A look at the winners and losers in week three of the English Premier League.
It had been a terrible start to the season for Roberto Martinez. Two hammerings and a trip to White Hart Lane, scene of last years 9-1 thrashing. Not many Latics fans would have approached Saturday’s game with confidence, but Wigan put on their best away performance in years and thoroughly deserved their 1-0 victory.
A trip to Blackburn is the sort of place where Arsenal’s title dreams have ended in previous years. Too inexperienced or fragile to withstand the type of pressure that a Sam Allardyce team puts on you. But this looks like a different Arsenal team this season. As Arsene Wenger remarked: “It was an important test for us. If you have ambition in this league, you have to win at Blackburn. If you fail to win at Blackburn and go to clubs like that and don’t win, your ambition will not be respected by the other teams.” Arsenal earnt a little extra respect by refusing to buckle in the first-half and controlling the match thereafter. Blackburn may be a mid-table side but they only suffered defeat at home on three occasions last term.
Fifth in the table with a home game against Blackpool next, the Toon Army is off to a great start with Andy Carroll leading the Premier League in goals scored with four.
Now that Rooney has finally ended his 13-match scoreless drought it will be interesting to see if he goes on one of his goalscoring runs for club and country ion September.
Just another routine win for the Champions. In there last six league matches they have outscored their opponents 31-0 and have now gone 586 minutes since conceding a goal.
It has not been the easiest of weeks for Liverpool with a bad defeat against Man City plus a tricky trip to Turkey on Thursday for a Europa League game. West Brom at home after the midweek European game would have been the tricky kind of fixture where Liverpool would have dropped points. But a little bit of magic from Fernando Torres gave Liverpool the three points that they would not have got last season.
After the joys of the Champions League win over Young Boys Spurs came crashing down to earth against Wigan. And once again Harry Redknapp got it wrong.
To be successful in Europe and domestically clubs need a big squad so that managers can rotate players and keep them fresh for both campaigns. Against Wigan, Redknapp only made one change from the side that beat Young Boys and that was enforced because Corluka was injured. The result was a not surprising loss.
David Sullivan and David Gold
West Ham’s new owners ran Gianfranco Zola out of Upton Park during the summer because West Ham was not playing at the level they thought they should be. Winless after their first three games with Chelsea up next after the international break, maybe Zola had West Ham punching above their weight last season.