900 minutes of Gameweek 8 produced 30 goals (4 less than the last 2 gameweeks), 3 cleansheets, 6 home wins, 2 home losses and 2 home draws. Let’s have a look into the important happenings of this yet-another-awesome gameweek.
1. Everyone knows that Juan Mata was the man of the match in Tottenham Spurs versus Chelsea with 2 goals and an assist. But there are something much more exciting.
- Out of the 8 league matches for Lilywhites this season, Brad Friedel played in 7 matches and kept no cleansheet. Hugo Lloris played only one match and secured a cleansheet. AVB can’t keep on with ignoring the 3 time consecutive French Ligue 1 goal keeper of the year at bench.
- Out of the 4 goals against Spurs, 3 goals happened primarily due to defensive mistakes. 2 of them are due to poor clearance from William Gallas. These errors have to be avoided to help Spurs clench more cleansheets.
2. West Ham are proving that they are strong contenders for a position in the top half of the table (like they usually did three years back) with a 4-1 win against Southampton. Mark Noble opened his goal account for the season and added one more to it with a penalty kick against Southampton. The highlight of the match was the brilliant goal from Modibo Maiga leaving three defenders surrounding him in awe. More misery was added to Southampton as they have conceded an average of 3 goals in every game. Their manager Nigel Adkins couldn’t control the situation even after trying three different goalkeepers so far. His position seems to be unstable as he is helpless and took the blame himself after the defeat.
3. The third comeback victory for Manchester City came against West Bromwich Albion (1-2). This one is special for City as they did this with just 10 men on field for over an hour. Milner received a red card before 30 minutes because of Vincent Kompany‘s disastrous losing of ball to opponents. Edin Dzeko who has been instrumental in all these 3 comeback wins has started only 2 times in this season out of the 8 matches. This top scorer of Manchester City (Other strikers’ goals put together equals his 5 goals) deserves more starting games. His post-match words “I will never be supersub. I want to play.” reflects his eagerness and disappointment at not being given starting spot consistently.
4. Swansea’s 2-1 win against Wigan Athletic has just let them keep up in table’s top half position. Miguel Michu scored one goal putting his name alongside top scorers of the league, Van Persie and Demba Ba (6 goals).
5. Manchester United’s attack seems like the days when Ronaldo and Rooney used to play together. Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney shared 4 goals and 2 assists including a own goal against Stoke City in a 4-2 home win. United’s attack is one of the best in the league now, but defensively they have never been this worse.
6. Aston Villa lost the match against Fulham by 1-0. Fulham who have lost only against the 2nd (Manchester United), 3rd (Manchester City) and 7th (West Ham) ranked teams is in a better position in the league and will fight it out for the Europa league spot.
7. Liverpool won against a win-less Reading with a 1-0 win to move to 12th position (their best position so far this season in the table). They need to continue doing it to try and challenge the top 10 teams. So far Liverpool has had 2 cleansheets and both of them came from the last 2 matches. It is a good sign when they are climbing up the table.
8. First win for Norwich city came against Arsenal in the match which ended 1-0. Arsenal lost out on an opportunity to lead Everton and Tottenham at this early stage against an easy opponent. Norwich defended well till the end after they scored in the 20th minute. After the win, Norwich along with Sunderland and Aston Villa are the least scoring teams in the league with 6 goals. Out of the 6 goals to Norwich, 3 were scored by Holt.
9. Sunderland registered their 5th draw (Only Stoke city has that many draws) in 7 matches in a 1-1 match against Newcastle. One more goal from Demba Ba, but for a change it is a own goal. So far, he has scored 7 out of the 10 goals Newcastle has scored.
10. QPR were lucky to get 1 point against the in-form Everton. The final score is 1-1. Everton should have gone to overpower QPR who haven’t yet registered a single win in the league (along with Reading), but with 10 men on pitch it is a good result for them.
Peep into key matches of Gameweek 9:
1. Chelsea vs Manchester United: This match between teams ranked 1 and 2 will be the match to watch this weekend. Manchester United had problems defensively, but the news of Smalling’s comeback will be a moderate morale booster. A win for Red Devils will put them one point less than the Blues. A win for Blues will extend their lead to seven points and probably put Manchester United to trail behind Manchester City.
2. Everton vs Liverpool: The Merseyside derbies are always special. The timing of the match is also special this time when Liverpool is rising up the table and Everton is trying to hold on to its 4th position.
3. Aston Villa vs Norwich: The battle for the relegation will not begin late. Both these teams have been struggling very much this season. A win for any team would give the team hope for staying put in the league and the opponents fear of relegation.