Top game: Chelsea's home win against Manchester City was a pulsating match where both teams went at it and there could have been more red cards than just the one! It was a feisty clash where the home side's top quality, team work and spirit beat City's snorty arrogance. All games had plenty of goals, action and refereeing controversy once again, but Norwich's home win against Newcastle tops the lot! Six goals, five bookings, one red card - it was a cracking game and result, for Norwich anyway.
Top team: Even after their first defeat of the season, City are still 12 points better off than they were at this stage last season and remain top of the Premier League table, two points clear of local rivals United. It will take more than one defeat to sink that massive ship! The promoted teams Norwich and Swansea are flying high mid-table, in 10th and 11th spot, on 19 and 17 points, after enjoying impressive home wins against Newcastle and Fulham respectively.
Top player: Nani and Antonio Valencia impressed me most at Old Trafford. Their runs left everyone far behind, so too their top quality passes, crosses and shots. The Portuguese midfielder scored two whilst his Ecuadorian provided two, Nani's cheeky right-foot opener running past all defenders along the box setting the tone of the match. Maxi Rodriguez showed similar pace and resilience at Anfield but was not rewarded with his name on the scoresheet thanks to some brilliant saves by QPR's Czech goalkeeper Radek Cerny.
Top goal: The opening Chelsea goal by former Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles was a smacker-and-a-half after a beautiful build up run clear and cross by once-again-impressive Daniel Sturridge. Of course Robin Van Persie's left-foot touch off Alex Song's wonderful diagonal pass and unstoppable shot and winning goal against Everton is impossible to overlook. The one goal Wolves got against United is also worth a note as Liverpool fan Steven Fletcher will never forget how wonderful he headed and curled the ball over everyone and into the back of the net.
Top news: I loved this little quote on BBC's Sportsday Live: Qatar's Al Sadd want Fifa to let them field a team of 16 players when they face European champions Barcelona in Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final in Japan. "I've got a plan," Al Sadd's Uruguayan coach Jorge Fossati joked. "If they agree to my request we are allowed 15 or 16 players on the field, I think we have a chance!" Nothing's impossible, right?
Flop game: Tottenham's defeat at Stoke was a strong win for them home side with a solid and resilient performance, especially by the back line, however, for Spurs it was a weak performance, by the referee especially. Yes, Chris Foy had a day to forget. I don't know how Emmanuel Adebayor's goal was offside and why Peter Crouch's handball in the build-up to Matthew Etherington's opener was conveniently overlooked, well, convenient for Stoke of course. In this day and age it is an impertinence that there is no back-up system, i.e. video ref to correct all this humbug!!!
Flop team: Bolton worried me sick this weekend! They gave Aston Villa no worries and a too easy win! There was no tracking, lack of defending which left Villa with too much time and space to push forward too freely and easily. Owen Coyle must have said something right at half time because they came out firing in the second half but it did not last long. The Wanderers are bottom of the league with only nine points, 14 points and 14 places worse off than at the same stage last season! Chris Kamara may not agree with me on his blog, but I am really worried for Bolton if they continue like this!
Flop player: There were three red cards this weekend, which could not have painted a bigger contrast: City's Gael Clichy painted a frustrated picture against the pace of Chelsea's Sturridge and saw a second yellow for tripping Ramires; Spurs' Younes Kaboul was harshly dismissed for a challenge on Stoke's Jonathan Walters by an imcompetent Foy who should not have stayed on the pitch himself; and last but not least Dan Gosling was Newcastle's main villain in their defeat with some miserable defending and fouling which lead to his sending off and his depleted side's defeat. How come the referees are not picked up, assessed and/or dropped according to their performances and consistency as the players and teams are?!
Flop goal: As mentioned above, this week there were a bunch of all-too-familiar cases of goals and penalties that should have or should not have been, but thanks to the mood swings and dazzling minds of the referees and their decisions, the goals, penalties and results stand as they are. I know, that gives us the spice to the food we eat, the words to the blogs, reports and articles we right, and the action and controversy to the matches and sport we follow and so thoroughly enjoy but damn! All action and entertainment would not be lost if all the lies, deceit and utter incompetence would be taken out of the game by modern technology! FULL STOP! I think this and could right this EVERY WEEK!!!!!!! The only one left jumping for joy this weekend, was new Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill after his side recorded only their third win of the season, his first match in charge, against Blackburn.
Flop news: Sad news about Darren Fletcher as it looks like we've seen the last of him in the game. Wish him all the best in his recovery, eventhough he plays for United... ;-P
My predictions - Actual results:
Arsenal 3:1 Everton - 1:0
Bolton 1:1 Aston Villa - 1:2
Liverpool 3:1 QPR - 1:0
Man Utd 3:0 Wolves - 4:1
Norwich 1:2 Newcastle - 4:2
Swansea 0:0 Fulham - 2:0
West Brom 3:1 Wigan - 1:2
Sunderland 3:0 Blackburn - 2:1
Stoke 1:2 Tottenham - 2:1
Chelsea 2:5 Man City - 2:1