Game On – Super Saturday – By Tim Magnus

This weekend was one of the best in Premier League history, with every game telling a story. There was goals, red cards, controversy and misses that made it one to remember for every fan.

At the Emirates, Arsenal came out on top in the 125th North London derby after a 5-2 thrashing of ten-man Tottenham.

It was Spurs who scored the first goal of the match through ex-Arsenal man Emmanuel Adebayor after Jermain Defoe had embarrassed Per Mertesacker in the Gunners defence. Adebayor then turned from hero to villain after a rush of blood saw him go over the top in a challenge with Santi Cazorla and he was correctly shown a straight red card by referee Howard Webb.

From then on Arsenal looked in control and scored three goals before half time to derail Andre Villas Boas’ side’s good start. The equaliser came from Per Mertesacker, who redeemed himself after his earlier defensive frailty, the second came from a fortunate Lukas Podolski strike and the third was a fantastically worked Olivier Giroud goal.

Arsenal scored again in the second half, this time through Santi Cazorla, to make it 4-1. Tottenham scored a second soon after through Gareth Bale but a comeback never looked likely. In the final minutes the star of the match Theo Walcott sealed the derby win to replicate last season’s scoreline of 5-2.

Queens Park Rangers’ dismal start to the season continued with a 3-1 loss to fellow strugglers Southampton at Loftus Road. Mark Hughes’ side were hopeless and never looked like posting their first victory of the season in, what was on paper, a very winnable game for them.

Southampton were two up at half time with goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon and were well on their way for their first away win of the season. Junior Hoillett pulled a goal back for QPR at the start of the second half, but an Anton Ferdinand own goal compounded QPR to yet another defeat and leave Mark Hughes’ position as manager under even more scrutiny.

Elsewhere, Manchester City cantered back to the top of the Premier League with a 5-0 victory over Aston Villa at Eastlands. The goals came from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez with Tevez and Aguero grabbing a brace each.

Despite the margin of victory, Villa were no pushovers and if it were not for the brilliance of Joe Hart and the poor decisions of a linesman the score would have been different. At 0-0 Joe Hart made a brilliant save to deny Christian Benteke and in the second half two penalties awarded for handballs were converted separately by Aguero and Tevez.

The first penalty in particular was extremely harsh and Paul Lambert will feel aggrieved at the decision which was given against Andreas Weimann. However, Roberto Mancini will be delighted that his side are back at the top of the league and will be hoping for some positive results in a massive week for Manchester City.

Chelsea’s impressive start to the season has officially ended after they lost 2-1 against West Brom to make it four games without a win for the European Champions. Goals from Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie proved enough to beat Roberto Di Matteo’s team, who scored their only goal of the game through Eden Hazard.

Steve Clarke has said he has “run out of words” to describe Shane Long’s performances after his striker scored the opener and assisted the winner. He also praised goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who produced a world class display to win his first game against Chelsea in five attempts. West Brom climb into the top four and are now just one point behind Chelsea, who stay in third.

Manchester United surrendered leadership of the Premier League after a 1-0 loss away to Norwich. Anthony Pilkington, a former youth team player at Old Trafford, scored the winner to continue Chris Houghton’s side’s six game unbeaten run.

Norwich deserved the win, despite a Manchester United onslaught, and managed to record their third successive clean sheet to move themselves to thirteenth in the table.

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez continued his remarkable form in front of goal with a brace in a comfortable 3-0 win over Wigan at Anfield. Jose Enriqué grabbed the final goal for the reds who have now found their feet under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

It was a fluent performance which lifts them to eleventh and drops Wigan to fifteenth. There was also some bad injury news for Wigan as Ben Watson broke his leg in a collision with Raheem Sterling.

Newcastle suffered their second straight home defeat after Swansea secured a 2-1 victory at St James’ Park. Goals from Michu and Jonathon De Guzman was enough to see off Alan Pardew’s team, who scored a consolation late on through Demba Ba.

Newcastle will be disappointed with the result and their start to the season as they now sit eleven points worse off than what they were this time last year.

Reading earned their first win of the season after coming from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at the Madjeski Stadium. Steven Naismith had put the visitors ahead early on and it looked like Reading were facing another game without a win.

However, two goals from Adam Le Fondre, one from the penalty spot and the other from a well placed header, was enough to give Brian McDermott his first win as a Premier League manager.

 

 

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