Yet another exciting week in English football, with teams moving up and down the table setting up what is certainly going to be an exciting finish to the 2011-12 Barclay’s Premier League season. A week that saw newcomers Swansea City and Norwich climb into the top half of the table, Liverpool’s woes continue, and Manchester United return to their winning ways. So without further ado, let’s recap this weeks fixtures and results.
1. West Brom vs. Norwich: Norwich City 2 - West Brom 1
West Brom falls to their third straight defeat, losing at home to Norwich thanks to a goal from the head of Steve Morison in the 79th minute ensuring three points at The Hawthornes for Norwich. After a goal just before half time from the boot of Andrew Surman, former Reading FC man Shane Long knotted the score in the 68th with his penalty strike. Morison, however, struck 11 minutes later to snatch a point from Albion. With the win, Norwich jumps to 9th in the table and look to continue on an impressive first half to the season.
2. Spurs vs. Wolves: Spurs 1 - Wolves 1
After an impressive showing midweek against Everton, Spurs only managed a draw against Mick McCarthy’s men, unable to come into a tie for first at the top of the table. After an stunning early goal from Steven Fletcher in the 22nd, Spurs fought back to level the score at one off a 20 yard strike from Luka Modric. At the end of the weekend, Spurs find them selves at 46 points, two shy of a first place tie, while Wolves move to 18 and only a point clear of relegation.
3. Manchester United vs. Bolton: United 3 - Bolton 0
United were back to their winning ways Saturday thanks to goals from Scholes, Wellbeck, and Carrick, following a Rooney penalty miss in the 22nd minute. Good to see the Reds back in form, pulling them into a tie with City at the top of the table at 48 points. Maybe it was Scholes who brought some life to the squad, ending his short-lived retirement to rejoin his boys and put one home as United cruised to victory.
4. Liverpool vs. Stoke City: Liverpool 0 - Stoke 0
Despite 15 to 3 advantage in shots, 11 to 1 advantage in corners, and 69% possession advantage, Liverpool drew in front of their home supporters at Anfield as Kenny Daglish’s squad failed to hit the target. Another disappointing day for the Reds left many fans scratching their heads. With the tie, Liverpool drops to 7th after being jumped by Newcastle, while Stoke (30pts.) was happy to come away with a point, sitting at 8th, just 5 points back of 7th place Liverpool (35pts.).
5. Chelsea vs. Sunderland: Chelsea 1 - Sunderland 0
Chelsea were able to grab three points at the hands of Sunderland as they won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Thanks to superb play from Fernando Torres (finally) and a goal from Frank Lampard, the Blues nicked The Black Cats to climb three points closer to third place Tottenham with 40 points. With the loss, Sunderland drops to twelfth sitting on 24 points.
6. Blackburn vs. Fulham: Blackburn 3 - Fulham 1
Goals from Pedersen, Dunn, and Formica did the trick as the Blackburn Rovers were able to ward off visitors Fulham despite Yakubu’s first red card in his nine year professional career coming in the first half. Damien Duff was able to get one back in the 56th minute, but it wasn’t enough as Blackburn rolled, pulling themselves out of the relegation zone and into 17th. Fulham remains at 14th with 23 points on the campaign.
7. Aston Villa vs. Everton: Villa 1 - Everton 1
Despite outplaying the Toffees, Villa was unable to get the much needed three points, after a goal from Victor Anichebe in the 69th minute erased a finish by Darren Bent in the 56th and equaled the score at 1. Robbie Keane was introduced with ten minutes left for Villa while American Landon Donovan supplied the pass that would lead to Anichebe’s goal. Good to see contributions being made by the two MLS stars. With the draw, Everton sits at 11th on 25 points with Villa only a point back in 13th.
8. Arsenal vs. Swansea City: Swansea 3 - Gunners 2
No late game heroics from Mr. Henry this week as Arsenal fell to Swansea despite goals from Van Persie in the 5th minute and Theo Walcott in the 69th. Swansea got goals from Sinclair, Dyer, and Danny Graham to get the win moving them into 10th place joining Norwich City as the newcomers in the top half of the table. Walcott’s goal in the 69th was erased just forty-five seconds later by Graham who found himself through on goal, finishing brilliantly with a precise strike from a difficult angle to put is team ahead. With the loss, Arsenal stands in 5th on 36 points.
9. Newcastle vs. Queens Park Rangers: Newcastle 1 - QPR 0
A goal from Leon Best in the 37th minute proved to be the difference as Newcastle jumped into a tie with Arsenal for 5th while QPR dropped into relegation at 18th on 17 points. QPR had the advantage early despite missing captain (and scumbag) Joey Barton to suspension and two others (Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt) to the African Cup of Nations.
That wraps up this weeks Premier League action. Be sure to catch Offsides Radio 91.3fm WTSR out of Trenton, New Jersey or tune into here to our blog for daily posts and updates.