Chelsea beat Man United as Hull secure vital win
The Sport Review looks back at all of the weekend’s Barclays Premier League action.
Aston Villa 5 – 1 Bolton Wanderers
Villa returned to winning ways after demolishing Bolton. Goals from Young, Agbonlahor, Milner, Carew and Cuellar helped the home side to an outstanding five-goal win.
Elmander has made the score 2-1 on the stroke of half time to set up an intriguing second half. But Martin O’Neill’s men powered on to an impressive 5-1 victory which sees them move up fifth while Bolton drop down to two places above the relegation zone.
Aston Villa manager, Martin O’Neill: “We’ve had a tough run on the road since we last won here against Chelsea. The defeat against West Ham was very difficult to take. The players were ready, we got out of the blocks quickly and I’m really pleased with the performance.”
Bolton manager, Gary Megson: “They haven’t had to work hard for the goals they’ve got. It’s not acceptable and nowhere near good enough from our players.”
Blackburn 3 – 1 Portsmouth
It was a game of two halves. Pompey had taken a first half lead with long range effort from Jamie O’Hara that was deflected past Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal.
However some well chosen words from Sam Allardyce in the Rovers dressing room sparked a comeback much to the delight of Ewood Park. A Jason Roberts brace and a volleyed effort from Ryan Nelson left Portsmouth manager, Paul Hart, bitterly disappointed.
Blackburn manager, Sam Allardyce: “The first 45 minutes was well below out best and we haven’t seen that at home this season. I can forgive them at the end because we’ve won the game.”
Portsmouth manager, Paul Hart: “We’ve made a lot of progress. I think the problems we had in the summer were well documented. This is a setback but we’re used to picking ourselves up and we’ll do it again.”
Hull City 2 – 1 Stoke City
It was a must-win game for Phil Brown with many figures in the media saying that his job at the KC Stadium was very much under fire. However strikes from Olofinjana and Vennegoor of Hesselink helped the Tigers to victory.
Matthew Etherington’s dynamic run and calculated finish had put Stoke into an early lead in the first half. But Hull showed great spirit to fight back against the ten men of Stoke, with Faye receiving two yellow cards.
Hull City’s assistant manager, Brian Horton: “He [Phil Brown] is a good manager and does lots of good things that people don’t see. He’s got a great future in the game.”
Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis: “It is the third time we have led away from home this year and not won the game. We weren’t at our best – but when Matthew scored we were hoping that would take us on.”
Manchester City 3 – 3 Burnley
Owen Coyle’s team picked up their first point on their travels this season. Indeed the newly-promoted side could have left Eastlands with more than a point after holding a two-goal advantage thanks to strikes from Graeme Alexander and Steven Fletcher.
Wright-Phillips pulled a goal back for City just before half time. Within 15 minutes of the restart Mark Hughes’ men reversed the score line in their favour, taking a 3-2 lead with goals from Kolo Toure and Craig Bellamy. However some shoddy defending allowed Burnley to cease a point from the match with McDonald scoring in the 87th minute.
Manchester City manager, Mark Hughes: “We certainly don’t expect to concede three at home, and we need to address that. It is frustrating and disappointing because we got ourselves into a winning position.”
Burnley manager, Owen Coyle: “We are on a learning curve and if we had been an experienced Premier League team we would have seen it off.”
Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Sunderland
The inaugural ‘Darren Bent derby’ will be remembered for a hatful of wasted opportunities by the Black Cats with the main protagonist missing a penalty in front of his former fans. Indeed at 1-0 down Bent had the chance to level the scores and remind Harry Redknapp of the talent he was missing.
Instead, his attempt was saved by Gomes. Goals from Robbie Keane and Tom Huddlestone helped the home side to a 2-0 victory with the international break beckoning.
Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp: “We got away with it a bit today. We couldn’t get going and Sunderland looked very, very good. Our keeper was fantastic and we’ve clawed out a result – sometimes football works like that. A couple of weeks ago we battered Stoke and lost.”
Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce: “Sometimes in football you have a day like today – since the beach ball incident at Liverpool we’ve run out of luck and we’ve been out of luck again today. The best opportunities and possession were ours, but we’ve not taken them and come away with nothing.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 4 Arsenal
Mick McCarthy’s men managed to compete with Arsene Wenger’s slick side for the best part of twenty minutes before Arsenal’s brimming talent put an end any hopes of a shock result.
Arsenal produced more mesmerising combinations than a heavyweight fight. Goals from Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin and two own-goals with a sole consolation header from Jody Craddock saw the visitors canter to a 4-1 thumping.
Wolves’ manager, Mick McCarthy: “Our season won’t be judged by games against Arsenal. We have Birmingham coming up and that is the type of game we have to win. Hull, West Ham and Portsmouth are the teams in and around us and matches with them will be important.”
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger: “I felt we controlled the game. Overall we could have scored many more. On every counter attack we looked dangerous. The most important factor is we play for each other as we do. We have to focus on our performance and continue to develop our style of play.”
West Ham United 1 – 2 Everton
Everton have been riddled with injuries thus far, but, Louis Saha has largely stayed fit and has helped propel the Toffees into a reasonable league position. This Everton side are much better than their 14th position suggests.
Saha broke the deadlock with a superb low driven finish. Jack Rodwell added a second but the away’s side two goal cushion was soon cut in half after substitute Diamanti picked out Zavon Hines with a deft ball.
Hines chipped the ball over Tim Howard and Tony Hibbert only managed to thrash his clearance into the net.
West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola: “It’s tough for me and for the players. The guys gave everything until the end but we need to sort out the little problems because they’re costing us a lot. It’s not the first time we’ve been a goal down late on. We just need to make sure we’re not chasing the game all the time.”
Everton manager, David Moyes: “We could have done better but the one thing we do at Everton is know how to win. It might not be the best way but we know how to do it.”
Wigan Athletic 1 – 1 Fulham
Fulham returned from their midweek visit to the Stadio Olimpico to the unglamorous JJB Stadium which boasted the undesirable record of the lowest crowd attendance of anywhere in the Premier League so far this season.
Both teams scored in the first half: Emmerson Boyce opening the scoring before Clint Dempsey equalised from the spot. Martinez and Hodgson had to be content with a share of the spoils.
Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez: “I’m happy with the performance, but not the point. The difference between one point and three was Mark Schwarzer – his display was outstanding.”
Fulham manager, Roy Hodgson: “I was very pleased with the point, especially after the excitement and pressure of the Liverpool game and the grave disappointment in Rome in midweek.”
Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United
John Terry headed home the winner 15 minutes from time to extinguish memories of that penalty miss in Moscow. Darren Fletcher was adjudged somewhat controversially to have felled Ashley Cole with referee Martin Atkinson awarding the free kick which Chelsea subsequently scored from.
It was harsh punishment for Fletcher and United who deserved at least a point from the game. Wayne Rooney had several half chances to stun Stamford Bridge but failed to capitalize. The result sees Chelsea draw five points clear of the chasing pack.
Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti: “It was significant to send United five points behind us - this is important - and it means we have won a game against one of the most important teams in England.”
Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson: “You lose faith in refereeing, that’s the way the players see it. The referee’s position to make the decision [for the goal] was absolutely ridiculous. He can’t see anything. It was a bad decision.”