It wasn’t necessarily a weekend of stunning football, but rather a viewing extravaganza of two of the biggest derbies in world football, as well as an extraordinary nine-goal thriller in the Bundesliga. In the Premier League, whilst Fernando Torres produced the individual performance of the weekend, there was a clear winner for the team of the weekend.
Undoubtedly the result of the weekend in the Premier League and such is Arsenal’s form at the Emirates that it could have been the shock win across all of Europe and perhaps even the Premier League season.
After writing them off at the beginning of the campaign, now is a good time to ask if this Hull side are to follow the examples set by Ipswich and Reading in recent seasons.
And, if Hull’s form continues, will questions start to be raised over whether Phil Brown was the real power behind at Bolton during the Sam Allardyce era.
Left out of the Brazil squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, Ronaldinho proved a lot of people wrong with a massive goal for the Rossoneri, and not just Dunga. This writer for one, hopes this marks the return of the gap-toothed one.
In the space of three minutes and forty eight seconds, the Spaniard dispelled any talk of a goal drought and sparked discussions of Liverpool’s title ambitions. Alongside Steven Gerrard, Torres had his best game for the Reds this season in one of the biggest games in Liverpool’s calendar, giving the red half of Merseyside the bragging rights which are so richly treasured.
Following the game, “El Nino” said: “Now I am back into form, I hope to go on a run like last season and maybe get more than the 33 I managed then.” With the way the Spaniard finishes chances, it would be a foolish person to bet against him.
Credit must also go to Robbie Keane, who played a key role in both goals. The Irishman will surely get on the scoresheet soon if he continues providing goals for others.
Chelsea made light work of what is a relatively difficult away game at Stoke. Their match winner was the Portuguese full-back, who scored one and set-up the other. Key to “Big Phil” Scolari’s new look Chelsea is full-backs who can attack, Bosingwa may be the answer to a long-term problem position.
Forget the defeat to Watford in the Carling Cup, Zola has bagged two wins in two as manager of the Hammers. The test will come in October with a hard set of fixtures that reads: Bolton (h), Hull (a), Arsenal (h) and Manchester United (a).
It may have been a debatable penalty but for Amr Zaki to score his fifth Premier League goal by the end of September is incredible. The Egyptian was a thorn in the side of the Manchester City side all afternoon at the JJB. It should be noted that Abou-Treika and Al-Egeizi both scored a brace for Al Ahly on Friday – if Zaki continues in this vein of form, Egyptian strikers are going to be all the rage.
Bremen are looking like the form team in the Bundesliga. And Saturday’s 5-4 win over the “village team” could well be one of the best games seen in Germany this season. They have now scored five against two of the best teams in the league and at the moment it looks like they could be chasing the title in a two-horse race with Martin Jol’s Hamburg.
Credit must also go to Hoffenheim, who clearly never know when they are beaten.
They now lead Ligue 1 by six points, it might be boring, but they are incredibly good at dominating the French league.
The worst decision of the Premier League season so far and that’s taking note that there have already been some real shockers. United hardly need any assistance to see off some of the Premier League’s lesser teams.
Luis Medina-CantelejoÂ (Ref of the Barca-Espanyol game)
To be fair, the Espanyol fans deserved a bad decision going against their team for their awful behaviour, but the last-minute penalty decision was as bad as Rob Styles’ decision at Old Trafford.
Everything was going swimmingly for the Gunners, following a 3-1 win at Bolton and then a 6-0 victory over Sheffield UnitedÂ by the next batch of young Arsenal stars. Then Hull came along and reminded the world that young players sometimes lack focus against the so-called weaker teams.
Arsene Wenger described it as a “shocking defeat” as well as labelling it “careless.” Arsenal can still challenge for the title but any more slip-ups to the likes of Fulham and Hull and it could be another “transitional” season for the Gunners.
It has been a pretty average start to theÂ campaign for the Toffees and the gap in class between them and their neighbours from across Stanley Park was clear for all to see. If it wasn’t for Newcastle and Spurs, Everton would be the “crisis” club of the Premier League.
There is a fair chance we have mentioned this question in this very column before, but has David Moyes taken Everton as far as he can?
It is a sad indictment on the club that for two Sundays in a row, Gus Poyet has bemoaned penalties not given in the post-match press conference. Especially as Spurs barely threatened against a team that had conceded ten goals in two games.
In truth, Spurs have played worse this season than they did at Fratton Park but Pompey won’t be the last team to surrender possession to Spurs and watch 11 strangers try and play as a team. Ramos should be blamed for playing Gilberto, a left-back, in an attacking left forward position but he hasn’t been helped by the “senior” members of the team, Jenas and Bentley were woeful.
Will Jurgen the German survive the season as Bayern coach?