It's the same-old, boring, boring Chelsea* at the top of the table again this week, after a nervy, but dominant 4 - 2 win over our biggest local rival Tottenham Hotspur. It means we'll be top of the table into November, since our lead is unassailable again this week. A win against Manchester United next time out will open a seven-point lead to them at this early stage. Let's hope it keeps rolling along!
Here's a quick recap of all the Premier League action not involving the current European Champions. As always, the linked recaps are from our friends here at SB Nation, so please be respectful if you decide to comment on those threads. Pretend they're your in-laws if you have to. Just be nice. : )
*Not, strictly speaking, true.
Saturday, October 20th:
Manchester United 4 - 2 Stoke City: In a game sadly overshadowed by another lame scandal involving Rio Ferdinand and a t-shirt, United survived a early scare to come out comfortable winners as Wayne Rooney celebrated ten years of being a Premier League player. It was, in fact, Rooney who opened the scoring, only at the wrong end. The England striker beat Ryan Shawcross to Charlie Adam's free kick. Rooney later made up for his error, first scoring the equaliser, then the fourth to kill off the game after Stoke's Michael Kightly pulled it back to 3 - 2 following goals by Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck. Next week's match against United should be a fun one for Chelsea. More at The Busby Babe
Swansea City 2 - 1 Wigan Athletic: Swansea largely dominated possession in this one, and probably deserved the win, but Wigan made them work for it. All the scoring was confined to a frantic four-minute spree in which Pablo Hernandez and Michu scored two minutes apart for the Welsh side, before Emmerson Boyce brought Wigan back into the match two minutes later. After another two minutes, Arouna Kone scored the equaliser, only for it to incorrectly ruled out for offside. From there, Wigan pressed for another equaliser, but never managed it; several player missing easy chances. More at Pie Eaters Footie
West Ham United 4 - 1 Southampton: Premier League new boys Southampton became whipping boys for fellow promoted side West Ham, who ran riot at home on Saturday. The Saints acquitted themselves well in the first half, but the Hammers scored twice soon after half-time through Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan to put them on the back foot. Adam Lallana did pull a goal back, though a Noble penalty and a fourth from Modibo Maiga meant the game was never very close. Southampton look as though they may be in trouble this year. Neither team has a blog here at SBN, so you're going to have to stay here.
Liverpool 1 - 0 Reading: Liverpool looked good Saturday, making easy work of sub-par promoted side Reading. Despite the ease the home side enjoyed, they only managed to turn one of twenty-three shots into a goal, through the youngster Raheem Sterling. Luis Suarez was the best player on the day, despite having nothing to show for his effort. The Anfield side should have coasted to victory, but their now-trademark lack of quality finishing could have caught them out, with Reading remaining in the game until the last second. They managed to hold on in the end, though, for a 1 - 0 victory. More at Anfield Asylum and The Tilehurst End
Fulham 1 - 0 Aston Villa: Is there a fixture which screams excitement more that Fulham - Villa? Yes, yes there is. Literally every other matchup seems a more exciting prospect, and this one was no exception. Fulham were the better side, but this was ninety minutes of turgid nothingness punctuated by a single moment in which Chris Baird finally got a corner kick across the Villa goal line. Please, omnipotent football deity, never let this happen again! More at Cottagers Confidential and 7500 to Holte
West Bromwich Albion 1 - 2 Manchester City: Heartbreak. Pure and simple. Whether you're an Albion supporter or just don't like City, this was a bad game for you. Things were looking up for the Baggies when a mistake by Vincent Kompany allowed Shane Long to be played things, forcing James Milner to take him out. The England midfielder saw red with no hesitation. Mark Clattenburg probably should have made things even harder for city by sending off Italian madman Mario Balotelli. He earned a yellow for a foul on Claudio Yacob, and should have seen a second for his blatant simulation when he held his face after being fouled, despite there being zero contact with his face. Moments later, he committed a foul arguably worse than his first yellow, and should have been off. In the second half, Long managed to find the net from a Peter Odemwingie pass before substitute Edin Dzeko broke Baggie hearts with a brace. Albion sub Romelu Lukaku probably should have score several in the final moments, but failed to test Joe Hart even once. More at Bitter and Blue, but not the West Brom blog, which, uh, doesn't exist. [Grr.]
Norwich City 1 - 0 Arsenal: Two words:
STEVE GRANT HOLT! The Canaries striker scored the only goal in a game Arsenal dominated, but failed to make anything of. You may recognise the Norwich m.o. from our recent game against them. The game progressed similarly, except Arsenal never really made an impact in the attacking third. You have to say Arsenal should have won the match, but couldn't manage it. The Gunners simply failed to mount an effective attack, often belabouring them. As a Chelsea fan, you have to be excited by the North Londoners being 10 whole points off our pace. If this continues, maybe we'll see those Wenger Out guys again. Everybody loves laughing at those guys! More at The Short Fuse
Sunday, October 21st
Newcastle United 1 - 1 Sunderland: When Yohan Cabaye scored just moments into the first half of the Wear-Tyne Derby, it looked as though it would be a long afternoon for Sunderland. Twenty minutes later, though, Newcastle's Cheick Tiote was sent off a touch harshly for a late challenge on Stephen Fletcher. His studs were certainly up, and the challenge high, but it's hard to see any intent in it. Still, though, Newcastle hung on with ten men until late on, when Demba Ba inadvertently directed his defensive header into his own net to gift Sunderland the draw. More at Roker Report and Coming Home Newcastle
Queens Park Rangers 1 - 1 Everton: This was a surprisingly fun match, considering one of the teams was QPR. Junior Hoilett got the opener for the London side after just two minutes. Everton equalised around the half-hour as Sylvain Distin's header rebounded off the bar and Julio Cesar and in. The teams were fairly even for the next half-hour or so -- With Everton perhaps the better side -- until Everton's Steven Pienaar earned a second yellow as two-time Champions League winner Jose Bosingwa went down under minimal contact. Despite the man advantage, and a Everton tiring because of it, QPR failed to make their chances count, with Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka putting in amazing performances at the back. Either side could have won it late on, QPR with the particularly best chances, but neither side could. 1 - 1 was probably fair in the end. More at Royal Blue Mersey
That's it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this weekend's football, and I hope to see you next week! Again, be nice to our friends over at our fellow SBN blogs if you click over. : )