Sports - Football - Premier League - Picks of the Week
Manchester United's home win against Newcastle was a seven-goal thriller-and-a-half! So much happened, so much to talk and write about, you could not blink! Newcastle took the shock lead four minutes into the game thanks to James Perch, but Jonny Evans levelled things for United. Then came the controversy, Evans saw the ball into his own net but was relieved to see the flag up, Papiss Cisse given offside and the goal disallowed. But referee Mike Dean overruled his assistant and the goal stood as Cisse did not interefere with play before Evans netted the ball. Sir Alex Ferguson did not agree and was fuming on the side line even after the break.
But Evra soon equalised for the home side arrowing the ball past Tim Krul after a poor clearance to make it 2-2. Cisse then put the visitors back ahead thanks to a smart finish with his left and the United defence limping behind the Toons. RVP netted the third equaliser before United were denied a penalty for Toon skipper Fabricio Coloccini's handball. But after all frustration and aggravation, Javier Hernandez was once again the last-minute hero guiding the ball past Krul after a fine cross by Michael Carrick to make it 4-3 on the 90th minute mark.
Fergie turned from mad at half time to more than glad at full time. The Scotsman certainly put the pressure on the officials. After this game, he should be worried about United's defence more than anything else. But their outstanding attack spared them from disappointment, even without their main striker Wayne Rooney, who was out injured, and are now seven points clear at the top. Happy Christmas indeed, for one side of Manchester at least...
The game at Villa Park could not have been more one-sided. Tottenham were all over Villa who kept giving away the ball. With all the space in the world, Jermain Defoe opened the scoring by nut-megging the Villa goalkeeper. Gareth Bale then calmly took advantage of the Villa mess up with the outside of his left foot and produced a nice chip-in to make it 2-0. With loads of space again, Aaron Lennon found Bale, who staged a left-foot Waltz, once, 0-3, and then a second time, this time off number 22 for the hat-trick to make it 0-4. Tottenham climbed up to fourth postion and Champions League qualification whilst Villa are hovering of the relegation zone just three points clear of the drop.
It was a shakey performance by Liverpool and exactly what they did not need or expect after their confidence-boosting 4-0 win against Fulham just a couple of ago! No discrediting Stoke for their performance and great response and stubbornness, they deserved the win. The only goal for the home side came thanks to a penalty, their first of this season! But Stoke were level seconds later after Robert Huth hooved the ball forward for Jonathan Walters to burry the ball past Pepe Reina. The visitors then took the lead thanks to Kenwyne Jones' header off a corner. Liverpool's defence was nowhere on both occasions, same goes for the final and winning goal. Reina could only help the ball in off Walter's fine left-foot strike and seal the dead deal for the Reds who dropped down to tenth in the table, eight points away from Champions League qualification.
HERO! and ZERO!
Adam Johnson scored the winning goal for Sunderland against Manchester City without realising. City protested, they wanted a free kick for a fowl against Pablo Zabaleta, but the defence was nowhere when Johnson's left-foot shot from the right squeezed past Joe Hart. Ambitious and productive, but Hart should have saved that one! I guess the England goalkeeper expected a cross rather than a shot but it ended up a Boxing Day delight for the home side at the Stadium of Light.
QPR's Rob Green will know the embarrassing feeling after tapping the ball into his own net against West Brom. Harry Redknapp was not happy with that goal as it looked like Marc-Antoine Fortune was backing into the goalkeeper. However, I feel he just stood his ground and the goalkeeper had no reason to backup so far! He was too soft and in the wrong position to start off with. It is all always relative, isn't it? Although Liam Ridgewell was very lucky not to concede a penalty for handling the ball. In the end, either way, this defeat saw QPR back to the bottom of the table.
My Predictions => Actual Results:
Everton 2-1 Wigan => 2-1
Fulham 0-0 Southampton => 1-1
Man United 2-1 Newcastle => 4-3
Norwich 1-1 Chelsea => 0-1
QPR 0-2 West Brom => 1-2
Reading 0-0 Swansea => 0-0
Sunderland 0-3 Man City => 1-0
Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham => 0-4
Stoke 1-0 Liverpool => 3-1