This Weekend's Premier League Results and Analyses

Alex McArdleContributor ISeptember 17, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Lukas Podolski of Arsenal on the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal 6 – 1 Southampton

Arsenal will take the limelight this weekend with six goals against the forever struggling Southampton. Arsenal displayed flair and attacking poise at the Emirates Stadium as they annihilated what already appears to be this seasons whipping boys—Southampton.

Two own goals did not help the Saints, and with Gervinho’s pair of goals and Lukas Podolski’s scintillating free kick, it was simply too big a blow for Nigel Adkins’ men to recover from.

Arsene Wenger can be happy as his side climbs to third place in the league, while Southampton retain their position at the bottom of the table.

Manchester United 4 – 0 Wigan Athletic

Saturday saw two of United’s new boys, Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell, score two excellent goals against Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford. It was also a landmark occasion for United talisman Paul Scholes who made his 700th appearance for the club and actually opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

The game began with Danny Welbeck being awarded a questionable penalty, which was subsequently missed by Javier Hernandez. The first half proceeded to be relatively slow with United dominating possession.

The second half proved to be a different story, with United managing to convert the pressure into four well-taken goals. Alexander Buttner’s performance was a positive for the Red Devils, with such a solid debut it can only be a sign of great things to come for the Dutchman.  

Wigan, however, must create more attacking chances this season if they are to succeed, one shot on target during the course of the game simply is not good enough. United ascend to second place in the English Premier League, Wigan fall to 14th.

Stoke City 1 – 1 Manchester City

City dropped two points on Saturday afternoon against stubborn Stoke. The champions will surely feel hard done by with the result, and questions have already been raised regarding the match’s opening goal. Peter Crouch, in the 15th minute, scored from close range following what can only be described as a number of subtle controlling touches with the striker’s hand. During an interview after the game Mancini describes the act as “Basketball, not football”.

However, the game didn’t finish in the 15th minute; in the 35thminute, Javier Garcia, who had an outstanding game, managed to equalize for the Blues.

The second half appeared to belong to Manchester City who, with all the talent at their disposal,could not convert their possession. The game closed out in a frantic manner where City were very unlucky not to score.Begovic and Shawcross were the heroes, with a brilliant save and a gravity-defying clearance respectively. With this result, Manchester City remain in fourth position, Stoke City drop to 11th.

Sunderland 1 – 1 Liverpool

Both Liverpool and Sunderland are yet to claim a victory in this year’s Premier League season with a 1-1 draw at The Stadium of Light.

Given the sensitive week that the players and fans of Liverpool FC have had, in normal circumstances they could be forgiven for being at least a tad distracted. But in the Premier League, distraction usually results in mistakes. Even with overwhelming possession, Liverpool allowed Steven Fletcher to score in the 29th minute following a cross from Craig Gardner.

Liverpool, nevertheless, did manage to take control of the game in the second half and were unlucky not to equalise with Gerrard’s attempt clipping the woodwork. Luis Suarez managed to save the day with a 71st minute close-range shot that struck the back of the net, much to the delight of the away support. Liverpool now stand in 17th position, Sunderland at a slightly more respectable 15th.

Fulham 3 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

Dimitar Berbatov got off to a dream start at Craven Cottage with two perfectly executed goals. Adding these to Steve Sidwell’s late goal and you have a truly dominant performance by Fulham. However, it will probably be West Bromwich player Peter Odemwingie’s moment of madness that will be remembered, as he stupidly kicked out at Sascha Riether resulting in one of the most memorable red cards of the season so far.

This result allows Fulham to stay in 8th position in the EPL just above Everton; fortunately for the Baggies, they have maintained 6th position after being handed their first defeat of the season.

Norwich City 0 – 0 West Ham United

In what proved to be a relatively tiresome game, Norwich were held to a goalless draw at home to West Ham.

Norwich are yet to record a victory in the EPL this season and have drawn their last three games indicating a lack of goal scoring ability. The statistics from the game indicate that it is finishing competence that Norwich are struggling to attain,  with 10 shots on target, eight shots off target and no goals scored. West Ham on the other hand will be disappointed with their performance as they failed to pick up three points against one of the weaker sides in the league.

This goalless draw at Carrow Road means that West Ham stay in the same position in the league, 7th, and Norwich fall one place to 16th.

Reading 1 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur

Two goals from Englishman Jermain Defoe and a 71st minute goal from Gareth Bale were enough to see off Reading, who could possibly face a relegation battle this season.

Tottenham have also had a rocky start to the season with two draws and a loss preceding the game. This win may give Andre Villas-Boas some breathing space as he faced rumours regarding an early exit from Tottenham if he did not begin to pick up some points. Tottenham could easily have won by more, with the only negative being a 90th-minute goal from Robson-Kanu removing Spurs' chance of a clean sheet.

Due to their win on Sunday, Tottenham ascend to 10th, while Reading hold their position at 19th.

Queens Park Rangers 0 – 0 Chelsea

At a glance it appeared that most neutrals interested in this match were only watching to see the pre-match formalities and not the match itself, and in reality neither proved to be anyway entertaining. Of course I am referring to Ferdinand and Terry’s handshake that never happened, and in all honesty was never going to. Frankly, at this stage, who really cares? Both clubs need to address the horrific performances put forward by their side and forget all about who shakes who’s hand.

In what has to be the worst game of the weekend, Chelsea and QPR looked stale and dull with both teams only managing a handful of shots on target each. If Chelsea are to be title contenders this season they must avoid dropping points at the hands of teams that will reside in the bottom of the table for the season. Having said that, and despite today’s draw, Chelsea remain top of the league while QPR stay at18th.

Aston Villa 2 – 0 Swansea City

Although Swansea held the majority of the possession at Villa Park, It was the home side that emerged on top as two of Villa’s new signings came to the fore with goals in each half.

Swansea had an excellent start to the season and had not lost a game up to this point but on Saturday rarely looked like they were ever to take charge of the game. Villa on the other hand, have looked poor up to now. But, thankfully for the Villa faithful, Lowton and Benteke’s goals have provided them with their first three-pointer of the season.