman took a dive. However, justice was done as Ali Al Habsi saved well to his left to keep out Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s resulting penalty.
After half time, Manchester United clicked into gear and scored three in fifteen minutes.
The first came from Paul Scholes, who had to tap-in from close range. That goal means Scholes has scored in his 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th, 500th, 600th, and 700th appearance. J
avier Hernandez converted the second, despite having in my opinion a bad game. He has struggled somewhat to secure a regular staring place thanks to the talent of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, and also United’s third scorer of the game, Buttner. So when Hernandez gets the chance he really has got to grab it with both hands if that isn’t too much of a cliché.
Powell rounded off a successful afternoon to make the final score 4-0 in favour to the Red Devils.
Queens Park Rangers 0 Chelsea 0
A game at the centre of media attention. Will Anton Ferdinand shake the hand of John Terry and Ashley Cole or won’t he? Ferdinand, of course, didn’t.
This brings up the big debate of should handshakes be discarded and forgotten about? But that’s for a separate debate, so let’s get back to the football.
Loftus Road has always been a struggle for Chelsea, and it proved to be a struggle this time around. Chelsea should arguably have had a couple of penalties; however referee Andre Marriner was giving The Pensioners absolutely nothing, much to the frustration of boss Di Matteo.
The first penalty shout came from Ryan Nelson’s alleged handling of Terry, who was at the centre of abuse for the majority of the match. Shaun-Wright-Phillips was the culprit of the second shout: He carried out a clumsy challenge on Eden Hazard, and which was again waved away.
A frustrating day for Chelsea, and I think they will be happy the game finished.
Stoke City 1 Manchester City 1
Plenty of debutants for the Manchester Club, Javier Garcia, Scott Sinclair and full back Maicon came in for the Citizens.
The opening goal came from Peter Crouch, who I feel wrongly stated in the week that he should play for England. I don’t think it’s a choice for players to make, it’s entirely the manager’s decision.
However, the goal from the frontman was handled on numerous occasions, and Man City can find themselves unfortunate that Mark Clattenburg didn’t spot the foul play.
Debutant Garcia was the saviour for Man City, and he looks to be a very promising player, both attacking wise and also defensively. Yaya Touré might feel he could have won it for the Blues, but was denied by ‘keeper Begovic who saved well on numerous occasions.
It will be interesting to see how Manchester City play against a depleted Real Madrid team, according to José Mourinho. That could be one of the Special One’s mind games, though.
Sunderland 1 Liverpool 1
Liverpool’s rather frustrating start to the season continues and they should really have won. However, nothing should be taken away from the Black Cats as they played some good football at times.
They took the lead through Steven Fletcher, who is massively underrated. Liverpool returned to fortunes of the past season as they hit the bar and posts on numerous occasions, Glen Johnson’s effort the most noticeable of them all, curling in an effort on his favoured right foot to smack against the post.
Luis Suarez tumbled, rolled and screamed his way around the pitch in customary fashion, but the Uruguayan netted to earn a point for the Anfield club in what has been a historic week in the clubs history, where justice has finally come out and I would like to take this opportunity to say how sorry I feel for all the families involved in the Hillsborough tragedy.
Reading 1 Tottenham 3
AVB’s Tottenham registered a comfortable win away to Reading. Defoe opened the scoring with a well taken goal inside the first 20 minutes.
Tottenham carried on pressing and Reading’s defence looked weak, with many passes going astray. Aaron Lennon had a great game down the right and carried on picking holes in the newly promoted side’s defence.
Gareth Bale made it 2-0 on 71 minutes with a somewhat scuffed shot. I think that Bale isn’t as effective playing too far forward; I feel he was a better all rounded player when he was as full-back. However, he was always there in Tottenham’s attacks and his persistence paid off.
Defoe scored his second of the game and his third league goal this season with a terrific solo goal. He will be key to England’s World Cup Qualifying campaign, if he scores and play’s well, England will almost definitely qualify. He is that good a player and so underrated, and people don’t appreciate the quality he has.
Reading then scored themselves to make it 3-1 with a well taken finish from Robson-Kanu on 90 minutes, but it was too little too late.
My Team of the Week
Written by Adam May
Follow him on Twitter @Amay132
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