A bizarre day of Premier League football!
It was an amazing yet strange day of football yesterday, as favourites lost, legends scoring against former clubs and crazy referee decisions, a weekend with outcomes that even the late Brian Clough would not have predicted.
The Legend Brian Clough passed away ten years ago this weekend, and was it almost as if his spirit was watching over this great weekend of football. However, it was especially yesterday, which gave the most astonishing outcomes and results.
The first game of the day was without a doubt the most entertaining one of the four. Leicester vs Manchester United was already predicted by United fans to be a walk in the park, after their great display and victory over Queens Park Rangers last week, winning 4-0 at home. However, it turned out to be a great day for Leicester who managed to beat the Red Devils 5-3.
United took the lead in the early minutes of the game, when Robin Van Persie put the Devils in the lead after an easy finish in the 13th minute. However, Angel Di Maria stole the show again, when he scored an exact copy of Karel Poborsky’s goal (Euro 96 for the Czech Republic against Portugal), chipping the ball over Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester scored one minute later from a goal by new singing Ulloa and was this the halftime result. In the second half, United extended their lead in the 57th minute by a great Herrara heal flick. It was 1-3, and everyone thought that United had the game in their pockets. But, as manager Van Gaal said after the match; “We had the game in our pockets, but we gave it away”.
Leicester managed to get back in the match, not only because of a great team spirit, but due to terrible decisions from the referee and also mainly because of mind-bogglingly poor defence by United’s defenders, especially young Blackett. Leicester’s second goal came from a controversial penalty given by referee Mark Clattenburg. Jamie Vardy, who played for Halifax FC three years ago, was allowed by Clattenburg to put Rafael down outside the box, in what looked like a clear free kick for United. Rafael ran back and managed to slightly grace Vardy, who fell down inside the box. Clattenburg pointed on the sport and Nugent put in the penalty, which was his 50th goal for the Foxes. It was now 2-3.
United then broke down mentally. Poor defensive displays arrived right after the other. Leicester managed to score twice; once when United did not manage to clear the ball as legend Cambiasso was given space to put the ball in the net, and later when Blackett and Smalling where miles apart in defence, letting Vardy run alone and put the ball pass De Gea after receiving an easy pass on counter-attack.
Blackett finished off his poor performance, when he badly tackled Vardy inside the box in the 82th minute and was given a straight Red. Ulloa put in the penalty and the Foxes had beat the Red Devils 5-3. Leicester are the first newly promoted team in Premier League history, to have ever beaten Man United with four or more goals. Not only that, but it was the first time United have lost a Premier League gave after having a two goal lead.
Later in the afternoon, Tottenham lost 1-0 to West Bromwich at White Heart Lane, in an absolutely poor performance. Spurs are without a league win since 24 August, and did they continue their poor form against Albion. Tottenham’s first shot on target came in the 71st minute, their worst attacking stat in three years. West Brom, who picked up their first win in their last eight Premier League games, managed to score the winning goal in the 74th minute from a rare James Morrison header.
In the other end of the country, Everton lost 2-3 at Goodison Park to Crystal Palace. Before the game, The Toffees had only won three of their last 10 games, and did the poor form continue against the Eagles. Despite having the worst defensive record so far in the Premier League, the Toffees took the lead in the ninth minute after typical Lukaku goal. However, the Eagles manage to grab an equaliser in the 30th minute, when Jedinak put in a penalty.
Crystal Palace continued scoring in the second half after two great goals from Campbell and Balosie. Everton got their second in the 80th minute from a Leighton Baines penalty, however it wasn’t enough as the match finished 2-3, which means the Eagles match the scoreline they achieved at Goodison Park in April. The win moves the London Club out of the bottom three, and do they remain unbeaten under new boss Neil Warnock.
The last game of the week could not have finished off the day in any better way, when Manchester City took on Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium. It looked to be an emotional day for especially one player who was going to face his former club since he left them last summer. Frank Lampard, who made 648 appearances for the Blues and scored 211 goals, left for New York City FC, but is he currently on loan at City until January.
It was a very close game between the two best clubs in the country at the moment. Both teams played well during the match but Chelsea remained more defensive minded. However, that all change in the 66th minute, when City defender Zabaleta received his sixth red card of his seventh seasons at City, as he was sent off after a bad tackle on Diego Costa.
Chelsea went on the attack and did they manage to score five minutes later from a good finish from Schürrle, which also was the Blues first shot on target. This was Chelsea eighth out of nine goals so far this season, which arrived in the second half. Chelsea kept on pressing and did City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart make some important saves on his 200th Premier League appearance for City.
Despite all odds, Manchester City managed to equalise five minutes before the final whistle, when Frank Lampard of all people, volleyed the ball in the net, destroying his former team-mate’s hope for a win. The game finished 1-1 and the draw put Chelsea three points clear on top, five points ahead of City, ending the Blues 100% start. No one could have written a better story, as Lampard was clapped off the pitch on the final whistle from both City and Blues supporters.