Manchester United with won old and young stars together,Chelsea was unlucky,Manchester City did not stop Peter Crouch and Brendan Rodgers live last weeks at Liverpool.
Manchester United 4 Wigan Athletic 0: No matter who play for in pitch United
Manchester United crushed Wigan Athletic 4-0 to move into second place in the Barclays Premier League standings. New signees Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell both scored in their first game with the Red Devils.
Three Manchester United players reached career landmarks in this match: Ryan Giggs played in his 600th Premier League game; Rio Ferdinand made his 400th appearance; and Paul Scholes scored the game-winning goal in his 700th game with the Red Devils.
All three players are reaching the end of their careers, but it’s still a joy to watch them take the pitch. It’s clear that all three men still have a lot to give this club. Scholes, in particular, has looked rejuvenated since returning from his brief retirement in January. Hopefully, we’ll see more landmarks from each of them before they retire.
This was a significant match for Manchester United’s season. The club had a lot to prove with Wayne Rooney injured and Robin van Persie resting on the bench. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson started struggling forwards Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez on the front line in hopes that they would break out of their slumps. It appeared that that wasn’t going to happen when Hernandez missed on a penalty kick the team never should have received in the fifth minute.
However, after a scoreless first half between the two clubs, Manchester United finally broke out, and they did it by continually pressuring the Wigan back line. In the 52nd minute, Scholes tapped in Nani’s cross for the goal after the ball was deflected to him. Just 11 minutes later, Hernandez knocked home the Red Devils’ second goal of the game in similar fashion to Scholes’s goal.
It’s becoming clear that these are the kinds of goals that United is going to have work for when Rooney and van Persie aren’t available. They have to pressure the goal and dig into the box. The Red Devils have to create openings that their strikers can normally do on their own. Now the question becomes whether or not they can do it against some of the stronger clubs in the Premier League.
It’s a little early to crown Alexander Buttner as the club’s future starting left back, but he put on an impressive performance against Wigan Athletic. He completely shut down his area of the pitch and provided energy to a back line that has struggled all season. Of course, it’s even more impressive that Buttner produced offensively when he rushed past the Wigan defense and scored in his debut.
Nick Powell also stunned and pleased the Old Trafford crowd by scoring his first goal as a Manchester United player in the 82nd minute. Although his time on the field was short, Powell moved well in the midfield and gave a solid performance as a substitute. I can’t wait to see him grow as a player. He has an outstanding future with the Red Devils.
Watch Manchester United vs Wigan Athletic Match Video:
Sunderland 1 Liverpool 1 : Draw, Draw, Draw, How Do We Like It?
Another game where possession was sacrified from Sunderland’s point of view, and for the most part, its shape remained intact. Conceding, and in the manner that we did, is frustrating, but a point keeps us plodding along. In fact, that’s pretty much what Sunderland did today – there was little penetration from the wide areas and when Stephane Sessegnon did find himself in favourable positions, support was fleeting.
Believe it or not there is more to today’s game than that, so why not forge on…
Martin O’Neill made just the one change as Danny Rose came in for his debut at the expense of Adam Johnson – who had failed to overcome injury. Rose’s inclusion enabled Jack Colback to return to central midfield, with Sebastian Larsson starting on the right-hand side of midfield.
The visitors looked lively in the early exchanges; both Jonjo Shelvey and Luis Suarez dragged shots wide as the latter was afforded space in between the lines. It was a position that Suarez drifted to throughout, with neither the home side identifying it as a concern, nor Suarez truly capitalizing on such space.
On 18 minutes, the first real chance of the game fell to Fabio Borini, after Carlos Cuellar twice failed to effectively clear his lines. Having initially headed a clearance straight into the air, the Spaniard’s second attempt – aiming to cushion the ball back to Simon Mignolet – fell short, but the goalkeeper smothered Borini’s stab towards goal.
Moments later, Sunderland had the opportunity to create a first real chance from Larsson’s free-kick, but his curling effort evaded everyone and the far post. Mignolet again denied Borini from the edge of the box but Liverpool’s possession came without penetration – something that Sunderland was quick to highlight two minutes later. Moving the ball from left to right, Rose picked out Larsson, who rolled the ball back to his full-back. From there, Craig Gardner lined up Borini, and advanced; his take-on of both the Italian and Glen Johnson was assisted by ricochets but his cross excellently found Steven Fletcher who finished expertly.
Suarez again looked to test Mignolet from outside the area, but his free-kick failed to beat the wall. And, with half-time approaching, his unashamed dive conveyed Liverpool frustrations. Sunderland went into half-time with the one-goal lead, but came out without Cuellar, who was replaced by Titus Bramble. Brendan Rodgers’ men again started the half the better as Shelvey fired straight at Mignolet and Johnson, who was allowed inside and onto his stronger right foot by James McClean, hit the bar.
Yet it seemed Sunderland would ride a second Liverpool surge; having forced a corner, Colback’s kick found its way to Gardner on the edge of the box, but Martin Kelly stood tall to block the ferocious shot. After another encouraging passage of play, McClean turned the ball inside to Colback, but the midfielder blazed over. Then, another warning sign: Mignolet did well to turn a cross away from the six-yard area but Gerrard latched onto the loose ball – his deliberately-placed effort clipping the outside out of the post.
