BPL: Week Four Review
Premier League’s reigning champs, Manchester United, kicked off this weekend’s action as they strolled to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. David Moyes’ men took the lead in the 45th minute after Robin Van Persie converted a controversial penalty. Kagisho Dikgacoi was deemed to have fouled United’s Ashley Young and was consequently given a red card. Palace were despondent at the decision, and argued that the offense had taken place outside of the box. New signing, Marouane Fellaini, came on as a second half substitute to make his debut. Wayne Rooney, who made a surprise start after recovering from a head injury, added United’s second goal with a sublime free kick in the 81st minute.
Moyes was pleased with the three points, but is still aware that his side will have to step up their performance level a gear with the Manchester derby next weekend.
Roberto Martinez picked up his first win as Everton manager with a shocking victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park. Birthday boy, Steven Naismith, poked home a header on the brink of half time to give the Toffees a 1-0 success. The win is Everton’s first of the season, after drawing their previous three BPL games. Martinez, was thrilled with his side’s performance, which showed the silky passing football that he demands, but also the resilience which was lacking from his former team, Wigan, who were relegated last season. New loan signing, Gareth Barry, provided that experience and poise in the midfield and could prove to be a major coup for the Everton manager.
Arsenal continued their winning ways with a 3-1 win over bottom-of-the-table Sunderland. Record signing Mesut Ozil made an immediate impact, playing in a delightful cross for Olivier Giroud to finish off in the 11th minute.
Sunderland, however, showed plenty of spirit, and equalized through a Craig Gardner penalty. Welshman Aaron Ramsey went on to grab two second half goals to secure victory for the Gunners. Arsene Wenger’s team have now won three in a row, and there is a real sense of optimism around the Emirate’s Stadium since the arrival of Ozil.
Last season’s runners up, Manchester City, escaped with a point from the Britannia Stadium, after they held on for a 0-0 draw with Stoke City. The home side wasted numerous outstanding opportunities, as they sought a third consecutive Premier League win. The Blues have made a stuttering start to the season and managed to drop five points in four matches.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Tottenham ran out 2-0 winners over Norwich City at White Hart Lane, thanks to two goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson. Spurs offered a notable performance with Danish international Christian Eriksen looking particularly dangerous. Elsewhere, Newcastle United picked up an important 2-1 win over Aston Villa. The Magpies’ second win of the season comes in the mist of unrest from the club’s supporters, regarding their failure in the transfer market. Gareth McAuley scored West Brom’s first goal of the season as his injury-time header snatched a point against Fulham. As predicted, Hull and Cardiff City, had to settle for a point apiece at the KC Stadium, a Peter Whittingham goal cancelling out a Curtis Davies header. On Sunday, West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen provided several first-rate saves to rescue a point against Southampton.
In Monday’s action, Liverpool and Swansea played out a highly entertaining 2-2 tie on the South coast of Wales. Jonjo Shelvey, who was playing against his former employers Liverpool for the first time, experienced the roller coaster ride of emotions that comes with being a professional in the BPL. The England Under-21 midfielder gave the hosts a dream start after he fired the Welsh side into the lead in only the 2nd minute. Shelvey then went from hero to villain, when he played two dire passes which resulted in a 2-1 half time lead for Liverpool. He did bounce back though, providing a crucial assist for Michu’s equalizer in the 64th minute. Although Liverpool dropped their first points of the season, the result means they overtook Arsenal and Tottenham at the summit of the league table.
Source: BBC Sport, sportsmole.co.ukBPL: Week Four Review by Craig Smith