Anfield curse returns to haunt Liverpool, as QPR finally win

Dec 17, 2012

Premier League talking points from Fellaini's headbutt to Fergie’s defensive fears

THE CURSE of Anfield returned to haunt Liverpool on Saturday as they lost at home yet again, this time to struggling Aston Villa. The 3-1 setback sent the Reds tumbling back down the table to 12th spot and their home league record now reads won three, drawn three, lost three with a meagre ten goals for and the same number against. Those are not the kind of statistics usually associated with the Kop, and when you add in results from other competitions their record remains deadlocked with five wins, draws and defeats. The good news for Liverpool fans is that the transfer window is almost open and Brendan Rodgers should be able to bring in some fresh blood.

It's been a long time coming but QPR were able to celebrate their first victory of the season on Saturday as they overcame local rivals Fulham. Both Rangers goals in the 2-1 win came from midfield maestro Adel Taarabt, and afterwards manager Harry Redknapp compared the Moroccan to Paolo Di Canio. The 23-year-old, who has been operating in his preferred central position under new manager Redknapp, was magnificent for the Hoops. The problem is that he is now set to leave for the African Cup of Nations, and that could undermine QPR's resurgence.

Manchester United may have maintained their six point lead at the top of the table but manager Alex Ferguson was less than impressed by his side's defending against Sunderland on Saturday. After racing into a 3-0 lead United conceded one goal and offered the visitors chances to score more. "It could have been embarrassing," moaned Fergie afterwards. Having lost the title on goal difference last season and seen his defence concede too many sloppy goals this term, the Scot is obviously starting to lose patience with his rearguard. Could he be on the lookout for some defensive steel in January?

Barely a week passes these days without another allegation of some sort made against a Premier League player, and the latest claims concern Manchester City's Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov, who has been accused of racially abusing fans holding an Albanian flag during the match against Newcastle on Saturday. The two countries have a history of enmity and Northumbria Police confirmed they were investigating a complaint and appealed for witnesses. On the pitch City avoided a potential banana skin and won 3-1 to stay six points behind leaders and local rivals United. They are now seven points clear of Spurs and Chelsea in third.

Football can be a frustrating game, particularly when you are being man marked in the box, but that does not excuse the actions of Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who headbutted Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross during the Toffees 1-1 draw on Saturday. Not only that but the Belgian also shoved him in the face and elbowed him as he, literally, tried to escape his clutches. What was even stranger was that referee Mark Halsey missed all three incidents, particularly as it is hard to miss Fellaini's impressive thatch, and also allowed Shawcross to get away with all sorts in the box.

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