Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 11/25/12
Weekend News: Well it had to come to an end eventually, after several weeks which featured some memorable football games that will be in contention for the best of the season, we were subjected to a bit of a down week. What these past seven days will be remembered for will be the first two managers being sacked of the season. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sacked Roberto di Matteo six months after winning the Champions League and with his team sitting third in the league. Opting to replace him with the unpopular former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, becoming Chelsea’s tenth manager in the nine year Abramovich reign. Benitez was the last guy to make Fernando Torres look like he was worth the £50m Chelsea spent on him so blues fans will be hoping he can rejuvenate the struggling Spaniard. Meanwhile at the foot of the ladder, Queens Park Rangers parted company with Mark Hughes largely due to the fact they had not one a single game all season. He was replaced with the former West Ham, Southampton, Portsmouth, and Tottenham and almost but not quite England boss Harry Redknapp, (alleged) professional tax evader. Of course with all of the drama going on off the field, it was easy to forget that there were football games being played as well. The first of the title contenders to play were Man United who were given a solid scare by QPR at Old Trafford scoring first in the 52nd minute. An eight minute burst however saw United roar back into the game and claim a 3-1 win. In the late game, Arsenal visited Villa park hoping to mark the extension of their partnership with Emirates airline with a win over the Villains. Unfortunately they were left frustrated and perhaps a little fortunate to escape with a scoreless draw in a result which Arsenal fans are seeing entirely too much of in the last few seasons. Sunday’s fixtures saw Chelsea hosting champions and league leaders Man City, really it was a game you would have been better off sleeping through as it was a dire 0-0 draw that would have done little to inspire the fans of either side. Tottenham meanwhile hosted rivals West Ham and rebounded with a convincing 3-1 win at White Hart Lane. Score Rundown Saturday Sunderland 2 – 4 West Brom Everton 1 – 1 Norwich City Manchester United 3 – 1 QPR Stoke 1 – 0 Fulham Wigan 3 – 2 Reading Arsenal 0 – 0 Aston Villa Sunday Swansea 0 – 0 Liverpool Southampton 2 – 0 Newcastle Chelsea 0 – 0 Manchester City Tottenham 3 – 1 West Ham Game of the Weekend West Brom 4 def 2 Sunderland This season’s surprise packets West Bromwich Albion were looking to move up to third in the table with a win at the Stadium of Light against mid table scrappers Sunderland. Zoltan Gera opened the scoring on the half hour with a fantastic strike into the top corner from outside the box. Shane Long doubled their advantage just before half time thanks to a goalkeeping howler from Sunderland’s keeper who failed to control the ball and Long was there for the tap in. Substitute Craig Gardener pulled one back for Sunderland with 20 minutes to play and thanks to a deflected free kick. A clumsy challenge by Adam Johnson lead to a West Brom penalty, which on loan striker Romelu Lukaku duly converted. Sunderland made a game of it late with Stephane Sessengnon poking home a saved corner to give the home fans hope before West Brom restored their two goal advantage late in stoppage time. Fantasy Player of the Week Jordi Gomez – Wigan Mid (20 points) If you had Gomez in your team this weekend then very well done as he topped all Premier League players this round despite being one of the cheaper options. He scored an impressive 20 points courtesy of a hat-trick against lowly Reading. Each goal netted him 5 points, plus playing the whole game as well as the best player on the field bonus gave Gomez his total of 20, finishing comfortably ahead of the rest of the dream team. What to Look for Next Week As the festive season approaches, the fixture calendar for British teams becomes more congested and there is midweek football for everyone to enjoy. Tuesday night has two fixtures, the most notable is the debut of Redknapp in the QPR dugout as they travel to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light as well as Aston Villa hosting Reading. Wednesday night sees the remaining sixteen Premier League teams in action with the feature match being Tottenham against Liverpool.
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