Manchester United returned in triumph to the North , Villas-Boas does not make the same mistakes in Toottenham, Chelsea have quality.
Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 3: Manchester United got a new hero Tom Cleverley
Manchester United ruthlessly exploited lackluster defending by Newcastle to win 3-0 away on Sunday and move to a share of second place with rival Manchester City in the Premier League.
Jonny Evans powered home a header from Robin van Persie’s corner in the eighth minute at St. James’ Park before another corner, from Wayne Rooney, found an unmarked Patrice Evra in the 15th to cap an explosive start by Alex Ferguson’s side.
After weathering some Newcastle pressure, United added a third through Tom Cleverley in the 71st when his long looping shot proved too much for goalkeeper Steve Harper.
“It was a great result,” Ferguson said. “To come here and win 3-0 against a very powerful and aggressive Newcastle, you have to really perform.
“Today we were on top of our game. The concentration was terrific and the determination was there.”
United and City have 15 points, four behind Chelsea after seven games.
A clean sheet was also welcome to United, whose injury-hit defense has been heavily criticized in recent weeks. The two opening goals came from defenders and there were strong performances by central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Evans in particular.
“It’s a great result,” Rooney said. “Everyone knows this is probably one of the hardest games of the season. We came here, defended brilliantly. We fully deserved the victory.
“The first six games of the season, we haven’t defended well enough — not just the back four, the whole team, and today we were brilliant against a physical team.”
Newcastle came closest when Demba Ba’s header came back off the bar and Papiss Cisse’s follow-up was clawed away by United goalkeeper David De Gea just before it could cross the line.
“Probably the turning point was whether the ball went in or not and probably from the replay, it didn’t,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.
“We conceded two from set-plays and you can’t give teams like Manchester United a two-goal lead.”
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Chelsea 4 Norwich City 1: Chelsea win very comfortable in Stamford Bridge
The club’s best start to a season since 2006 has seen them establish themselves as the early leaders in the league, playing a brand of attacking football that owner Roman Abramovich, there again on Saturday, wants to see.
Their rhythm will now be interrupted again by the international break and when they return, a run of games that will truly test their mettle begins, against Villas-Boas’s new Tottenham at White Hart Lane, at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, and two games against Manchester United, in league and Capital One Cup.
Di Matteo knows there will be blips, but insists his team can still get better. “You hope that the team gels this quickly,” he said. “But the fact that it has is thanks to the players we’ve signed, intelligent players who have a natural understanding.”
Norwich stunned Chelsea when Grant Holt volleyed them ahead after 11 minutes. Had they held that lead things might have been interesting. But three minutes later Fernando Torres headed Chelsea level from Branislav Ivanovic’s cross.
Within another 17 minutes they were 3-1 down as first Lampard volleyed home from the edge of the area, and then Mata’s glorious pass freed Hazard to score. Ivanovic grabbed the fourth goal in the second half – his third of the season. Norwich remain rooted one place off the bottom without a win in seven games and manager Chris Hughton said: “We shot ourselves in the foot by conceding poor goals. That’s always a recipe for disaster against a team of this quality.”
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech 7; Ivanovic 7 (Azpilicueta 79, 6), Luiz 7, Terry 7, Cole 7, Mikel 7 (Romeu 6), Lampard 7 (Ramires 67, 6); Mata 8, Oscar 7, Hazard 7; Torres 7. Goals: Torres 14, Lampard 22, Hazard 31, Ivanovic 76.
Norwich (4-4-1-1): Ruddy 7; Martin 6, Barnett 6 (R Bennett 79, 6), Bassong 6, Garrido 5; E Bennett 6, Howson 6, Johnson 6 (Pilkington 69, 6), Tettey 6; Hoolahan 6; Holt 7 (Morison 79, 6). Goal: Holt 11. Referee: A Taylor (Cheshire).
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Tottenham Hotspur 2 Aston Villa 0: Tottenham rising this year
ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS has urged Tottenham fans to help rock Chelsea from their perch at the top of the Premier League when his old club visit White Hart Lane after the international break.
Second-half goals from Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon against aston Villa helped secure a fourth successive Premier League win and puts them in the best possible mood going into a game that was always going to hold a great deal of personal interest for Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese was sacked by Chelsea in March, but now sees the encounter in a fortnight’s time as a chance to grab hold of their coat-tails.
Villas-Boas said: “It gives us the opportunity to play the league leaders at home, undefeated and a good chance to further go near there.
“We hope to profit from the fact that we are playing at home and playing an unbeaten league leader to help with our motivation to try to beat them. It will give us a chance to finally break into the top four and join the elite of the Premier League. That’s what we have been wanting for quite some time.
“We have been speaking about it between the staff for the week,” he said. “After Panathinaikos we decided it would be logical if we wanted to get Hugo acquainted with the Premier League type of games.
“He joins up with France now and will probably play, which will give him a continuous run of four games. It puts him at his right performance level. We spoke with Brad, he deserves that respect. He was disappointed but accepted it as the good professional he is.”
Lloris still struggles to exude Friedel’s confidence and it was his mistake in the 51st minute which Villa manager Paul Lambert felt could have could have turned game his way.
Lloris’ throw out from goal went straight to Brett Holman, who teed up Marc Albrighton to pick out unmarked Christian Benteke, but the Belgium striker should have done better than head woefully wide.
“I thought that chance was a big moment but Christian is only a young lad,” said Lambert.
