This weekend's English Premier League saw fewer upsets than we've seen over the last few weeks, unless you count Sunderland beating Aston Villa. Which many of us just want to get out of our minds, so we'll move on to the other matches.
Manchester United finally recorded their first away victory of the season, defeating Stoke City 1-2 at Britannia on the back of a brace by Javier Hernandez. Lil' Pea struck first in the 27th minute, sending a header past Thomas Sorensen, before many minutes of football transpired in which I looked at the clock and counted down. Then, with just nine minutes to go, Stoke substitute Tuncay scored a delicious equalizer. Unfortunately, the Potters were more intent on celebrating than defending, and Hernandez scored again just a few minutes later to put the final score at Stoke 1-2 United.
Elsewhere in Manchester, Arsenal's match with Manchester City got off to a great start for the visitors when Dedryck Boyata, the last defender, denied Marouane Chamakh a clear goal-scoring opportunity and was rewarded with a red card. City played nearly the entire game a man down, and the 0-3 final score reflects the early error. For goodness sake, City even let Nicklas Bendtner, finally back from injury, score a goal. If you want more biased coverage of this match, visit The Short Fuse and read Ted's match report.
The only surprise from Stamford Bridge is that Chelsea only scored two goals against visiting Wolverhampton, with Florent Malouda bringing his league total up to seven, and a healthy Salomon Kalou, subbed in for Malouda, getting the second. For an in-depth analysis of the match, visit We Aint' Got No History. The Blues are still five points clear at the top of the table, while Wolves move down to 19th, just above West Ham.
West Ham did their best to move up, with Carlton Cole opening the scoring at Upton Park, but new roomies Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll both scored to give Newcastle the 2-1 victory. Still, even a win wouldn't have put West Ham outside of the relegation zone, such is their goal difference.
Next up we've got two draws, the first between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. I didn't wake up for the fun parts of this match, but I do know this: Rafael van der Vaart is much sexier when he's not playing against your team. Final score: vdV 1-1 Everton.
Wigan tried their very best to throw away all their points once again, but couldn't quite manage it, canceling out the great play of Hugo Rodallega by allowing Johan Elmander to score shortly after. This match also featured yet another stretcher on the pitch, although Fabrice Muamba's tackle on the adorable James McCarthy wasn't seen as malicious.
Finally we come to the other slight surprise of the EPL weekend: West Bromwich Albion beating Fulham. Yet if you've been paying attention, you probably already know that the Baggies have given every impression that they're not ready to head back to the Championship just yet. Meanwhile, Fulham's "find points through draws" strategy hasn't worked out so well in the last two weeks, leaving them in sixteenth. West Brom's spot in the Champions League places certainly isn't sustainable, but man is it giggle-worthy. For more on this match, visit Cottagers Confidential.
England's Lower Leagues:
Portsmouth may not be staying up, although they did beat Hull City 1-2 this weekend, but they're staying afloat, so hurray for that. QPR are absolutely determined to win promotion, and showed with Patrick Agyemang's equalizer at Bristol City, which he scored in the 84th minute. QPR are now unbeaten in thirteen games. Reading thumped Burnley 0-4 at Turf Moor, the first time the Clarets have gone down at home this season. I only hope this leaves them dejected rather than vengeful, as Villa welcome Burnley in the League Cup this week.
League One does not exist this week. In League Two, the clubs kept goal tallies down this week, with the most exciting matches being Chesterfield 4-3 Shrewsbury and Rotherham 3-4 Wycomb. Chesterfield stays on top of League Two.
Celtic fell to Rangers 1-3 in the Old Firm derby today, with the visitors getting all three goals in the second half. Rangers are now alone at the top of the Scottish Premier League, having won all nine games. Celtic, it almost goes without saying, are second.
I was still sipping coffee this morning when all attention moved from the Liverpool-Blackburn game to a match in the Dutch first division: PSV Eindhoven were running wild over Feyenoord. The final score was PSV 10-0 Feyenoord. The visitors had a man sent off in the first half, but still came into the second down just 2-0. You'd think PSV, sitting at the top of the table over FC Twente and Ajax, would have applied a mercy rule, but you would be wrong.
Another day, another argument about the boringness of Serie A, but you just have to ignore some of the matches, such as Fiorentina's 2-1 win over Bari on Saturday. Instead, watch matches like Inter 1-1 Sampdoria. Samp actually got the lead, despite looking absolutely desperate every time the ball came near the area, but then had to watch while keeper Giancarlo Curci hobbled off with about ten minutes to spare. Da Costa got his Serie A debut and immediately came face to face with Samuel Eto'o, a situation he'll probably have nightmares about for weeks. Eto'o found the equalizer but Sampdoria managed to keep Inter from taking the lead.
Pocket player report:
Kalou scored in his first game since I've added him to my pocket, Andrei Arshavin helped in the buildup to Arsenal's first goal, and Miroslav Stoch provided plenty of great service along the left for Fenerbahçe despite no one else being able to put it in the net. Nobody did anything for Exeter City so Ryan Harley gets a pass, and Fredy Montero wasn't even allowed to be at the Houston match due to card accumulation for Seattle Sounders.