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October 5, 2009

Penniless Pompey Players Perform Perfectly

There are so many good stories from the Premier League this weekend it really is difficult to know where to begin with this round-up.

I suppose pride of place must, though, go, ironically, to the team at the bottom of the league. It was six games, no points for Portsmouth before Saturday. And this was followed by a traumatic week in which the wages were unpaid. Then they go and win an away fixture against Wolves by a solitary Yebda goal. Other chairmen and managers of struggling clubs might log this idea as a motivational tool, who knows.

At the top end of the table, though, Chelsea recovered from last week’s shock against Wigan to overcome Liverpool by two goals to nil. It was revealed in the morning press that John Terry keeps the match ball from the Champions’ League defeat against Man Utd in his home as an inspiration. Well, he was inspired enough to prevent Fernando Torres having a kick of the match ball on Sunday afternoon and, at the other end, Drogba was at his best – and often, infuriatingly, his worst – to set up goals for Anelka – the immutable law of the ex – and Malouda.

Chelsea are two points clear after Manchester United spluttered to a home draw against a Sunderland side really enjoying themselves this year. Twice trailing to goals from the dynamic pairing of Bent and Jones, the home side were reliant on an excellent Berbatov strike and then on two Sunderland players. Firstly, ex United player Kieran Richardson got himself sent off five minutes from time after kicking the ball away and then Anton Ferdinand made his big brother’s weekend a little more bearable by deflecting a shot into his own net. This was in the 94th minute – but no complaints from Steve Bruce this week about too much injury time. I bet his conversation with Richardson was quite interesting, though.

Match of the day in terms of goals was between Arsenal and Blackburn where there were no fewer than eight different scorers! Only 3 – 2 up at the break, Arsenal scored three without reply in the second period and now have the best goal difference in the League. Theo Walcott announced his return with one of the goals.

One interesting fact for the statistical-minded is that this weekend there were four drawn games; which is the same as the total for the other seven weeks combined. As well as the game at Old Trafford the matches between West ham and Fulham and Bolton and Spurs also finished two each whilst Everton and Stoke shared two goals. Apart from that, Burnley maintained their 100% home record against Birmingham, 2 – 1, and Hull beat Wigan by the same score. Aston Villa and Manchester City meet in Monday night game. This all leaves Chelsea with 21 points, Man Utd with 19, Spurs with 16 and Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City with 15; the last two having played one match less. Portsmouth remain at the bottom with, very surprisingly given the way they finished last season, West Ham only two points ahead of them.

The big news in Spain is that Real Madrid’s 100% record ended in a 2 – 1 defeat in Seville, which brought the home side level with them on 15 points. Already Marca has articles about Madrid being ‘Cristiano dependent’, as the Portugese winger was missing through injury. Although they stuttered a little as well, Barcelona did manage to beat Almería thanks to a Pedro goal.

Elsewhere, Atlético managed a 2 – 1 win against Zaragoza to take some of the pressure off the coach but the game with the most talking points was the one between Valladolid and Athletic. The teams shared four goals but one of them for the Bilbao side was from the youngest scorer in La Liga history, 16 year old Muniain. Also, there were three sendings off and Llorente taken to hospital with what looked like a nasty head injury.

Last weekend Xerez managed their first point and this week saw them gain another in a draw with Málaga which brought their first goal. The Andalucían side is now only one point behind Villarreal at the bottom of the table, the latter struggling to a goalless home draw with Espanyol. Other matches saw wins for Valencia by a single goal at Racing, Deportivo by the same score in Tenerife, Getafe 2 – 1 at home to Osasuna and a thumping 4 – 1 victory for Sporting against Mallorca.

So we now have Barça out in front with 18 points from 6 games – their best ever start to a season. Real Madrid and Sevilla are three points behind and Deportivo a further three points back.

Posted by admin @ 10:32 am
Category: Premier League,Spanish League

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