It was a weekend of historic wins, important first victories and three sides continuing their unbeaten start to the 2012/13 Premier League season.
The weekend’s biggest shock came at Old Trafford where Manchester United suffered their first home league defeat to Tottenham Hotspur since December 1989. The away side took an early lead through defender Jan Vertonghen after just two minutes and Gareth Bale doubled their lead in the 32nd minute to leave spurs two up at the break. United were a much better side in the second half and Nani pulled one back shortly after the break but Clint Dempsey immediately restored Spurs’ two goal advantage .
United’s new signing Shinji Kagawa added a second for United as they piled on the pressure but Tottenham held on for a historic win and are now gaining moment after a poor start to the season moving up to 5th in the table with United dropping to third.
United’s rivals Liverpool bounced back from their defeat against the Manchester side last weekend to gain their first Premier league victory of the season against fellow strugglers Norwich. Luis Suarez scored his second hat-trick at Carew Road in consecutive seasons in a man of the match performance. The Uruguayan scored the first two of Liverpool’s five goals, before Nuri Sahin put Liverpool three up and Suarez completed his hat-tirck to make it four. Steve Morrison claimed one back for Norwich before Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool’s fifth with Grant Holt adding a consolation for the home side late on to leave Liverpool deserved 5-2 winners. Norwich are yet to win in the Premier League this season and remain in the relegation zone.
Another team who ended their winless run were Stoke City who beat Swansea 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium. A first half double from in-form Peter Crouch secured a valuable three points for Stoke making it four goals in as many matches for the Potters striker. After a promising start to the season Swansea have faltered of late, losing their three previous matches and failing to score in each. Their lack of firepower in front of goal was proven against Stoke after failing to register a single shot on target despite having 76% of the possession.
Arsenal suffered their first league defeat of the season at home to Chelsea in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at the Emirates. Chelsea took the lead through Fernando Torres after 20 minutes before Gervinho equalised just before the interval. Juan Mata scored Chelsea’s winner direct from a free-kick early in the second half to keep his side top of the league and extend their unbeaten run to the season.
Manchester City put the defence of their Premier League title back on track after two straight draws with victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Fulham took the lead after a highly debatable penalty which Mlanden Petric converted before Sergio Aguero equalised for City. Second half substitute Edin Dezeko scored a late winner for City three minutes from time with his fourth of the season, three of which have come from starting on the bench. The Sky Blues moved into the top four and like Chelsea, remain unbeaten in the league this season.
Newcastle striker Demba Ba continued his impressive goal scoring form with a double away to Reading putting him top of the goal scoring charts. The home side took the lead in the 58th minute through Jimmy Kebe but Ba instantly replied with a terrific first time volley. Noel Hunt regained the lead for Reading and the Royals looked as if they were going to claim their first victory of the season but Ba spoiled the party equalising for Newcastle late on albeit with the use of his hand to leave Reading in the bottom three.
Everton continued their impressive start to the season to move up to second in the table with a confident victory over struggling Southampton. But it was the away side who took the lead through their record signing Gaston Ramirez after just 6 minutes. Leon Osman equalised for Everton in the 25th minute before a Nikica Jelavic double secured the three points for the home side equalling the toffees best start to a season since they finished fourth in the 2004/05 campaign.
Stephen Fletcher’s fifth goal in four games since joining Sunderland from Wolves in August gave the Black Cats their first premier league victory of the season at home to Wigan Athletic. The away side had enjoyed the better of the first half but Jordi Gomez’s dismissal early in the second half for a foul on Danny Rose made it hard for the visitors. Sunderland capitalised minutes later when Fletcher scored the only goal of the game to leave the Black Cats one of only three sides to remain unbeaten this season with Wigan dropping to 16th just two points above the relegation zone.
Finally, Darren Bent scored his second goal in as many games to salvage a vital point for struggling Aston Villa against in-form midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion.. The Baggies took the lead at Villa Park after Shane long headed in James Morrison’s cross in the 51st minute. However, second-half substitute Bent, drew Villa level late on to give the home side confidence after their 4-1 thrashing by Southampton last weekend.
Tags: arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Luis Suarez, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premier League, Spurs