Moments later, the home goalkeeper needed to be alert to hold Martin Skrtel’s flick-on from a corner, but was unable to do anything about the equaliser on 71 minutes. Raheem Sterling had caused Rose problems throughout, if a little unprotected by McClean, and he failed to stop the fleet-footed Liverpool man from advancing into the box again. John O’Shea’s lunging effort to thwart Suarez had initially done enough, but a flat-footed Bramble was unable to clear, presenting Suarez with the chance to blast home from close range.
As Liverpool drew level, the already-premium on chances rose. Gardner intercepted a sweeping Gerrard pass to kick-start a counter attack, but unfortunately the move broke down as McClean’s cross was cut out. The winger had another decent opportunity to find a team-mate in the box, but his delivery was high when perhaps a cut-back to Stephane Sessegnon was the better option. Substitute Louis Saha’s shot, like his side’s chances of regaining the lead, drifted away late on.
Watch Sunderland vs Liverpool Match Video:
Queens Park Rangers 0 Chelsea 0 : No handshake for Terry,No penalty for Chelsea and no goal as both team
The feud between Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry continued on Saturday when Ferdinand ignored Terry in the pre-match handshake at Loftus Road.
Ferdinand also shunned Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who gave evidence on Terry’s behalf when Terry was found not guilty in court in July of racially abusing Ferdinand during the corresponding Premier League fixture last season.
Saturday’s meeting was the first between the sides since the court case.
The FA ruled on Friday the handshake would go ahead as normal after it was abandoned in an FA Cup match between the teams in January.
Anton Ferdinand’s snub of John Terry in the pre-match handshake overshadowed Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The result ended the European champions’ perfect start in the English Premier League on a day when Arsenal and Manchester United enjoyed big home wins.
Terry was jeered throughout a game played in a hostile atmosphere at Loftus Road in London. The match came two months after he was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand in a league game last year.
After opening with three straight wins, Chelsea was fortunate to escape with a draw. Park Ji-sung and Bobby Zamora wasted excellent chances for QPR in the second half. Eden Hazard came closest to scoring for Chelsea, which stays in first place with 10 points.
Stoke City 1 Manchester City 1 : Extraordinary Handiwork by Peter Crouch stops Manchester City
Peter Crouch scored with the aid of his hand to help Stoke City hold Premier League champions Manchester City 1-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
The former England striker managed to give City central defenders Joleon Lescott and Vicent Kompany the slip on 15 minutes before planting the ball beyond Joe Hart for the opening goal.
Television replays showed Crouch had clearly handled the ball to control it with referee Mark Clattenburg apparently unsighted. It was a bit different from the stunning volley he hoisted into the City net last season that earned him a goal of the season nomination, but this one could prove every bit as significant.
“If you want to start with the first goal we should talk about the NBA not football,” Roberto Mancini told reporters after the match.
“I didn’t see from the bench but I saw all my players talk to the referee, the incredible thing is that the referee was behind Crouch.
“Sometimes it can happen when the handball is not voluntary but not today.”
Crouch has now scored three times in his last six outings against City in the Premier League.
Mancini’s side were the better side for long periods of the first half and deservedly equalised when debutant Javi Garcia popped up unmarked to head home from Carlos Tevez’s free kick on 35 minutes. It was his first goal in a City shirt since his £18 million move from Benfica.
The midfielder almost won it in the dying seconds when he met substitute David Silva’s corner kick with another powerful header, but this time Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic dived to make the stop with the ball coming back off a post and into his arms.
Tony Pulis’s Stoke were worthy of their point on energy alone after being outpassed for large swathes of the afternoon, but were almost undone in the final seconds of stoppage time when Begovic dashed crazily from his line to challenge Edin Dzeko, who had replaced Mario Balotelli only seconds earlier.
Dzeko managed to lift the ball over the dashing Begovic, but Ryan Shawcross produced a marvellous piece of defending to sprint back and hook the ball off his line as it looked set to nestle in his net.
It was a thrilling piece of defending with the Manchester City supporters behind the goal cutting bemused figures as they prepared to revel in three points.
Michael Owen made his debut for Stoke in the closing seconds as he replaced Crouch, who had done his work for the day by scoring with a goal that should have been disallowed.
Tevez enjoyed a decent outing for City before somewhat strangely being replaced by Gareth Barry on 64 minutes. He walloped a shot narrowly wide on four minutes with Balotelli doing likewise 17 minutes later.
Begovic swiped a shot by Maicon wide on 35 minutes before saving from Balotelli with another smart piece of handling skills.
Stoke managed to enjoy more meaningful moments in the second period, but the home side continued to rely on Begovic to protect their point as he came up with saves from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri three minutes from time that were above average.
Manchester City have now failed to win in all five Premier League visits to Stoke, drawing each of their last four 1-1.
Stoke nor Crouch looked too embarrassed when the final whistle sounded.