Well, who’d have thunk it, another draw. However, given our recent record, the fact that we’ve not conceded a goal in our last four trips to the North-East while not scoring in seven trips it would have taken some guts to bet on anything else.
Some excellent saves from our big Aussie keeper and the Moose hitting the bar kept the game scoreless at the other St James Park. The centre back pairing of Hughes and Hangeland managed to allow Carroll little joy all afternoon, and with Barton suspended his usual supply line was unavailable too. All in all a good point earned, as all points on the road are. It just seems with a little something extra we’d be picking up three points from these games and be sitting pretty in the top half of the table.
We must always look up and never down, so if nothing else we’re helping break records with 35% of Premier League matches ending as draws so far this season, which is an all time record. Wicked!
In some nice synchronicity from the fixture computer (this kinda thing makes me smile – yeah, I know…), while one West London club travelled to the North-East, the other North-East Club travelled to West London. Though they had somewhat more success than ourselves. In what has been suggested by many Blues fans as being their worst performance since the club was formed in 2003 they were taken apart by Sunderland 3-0. In form striker Gyan, along with Welbeck and Onuoha getting on the score sheet and thoroughly deserving the points after their nightmare trip to Fulham Broadway last season. The Black Cats looked lively from the off and the champions defence, without the injured Terry, seemed to struggle to keep them in check.
Man Yoo failed to take advantage of Sunderland’s victory, though will feel quite pleased having come back from two goals down to draw against a Aston Villa side who were without nine players through illness and injury. The Villains hit the woodwork twice (making it six times in as many matches that they’ve hit the post) before Ashley Young put them ahead from the spot with Albrighton doubling their lead shortly after. Macheda and Vidic both scoring in the last 9 minutes to rescue a point and Man Yoo’s unbeaten start to the season.
Another side that could have capitalised on that lot dropping points were Manchester City, though they could only manage a draw against visitors Birmingham. City visit us next week for Sky’s Super Sunday fixture with Mancini gathering the same amount of points from City’s opening 13 league fixtures as Sparky did for them last year. And we all know how that worked out. Four of Brums last ten games have finished 0-0 and this one was no different with them coming out and parking the bus in front of the goal for most of the game. Surely Hughesy wont put what may well be the final nail in the Mancini’s, man who replaced him at City, coffin next week, will he?
Arsenal moved above Manchester United into second in the table after beating Everton 2-1 up at Goodison Park. Bacary Sagna scored his first Arsenal goal in 106 games in the first half with Fabregas doubling the lead in the second. After wasting several good chances to put themselves further ahead Cahill headed home a goal with two minutes remaining. His fourth goal in six meetings with the Gooners gave life to the home side, but the unusually steady looking Flapihandski managed to keep the blues at bay and see out the match. It’s amazing how quickly stats can change. Before this game Everton would trumpet that they were unbeaten in seven games, whereas after the final whistle the talk was of one win in five attempts.
Off the pitch, Nicklas Bendtner has told Wenger that he wants to play regular football otherwise he’ll pack his bags and head off in search of first team football.
“I’m 100 per cent good enough for the starting XI in Arsenal. I have the qualities and I’ve been sitting enough on the bench in my career.
“If my manager feels differently that’s fair, and he’s the one choosing the team, but then I disagree.”
You may have noticed, shortly after saying this he was mysteriously dropped for the trip to Everton.
Liverpool proved those decent results were just a blip and got back to losing ways against Stoke on Saturday evening. Considering they usually pride themselves as being ultra loyal and fantastic fans, the Liverpool fans seem to have turned (even more so) on Uncle Roy, with numbers of them singing for Dalglish to return as gaffer.
“The fans can chant for whoever they want and it will be up to the club to decide what they want to do.
“There is nothing I can do about it and I can only continue to do the best job I can do under these circumstances.”
Quite what they expect Uncle Roy to be doing with the dogs dinner of a club, and what Dalglish would do to better this is quite a mystery to me. Second half goals from Fuller and Jones was enough to see of the Reds, who finished with ten men after Lucas was given his marching orders.
Spurs picked up a comfortable win against Blackburn, only making it a bit more difficult for themselves near the end and letting Blackburn in with a sniff. Bestest player in the world, Gareth Bale, set up his first league goal since April and got on the score sheet himself. Givet and Dunn were on target for Big Sam’s side, while the result sees Spuds move three points behind Man City.
Changes all round again for Blackpool as they frustrated West Ham and held them to a nil nil draw at Upton Park. West Ham will be far from happy with referee Kevin Friend who ignored calls for two first half penalties, though had chances they failed to make pay. Unsurprisingly Keiron Dyer was injured after 18 minutes, and is currently battling Owen Hargreaves for the title of ‘Most Broken Human Being.’
“We need to improve, but we did good things and I believe that if we continue to do the right things, we will win games.”
Said Grant after the game. I don’t know whether to admire his optimism and cheery outlook, or pity his stupidity…
An inspired half time change by Wigan helped them collect the points against the Baggies. Victor Moses latching onto a N’Zogbia ball to do enough for the win. Elsewhere a fantastic goal from Elmander helped Bolton win away from home against Wolves. The striker, who’s contract is up in the summer, scored the second of Wolves three before a Wolves comeback through Foley and Fletcher.
Up next for Fulham is Manchester City at 4pm on Sunday afternoon after a brief International break midweek.