Reborn Torres hits treble as Wenger blasts rude Stoke fans
Premier League talking points from Torres' treble to Luis Suarez's cheeky chip
WITH 34 goals in eight games it was another bumper weekend in the Premier League (unless you were at the West Brom Aston Villa game, which finished goalless) with plenty to talk about afterwards, even though the main event of this round, the Manchester derby, does not kick off until tonight.
Two of the division's big-name strikers both scored hat tricks and things got a lot tighter in the fight for third and fourth place in the table. At the bottom Blackburn now look doomed after a dire performance against Spurs and Aston Villa, who have not won a game since early March, are in real danger of being overhauled by the other relegation candidates.
Here's what the fans will be talking about this morning:
Torres on fire
Against Barcelona it was backs to the wall stuff from Chelsea, but Roberto Dio Matteo's men proved they can pass it around with elan as they demolished their west London rivals QPR at the Bridge on Sunday. Central to the victory was reborn Fernando Torres, who most definitely got his mojo back. He looked a different player to the one who was ineffectively moping around under Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the season, and his direct running was rewarded with a first hat-trick since 2009. He also doubled his tally of league goals for the season and could be in the running to lead the line against his old club Liverpool in the FA Cup final next week.
Rover and out?
For much of the season football pundits have resolutely defended Blackburn boss Steve Kean from his critics, praising the way he has managed his resources and kept his side in with a shout of avoiding relegation. But now it seems that Rovers are done for, and on Sunday his team produced one of the most abject performances ever seen in the Premier League. In losing 2-0 to Tottenham, Blackburn failed to fashion a single effort on the Spurs goal. It was the first since 2004 that a team has managed that feat. With Rovers now three points adrift of Bolton and QPR they look likely to be relegated next weekend.
Hodgson for England, McLeish for the sack
Roy Hodgson and Alex McLeish came face to face in the midlands derby between West Brom and Aston Villa on Saturday. But there is little chance they will meet again, after it was revealed that the FA had approached Hodgson about the vacant England manager's job and Villa's dismal run of results continued. The claret and blues have not won since early March and are now caught up in a serious relegation dogfight. The fans have well and truly turned on McLeish and even if the Villans stay up there is little chance that he will still be in the manager's hotseat at the start of next season. As for Hodgson, he could also be leaving his job, and taking on the 'impossible job' of England manager.
Suarez gets chippy
Luis Suarez may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there was plenty to admire in his hat-trick against Norwich on Saturday, as he warmed up for the FA Cup final against Chelsea next weekend. The controversial Uruguayan scored twice in the first half against the Canaries, but saved his best for last. His and Liverpool's third came with eight minutes left on the clock when he pounced on the ball on the halfway line and, spotting keeper John Ruddy off his line, unleashed an inch-perfect lob from fully 45 yards that sailed over the keeper's head and into the goal.
Wenger angry with Stoke fans
As one of the longest-serving managers in the Premier League with a reputation for sometimes throwing his toys out of the pram, Arsene Wenger is used to copping flack from the fans. And the Stoke fans had a field day at the Arsenal manager's expense when he lost his temper with the referee on Saturday afternoon. A spontaneous Wenger dance broke out in the stands as the Gunners boss remonstrated with the officials. Afterwards Wenger made it clear that he was unimpressed. "I think one day football will have to tackle that," he said. "It's easy to sit in the stand and insult people. It's the easiest sport in the world." He was also angered by jeers at Aaron Ramsey, whose only crime was to have had his leg broken against Stoke in 2010. "I don't think you can be especially proud to boo Aaron Ramsey, I don't see what he has done wrong," said Wenger.