Monday, October 08, 2007

Premiership Weekend Roundup: October 6-7

Manchester United 4-0 Wigan
Now that's more like it. I know it was just against Wigan, and Wigan are terrible, but nevertheless it's very satisfying to see United playing so well -- not to mention scoring more than just one goal in a game. It didn't look so promising when first Nemanja Vidic and then John O'Shea had to go off injured, leaving Gerard Pique at centre half and Danny Simpson at right back. But the youngsters did well, and their job was made easier because Wigan spent so much time pinned back in their own half. Rejigging the team meant that they didn't really settle until after halftime, but once Carlos Tevez had scored, the floodgates opened. Tevez and Wayne Rooney seem to be developing a better understanding, which is encouraging, as is seeing a return of the Rooney and Ronaldo Show. I should also mention Anderson, who came on in midfield as part of the first-half reshuffling and had a very good game, showing why Sir Alex thinks he could eventually take over from Paul Scholes. (Oh, and Louis Saha got injured in the warmup. I know you're all shocked.)

Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham
Well, that was better than the game against Marseille, but that's not really saying much. How much longer is it until Xabi Alonso and Daniel Agger are back? Sami Hyypia is no longer the commanding presence at the back that he once was; you certainly wouldn't have expected him to get beat in the air twice for Spurs' two goals on either side of halftime, and although he wasn't solely at fault, the lack of cover at centre half is still critical. As for the midfield, while Gerrard + Mascherano is infinitely better than Gerrard + Sissoko, that also leaves it as basically the only viable combination. And Gerrard hasn't been at his best lately; here, he had a good first half but then faded after that. I think he just really needs a nap. In fact, the whole team has been looking out of sorts -- they wasted a number of good chances, and could have been up by two or three goals before Keane's equalizer, but needed a last-minute header from Torres to salvage a point -- and that's something they'll have to get straightened out before the derby at Goodison Park next weekend.

Arsenal 3-2 Sunderland
You would've expected this to be a cakewalk for Arsenal, wouldn't you? And it looked like that's how it was going to be, when they had a two-goal lead after just 15 minutes -- including an absolutely thunderous free kick from Robin van Persie to open the scoring. But I guess you wouldn't expect Roy Keane's team to lie down quietly and die, and Sunderland did well to fight back to 2-2 as Arsenal got complacent and were guilty of some lazy defending. The Gunners finally got the winner in the 80th minute -- van Persie again -- but it took way too long for them to wake up and get their heads in the game. (A final note: Somebody needs to tell Roy Keane that his tie is way too short. Not me, because he would probably kill me with his mind. But somebody.)

Other results
Bolton 0-1 Chelsea
Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham
Blackburn 2-1 Birmingham
Fulham 0-2 Portsmouth
Manchester City 3-1 Middlesbrough
Newcastle 3-2 Everton
Reading 1-0 Derby


weenie said...

Gerrard didn't look match fit. We were lucky to get the draw. Can't afford any more slip ups though or the pack at the top of the league will start pulling away...

Jen said...

Yeah, Gerrard hasn't looked quite right since the last international break. I think he needed more time off to let that broken toe heal.

But they're saying now that Agger and Alonso may be back in time for the Everton game on the 20th, which would be excellent.

Rob said...

Delighted to see Carlos Tevez grab his second goal for United after a great individual performance. The goal he scored opened the floodgates and the football we played in the second half was reminicent of our home performances last season. I think we deserved it though after having to sit through several drab games this season, I know we were still winning but we were capable of so much more.

Also, as you mentioned, Anderson was very bright after he came on. I saw him play numerous times with Porto and the talent he possesses is frightening. I'm really hoping that will be the start of a few run of games for the Brazilian.