Premier League wrap: Arsenal down Tottenham as Baggies sink Chelsea
Alex Sharp takes a look back at the weekend's Premier League action, as Arsenal beat 10-man Tottenham Hotspur
The pressure is starting to show across the Premier League has sparked fascinating football with shocks, tempers and goals galore.
Eight of the weekend’s games had at least three goals, with Norwich’s exceptional victory over Manchester United and West Ham’s draw with Stoke on Monday the only exceptions.
The pace of the attacking currently showcased in the league is harrowing defences and is forcing the errors. It’s impossible to pick out a single result from the weekend as so many crucial games took place.
The north London derby repeated February’s scoreline with a 5-2 home win for Arsenal. Santi Cazorla returned to form to penetrate a tiring Spurs defence, while the return of Jack Wilshere has given Arsenal a steel and balance in midfield.
Spurs can take some heart from the defeat, as they had chances to force the game into a tense finish at 4-2 down. The players fought on bravely with 10 men and still managed to counter-attack with pace.
The idiocy of Emmanuel Adebayor cost Tottenham massively. He now miss three games and his absence will be even more costly, with Jermain Defoe having lost his spark from earlier in the campaign. Spurs are extremely lightweight up front and have no-one with the credentials yet to lead the line.
Gareth Bale is a supreme talent as everybody knows but Andre Villas-Boas’ side are relying too heavily upon the Welshman to penetrate the opposition.
Bale surely can’t stay at Tottenham much longer. They unfortunately missed out on Champions League football this season following Chelsea’s unexpected triumph in May and are in a dismal run of results, with five losses in the last six league games.
The powerful winger has the calibre to reach the heights of the game and if Spurs continue to flirt with Champions League football, he must move on up to fulfil his potential.
January will be a crucial transfer window for Villas-Boas if the current run of form continues. They certainly need to invest in a striker and could do with further cover at the back.
Elsewhere, a determined and thoroughly organised Norwich deserve a mention for their well-deserved victory over Manchester United.
Positive results have been few and far between for the Canaries this season but Chris Hughton has managed to claw Norwich up to 14th in the League. They have also between Arsenal and appear adept to the bigger games – but they must become more competitive and ruthless in the matches against their rivals in the lower half of the league.
The loss for Chelsea at West Brom confirms that this column’s praise for Steve Clarke’s promising start as Baggies boss was not misplaced. It was a terrific performance that suddenly heaps pressure on Roberto Di Matteo down at Stamford Bridge.
Surely Roman Abramovich has to learn from his trigger-happy past and look to stabilise the club after a turbulent few months. Di Matteo deserves a chance to turn around the club’s fortunes in the league but a defeat tonight against Juventus in the Champions League could cause Abramovich to act.