Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 12/23/12
Weekend News It’s the most wonderful time of the year, not because of Christmas, Hannukah, Festivus or whatever else people celebrate in late December. This is great because the football games from England are coming thick and fast in the festive season. While most of Europe’s top leagues are giving their players a couple of weeks off the Premier League are giving their fans a Christmas present with three matchdays occurring in quick succession. Of course this is still England and the weather is miserable at this time of year as we saw in the Saturday games. Arsenal went to Reading in the early game and came away with a lucky 1-0 win on a waterlogged pitch that would have left most of the players carrying extra weight around in their boots. That result saw them join Tottenham on 30 points who were held at home by Stoke, two other teams; Everton and West Brom are also on that total thanks to wins on Saturday as well. Chelsea returned from their runners up performance at the club world cup in Japan last weekend to belt the living crap out of Aston Villa 8-0 where 7 different players scored goals. At the top of the table Man City won on a late goal to the unlikeliest of goal scorers, Gareth Barry to save them from the embarrassment of being held at home by the team on the bottom of the table. The team everyone is chasing Man United dropped points on a trip to Wales to face Swansea which saw this bizarre incident take place which Sir Alex Ferguson said “could have killed” his star striker Robin van Persie. Score Rundown: Saturday Wigan 0 – 1 Arsenal Manchester City 1 – 0 Reading Newcastle 1 – 0 QPR Southampton 0 – 1 Sunderland Tottenham 0 – 0 Stoke West Brom 2 – 1 Norwich West Ham 1 – 2 Everton Liverpool 4 – 0 Fulham Sunday Swansea 1 – 1 Manchester United Chelsea 8 – 0 Aston Villa Game of the Weekend: Liverpool 4 d Fulham 0 Two teams who are guilty of playing inconsistent football faced off at Anfield where the fans got to see the best of Liverpool and the worst of Fulham. After a poor start to the season which lead some to question whether or not Brendan Rodgers would be able to hold onto his job, Liverpool now find themselves in a respectable eighth and ready to mount a charge to the upper echelons of the Premier League.  Meanwhile Fulham are in a tailspin towards the relegation zone which is remarkable considering some of the talent they have in their squad. After being ridiculed last year for his £20m price tag, 0 goals and 0 assists, Liverpool winger Stewart Downing was the star here as his contributions proved vital for the Merseyside team’s victory. Of course there were allegations that Fulham deliberately threw the game in the first place after making Downing look competent so you never know. Martin Skrtel put the hosts up on eight minutes, Steven Gerrard made it two half an hour later. Downing got his goal in the fifty-first minute before Luis Suarez got one for the goal difference column in stoppage time to cap off a convincing win. Fantasy Player of the Week: Steven Gerrard – Liverpool Mid: 17 Points In a week where the fantasy all-star team was dominated by Chelsea players, it was Liverpool’s talismanic captain who came out as the week’s top scorer. Gerrard had a hand in two of Liverpool’s goals, scored one for himself and was the best player on the pitch. Of the eleven top scorers for the week, six of them were Chelsea players, who scored 10-14 points each, shame you are limited to three players from the one club. It was a lean week for strikers though as the top scoring player was Everton’s Victor Anichebe. What to Look for Next Week: Boxing Day in England (December 26) sees another matchday starting up with nine matches taking place as most teams play end the first half of their fixture list. Arsenal – West Ham has been postponed due to a tube workers strike but every other team is in action. Seven games kick off at 3:00pm with the biggest game being Manchester United hosting Newcastle as both sides look to make end the first half of the season with a good result. Travel fatigue will be a concern for Chelsea as they face Norwich at Carrow Road and you have to wonder if they will be over their trip to Japan and their fifth game in the last 12 days. The day closes out with the in-form Aston Villa hosting Tottenham then Stoke City hosting Liverpool who are undergoing a resurgence of their own lately.
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