EPL Match Day 32: It Was a Goalfest!

Patrick JohnstonCorrespondent IApril 13, 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Fernando Torres of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on April 8, 2009 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Match Day 32 saw more goals than any since May, 1998. While a 4-3 (Chelsea vs. Bolton) score line is not an uncommon occurrence, it is very unusual to see only two clean sheets out of a possible 20. 

With only Blackburn and West Ham failing to score this weekend, all the other sides were able to find the back of the net. 

Liverpool started the weekend with a four goal trouncing of Big Sam’s Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. A potential goal of the year strike from Fernando Torres was only the beginning of a splurge of finishes to follow in the weekend’s subsequent fixtures.

The 1500 hour matches did not disappoint either. The weekend’s high of seven goals was almost one of the most stunning comebacks ever seen in football.

Bolton down 4-0 with just over 20 minutes remaining put together a nine minute orgy of three goals to abruptly alter the mood of the Chelsea faithful at Stamford Bridge. 

A direct route one approach into the  indecisive and timid heart of Chelsea’s defense had Bolton on the verge of snatching what would have been the most bizarre point ever secured in EPL history. 

With the last series of corners deep into injury time, Megson’s men were getting in each other’s way to hammer home the equalizer of all equalizers. It was not to be and Chelsea survived the scare. 

Maybe Rafa and the Reds have a chance after all.

Arsenal went to Wigan and did their fair share by adding four to the tally by dispatching the Lactics 4-1.

Of the big four, only Man United did not touch the twine four times. Only posting two goals at the Stadium of Light against a determined Sunderland was enough to see the Red Devils back to the top of the table. 

Sunderland did have a taste of the Red Devil goal courtesy of Ben Foster’s inability to handle a service from the Black Cats’ left flank. Kenwyne Jones was most receptive of the gift and Sunderland was on the score sheet.

The unusual suspects were not going to let the big boys have all the fun. Portsmouth and West Brom finished with a 2-2 draw at Fratton Park. That can be considered fireworks for the Baggies, the league’s lowest scoring team on the road with eight now for the season.

Boro, the league’s lowest scoring team overall shocked the Teeside with a three goal eruption and sent Hull, with its one goal, home with no points and a sinking feeling that they were going to be a key contender in the relegation dogfight.   

Two other relegation candidates, Stoke and Newcastle, finished at the Britannia with the obligatory 1-1 draw. Newcastle was saved by the late heroics of local boy Andy Carroll whose 80th minute looping header left Potter keeper Thomas Sorensen stranded with no chance.

Surprisingly, Tottenham, always a suspect to put up a high tally, was only able to contribute one goal for the weekend in its clean sheet defeat of West Ham in a London Derby match. I am sure Harry Redknapp is just fine with it.

Sunday’s matches picked right up where Saturday left off with the 3-3 thriller at Villa Park. While Aston Villa scoring three is no surprise, Everton conceding three is a sure fire indication that something is in the air that is wrecking havoc on premiership defenses.

And just to confirm the rampant nature of Match Day 32’s offensive splurge, Fulham went to Eastland’s and bested Shay Given three times to bag three points; while City could only rue the second consecutive match in which they squandered an early lead only to lose 3-1 (in Hamburg on Thursday in UEFA Cup action). 

At the start of the match, Fulham was the lowest scoring away team but the three goals put them one up on table doormat West Brom.

With six matches to go, everything is to play for.  Three teams can still win the title, relegation is a certainty only for woeful West Brom. 

And yet, at a time when all is up for grabs, and defenses across the premiership should be keeping it close to the vest and protecting (or improving) their precious (precarious) positions; instead they are surrendering more goals than ever. 

Looking forward next week to say the least (or most?).