Saturday, January 15, 2011

Premier League Round Up Week 23

Today we were treated to seven matches, seven matches in which none failed to entertain. Manchester City beat Wolves in an enthralling encounter, Chelsea got back to winning ways with a dominant 2-0 win over Blackburn, Stoke beat high flying Bolton, Fulham were held at the JJB stadium, Blackpool succumbed to the excellent West Brom and in the late match, Arsenal dismantled the abysmal West Ham, amid reports of Martin O'Neill on the verge of taking over the helms from Avram Grant.

At the City of Manchester stadium were treated to a scintillating tie with City prevailing, just. Wolves had taken an unexpected lead through new signing Milijas before Kolo Toure levelled going into the break. At 1-1 Wolves were still very much still in the match but a lack of concentration saw them fall behind before City went on a goal spree. City made it 4-1 with Tevez bagging a brace and Yaya Toure once again getting on the score sheet, piling on the woes for Wolves.

After Tevez had scored in the 66th minute you would have believed City would be home and dry but a spirited Wolves side thought otherwise. Kevin Doyle was hauled down inside the box and took the responsibility of slotting home himself, and scoring. 4-2, a glimmer of hope for the lowly side and none would have expected anything more. Cue a lack of concentration on City's behalf and Wolves set up an enthralling end to the match, Ronald Zubar making it 4-3 with 4 minutes remaining. Wolves continually pushed for a sensational equaliser, even keeper Wayne Hennessy getting in on the action but City held out to go top for at least 24 hours.

Chelsea were host to Blackburn, a team still struggling even with a change of ownership and manager. Chelsea were dominant in their approach to get back to winning ways and they did just that with a resounding 2-0 victory. Ivanovic got the scoring underway and Anelka continued his prolific scoring run against the Lancashire club scoring his 12th career goal against Blackburn.

It will definitely relieve some of the pressure on the heavily scrutinised Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea seem to have snapped out of that dismal run which saw them claim only one win in seven and slide down into 5th. Venky's will be behind Steve Kean regardless of the result and survival will confirm his stay at the club for at least another season.

Arsenal travelled to East London to take on a recently reformed West Ham side who had lost only once in their last seven however it was the Gunners who ran rampant as they once again humiliated Avram Grant and his West Ham team. Reports circulated early this morning over Grant's position at the club and it was reported that Martin O'Neill has already been in contact to take over the helms from under fire Grant.

Supposedly his 'last game in charge' Grant was looking for an impeccable final hurrah but it was not to be as Arsenal ran riot. The Gunners broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time as a cross from English star Theo Walcott was dummied by Samir Nasri and then coolly slotted home by Robin Van Persie who was having a great day at the office. West Ham were in further trouble when Theo Walcott scored and the Hammers' misery was complete when Robin Van Persie rounded off a wonderful night for the Gunners, making it 3-0 from the spot, consolidating Arsenal's title aspirations once more.

In other results from today's games we saw Stoke stun Bolton as they, quite comfortably, beat Bolton 2-0 with goals coming either half from Matthew Etherington and Danny Higginbothom.

We also saw another exciting match up as West Brom faced Premier League debutant's Blackpool which the Baggies won 3-2.An early goal from in form David Vaughan put the visitors in the driving seat but goals from Peter Odemwingie and James Morrison had the Baggies ahead on the hour mark. However, Blackpool's Gary Taylor Fletcher levelled the scores with 10 minutes remaining and it would have seemed that the Tangerines would be heading for a share of the spoils but Peter Odemwingie scored his 8th goal of the season to steal the game and increase the Baggies' chances of survival.

Wigan also held Fulham in a 1-1 draw at the JJB Stadium in a 'bottom of the table' clash. A goal from Hugo Rodallega gave the hosts the lead but Andy Johnson equalised with his first goal in nearly two years salvaging a draw for the relegation strugglers.

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