What the fans say...
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 LiverpoolColin McCullough: What an incredible first week in charge for the new manager, taking seven points from a possible nine and denting the title aspirations of two of the "big four". Although Spurs were under the cosh for much of the time against Liverpool at a rain-sodden White Hart Lane, the players stuck to their task and achieved an unlikely but morale-boosting victory. Although results elsewhere conspired to move the team back down to the bottom of the table, they are now moving forward with renewed confidence and determination under Harry Redknapp's leadership.
Kevin Brodie: Liverpool played very well on Saturday, one of our better performances of the year, and we suffered our first defeat! Spurs are not a relegation side and this was always going to be a tough game when Rednapp was appointed manager. Frankly we played them off the park for 75 minutes but in football if you don't score goals you don't deserve to win. Their equalizer was a fluke and I had mentally wrapped my head around 1-1 and then the sucker punch came in minute 90. Our reaction against WBA is the key.
Everton 1-0 FulhamTony Burns: Everton followed up their fine second half performance against Man United with a couple of rather abject displays against Bolton and Fulham. But thanks to late goals in either game, we came away with 6 points and two clean sheets so things are definately moving in the right direction even if the performances aren't what we hoped for.
Tom Wille: Roy Hodgson's team played well in patches of the game controlling possession, completing passes and showing some positive play in a place that is not easy for visitors to win. Neither side could get hold of the game nor could the two sides really muster any strong chances on the opponents goal until late in the match. Unfortunately, when all seemed destined for a 0-0 draw, former Fulham hitman Louis Saha popped up out of nowhere to strike his former team when he found the back of the net. While Everton were the better team slightly on Saturday, one could have easily made a convincing case that Fulham deserved a point for their effort and play. It did not work out that way and Fulham find themselves near the bottom part of the table.
Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Manchester CityMatthew Kilsby: Although this win against a supine City side was both deserved and greatly needed, it doesn't alter the fact that Gary Megson is still the wrong man for the job. We have plenty of fight, grit and determination but hardly any creativity and guile. This must be addressed in January or we will certainly go down.
Wallace Poulter: With a tough stretch over the next four league games, Tottenham, Hull, Arsenal and the local derby it would have been nice to see City sneak a victory at the Reebok. Alas continuing injury issues and some dubious player selections combined with more than a hint of suspicion of offside on Bolton's first goal were enough to see City return home with nothing to show. Richard Dunne's own goal just adding the final exclamation mark.
Stoke City 2-1 ArsenalSean Kesluk What a glorious week for the Potters. A valuable three points at home against the Black Cats in midweek and the high point of the campaign thus far coming at the weekend against the Arsenal. It was an epic clash of the beautiful Continental footballers and the ugliest English-style route one stuff - and Rory Delap proved the difference. The 32-year-old Englishman's throws have provided seven assists this term, the Gunners' title challenge being the latest casualty; Delap's statue is already being carved from the finest bronze I'm sure. And as special treat we got to see Mr Wenger flail in all his pettiness for excuses, only for our gaffer to come in and mop things up quite nicely. Well I've certainly had a good week.
David Young: After throwing away a 4-2 advantage in the closing stages of the North London Derby last Wednesday, losing 2-1 at Stoke on Saturday was a further kick in the teeth for Arsenal supporters. It was another lacklustre and, sometimes, clueless display from the Gunners and it would appear that Arsene Wenger's failure to adequately strengthen the squad after the summer departures of Gilberto, Hleb and, most significantly, Flamini is coming home to roost. Anyone believing that this current team have the quality and strength in depth to be genuine title contenders is deluded. Matters will have to be addressed in the January transfer window, but before then, Saturday's visit to Ashburton Grove by Manchester United looks a daunting prospect for a team short on confidence and unable to keep a clean sheet.
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Blackburn RoversKeith Andrews scored his first goal for 10-man Blackburn Rovers to salvage a 2-2 against Tony Mowbray's side at The Hawthorns. Andrews, signed from MK Dons in August for £1.3 million, drilled a low 20-yard cross-shot past Baggies goalkeeper Scott Carson.
Alan Griffiths: Rovers appear to have set a plan this season to prevent fans from leaving before the final whistle. After the McCarthy 90min goal against Boro, the Emerton 90 min goal against Villa, once again Rovers left it to the last minute on Saturday. Despite taking the lead from a dubious penalty award, scored by McCarthy, things really went pear-shaped against the Albion and fans from both sides were left to wonder at some of referee M.Jones's decisions. After losing McCarthy after he picked up his second yellow card, Rovers conceded two goals after the break. However, the never say die attitude of the 10 man Rovers, eventually reaped their rewards when Andrews got the equaliser in the 89 min. I hope they don't leave it that late against Chelsea next weekend.
Manchester United 4-3 Hull CityThey may not have won, or even claimed a point, but Hull City's triumphant march on the Premier League won fresh admirers after they finally gave way in a pulsating 4-3 defeat at Manchester United. At 4-1 up just before the hour mark, the Premier League and European champions should have cruised home.
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Middlesbrough 1-1 West Ham UnitedDaniel Gray: While Boro's inconsistency usually occurs from game to game, here it happened from half to half. West Ham deserved more from the first half, with the neckless one up front causing us trouble as he always does. Still, Gareth used his substitutes very well, and Arca in particular excelled in a much improved second half. Yet the superlative Ross Turnbull had to rescue us again at the end. He is turning into this year's graduate star.
Billy Blagg: The 1-1 draw at the Smog Mosters gave scant regard to the Hammers dominance in a game they should have won easily. The Boro keeper made a superb double save at the death to deny West Ham while the Hammers inability to keep a clean sheet continues to worry. I'm all for attacking football but something must be done in the transfer window to allay Hammer's fans worries that a relegation tussle could arise quite easily with the way the season is panning out.
Portsmouth 1-2 Wigan AthleticEngland striker Emile Heskey ended Wigan Athletic's miserable run of four defeats and left them singing in the rain with a late, late winner to sink Portsmouth 2-1 at a drenched Fratton Park. For new manager Tony Adams and his Pompey braves it was just plain wet winter misery.
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Chelsea 5-0 SunderlandIf the mission was to make Stamford Bridge the fortress it had been for the past four and a half years before Liverpool barged down the gates last week then a 5-0 hammering of Sunderland was a splendid start. A short-range effort from Brazilian defender Alex notched up the 1,000th Chelsea goal in the Premier League. A Frank Lampard header gave the Chelsea midfielder the 100th league goal of his career. And a Nicolas Anelka hat-trick completed a rout which had the home jokers chanting sarcastically "Boring, boring Chelsea.''
Peter Osborne: Comment to follow...
Newcastle United 2-0 Aston VillaObafemi Martins blasted Newcastle out of the Premier League's relegation zone as Joe Kinnear's battlers claimed a second successive victory. The Nigeria international scored for the second time in six days to hand his side a win which lifted them to 14th place, ahead of arch-rivals Sunderland on goal difference nine days after derby defeat had left the club wallowing in self-pity.
Jerrad Peters: Ouch. Just when Aston Villa appear to be consolidating their status as an elite side in English football, they are brought painfully back to earth. It's been a hallmark of Martin O'Neill's tenure at the club. But what makes Monday's 2-0 loss to Newcastle all the more discouraging is that Villa should have had the match done and buried by half-time. Gabriel Agbonlahor was particularly wasteful, although Ashley Young and Martin Laursen should have etched their names on the scoresheet as well.
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