The recently concluded matches of the Barclays English Premier league produced a lot of drama. The much anticipated Manchester derby produced a result as expected, but the result did manage to surprise everyone. Here are the brief reviews of the top encounters in the league and the scores of the other matches-
Manchester City (6)- Manchester United (1)-
Termed by the pundits as the most highly anticipated match this season so far, the Manchester derby lived up to its reputation of producing a lot of drama. Both Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Feguson named their strongest lineups and players of both the sides were more than eager to prove a point or two to their bitter rivals. In the beginning of the match United kept most of the possession but failed to create enough goal scoring opportunities. As the first half progressed, the likes of David Silva and James Milner got into their groove. The opener came just before halftime when Mario Balotelli placed his shot perfectly through the far post after a good set-up involving David Silva and James Milner assist. The man, whose middle name is controversy, added a second on the hour mark, this time tapping home a perfectly measured cross from Milner. In the meanwhile, Johny Evans was given the marching orders for an irresponsible tackle on Balotelli. Aguero added the third in the 69th minutes while Fletcher pulled one back for United in the 81th minute. But the match was over by then and City increased the humiliation by adding a couple of more goals through David Silva and Dzeko. This is United’s first defeat this season and their worst defeat in decades. City moves 5 points clear of united after the thumping victory that silenced the die-hard united fans at the Theater of Dreams.
Chelsea(0)- Queens Park Rangers (1)-
QPR defeated 9-man Chelsea to register their first win over the arch rivals in 16 years. The match began in a slow note as both teams concentrated more on keeping the possession rather than intruding forward. QPR got the lucky break in the 8th minute when Brazillian David Luiz was deemed guilty by the referee of pushing a striker inside the penalty box. Heidar Helguson stepped up to take and penalty kick which he converted to give QPR the lead. Chelsea pushed hard to equalize before halftime, but the QPR defense was compact and it didn’t allow Didier Drogba, Mata and Lampard any sort of space to wage attacks. Trouble continued to pile up for Chelsea as playmaker Juan Mata had to be substituted just after the halftime due to an injury. QPR defended well to deny Chelsea an equalizer on more than one occasions. Didier Drogba was given the marching orders for a malicious tackle and Chelsea were further reduced to 9 men when Jose Bosingwa was shown the red too. A record number of 7 yellow cards were shown to Chelsea players for offences which showed their frustration due to the inability to break QPRs resilience. Anelka missed a glorious opportunity of scoring at the fag end of the match as he headed Ivanovich’s cross straight to the keeper’s hands from 4 yards out. Chelsea lie on the 3rd position after their second defeat this season, one point behind 2nd placed United.
Arsenal(3)- Stoke City (1)-
Arsenal defeated Stoke City comfortably at the Emirates stadium to ease some pressure off manager Arsene Wenger. In Van Persie’s absence, Marouane Chamakh got a chance to impress, and he should have given Arsenal the lead in the 10th minute with a free header from Mikel Arteta’s corner but he made a mess of his effort which flew wide. Gervinho opened the scoring for Arsenal by converting a brilliant through ball from Aaron Ramsey. Peter Crouch cancelled gunner’s lead by heading home a free kick. Yet another goal conceded by Arsenal on set-pieces. Thankfully, Robin van Persie, who came as a second half substitute, bailed out Arsenal by scoring twice. The first one came in the 73rd minutes, while the second one in the 82nd minute. The brace takes RVP’s tally to 9 goals this season so far. Arsenal move up to the 7th position in the league, 12 points behind leaders Manchester City.
The rest of the results in the league-
Tottenham 2-1 Blackburn
Everton 3-1 Fulham
Liverpool 1-1 Norwich
Sunderland 2-0 Bolton
WBA 2-1 Aston Villa
Newcastle 1-0 Wigan
Wolves 2-2 Swansea