When Sunderland took the lead at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon thanks to a poor defensive clearance from Nemanja Vidic, it looked as though Manchester United were to continue their poor start to the season. However, David Moyes’ troops never looked like giving up as Nani, Wayne Rooney and company kept plugging away in the hope of instigating a comeback. However, if it hadn’t been for the sprightliness and energetic display of Adnan Januzaj after the interval, the Red Devils would surely have left for Manchester with zero points on the back of yet another unconvincing display. The Belgian showed an incredible coolness under pressure to dispatch two very well-taken goals past Keiren Westwood and secure a 2-1 win. He has given Moyes a slight respite from all the criticism he’s been receiving of late, and given his options in attack a major boost. For many, Moyes has been too defensive and complacent with his tactics and to know that a player of Januzaj’s potential is available for selection may well ease the pressure on him for the moment. Ironically, it was in defence that United looked most shaky, and they still clearly need some readjustment there.
After quite a turbulent week for Jack Wilshere, it was always going to be vital that he put in a good display at the Hawthorns on Sunday. And, although it certainly wasn’t his most polished display of all-time, the 21-year-old was the man who secured a point for his side with a thunderous, deflected effort in the second half which sealed a 1-1 draw. His goal is sure to divert all the negative attention from him for the moment and is certainly the tonic he had craved ever since last week’s unwanted snaps showed him with a cigarette in hand outside a nightclub. Now, the England international must ensure he continues to endear himself to the fans as well as showing Arsène Wenger just how much he has to offer in the middle of the park as he looks to nail down a starting position. Granted, he’s been integral to the Gunners’ charge to the summit of the Premier League to date, however with so much competition from Tomáš Rosický, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski and of course Aaron Ramsey amongst others for the remainder of the season, Wilshere will need to avoid any more unwanted negative attention that could well detract from his concentration and performance. For the moment, at least, he can bask in the glory of saving Arsenal against a tricky West Bromwich Albion side.
West Ham delivered one of the biggest shocks of the season as they thumped three second-half goals past Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane at the weekend. Not even the most ardent of West Ham fans could have imagined exactly how they would mastermind such an impressive display against one of this season’s would-be title contenders. However, some very impressive pressing and zealous defending ensured that Tottenham’s creativity was given the minimum amount of space to wield their midfield prowess as Sam Allardyce’s charges broke quickly all afternoon and frustrated their opponents with more than a few instances of excellently-timed challenges and pure stubbornness in defence. For Spurs, it was a very disappointing display, and although it was only their second loss of the campaign and could be chalked down to fatigue following their Europa League exertions, there can be no hiding from the fact that the visitors were more clinical, more eager and simply outlasted their opponents in nearly every department.
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