Sports - Football - Premier League - Picks of the Weekend
Little side-note: 2012 has seen 1095 goals in the Premier League, an all-time record!!! LOVE IT!!!
The seven-goal thriller between Norwich and Man City was unbelievable! It had a little bit of everything! Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Edin Dzeko starred for City and produced a brilliant opening goal to make it 0-1 after just 85 seconds. Aguero and Dzeko worked and shone together again to double the score after four minutes. Anthony Pilkington's free kick was deflected in to get one back for the home side.
When Sebastien Bassong and Samir Nasri clashed, seeing yellow and red respectively, the prior for his fowl and the latter for his reaction, it was a shocker! Everyone was gob-smacked! But with City down to ten, they just got on with it, Aguero making it 1-3 with a delightfully chipped finish. And that wasn't all! Bassong headed across goal for Russell Martin to head the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-3 and put the pressure up on City. But Dzeko had a better idea and got his hat-trick, onside, off the post and keeper, and in, 2-4. Norwich fought on, and Martin got another one in eventually after their corner was not cleared and the ball ricochet about and in off Joe Hart, 3-4. That was the full-time score and Norwich ended up empty-handed after a great late rally, but they can take a lot of confidence from this performance and stubbornness!
Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle, yes, you read right, that was the full time score between the Gunners and the "wee club". Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was watching the star performer Theo Walcott scoring a stylish hat-trick. Especially the third goal was a stunner, what a run, showing hunger, ambition and courage! The question for Arsene Wenger is though, will his star stay or will the top scorer go? Demba Ba could have had a hat-trick of his own too! And it was only 1-1 at half time! Bloopers, weak and leaky defence, plus top class quality attack, delivered a total of ten goals, eight of them in the second half! Olivier Giroud was a super-sub making a great impact and also on a hat-trick when he saw the ball come off the post late on. What a game! The Toons scored six goals in two games but have still ended with no points on the board keeping them in fifteenth on twenty points, only two points clear of the relegation zone.
SStoke showed some great resilience coming back from behind twice against Southampton earning them a hard-fought point! Rickie Lambert opened the scoring off Guly do Prado with a brilliant ball and sweep, 0-1. Kenwyne Jones then produced a superb cheeky little back heeler with the right foot to level the scoreline, 1-1. After Robert Huth helped the ball onto his own cross bar, off a Lambert cross, Jay Rodriguez couldn't miss netting a sublime 1-2. Off Lambert again, this time Andy Wilkinson helped the ball into his own goal right in front of Asmir Begovic, there was a stunned silence at the ground at 1-3.
But the comeback kings did not give up that easily. A Stoke corner lead to some ping pong in the box, Matthew Upson got in there and put the ball softly past the keeper to make it 2-3. Jones then appealed for a handball, Jose Fonte looked to have tapped the ball with his left hand, but nothing was given. Instead, Steven Nzonzi was then sent off after appealing for a fowl himself, what an idiotic act that was! Down to ten men, there was another handball claim by Stoke. But Cameron Jerome's right-foot smacker, a half-volley into the roof of the net preserved Stoke's unbeaten home record at 3-3. There was a lot of last minute/second drama! Peter Crouch saw his late header off a free kick saved. Stoke showed some unbelievable resilience! Even though so many decisions went against them! It was a great watch!
Aston Villa's home defeat against Wigan was their third defeat on the trot, conceding 15 goals in the process. I still cannot believe or even grasp how this Villa side beat Liverpool at Anfield! Paul Lambert's men were complete shambles to watch! No one picked up Ivan Ramis before he headed in a corner to make it 0-1 after just 2.5 minutes! Emmerson Boyce doubled the score for the Latics after a nice one-two with Arouane Kone and confident tuck-in. Kone then made it 0-3 at Villa Park with a nice right-footer on the turn. You cannot blame the Villa fans for leaving the ground in disgust with still over half an hour to go!
Liverpool used and abused and made the most of their opponents weaknesses too. QPR were just awful, abysmal, shocking, absent, asleep... Harry Redknapp was blunt an honest about his side's display after his 600th Premier League game as a manager was less to celebrate about, but will or can he be the hero for QPR?! They need a miracle to escape relegation, stuck at the bottom of the table, eight points from safety.
Frank Lampard and Luis Suarez stole the show, game and points for their sides with two goals each. The Chelsea legend saw his side come back from an early goal down at Goodison Park, being in the right place, at the right time, twice. Both clubs had so many chances, but Chelsea ended up on top thanks to Lamps and his 192nd goal for the club. Will Roman Abramovich offer his star man a new deal though? He is still waiting for a new contract...
A certain controversial Uruguayan forward delivered his absent manager Brendan Rodgers a perfect "get well soon" message with his double. Suarez saw Liverpool to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Loftus Road, the Reds bouncing back nice and easy from their Boxing Day defeat against Stoke. Rodgers can only hope this is a good omen for the new year and just the start to a good run.
Tottenham's 2-1 at Sunderland was not a game to compliment but more to cringe about! It was a deja vue for Gareth Bale after he was booked yet again for diving. It looked like there was contact, knee to knee. But maybe Bale's too quick, even for the referee! Jermain Defoe copied his team mate nicely with his dive too. Carlos Cuellar was the main offender in his team's down fall though. First the Spanish defender put a corner into his own net to level the score for Spurs, then he was lucky just to see yellow for a slasher tackle!
West Ham's Carlton Cole just had his red card against Everton retracted and was able to play against Reading, and he ended up kicking another player! It was an off-ball incident and he was lucky to escape... But Reading had already capitalised on an other Hammer's mistake earlier on in the game after seeing Pavel Pogrebnyak make it 1-0, pouncing on James Collins error, a soft back pass. It just hurt to watch!
My Predictions => Actual Results
Sunderland 3-2 Tottenham => 1-2
Aston Villa 1-0 Wigan => 0-3
Fulham 0-0 Swansea => 1-2
Man United 3-0 West Brom => 2-0
Norwich 1-0 Man City => 3-4
Reading 0-0 West Ham => 1-0
Stoke 1-1 Southampton => 3-3
Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle => 7-3
Everton 1-2 Chelsea => 2-1
QPR 1-0 Liverpool => 0-3