“He was in a position to do it, I think you saw his disappointment. We had a great chance to go 1-0 up. You don’t know if you’re going to win it but it gives you a foothold in the game.”
All of which now brings
into question why it was that the 21-year-old was chosen as the target man instead of England striker Darren Bent, who scored as a substitute last week.
“I just think Darren’s a better player with somebody up beside him,” said Lambert. “If you’re playing one up top, Christian gives you a different option because he can get a hold of it. Darren thrives on things in behind. That was my thinking of it, to get a target up the pitch.
“Darren was fine about it. I’m not going to make a mountain out of a molehill because I know what’s happened, I know the situation and what was said. I am totally at ease with it.”
Overall, though, Tottenham got exactly what they deserved having dominated play from the very first exchanges. With Mousa Dembele and Sandro controlling midfield, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale were free to maraud down the wings at will.
The opening goal came from a Bale corner, with Defoe’s shot deflecting inside the post courtesy of the back of Caulker’s calves.
At least there was nothing lucky about the second, as Lennon cut inside to arrow a perfect drive inside the far post, leaving Aston Villa still perched precariously above the relegation zone, after just one league victory.
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Lloris 6; Walker 7, Gallas 7, Caulker 8, Vertonghen 7; Dembele 8, Sandro 8; Lennon 8 (Townsend 86), Dempsey 6 (Sigurdsson 82), Bale 8; Defoe 7 (Adebayor 68). Booked: Walker. Goals: Caulker 58, Lennon 67.
ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Guzan 6, Lowton 6, Vlaar 7, Clark 7, Bennett 6; El Ahmadi 7, Delph 6 (N’Zogbia 66, 5); Albrighton 6 (Bent 66, 5), Holman 6 (Bannan 73, 5), Agbonlahor 6; Benteke 6. Booked: Delph, Bennett, El Ahmadi.
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West Ham United 1 Arsenal 3: Santi Cazorla Magic again
The real Wenger probably shares that view and did nothing to hide his admiration for his Spanish playmaker. Cazorla scored a tasty third goal as Arsenal came from behind to beat spirited West Ham.
His all-round performance was equally impressive, a 5ft 6in bundle of energy darting all over the pitch and playing sharp passes. He is genuinely two-footed, prompting Wenger to compare him with one of England’s most talented players of the past, Glenn Hoddle, whom he took to Monaco.
“Cazorla is right-footed but when you watch him play you would not know that,” said Wenger after his 350th Premier League win. “
It shows how important being two-footed is in the modern midfield but we forget about it sometimes.
“Glenn Hoddle was like that. Cazorla is the same and I don’t remember anyone else I have worked with who was as two-footed.”
Wenger feels it is too early to say Cazorla can have the same impact another Spanish import, Cesc Fabregas, had at Arsenal.
He said: “Cesc played in the Premier League for five years but the early signs with Cazorla are good.
“He makes everyone in the team a better player.” True, Arsenal did have some decent performers at Upton Park. Olivier Giroud scored his first Premier League goal after Mohamed Diame put West Ham ahead with a lovely turn and shot.
Theo Walcott again rammed his message home that he wants to play as a central striker with an accomplished finish to put Arsenal ahead. Then Cazorla hit a wonderful 20-yard left-footer as Arsenal clinched their ninth Premier League win at a ground they love to visit.
The defence undone by Chelsea the week before were given a severe test by the aerial power of Andy Carroll – and just about passed it with Per Mertesacker slotting back in seamlessly.
Mertesacker believes staying solid at the back is key if Arsenal aim to end their seven-year trophy drought.
“This is crucial for our season, he said. “It can make all the difference.”
West Ham were ultimately beaten by a class side but, if they continue to play like this, they will stay up comfortably. They have, though, committed the most fouls and received the most cards of any club in the league.
Diame was lucky to stay on the field after being booked for celebrating his goal then clattering into Mikel Arteta minutes later.
He escaped with just a stern warning from referee Phil Dowd.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce believes players should not be booked for showing their emotion after scoring.
“Referees are only doing what they are told, aren’t they?” he said.
“And they’re not told by their own bosses to do it, they’re told by the police.
“But it’s all very well them saying, ‘Can’t you control your players?’. Well, nobody can control themselves when they score a goal so we shouldn’t punish them.”
A relieved Diame said: “When I tackled Arteta I realised it was a mistake and I thought that the yellow card was going to come out again.”
WEST HAM (4-1-4-1): Jaaskelainen 7; Demel 6, Collins 6, Reid 6, McCartney 6; Noble 8; Jarvis 5, Nolan 7, Diame 7 (Cole 82), Vaz Te 6 (Taylor 63 6); Carroll 8. Booked: Diame, Reid, Taylor. Goal: Diame 21.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Mannone 7; Jenkinson 6, Mertesacker 7, Vermaelen 7, Gibbs 6 (Santos 56 6); Ramsey 7, Arteta 8; Gervinho 5 (Walcott 61 7), Cazorla 8, Podolski 6 (Koscielny 85); Giroud 7. Booked: Gervinho, Walcott. Goals: Giroud 41, Walcott 77, Cazorla 83.
Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).
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Other English Premier League Week 7 Results:
Southampton 2 – 2 Fulham
Liverpool 0 – 0 Stoke
Swansea 2 – 2
West Brom 3 – 2 QPR
Wigan 2 – 2 Everton
Man City 3 – 0 Sunderland