Affairs remained all hot and heavy at the top of the Barclays Premier League table this weekend as the three title chasers won either emphatically or dramatically. Arsenal refuse to loose, while Chelsea and Manchester United refuse to stop scoring goals as both sides saw three goal margin victories. Strange though that Gameweek 30 saw only 5 clubs complete their 30th match of the season as the crowded, complicated life of a Premier League club satisfies it’s own assiduous existence.
Tottenham Hotspur, the attractive North London club that they are, furthered their inquiry of L4 with an impressive home win v Blackburn while other L4 stalkers Aston Villa and Manchester City stuttered with draws. Naught is settled in the race for L4 with too many games in hand resulting in a clear favorite yet to be determined.
It was a great footballing weekend that saw a lot of goals. Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres and Roman Pavlyuchenko all four bagged a brace for their respective clubs while it was Rooney for the Champions Manchester United who stayed in the lead for his first ever golden boot. It was a somber weekend on Humberside for Hull City boss Phil Brown who will now have more time to tend to his gardening while Liverpool FC finally started to look their old self again.
Monday night marked the first time Portsmouth’s on field play matched that of their off field problems. Pompey have been brave and exciting in recent weeks as they’ve battled relegation, administration and existence, but their visit to (an at times quiet) Anfield saw them dreadfully uninterested in putting up a fight to Liverpool’s continued attacks.
Honorable Mentions –
Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur – Let’s be fair and say Blackburn’s Michel Salgado was woeful in his attempt to defend the Tottenham winger all day long. Bale’s pace allowed him to continually blow past Salgado and provide meaningful crosses into the box. Bale, for the most part has played left back this season for Spurs, but such is his attacking prowess (combined with Tottenham injuries) that Harry Redknapp pushed him one peg up in Tottenham’s attacking pecking order to left sided midfield with positive results. Bale’s 85th minute cross was clipped home by Roman Pavlyuchenko and Bale probably should have won his side a penalty in the second half. Fine work from the young Welshman who has had an up and down time so far at Spurs.
Fernando Torres, Liverpool – I tend to get a little upset when quality players make statements like Torres has made in recent weeks concerning his future at Liverpool. He’s got great potential, has battled injury, but hasn’t put forth the kind of effort in recent weeks one would expect from a player with such class. Monday night was a little more like the Torres we all know as he scored two, set up one and even hit the post in the first half which helped Liverpool to a much needed three points. Whether you support Liverpool or not, fans of the Premier League will not want Torres to leave Liverpool in the summer. He’s one of the best strikers in the world (see under his second goal Monday night v Portsmouth) so let’s hope he continues to prove his skill in England.
Premier League Footballer of the Week –
Florent Malouda, Chelsea – The French winger was in devastating form for Chelsea on Saturday scoring one and setting up two while causing problems for the West Ham defense with his attacking play and crossing all afternoon. Malouda is an exciting player and crucial performer in Chelsea’s attack and is at home on the left flank but can also play as a second striker just behind Drogba or Anelka.
His 15th minute cross into the box was placed precisely on the head of Alex for Chelsea’s first goal. He was at it again 10 minutes into the second half when a perfect cross found the head of Drogba who put Chelsea in front for good. In the 76th, Malouda found himself in possession and shifted the ball onto his more powerful left just outside the box to power home a low, direct shot for his well deserved goal completing an impressive afternoon.
If Chelsea are to win the title this season, Malouda’s efforts in attack, his precise crosses into the box for Drogba, Anelka and others, and his goal scoring abilities will be paramount in Chelsea’s success. Have your say in the poll or comments section below.