English Premier League- Round 8 Summary
It has taken only 8 rounds for the Premier League status quo to be re-established with the Big 4 now moving into their home positions, only the magical performances of Hull keeping an outside interest in the top of the table.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have now recorded their worst start to a league season, edging Juande Ramos closer to the scrap heap along side his team’s abysmal performances.
For now, the momentum seems to be with irrepressible Chelsea, who banished a below standard Middlesborough 5-0 with their second string team due to significant injury list.
2 goals from Kalou and goals from Lampard, Malouda and Belletti belied the fact it could have been 7 or 8 nil.
With Ballack, Drogba, Cole, Carvalho among the injury list, it’s becoming a daunting prospect to bet against the Blues collecting some silverware this year.
Big Phil Scolari seems to have his machine purring along seamlessly, the only question when and if they are going to hit a team that will give them a game.
And they might not have to wait that long. Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge next weekend, the only other undefeated team in the league this year after they again came from behind to pip a gutsy Wigan side 3-2 at Anfield.
2 superbly taken goals from on loan Egyptian powerhouse Amr Zaki pushed Wigan into a 2-1 lead at the half, Kuyt scoring for the reds.
But a controversial second yellow sending off for AntonioValencia allowed Liverpool to snatch control of the game with 2 late goals to Kuyt and Riera, sending the Kop into a fortunate frenzy. Cracking match to look forward to next week.
Joining these two are the settling Manchester United who cruised past new boys West Bromwich Albion 4-0, Wayne Rooney continuing his run of 8 goals in his last 6 games.
Their form is ominous although they still sit a game behind the ladder leaders. But with Ronaldo scoring freely and Berbatov adding his name to the score sheet for the first time in the Premier League for his new club, they are slowly gathering momentum.
Arsenal rediscovered some form after their disappointing results over the past couple of weeks with a come-from-behind win against Everton.
The toffees were unable to capitalise on an early goal to Leon Osman to lose 3-1 to goals from Nasri, Van Persie and Fabregas. Still less than convincing though from the North Londoners still smarting from their recent home loss to Hull.
Maybe Champions League this week will lift their confidence (a sad indictment on the state of European competition that Premier League teams might find some confidence and form in the supposedly better competition.)
Tottenham fell to the bottom of the table by a clear game with yet another loss to new boys Stoke 2-1. Ramos will have to be under pressure for his job, despite leading the club to the Carling Cup last season, as they stagger from frying pan to fire.
To add to their woes, both Gareth Bale and Michael Dawson were sent off, with Verdun Corluka taken off injured after a collision with his own keeper.
The real problem for Tottenham though is that there is a £15m release clause in Ramos’ contract and it would be hard to see anyone actually doing any better with this team struggling for balance and confidence in the unforgiving whirlwind of the Premier League. Sadly it can still get much uglier from here.
Unusually for the Premier League, there were also three 0-0 draws this week. With Aston Villa- Portsmouth, Sunderland – Fulham and the Bolton- Blackburn matches all failing to trouble the scorers.
Newcastle and Man City play on Monday night.
Finally surprise packet Hull accounted for another London club adding West Ham to their Arsenal and Tottenham scalps.
The telling point for their season will be how they cope when they eventually lose (probably at the hands of one of the ‘Big Four’). But without a doubt, they are revelling in Premier League at the moment.
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