Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1
The North London Derby once again didn’t disappoint and, just as we all expected, Gareth Bale was on point. Perhaps he didn’t have a scintillating performance as many of us were hoping for, but he popped up with a crucial goal despite otherwise being somewhat ineffective. It was a cagey opening to this much anticipated battle between two rivals, one of which is in decline and the other, on the rise.
The game had a quick tempo and it was a pulsating spectacle. Both sides were at it and, up until the 37th minute, Arsenal defended very well indeed. They were undone like a knife through butter, as Gylfi Sigurdsson played a delightful ball into the path of Bale, who was left with the task to poke home and convert his twentieth goal in all competitions.
He did what he had to do throughout the course of the game, although he could have sealed the victory for Spurs as his effort from seven yards out blazed over the bar in the dying embers of the game.
Arsenal conceded a carbon-copy goal, this time Scott Parker slipping a ball through the heart of the defence and into Aaron Lennon’s path, who took it round the ‘keeper before slotting home into the empty net, his fourth of the season.
Arsenal did send warning signs to Spurs early in the second half as Per Mertesacker’s glancing header was deflected off Bale to half the scoring. Arsenal showed again that they just don’t quite have the cut to perform at the top level, and maybe it’s time to freshen things up at the Emirates.
Wigan 0 Liverpool 4
Wigan’s hopes of propelling themselves out of the relegation scrap that they undoubtedly find themselves in went downhill from the start.
Koné did however have a chance to put the hosts in front inside the opening minute, although his effort was too tame and untroubled Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal. Liverpool then went up the other end with Coutinho, who signed for the Reds in January from Italian side Inter Milan, crossing in, with Downing converting, which was his second goal of the campaign.
Things went from bad to worse for the Latics, and Luis Suarez ensured he doubled Liverpool’s lead, after he controlled a superbly weighted through-ball from Coutinho to stab past Ali Al Habsi sixteen minutes later.
Then, on 33 minutes, Luis Suarez thumped a free-kick, which took a deflection, to wrong-foot Al Habsi to pile on the pressure. Suarez then sealed his hat-trick three minutes after the interval, demonstrating further, in my opinion, that he is the best Premier League striker behind United’s Robin van Persie.
This was an important win for Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool as at this time of year the DW Stadium is no easy place to get a result. Rodgers said on the victory: “Our defensive organisation was very good and we’re very pleased to score goals. [Suarez] is a real pleasure to work with. Every week I stand talking superlatives, but his biggest attribute is humility”.
Southampton 1 Queens Park Rangers 2
Harry Redkapp is not particularly liked at St Marys after he left them whilst in charge to join rivals Portsmouth, who he famously kept up. It was also his 66th birthday, and Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino’s 41st, too.
QPR got off to a flying start as Loic Remy stuck the visitors in front as he lost his marker Fox to find space to smash in from ten yards. He’s been a clever signing by Redknapp and I’m sure he’ll be crucial to the massive task that QPR face; staying in the Premier League. I have an inkling that they could do it after this result and it’ll go down in history if they were to survive.
Gaston Ramirez pounced on a fumble by QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar and chipped in a delightful goal on 45 minutes. It was QPR’s willingness to attack that earned them all three points, this time some great wing-play by Ji Sung-Park allowed him to get his cross in, which ultimately found Jay Bothroyd who scored on his first start since September.
A great three points for QPR and the Saints will no doubt be disappointed.
My Team of the Week
Written by Adam May
Follow Adam on Twitter @Amay132
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