Jen Offord picks out five things we learned from another thrilling Premier League weekend, including Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc, the derbies, return of England’s unlikely hero Harry Kane, and the contrasting fortunes of two of the game’s great managers.
Mourinho leads by example
If Blues boss Jose Mourinho was already frustrated by the officials’ decisions early in his side’s game against West Ham on Saturday, his day was to get even worse when Nemanja Matic received his second yellow card, and subsequent marching orders, for a tackle on Diafra Sakho before half-time.
The Chelsea boys were not happy, so much so that both Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas’ protestations resulted in further bookings.
But it was the subsequent sending off of assistant coach Silvino Louro and the ‘Special One’ himself that will be the main dominant talking point. It is perhaps easier to understand Chelsea’s victim mentality when this is the example they are expected to follow.
Gary Cahill equalised for Chelsea in the second half, but the match finally ended 2-1 to West Ham, thanks to a late goal by Andy Carroll. Mourinho declined to comment.
No rain on Arsenal’s parade
It was a dreary night at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, but not so for the home side, despite the torrential downpour.
Arsene Wenger hailed what he called “a perfect week” after his team won in Europe against Bayern Munich and beat Everton 2-1 at home. The only dampener – apart from the rain – was that Everton’s only goal was largely hammered home by Gooner Gabriel, rather than Barkley who took the credit for the goal.
Everton’s night got worse as Gareth Barry was sent off during injury time after picking up his second yellow card. Anyone else think there have been a lot of red cards this season?
Oliver Giroud and Laurent Koscielny were the goalscorers for Arsenal, within two minutes of each other. Regardless of later missed opportunities for Arsenal, the win took them just below Manchester City in the table. Will the sun still be shining on Arsene come May?
Newcastle went into the Tyne & Wear derby at the Stadium of Light having failed to beat local rivals, Sunderland, in their last five meetings. There wasn’t a lot going on until Adam Johnson’s penalty was converted into a goal, just ahead of half-time, though the Magpies looked to be the better team.
Everything changed in the second half, however, as Fabricio Coloccini was dismissed for fouling Steven Fletcher, in a controversial decision that Newcastle will now appeal against. However, it won’t change the fact that Sunderland went on to score another two goals in the second half and bag the crucial three points to take them above Newcastle on the table.
A hundred and 40 or so miles back down the A1, another pair of old foes met in the Manchester derby; though the results were far more underwhelming. Drawing 0-0 – only the third time this fixture has ended goalless since the Premier League was established – after a dull and uninspiring game, in terms of attack.
Sacking shouldn’t have surprised Sherwood
Unsurprisingly Tim Sherwood has become the latest managerial casualty of the season, after Aston Villa finally lost patience with the marmite manager.
I’m sure I predicted this back in February when Sherwood took over – which was perhaps not a giant punt when you consider his club record (or lack of it), or indeed when you consider the fate of the Villa managers who preceded him.
Speaking after Villa’s 2-1 defeat on Saturday, when asked if he personally was “in a hole”, Sherwood responded with “the club’s in a hole”. Did the hole just get a bit deeper?
Tottenham’s talisman returns… thanks to Boruc
Tottenham Hotspur are up to their old tricks again, lulling their fans into a false sense of security by comfortably winning a game and going on an impressive run. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time for this above average performance level to tail off back toward mid-table obscurity. After all, Spurs wouldn’t be Spurs if they didn’t look like they were at least tantalisingly close to achieving something.
But achieve they did, this weekend at least, banging a solid five goals past one of the league’s new recruits, Bournemouth – who I would like everyone to stop beating, if you don’t mind. As with the red cards, it feels like there have been more goal-fests than usual this season, too.
It was, admittedly, Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc who allowed Spurs to make the most of some of their opportunities, but Harry Kane shone, scoring a hat-trick and hopefully returning to his goal-scoring form of last season.
Cherries boss, Eddie Howe, gallantly refused to blame Boruc for the defeat, despite his errors, reassuring the keeper “we’re all in this together through good times and bad. We had a lot of good times last season and Artur was a big part of that”.
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