BPL: Week Six Review
West Bromich earned their first victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford since 1978 when they shocked the champions 2-1 on Saturday. Morgan Amalfitano’s excellent chip gave the Baggies the lead before Wayne Rooney equalized from a free kick. Saido Berahino’s exceptional left-footed strike sealed the historic victory for Steve Clarke’s side. The defeat condemned United to their worst start to a league campaign since the 1989-1990 season. The Red Devils have only secured seven points after their first six games, and currently sit 12th in the table. New manager David Moyes will be concerned with the hesitative and indecisive nature of United’s attacking play, and the champions have now failed to score from open-play since opening day against Swansea.
Manchester City were also upset on Saturday, as they fell 3-2 to Aston Villa at Villa Park. Yaya Toure gave City a 1-0 half lead, when he volleyed home his fourth goal of the season. Karim El Ahmadi’s close-range strike pulled Villa level, only for Edin Dzeko to head the Blues back in the lead. However, Leandro Bacuna scored a free kick before Andreas Wiemann took advantage of a mix up in the City defense to steal three points for the Birmingham outfit.
Manuel Pellegrini will be acutely aware that his side must improve their away form if they are to challenge for the Barclay’s Premier League title, City have only picked up one point from their first three away matches this season. The victory was Aston Villa’s first home triumph of the campaign, and the Villa faithful will be optimistic after their second half performace.
Arsenal remains top of the BPL table after they overcame a tough Swansea side 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium. Welshman Aaron Ramsey continued his brilliant form, as he scored his fourth goal of the season. The midfielder has been outstanding so far this season for the Gunners, and is starting to fulfill the potential he showed before he suffered a horrific leg fracture in 2010. Serge Gnabry was also on the scoresheet, the teenager opened the scoring with the first Premier League goal of his career. Arsene Wenger’s team has now won five in a row and currently looks like the most consistent side in the league.
London rivals, Tottenham and Chelsea, had to settle for a point apiece as they drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane. Former colleagues and friends, Andre Villas Boas and Jose Mourinho, who were facing off for the first, will both be satisfied with the result. Spurs were the superior of the sides in the first half, and deservedly took the lead through Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 19th minute. Mourinho introduced Juan Mata at half time, and the Spaniard provided the catalyst for an improved Chelsea performance in the second half. John Terry restored parity for the Blues, heading home a delightful Mata free kick in the 65th minute.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Southampton moved up to sixth in the table with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. The Saints recorded their first home win of the season and summer signing Dani Osvaldo scored the first BPL goal of his career. New boys Hull City picked up their second win on the bounce with a 1-0 win over West Ham United. Robbie Brady converted a controversial penalty for the Tigers, his third of the campaign so far. West Ham’s away form has been dismal, the Hammer’s have failed to score an away goal this season. Jordan Mutch scored an incredible injury-time winner against Fulham to give Cardiff City their first top-flight away win in 52 years. Steven Caulker gave the Bluebirds an early lead, before a spectacular Bryan Ruiz effort leveled matters.
On Sunday, Luis Suarez returned from suspension with two goals as Liverpool beat Sunderland 3-1 to go second in the table. The deadly strike partnership between Daniel Sturridge and Suarez proved too much for bottom of the table Sunderland, the England man opening the scoring before twice assisting the Uruguayan.
The pair condemned the Black Cats to their fifth defeat of the campaign, and are the only team in the league without a win under their belt. In Sunday’s other match, Norwich City earned their second win of the season after they beat Stoke City 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium. Jonny Howson’s first half goal gave the Canaries the lead, with Stoke offering very little in response. The Potters managing just one shot on target.
In Monday’s action, Everton moved up to fourth in the table with an excellent performance against Newcastle. Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley tore the Magpies to shreds in the first half; Lukaku scoring twice and setting up a lovely Ross Barkley goal. Newcastle did improve after the break, a stunning Yohan Cabaye strike and Loic Remy goal ensured a nervy end for the Toffees. Everton remain the only unbeaten team in the BPL, but face a tough challenge against Manchester City next weekend.
Source: BBC Sport, sportsmole.co.ukBPL: Week Six Review by Craig Smith