EPL: Week Zero for the Fantastic Four

Boris YovchevCorrespondent INovember 22, 2008

It has been more than 15 years since the top four clubs in England, i.e. Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Arsenal, have failed to score in the same round of the English Premier League. February of 1993 marks the last "zero week" of the Fantastic Four in England.

The infamous achievement from 15 years ago was duplicated Saturday when all four clubs failed to score a goal in their respective matches.

Chelsea, without suspended Didier Drogba, couldn't get into a rhythm to overcome Newcastle's defense in front of 42,660 fans at Stamford Bridge. Nicolas Anelka and company found it impossible to break the deadlock and get one past Shay Given as the game ended in a goalless draw. 

A young and inconsistent Arsenal side, still missing some key players through injuries, suffered a discouraging 3-0 defeat to the hands of Manchester City. Arsenal controlled possession of the ball but did little with it, as City poured in three goals, two of which came at the end of each half. 

Liverpool was also missing one of its superstars in Gerrard, and put in a blank effort against Fulham. Playing Kuyt, Torres, and Keane from the offset did not bring the desired result for Rafa Benitez and his men.

Manchester United played the last match of the big four and followed suit with its rivals from the top of the table by failing to beat Aston Villa away from home.

Dimitar Berbatov proved to be a significant loss for the Red Devils who could not control the ball around the penalty area—their only clear chance came on 63 minutes when Rooney skied a volley high and wide from the edge of the area. 

Aston Villa proved to be in great form stealing a point from Manchester United a week after they took all three points against Arsenal. This put Villa in fourth place in the standings, a point ahead of Arsenal.

The weekend games fell between international friendly matches from earlier this week, and Champions League matches scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  That, and the absence of some key players on each of the big clubs in the EPL lead to a surprising "week zero" for four of the richest clubs in the world.