Whoopee! Chelsea won and Man Utd only drew. Sadly, Liverpool won away and Arsenal pulled things out of the bag as usual to defeat relegation certainties Fulham.
Who would have predicted that Man Utd would flounder against Reading? A 0-0 draw was never an option for Fergie, he wanted an emphatic victory. Reading were the surprise package last season. Steve Coppell is an accomplished manager with bags of experience and he could lead Reading into Europe this term assuming they don’t go the way of many Prem newcomers who have a great first season then dip the year after because they’re afforded more respect and are no longer an unknown quantity. Reading missed out on a UEFA Cup place by a hair’s breath, last term, finishing eighth. Coppell is one of the game’s few gentlemen with a strong sense of honour and dignity.
To add to Fergie’s woes, Rooney was injured after a collision with Michael Duberry (ex-Chelsea) and Silvestre also limped off. Rooney’s fractured a bone in his left foot and could be out until the end of August. I’m enjoying the season immensely already. Utd should really have done better considering Reading played with only 10 throughout the second half after Kitson was sent off 37 seconds after the break. Did Fergie get his hair dryer out? More like a wind tunnel.
Rather disturbingly for Chelsea though, they had to come from behind twice. Not good. Despite retaining their long unbeaten home league record to notch 64 without defeat they must do better. The Birminghams of this world are not supposed to make us sweat like that. At least we won and Essien hit a thunderbolt for the winner which means he’s started the season in the same superlative form he finished it. We’ve got Reading tomorrow night (Wednesday) away. Hope we don’t hit a banana skin like Utd did. We beat them at the Madejeski Stadium last term when Petr Cech was put in a coma and sidelined for weeks. No déjà vu please.
Arsenal have still not settled at the Emirates. Another come from behind victory against a mediocre team with victory snatched in the dying moments. Things do not augur well for Wenger. With limited resources and a team that could still qualify for the kindergarten league, he must be worried.
I expect Liverpool to be a dominant side this season, seriously challenging for the title. They didn’t disappoint, with Captain Marvel Stevie G getting the equaliser at Villa near the end. Gerrard is the ultimate soldier. Where would they be without him? If only Chelsea had signed him two years ago…
Surprise of the weekend was Sven Goran Eriksson’s Man City winning at West Ham. Totally unexpected considering the spoilt Swede’s reputation and Curbishley’s ability to get the max out of any side with limited ability. I supposed the Tevez drama has unsettled some Hammers. City should grab another three points at home to doomed Derby and Man Utd have a tough away trip to Portsmouth.
Spurs lost at Sunderland Saturday but that was never going to be an easy match against Keano’s well marshaled side in the cauldron of the Stadium of Light. They can make amends tonight (Tuesday) with a confidence builder at home to Everton. Sorry Scoucers, you’re going home disappointed.