'Now where did I put my scalpel?'
Now that this round of fixtures are over, the time has come for the resident In Off The Ghost pathologist to snap on a pair of rubber gloves, grab the scalpel and dissect the bloated corpse that is this week’s Premier League action.
Birmingham 0 – 0 Chelsea
Birmingham City held the league leaders to a scoreless draw at St. Andrews after an unfairly disallowed goal for Birmingham’s absurdly monikered Christian ‘ChuCho’ Benitez and some wayward finishing from Ancelotti’s outfit.
Deceased: Chelsea’s record of scoring in every game this season.
Cause of Death: The centre back pairing of Roger Johnson and Scott Dann accompanied by keeper Joe Hart did enough to starve the Londoners of a much-needed goal. Malouda missing a sitter late on added insult to injury.
Burnley 1 – 1 Bolton
David Nugent - Rubbish.
Burnley clawed their way back from the brink of defeat thanks to a David Nugent header cancelling out a lethal Matthew ‘Matty’ Taylor free kick.
Deceased: Those jokes about David Nugent being rubbish (well for a day or two at least).
Cause of Death: Nugent propelling his squama frontalis into a Wade Elliot cross. A stunning display of defensive rigor mortis from Bolton’s Gretar Steinsson was also a contributing factor.
Fulham 0 – 0 Tottenham
Stalemate at Craven Cottage as any decent opportunities were duly snuffed out by in form keepers.
Deceased: Tottenham’s swashbuckling, free scoring football.
Cause of Death: A well organised and hard-working Fulham rear guard action and some top-notch goal-keeping prevented anyone striking first blood.
Liverpool 2 – 0 Wolves
How to get ahead.
Liverpool return to winnings ways after the horror show at Fratton Park, killing off a Wolves side weakened by the loss of Stephen Ward to a red card.
Deceased: Steven Gerrard’s recent poor form and Andre Marriner’s vision.
Cause of Death: Steven Gerrard turned in a glorious performance and got higher than heavenly Hendrix to head home Liverpool’s opening goal. Andre Marriner however must have been hoping for Anfield to swallow him up after booking Christophe Berra instead of Stephen Ward.
Man City 2 – 0 Stoke
Roberto Mancini’s Man City reign began with a victory as Martin Petrov (remember him?) and Carlos Tevez struck to seal Stoke’s fate.
Deceased: The Mark Hughes era at City was laid to rest at Eastlands.
Cause of Death: The spectre of ghoulish defending that has haunted Man City’s season so far was banished by a solid display from Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure. Also the absence of Micah Richards for the first 66 minutes may have helped.
Sunderland 1 – 1 Everton
Marouane Felliani’s thumping 86th minute equaliser salvaged a point for Everton after cancelling out Darren Bent’s 17th minute opener.
Deceased: Steve Bruce’s composure appears to be on its last legs after seeing his Sunderland side booed off for drawing at home to Everton.
Cause of Death: In a game with more twists than Steve Bruce’s nose, Felliani and Stephen Pienaar were the stand out performers as Everton outplayed the Black Cats. Unrealistic expectations from some sections of the Sunderland faithful are only adding to the gloom at the Stadium of Light.
West Ham 2 – 0 Portsmouth
Just shave it off.
An Alessandro Diamante penalty and a bullet header from Radoslav Kovac fire West Ham to victory and blow a hole in Portsmouth’s survival hopes.
Deceased: The brittle confidence that Pompey had mustered after their win over Liverpool was smashed by defeat in this relegation six pointer.
Cause of Death: The midfield dynamism of Scott Parker coupled with the creativity of Diamante enabled West Ham to claim the points. The return of the influential Jack Collision will be welcome to a West Ham squad thinner than Gianfranco Zola’s hairline.
Wigan 1 – 1 Blackburn
Hugo Rodellega buried Maynor Figueroa’s cross to cancel out an early Benni McCarthy strike as the points were shared at the DW Stadium.
Deceased: Benni McCarthy’s barren run in front of goal bit the dust as he scored his first goal of the season.
Cause of Death: Transparent marking allowed McCarthy to ghost in behind the Wigan defence and score. A fine save from Chris Kirkland was needed to deny McCarthy an acrobatic winner.
Arsenal 3 -0 Aston Villa
Let's talk about Cesc baby.
A 27 minute cameo appearance from Cesc Fabregas stopped Aston Villa dead in their tracks as the Arsenal captain bags a brace before limping off with a hamstring injury.
Deceased: Aston Villa’s run of 8 games without defeat and 5 games without conceding a goal comes to an abrupt end at the Emirates.
Cause of Death: The introduction of Fabregas served to unravel a resolute Villa defence and provided the best 30 minute Spanish show since the demise of Eldorado. Abou Diaby fired home a third as Aston Villa gave up the ghost, however Villa are still firmly in the hunt for the hallowed ground of fourth place.
Hull 1 – 3 Man Utd
Wayne Rooney had a hand in all four goals as the Champions overcame a spirited Hull City at the KC Stadium.
Deceased: Manchester United’s defensive worries appear to be coming to an end as both Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic impress.
Cause of Death: Rooney scored United’s first before playing a catastrophic back pass which led to a penalty for Hull. Rooney made amends for his error in the second half by creating both of United’s subsequent goals. This mercurial performance was apparently spurred on by the fear of the famous hairdryer treatment from Ferguson. This comes as some surprise as he has told us before that he finds the sound of a hairdryer quite soothing.
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