It's A Wonderful Life: Premier League Style
Earlier last week, I wrote how on paper the Premier League weekend fixtures seemed boring other than the Arsenal against Liverpool match-up. Boy, was I wrong. To me, this was one of the most entertaining weekends of the season. Here are the matches I caught this weekend and my thoughts on them:
The first half and the last ten minutes of the Hull City against Sunderland match were enthralling. Both teams played an extremely open game and it looked like either side could win it. But in the end, it was the red card for Hull City’s Sam Rickett’s that turned the game, and Sunderland then completely ripped City open winning the game 4-1 at the KC Stadium. The Black Cats look like a team reborn under the leadership of Ricky Sbragia.
The first halves of Bolton against Portsmouth, and Blackburn versus Stoke, were equally as exciting. Under Gary Megson at Bolton, the Trotters are improving as each week passes. Their direct style of play combined with superb skill make Bolton, dare I say it, mouthwatering to watch at times. And Johan Elmander continues to be dangerous up front for the Wanderers.
Sunday’s matches were just as good. West Bromwich Albion finally got a win, this time against Manchester City after Roman Bednar scored a stoppage time goal with a header that he didn’t even know where it was going. City, after playing an embarrassingly poor game against Racing Santander on Thursday where their second team couldn’t pass or defend, are looking worse each game. Thank heavens they’re getting a wish list of new players in January otherwise their current form would get them relegated.
And so to the biggest match of the weekend, Arsenal against Liverpool. To me, this embodied many of the finer aspects of the Premier League. It was an incredible match featuring valiant efforts from both clubs. The pace of the game was blistering for most of the 90 minutes, and the one touch passing – especially by Liverpool – was a joy to watch.
This was a marvelous match between two sides that found their equals not only in the competition between them but in the brilliant goals scored by Robin van Persie (try doing that twist and turn on a football pitch) and the wonderful first-time hit strike by Robbie Keane.
Emmanuel Adebayor’s second yellow card was cruel. Sure, he elbowed the Liverpool defender but it wasn’t on purpose. However, Liverpool failed to capitalize on Adebayor’s dismissal and, if anything, played worse against 10 men. While Arsenal battled bravely, Liverpool should be kicking themself for their inability to score a crucial winner.
What were your highlights from this past weekend? Tell us by clicking the comments link below.