>Weekend’s action creates Premier League history

>All twenty English Premier League sides scored this weekend, a feat that will go down in the history books as it had never been done before. In total, 41 goals were scored across ten games to produce a brilliant advertisement for English football ahead of the week that decides the 2018 World Cup bid.

The goal blitz began at Villa Park on Saturday when Arsenal took on Aston Villa. The Gunners looked in superb form as they took apart a very young Villa side without managing to get the breakthrough. However, a defensive mix up was punished by Arshavin as he showed his class to break the deadlock.  Minutes later Nasri should have made it two as he rounded Friedel, only to hit his effort into the side netting.  However, he redeemed himself moments later with a superb volley from a corner following poor Villa marking.  The Midland outfit were then booed off at half time by their fans, which would have rattled the Villa youngsters.  Nevertheless, the teams emerged from the break with Villa looking the more potent going forward. Ciaran Clark scored a superb half volley from the edge of the box to put Aston Villa back in the contest, only for Chamakh to poke home and extend Arsenal’s lead four minutes later.  Clark then made sure the Villa fans once again had something to get excited about as he headed home his second.  The goal set up a thrilling finish to the game, in which Arsenal made defensive substitutions to try and close it out. With Villa pressing for an equaliser, Arsenal counter attacked to great effect which enabled Wilshere to nod home a fourth and seal the three points for Arsenal.

The win moved Arsenal momentarily to the top of the league with only Manchester United being able to take over them on the day should they overcome what looked like a tricky tie against Blackburn Rovers.  However, any chance of this game being a contest was soon over.  United, who have not been free flowing this season despite being unbeaten, simply swept Blackburn away with some clinical football.  Dimitar Berbatov became the fifth Premier Player to score five times in a game, with Nani and Park getting the others.  Samba scored a consolation for Rovers, but it could have easily been more for United as Robinson did well to prevent Berbatov grabbing a double hat trick.  The Bulgarian’s link up play with Rooney looked telepathic at times, but Rooney’s failure to score yet again may cause concern for United and England fans alike.

Lower down the table West Brom thrashed Everton 4-1 thanks to strikes from Scharner, Brunt, Tchoyi and a Distin own goal.  Tim Cahill had brought Everton back into the game to make it 2-1, but Mikel Arteta saw red to which West Brom took control of the game.  The manner of the defeat will surely hurt David Moyes, who now finds his side only two points above the relegation zone. Fellow relegation candidates Wolves and West Ham both picked up crucial victories.  West Ham beat Wigan Three three goals to one while Wolves came from behind to beat Sunderland.

Elsewhere, there were score draws for Bolton against Blackpool, Birmingham against Fulham, and Stoke against Man City.  Stoke and Bolton both had to rely on injury time equalisers to share the spoils in what was a brilliant day of football.

With the amount of goals scored on Saturday, Sunday had a lot to live up to and it did not disappoint.  Chelsea who have struggled of late continued to show their frailties as a defensive error from Alex’s poor back pass allowed Carroll to race through and put Newcastle into the lead.  A deflected Kalou effort made sure the teams went into the break level, with neither side managing to find a winner in the second half.  Alarm bells may well be ringing for the Chelsea faithful who have now seen their side turn from unbeatables to vulnerables in a matter of weeks.

The last game of the weekend saw Liverpool go to Tottenham.  So far this season Tottenham have struggled in Premier League games when they have played a midweek Champions League game.  However, today they may well have just found a cure to the European hangover.  Skertel gave Liverpool the lead just before the end of a good first half.  However he went from hero to zero as he put through his own goal, after a great run from Modric, to give Tottenham the equaliser.  Prior to the goal, Jermaine Defoe had the chance to bring Spurs level from the penalty spot but sent his effort wide.  Both sides hunted for a winner, but Aaron Lennon stayed more alert than Paul Konchesky and, two minutes into injury time, ran through to beat Reina and send the Tottenham fans home happy once again after a very impressive week.

by Oliver Holmes

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