All the talking points from a dramatic full fixture list in the Barclays Premier League during which red cards seemed to be in vogue.
Man City can still do it with 10
You couldn’t blame Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal fans for getting a little excited when they heard that Man City captain Vincent Kompany had been sent off after just 10 minutes of Saturday’s early kick at Hull’s KC Stadium.
Could this be a stumbling point for the title favourites? Could they be about to drop vital points away from home? Can they really compete with 10 men for 80 minutes? Yes, they could.
In fact, only four minutes after the red card, City took the lead through David Silva’s curled, long ranged strike. The goal is the Spaniard’s first in 23 hours and 15 minutes of playing time for City.
It wasn’t comfortable for Man City as Hull threatened and had penalty claims turned down and the points weren’t safe for Manuel Pellegrini’s side until Edin Dzeko finished a one on one in second half stoppage time.
With Man City winning in the early kick off the pressure was on for the other title contenders to pick up all three points in their games.
Chelsea can’t do it with with 10…or 9.
If ever there was a blueprint for playing with 10 men it was Manchester City’s performance earlier in the day. If there was ever a blueprint for how not to play with 10 men it was Chelsea’s performance in the late kick off.
Jose Mourinho’s side had Willian sent off for two yellow cards after 67’ minutes and it was the start of their compilation at Villa Park. Aston Villa started piling on the pressure late in the game and took the lead in the 81st minute when Fabian Delph’s back feel flashed the ball across the goal and into the bottom corner to put the home side 1-0 up.
Chelsea’s midfielder Ramires let frustration get the better of him and in the dying moments he lunged with two feet at Villa player Karim El Ahmadi, a challenge for which he was sent off. The foul itself took place on the touchline near the technical area meaning that subs and managers got involved in the resulting melee during which Mourinho was sent to the stands.
Managerless and with only nine men on the pitch Chelsea limped to their fourth defeat of the season and are dealt a serious blow in the hunt for the Premier League title.
Liverpool dare to dream as they make more misery for Moyes
For the first time in a long time people are starting to take Liverpool seriously as title contenders and, while a win at Old Trafford doesn’t hold the same value it used to, their performance was that of a side that could win the league.
Prior to this weekend the last penalty conceded at Old Trafford was awarded back in December 2011 against Blackburn, by the Sunday evening United had given away three in one game.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was star of the show holding his nerve to score two of the three penalties before the Premier League’s top scorer, Luis Suarez, made it 3-0 late in the game.
If Gerrard would have scored the third and final penalty it would have been the first time in the history of the Premier League that a player had scored three times in one game from the spot.
United also had a man sent off this weekend, Nemanja Vidic was his second yellow card of the day while fouling Joe Allen for Liverpool’s third penalty.
Liverpool move up to second in the league while United can all but kiss goodbye to any hopes of finishing fourth and qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal take the points in the North London derby
It’s been a tough week for Tim Sherwood’s men. Last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Chelsea, a midweek defeat against Benfica in the Europa League and now a loss in the North London derby.
Tomas Rosicky’s early wonder goal was the only goal of the game as Arsenal claimed their first win at White Hart Lane since 2007. Tottenham threatened an equaliser but could not find the breakthrough.
The result keeps Arsenal in the title hunt and all but ends Spurs’ hope of Champions League qualification.
Points are plenty at the bottom
It seems like an obvious thing to say but teams at the bottom of the league are down there because they have found points hard to come by this season. With this is mind you would have got long odds on four of the bottom five teams in the league picking up points.
Ashkan Dejagah scored the only goal as bottom of the table Fulham beat Newcastle at Craven Cottage on Saturday, West Brom scored late to claim the points at Swansea, while Sunderland and Crystal Palace shared the points, drawing 0-0 at the Stadium of Light.
The only side in the bottom five to not have anything to show from this weekend is second from bottom Cardiff who had a point snatched away from them in the last minute at Goodison Park when Seamus Coleman volleyed home a late winner for Everton.
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