Man United the big winners as Spurs and Arsenal slip up
Premier League talking points from Paul Scholes' goal to misfiring Andy Carroll
IT was another busy week for the Premier League and it ends with Manchester United level on points with local rivals City after their win over Bolton. However, Spurs missed the chance to join United and City on 48 points as they drew with Wolves.
The most eye-catching result of the weekend was at the Liberty Stadium where Arsenal lost to Swansea and Thierry Henry had an altercation with an Arsenal fan.
Elsewhere Blackburn moved out of the relegation zone with their surprise win over Fulham, and QPR slipped into the bottom three.
Here's what the fans will be talking about this morning:
Swansea give Arsenal a lesson in defending
Arsenal became the first side to score twice at the Liberty Stadium this season, but that achievement was overshadowed by the fact that Swansea scored three and claimed the biggest scalp of their season so far. Brendan Rodgers's side have conceded just six goals at home in 11 matches on their turf and for long periods of the game actually outplayed Arsenal. As for the Gunners, Arsene Wenger was left ruing yet more bad defending. The Gunners' record at home is actually quite impressive, they have only conceded six goals at the Emirates (the same number as Swansea at the the Liberty Stadium), but on their travels they have shipped an amazing 25 goals in 11 games.
Redknapp cools title talk at White Hart Lane
Spurs blew their chance of going level on points with Manchester City as they were held to a draw by Wolves at White Hart Lane. Harry Redknapp's team looked nervous at times on Saturday, especially after falling behind to Steven Fletcher's opener for Wolves. But in the end it was the visiting keeper Wayne Hennessey who took the plaudits as Spurs pushed for a winner. Afterwards Redknapp cooled talk of a title push from his side. "I've never said to anybody that we are going to win the league," he claimed.
Paul Scholes on target
Anything Thierry Henry can do, Paul Scholes can do as well. And the Manchester United midfielder, who came out of retirement last week, was on hand to open the scoring for United against Bolton at Old Trafford on Saturday. The 37-year-old struck before half time when he turned in a cross from Wayne Rooney. Earlier the United striker had seen a penalty saved by Adam Bogdan and United might have been made to pay for that miss against a stronger team than Bolton. For while Scholes comeback goal was memorable Alex Ferguson's midfield was unconvincing at times.
Another draw for one-dimensional Liverpool
Liverpool may be undefeated at Anfield this season, but they have not won that many games at home either. Saturday's stalemate with Stoke was their seventh draw in 11 games at home this season and their sixth in the last eight. And while the Reds can be proud of draws against Manchester United and Manchester City, Kenny Dalglish will be less impressed by results like the one against Stoke, not to mention draws with the likes of Blackburn, Norwich and Swansea. After the Stoke game, Dalglish called for his team to be more imaginative, and there must be doubts over the future of Andy Carroll. The £35m man started on the bench as Dalglish sent his team out without a recognised front man. The striker came on after an hour but made little impact.
Blackburn do it the hard way
Blackburn seem determined to do things the hard way. They played well over an hour of the game against Fulham with ten men following the sending off of Yakubu, but still ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen, David Dunn and Mauro Formica. Rovers were also without inspirational defender Chris Samba, who seems destined to leave the club this month. If Steve Kean's side perform better when the chips are down then it could help them escape relegation. The win over listless Fulham lifts Rovers to 17th in the table and out of the relegation zone for the first time since the autumn.
New manager same result for QPR
Mark Hughes took his bow as manager of QPR and picked up where his predecessor left off... with a defeat. Blackburn's win also meant that Rangers slipped into the relegation zone for the first time this season. However, the Hoops gave a good account of themselves at the Sports Direct Arena and could have had all three points had Newcastle not scored with their only shot on target and QPR twice hit the woodwork. Hughes will need to convert performances into points if he is to keep Rangers in the Premier League. ·