A look at the winners and losers after week 4 of the English Premier League.
This was a huge win for Liverpool over Manchester United. Not only from a psychological level, but also because the side that finishes top of the table at the end of the season can be found near the top of the table based solely on the results of Big Four matches. Manchester United won four of their six matches in that exclusive mini-league last year and in doing so achieved an advantage that was to prove critical in winning the title.
Liverpool, in contrast, failed to win a single match in direct opposition to Chelsea, United or Arsenal. That was why their title challenge never gathered any meaningful momentum and why the significance of Saturday’s deserved victory over the champions traveled beyond local bragging rights. It was an essential breakthrough.
Liverpool and Chelsea
If Chelsea beat Manchester United at home this weekend and Liverpool defeat Stoke at home they will both be 9 points ahead of United. Yes United have a game in hand, but nine points is a huge gap to have to pull back. Man United could be out of the title race by the end of September at this rate.
Finally a league victor over Sir Alex Ferguson at the ninth time of asking.
Tim Cahill doesn’t get the publicity of the other Premier League stars but I don’t think anyone is more valuable to his team than Cahill is to Everton. Consider that since the start of the 2007/08 season Everton’s record with Cahill in the team is: Played 19, Won 13, Drawn 4, Lost 2. Without Cahill they are Played 23, Won 8, Drawn 6, Lost 9.
Sitting in fifth spot, safely challenging for Europe! After grabbing 7 points from a possible 12 Stoke already possess approximately 20% of the points required to avoid relegation.
He cannot make England’s squad but there is no more on form striker in the Premier League than Defoe. Since moving from Spurs he has scored 30 league goals in 43 starts. That is an amazing goals to games ratio.
At least the Manchester United manager did not attempt to defend the indefensible. Raging against “some Conference team defending”, Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he could not find a single note of consolation in such a chastening experience. “There was nothing to take out of that performance in any way,” he observed. His own performance wasn’t exactly inspiring either.
United’s midfield was overrun by Liverpool on Saturday and Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have both aged over the summer. With Carrick out for 6 weeks, Anderson and Hargreaves will be tasked with winning the midfield battles. Whether they can do that will go a long way in determining how successful United are this season.
beating Chelsea and
Disaster does not follow Newcastle United, it has become them. A state of crisis has become their default position; it is just the scale of the crisis that alters.
Even by Newcastle’s standards, their current plight is dismal: managerless, teetering above the relegation zone and owned by a man so disillusioned and detested that St James’ Park has become a no-go area. Could it get any worse? Unfortunately, yes, it could.
Amid the off-field turmoil, Newcastle’s on-field woes have been largely overlooked. An injury crisis, small squad and lack of quality players means that Newcastle is in for a relegation battle. No team is too big to not get relegated and Newcastle could be heading that way unless they get things straightened out soon/
Under Mark Hughes Blackburn were known as a tough defensive minded team. That is not the case anymore. No side in the league has conceded more goals than Rovers. No wonder Paul Ince is being linked with Newcastle.