A look at the winners and losers in this weekend’s Premier League games.
It was a tough run of games against Arsenal, Spurs and Man City and United came out of it with maximum points, despite not reaching the levels they have been at in the last two years. With a easier schedule coming up, United don’t have a really tough game until they visit Liverpool on October 25.
Sitting top of the table with the only unbeaten record in the Premier League, and they are another team that has not hit top form yet. Chelsea have this ability to just wear teams down as the game progresses, hence the number of late goals that they score. At the moment, they are the team to beat for the title.
He has come a log way from being abused by Roy Keane a couple of years ago to being the heart of the United midfield. What has been missing from his game is goals and if he can get 10-12 goals this season he will cement his place as one of the better midfield players in the Premier League.
Did he find his scoring boots on the way out of Portsmouth? Nugent missed two great changes for Pompey this season to either win or tie games late, yet he shows up at Burnley and scores two goals two good goals this weekend.
With this two goals at the weekend, Torres has scored and amazing 43 goals in the Premier League in only 63 games. Torres is often overshadowed by Gerrard, but without Torres Liverpool is an elite team.
Yes they lost to Man Utd this weekend, but in the last two weeks City have scored a combined 7 goals against Arsenal and United. If Mark Hughes can strengthen City’s defense, their ability to score goals makes them the biggest challenger yet to the big four. Scarier still for the big 4 is City’s ability to strengthen their team in the January transfer market if they are anywhere need the top of the table.
Owen showed why Fergie signed him up this summer with a classic poachers goal deep in added time Sunday. The difference between Owen and Tavez, the man he replaced was clear. Tevez missed his chance in the first half and Owen scored his.
Ten days ago Spurs were undefeated and riding high, off to their best start on 40+ years. Then came games against two of the big four, and the gap in quality between Spurs and the top teams appeared. In both games Spurs had chances to score goals and take control of the game, but couldn’t. Chelsea and Man United took theirs, underlying the difference between the big four and the other teams; the ruthlessness they have in front of goal.
Long time readers know that I am not a big fan of Gary Megson, and it appears neither are the Bolton fans. It has been several years since Bolton were serious relegation candidates, but Megson has managed to turn back the clock and made them one.
Their six consecutive defeats is the worst start by a top-flight club since Leicester City in the eighties. The only question is whether they can get more points than Derby County did.
Just as worrying as the performance on the park is the apathy in the stands. The attendances for the home games against Birmingham and Bolton this month were both lower than for any game played at the KC Stadium last season. Phil Brown’s days have to be numbered at Bolton.
Fulham have now lost all three of their Premier League matches that have followed a midweek game in the Europa League.
Defeat at Goodison Park was Rovers’ seventh consecutive away loss. Rovers is another team that will be involved in the relegation battle all season.