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Last night was always going to be a big ask for the Whites. What with having, what appears to be, our first choice full backs out injured, having a poor record away from home in general and Liverpool having dished out a spanking to them on Sunday. What positives can we take from the game? Briggs didn’t look out of his depth playing at left back. AJ got  a bit closer to match fitness and showed he hasn’t lost his pace during his lay off and, barring deciding nobody should mark Essien when the ball got whipped into the box, the defense appeared to cope reasonably well with the amount of pressure placed upon it. And dirty Essien got a red card, which is always a pleasure to see. Ineviatbly Chelsea claim they were hard done by with the card, but he went in two footed and deserved everything he had coming to him, so says Sparky:

“The guy has jumped in with two feet, so it’s a straight red.”

Which is pretty much what I said. In a game where they could have hit many, many more goals that lot down the road took their lead in the league back to four points.

Chelsea are all set to with the title, says Mancini;

“I think Chelsea will win the Premier League as they are better than the other teams”

And his team was in action too last night, I don’t think it was covered in the press before last night, but there was another derby happening, this one up in Manchester. City versus United. Turned out people had built it up it being a fantastic footballing feast, when it was more of a damp squib. Nil nil it finished with both sides doing all they could to avoid being beaten.

Over in the East London slums a late running Baggies held West Ham to a two all draw.  After conceding a penalty the Hammers took a 2-1 lead before Ibanez scored the equaliser for the visitors, and neither side were probably too disappointed with the result. A win would have lifted West Ham off the foot of the table, but instead the single point keeps up Grants record of keeping his sides in the drop zones since time began. Though he’s attempting to keep positive;

“The spirit of team is very good, it’s more frustrating that we’re bottom of the league but the spirit is good.

“We’re trying to play positive football, we keep doing what we need to do and we don’t win – we don’t like it but at the end of the day, the wins will come.”

With the natives getting restless, although being the self proclaimed best fans in the world…ever, you start to wonder how long before Bongo Dave decides times right for a change.

It all happened in the last 11 minutes at Goodison last night. First Bolton took the lead on79 minutes through the Croatian head of Klasnic. Next, Fellani got himself sent off for kicking out at Paul Robinson (not the Steffan Dennis one, the footballer), then finally Beckford found the net with a curling shot in injury time to rescue a point and help Bolton achieve the honour of being the first team in the Premier League to draw four consecutive away 1-1 draws. Well done them.

This coming the day before Bolton announced record losses of £34.5m. Splashing out on players like our old boys Knight and Davies, increasing the size of the squad while not selling anybody and a change of gaffer were all blamed by chairman Phill Gartside. He said:

“We wanted to shed players in the summer to bring the wages down but we couldn’t because the market has died.

In other words, nobody wanted Bolton’s rejects.

Arsenal traveled to a chilly Midlands and returned to London with all three points. Chamakh scored the fastest goal of the season so far after just 37 seconds, and then rounded the game off with another in the 94th – the longest between goals for a single player in a single Premier League match in history. Cec Febregas seemed to get away with a nasty little challenge, but McCarthy realising he could have the phrase pot and kettle thrown at him didn’t take umbrage with it.

It’s a culture shock, there’s no doubt about it. It’s like the wild west”

Not my words, but that of new Liverpool owner. He could have been accurately describing either Wigan or Liverpool, but was talking about how players change clubs at the drop of a hat in Europe. Perhaps the Reds could make use of this after the draw at the DW Stadium.

After a few quiet games, and subsequently being dropped from my fantasy football side, Andy Carroll popped up with another goal, but that wasn’t enough for Big Sam to leave with all three points on his return to the other St James Park.

Do you remember bad boy Joey Barton, who this week just gone was telling us how he’d turned over a new leaf and was a good boy?

“What I have found in later life is that you become more mature and that was a way of getting the best out of myself.

“It is helping me now that I have not been in trouble for a long time.”

Well he decided to punch scorer of Blackburn’s first goal, Pederson, in the chest yet somehow escaped with a yellow card. The FA are looking into video evidence, and I’m hoping you can’t be docked fantasy football points retrospectively. Jason Roberts scored Rovers second, and the winner, after a mix up in the magpies defense.

Now, at the moment, I’m not the Fulham manager but if I were I’d be working with the back five on crosses the rest of this week. Andy Carroll’s last four goals have all been off his bonce and been supplied by Joey Barton. Schwarzer- you have been warned.

Blackpool made ten changes to their team and were unlucky to lose 3-2 at Villa Park. There’s been grumbling about Holloway making wholesale changes to his side, who travel to whipping boys West Ham at the weekend, from some quarters and Holloway stands firm on his decision and has gone so far as to say he’ll walk should the Seasiders receive punishment from the Premier League.

Tuesday night saw Birmingham saunter up the Motorway Six to the glamour capital of the country, Stoke-On-Trent. The Potters had failed to score against the blues in any of their last seven meetings so it came out of the blue when it finished 3-2 to the visitors.

Spurs’ fantastic support booed their side off on Tuesday night after securing a draw against Sunderland. The Mackams record signing Gyan was gifted a chance to score the equaliser and took it, cancelling out an earlier goal from Van Der Vart.

The midweek action leaves us in thirteenth place with a trip to Newcastle at the weekend.