A Premier League Review: Burnley Continue Their Great Start
Back in January the odds on Burnley beating both Manchester United and Everton by one goal to nil would have been significantly high. The town of Burnley only is only home to around 73,000 residents (the smallest in the division), they have the smallest wage bill in the Premier League and their transfer funds are minimal in comparison to other teams in the league. However, last weekend they managed to pull off another shock and beat Everton by a goal to nil. The match boasted a very lively start to say the least, with striker Martin Paterson hitting the bar within the first minute of the match. The player to send the crowd at Turf Moor into raptures was that of Wade Elliot, a midfielder making his debuting season in the Premier League. Everton tried to force their way back into the game, but missed various chances with the best coming from the penalty spot, only for former Manchetser United player Louis Saha to fire wide, giving the travelling Everton fans even more misery.
The weekend also hosted two London derbies: Fulham vs Chelsea and West Ham vs Tottenham. The former, otherwise known as the West London Derby saw Ancelotti’s Chelsea pick up a further three points and continue their one hundred percent record in the Premier League this season. Chelsea dominated the match from start to finish, with the rampant Didier Drogba opening the scoring with a calmly slotted finish past Fulham’s player of the season Mark Schwarzer. Despite Chelsea never really hitting first gear too often, the times they did, they looked nothing short of world class. In one of the quickest and most slick moves of the match, Drogba played through Anelka, who in turn opened up his account of Premier League goals this season, deep into the second half. The second London derby, West Ham vs Tottenham, was in contrast a much fairer game with much more spice as you would expect of a London Derby. Gianfranco Zola’s West Ham side undoubtedly lack striking options (With Ashton injured, and just a host of youngsters to call on), but the one they have got is turning out to be an excellent one – none other than Carlton Cole who opened the scoring. However, Tottenham replied swiftly with a typical Defoe finish which was set up on a plate for him, by none other than Carlton Cole. To single out a man of the match performer would be hard, but Aaron Lennon ran rings round Spector at the back for West Ham, and deservedly scored the winner for Tottenham.
Another side approaching the season in a positive fashion is that of Arsenal, who continued their excellent form with a 4-1 win over Portsmouth. Subject to mid-week criticism, reigning champions Manchester United recorded a 5-0 thrashing over Wigan Athletic, including two goals from Wayne Rooney and a brilliant finish from Michael Owen, a striker looking to revitalize his career at United ahead of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Sunderland got the better off Blackburn by beating them 2-1, while Hull scraped, a what could prove to be a very important win, against likely relegation rivals Bolton. The only stalemate of the weekend came in the Midlands, with Birmingham drawing to Stoke 0-0.
The shock of the weekend was the evening fixture on Monday night, though. It saw Liverpool defeated for the second time this season, a habit they’ll want to wash out of their systems as soon as possible if they’re wanting to build another genuine title challenge. Aston Villa defended valiantly on course to beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield, thanks to goals from Curtis Davies, Ashley Young and a fortunate Lucas own goal.