Monday, August 25, 2008

Premiership Weekend Roundup: August 23-24

Manchester United 1-0 Portsmouth
Ok, now I feel like the season has started properly. I was quite happy to have missed last weekend's games and particularly United starting off by drawing at home to Newcastle. I know that they drew against Reading to start things off last year, and still won the league, but come on. In other news, Darren Fletcher is currently United's leading -- and only -- scorer. My brain is still having trouble processing that.

But I am becoming more reconciled to the idea of their signing Dimitar Berbatov. It's been blatantly obvious that they need a striker, and I didn't have a really good reason for not wanting it to be him. So what the hell. He can sulk around all he wants up front if it means that they score a few more goals. Because you can't expect Fletcher to do it all on his own, after all.

(This also match reminded me of one of the things I missed this summer, namely Nemanja Vidic flinging himself into headers and coming away all bloody. I do like that.)

Liverpool 2-1 Middlesbrough
Liverpool were not exactly convincing this week or last (a narrow 1-0 victory over Sunderland). But I don't really care. Two games, two wins, six points, thank you very much. Last time it was Fernando Torres popping up with a late winner, this time it was the man himself, Steven Gerrard, with a screamer in stoppage time. Plus the bonus of a goal from Jamie Carragher of all people. I can recognize that Carra isn't quite the player that he was a couple years ago, but I still hate to think of him not being in the team week in, week out. Even with the attraction of Daniel Agger coming in to replace him.

You know what Liverpool could really use, though? Wingers. I have been saying this for ages now, and maybe eventually Rafa will listen to me. I live in hope. Buying Robbie Keane is fine and all, but it would be nice to have more than two players that Xabi Alonso can pass to. (Unless Rafa decides to play Gerrard on the left, a la Fabio Capello. You never know.) And speaking of midfielders, apparently the Gareth Barry deal is dead, and I for one couldn't be happier about it.

Other results

  • Chelsea 1-0 Wigan - Deco is certainly off to a great start in a Chelsea start, pulling the strings in their 4-0 stomping of Portsmouth and picking up another goal here. I do have a bizarre affection for him, though; must remind myself that he's evil now.

  • Fulham 1-0 Arsenal - The Gunners beat West Brom last week thanks to a goal from Samir Nasri, but apparently Fulham were just too much of a challenge. This is what happens when half your midfield leaves, Arsene.

  • Sunderland 2-1 Tottenham - Spurs are still without a point, after they lost their game against Boro last week.

  • Newcastle 1-0 Bolton - Newcastle are apparently scoring all their goals this year via headers from diminutive strikers.

  • Manchester City 3-0 West Ham - City had a terrible time of it last week, losing to Villa and getting thumped in the UEFA Cup. Fortunately, they had West Ham waiting to beat up on.

  • Stoke 3-2 Aston Villa - Stoke recovered from their first-week defeat to Bolton in a back-and-forth game against Villa, who are not defending any better this season than last.

  • Blackburn 1-1 Hull - Blackburn are off to a decent start, with four points from their first two games -- but so, somewhat surprisingly, are Hull.

  • Everton 2-1 West Brom - You wouldn't have picked West Brom to be the one promoted team without a win, would you? Me neither.

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