Roundup: Chelsea cool off, Arsenal hold on, and Berba hits fiveBy: Rob | November 29th, 2010
Another great weekend of football has been and gone, the first weekend in Premier League history* that all 20 teams have played, and all 20 have scored.
A mixed bag at the top of the league. Dimitar Berbatov – once compared on this blog to Juan Sebastian Veron - scored five goals in a season, only the fourth player to manage such a feat in Premier League History*. Cruicially he linked up well with Wayne Rooney, and Sir Alex was quick to point this out, stating that Wayne was “fantastic”. If Rooney was, the word has’t been invented for what Berbatov was like. Despite that infamous comparisson to Seba, I’ve actually always been a bit of a fan of Berbatov. Sure he’s lazy, and only really plays when he feels like it, but I can relate to that.
Arsenal went 2-0 up against Aston Villa, and on everyone’s mind was the fact that they blew a 2-0 lead a week back against Spurs. But they held on and won, sticking them right back in title contention. Samir Nasri is looking absolutely incredible at the moment, and its worth noting also that Andrei Arshavin has actually started to refind the form we all know he can, after a relatively slow start, he’s getting assists galore.
What the hell has happened to Chelsea? Sure they have injuries, but crikey, its all falling apart at the top for the Blues. They started the season with a confidence building easyish run of fixtures, and rolled over team after team, but of late nothing has gone right for them, and a draw against Newcastle at the weekend shoves them off the top of the league for the first time all season.
Stoke scored a late equalisiser against Manchester City, meaning the Super Rich club are still clinging onto fourth, although Spurs, who came back from behind and beat Liverpool just as they came back from behind to beat Arsenal are just a single point behind them.
Bolton also had to come from behind, against Blackpool no less to ensure they stayed on the coattails of the Champions League chasers.
At the other end, Fulham drew 1-1 with Birmingham, and the players had to rally around Mark Hughes preemitively with Fulham just a point off the drop-zone. We knew it was going to tough post-Roy, but it is really getting tough for Fulham now.
Everton are also slipping toward the danger zone, and had a nightmare run out against West Brom. They were beaten 4-1, and had Tim Cahill sent off for a stamp. To say that side is underperforming would be a crass understatement, but they do always do better in the second half of the season.
West Ham meanwhile, pulled Wigan closer toward them, with a quite brilliant 3-1 victory. The Hammers are now just a win away (not factoring in their ghastly goal difference) from escaping the drop, not quite the certs they seemed a few weeks ago, if still favourites.
Finally, you know its been a good week for football, if you can use the word “thrilling” to describe the thrilling match between Sunderland and Wolves, which Wolves won 3-2, thanks to a stunning last minute effort from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. Wolves are still joint on points with West Ham, so hard times ahead, but after so many good performances with no reward, a good performance and a win will be mighty welcome.
*Yes, I hate stats about “Premier League History” as well. As if football only started in the early 90s when Murdoch decided it was a good idea?