Sports - Football - Premier League - Picks of the Weekend
The scoreline finally reflected the game for Liverpool with their dominance in possession and chances paying off against Fulham. Everyone contributed, Martin Skrtel with a right-foot smacker, Steven Gerrard after a nice lead-up and trademark run, Stewart Downing cutting in past former Red John Arne Riise and producing a nice left-footer and Luis Suarez off Jose Enrique to make it 4-0. And it could have been double the scoreline with all the misses! Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers will hope to see more of this in the coming weeks and months!
The eight-goal thrashing Chelsea took out on Aston Villa was unbelievable! How could the same side beat Liverpool the one week and then get thrashed, roasted, toasted and fried the next! Fernando Torres seems to like the system more and finally have clicked under old Spanish pal Rafael Benitez. Merry Christmas and-a-half for Roman Abramovich and Co, headache for Villa.
The Newcastle fans were not happy to see Papiss Cisse taken off early against QPR, so was the striker himself, but it payed off in the end. Shola Ameobi created that bit of magic the game was crying out for, scoring the winning goal nine minutes from time, well taken with his left foot past two defenders in the box. That is exactly what you need from a sub, especially after a not-so-popular change! Manager Alan Pardew will have been chuffed to bits!
There were a lot of controversial decisions by the officials again this week. Arsenal's late penalty winner against Wigan looked very soft whilst their number five Thomas Vermaelen's handball got completely overlooked. City's late goal stood eventhough it looked like a fowl. On the other side, Reading had a couple of penalty shouts ignored and were cruelly denied a deserved point. David Moyes was also unhappy after seeing Leon Osman's goal disallowed harshly for a fowl on West Ham's goalkeeper Jussi Jasskelainen. And everyone was even more shocked when Carlton Cole was sent off. He saw red for a high foot, but was the intention really there? Referee Anthony Taylor at least stayed consistent when he sent Darren Gibson for another high-footed challenge. But it did not make either decision more right or less wrong! Decisions, decision, decisions... Disappointment, disappointment, disappointment...
Miguel Michu cancelled out Patrice Evra's goal in the 1-1 draw between Swansea and Manchester United, the visitors' first draw of the season. United threw everything at the Swans, but the Welsh side held stern and left their home ground with a point against the league leaders, the first time Sir Alex Ferguson's side dropped pointed since their 1-0 defeat at Norwich over a month ago.
Tottenham's goalless draw against Stoke was not much to miss. The scoreline reflected the game, the London side frustrated by Stoke's rock-solid defence.
Man of the match Ashley Williams was rock solid in the centre of the Swans defence but caused havoc when he kicked the ball into Robin van Persie's head after the referee had blown the whilste! What was he thinking?! Ok, he explained he cleared the ball and inadvertently hit the Dutchman on the way, but it did look cynical. There was still no need for Sir Alex Ferguson's post-match comments, adding more spin and controversy to the incident than necessary. I think he is just trying to distract everyone from his side's weaknesses...
My Predictions => Actual Results:
Wigan 1-3 Arsenal => 0-1
Man City 4-1 Reading => 1-0
Newcastle 3-1 QPR => 1-0
Southampton 2-2 Sunderland => 0-1
Tottenham 2-1 Stoke => 0-0
West Brom 1-1 Norwich => 2-1
West Ham 1-1 Everton => 1-2
Liverpool 3-1 Fulham => 4-0
Swansea 1-3 Man United => 1-1
Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa => 8-0