Barclays Premier League 2011/12 rolled on into it’s sixth Game Week on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2011, as all but two teams in the competition were in action.
The nine matches played saw 24 goals, with only one match finishing goalless. The weekend also saw the final team, Mahcester United, lose their 100% winning start to the league campaign, as the defending champions were held to a 1-1 draw away at Stoke City.
Arsenal 3-0 Bolton
Both Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers came into this match ludicrously out of form, but it was the hosts, Arsenal, who, courtesy of a Robin van Persie brace (46, 71) and a goal from Alex Song (89) who finally got a marker down for the league campaign with a strong 3-0 victory.
The end result perhaps flatters the Gunners, though, and they will be thankful that Szczezny, their young goalkeeper, was in fine form to keep out some good early attacking moves from Bolton: but for his interventions, this match could have ended very differently for the home side.
The three points gained saw Arsenal move up to 12th in the table, still well short of expectations; Bolton sit in a perilous looking 20th.
Chelsea 4-1 Swansea
Chelsea were also impressive in winning by a three goal margin, as they entertained promoted Swansea City, and ran out 4-1 winners.
First half goals from Torres (29) and Ramires (36) got Chelsea off to a fine start, and a 2-0 half time lead, though Fernando Torres was sent off shortly before half time, meaning the next goal would be all-important. It was Chelsea who got a crucial third, when Ramires scored his second on 76 minutes, before Swansea grabbed a goal ten minutes later through Williams (86). Didier Drogba marked his return from a short spell on the sidelines through concusion with a strike on 90+4 minutes to restore the three goal cushion moments before the final whistle sounded.
Chelsea are third in the table after this result, three points shy of Manchesters United and City. Swansea remain outside of the relegation zone, in 16th, but only by one point.
Liverpool 2-1 Wolverhampton
Liverpool got back to winning ways with a solid 2-1 home win over Wolverhampton who made them work hard for all three points.
The home side took the lead on 11 minutes through a Johnson own goal, before Suarez doubled that with a 38th minute strike. Wolves tailed 2-0 at half time, but were back in contention on 49 minutes when Fletcher scored, however, despite playing some good football, they were unable to break down Livepool in the 40+ minutes that remained, and got nothing from a match where they might otherwise have expected at least one point.
Liverpool move up to fifth in the table; Wolves slide to 11th.
Man City 2-0 Everton
Manchester City put last weekend’s failure to make a 2-0 lead stick firmly behind them by winning over Everton by that score-line.
Second half goals from Balotelli (68) and James Milner (89) gave the home side the win in a match they arguably dominated a little more than that margin would suggest.
Three points means City join neighbours United on 16 points at the top of the table – though they are second owing to an inferior goal difference. Everton are 10th following Game Week Six.
Newcastle 3-1 Blackburn
Newcastle United continued their strong early season 2011/12 form with a fine 3-1 win over visiting Blackburn Rovers at St James’ Park.
A rare hat-trick for Demba Ba (27, 30, 54) was enough to repel Blackburn, despite them trailing just 2-1 at half time thanks to a 37th minute reply from Hoilet.
Newcastle’s win places them in fourth place, in the heady UEFA places, for the time being; Blackburn, on the other hand, look in trouble, for they are currently occupying the relegation hot seat of 18th place.
Stoke 1-1 Man Utd
Stoke City did what five other teams could not, to date, achieve: they stopped Manchester United from beating them in Premier League 2011/12, thereby ending the final team with a 100% win record in the competition.
Until Saturday evening, Stoke had been beaten by United at every Premier League attempt, and had conceded the first goal in each of those defeats, so they must have been concerned when Nani got the visiting champions off the mark with a goal coming on 27 minutes.
However, records in football mean nothing on the day, particularly as Peter Crouch added the dubious joint-record of becoming one of a collection of players to have scored a goal for six different Barclays Premier League clubs when he equalised on 52 minutes.
United had a late chance to win it spurned by Ryan Giggs, but also could easily have made the short trip back to Manchester with nothing had David De Gea not been in superb form to keep out Peter Crouch midway through the second half. A point apiece was a fair reflection of an entertaining game.
The two points dropped for United sees them caught at the top of the table by Manchester City, but they remain in number one position thanks to their superior goal difference over their bitter rivals. Stoke are 7th, level on 9 points with Spurs.
West Brom 0-0 Fulham
West Brom and Fulham are both sides who have been underachieving in 2011/12, so it is perhaps unsurprising that they played out a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns.
Visiting Fulham, however, will have woken on Sunday morning still wondering just how they returned from the West Midlands with fewer than three points, such was their superiority in this match. The Baggies will be thankful to Ben Foster, who was as impressive as ever in their goal to keep a clean sheet and earn a hard fought point.
The result means West Brom remain in the bottom three, in 19th, on 4 points. Fulham are 17th, also on 4 points, but just have their head above the important drop zone courtesy of their goal difference: with four draws from six played, they look a side short of just one, vital, goal at present.
Wigan 1-2 Tottenham
Tottenham continued to put early season misery behind them with a 2-1 away victory at Wigan.
Spurs led 2-0 at half time courtesy of goals from Van der Vaart (3) and Gareth Bale (23) but were made to work for their victory by Wigan who were much improved in the second half – the Latics got back in contention through a 50th minute Diame strike, but were unable to find a way past messers Kaboul, King and Friedel to grab a point.
Tottenham, who controlled possession for much of this match, were fully worth their win, which takes them to 6th in the table, on 9 points. Wigan are 15th, just a point ahead of the bottom three.
QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
A late, late goal for QPR prevented Aston Villa scooping three points against the run of play at Loftus Road, as the sides shared a point following a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.
Villa took the lead on 58 minutes when Bannan scored a penalty after Agbonlahor was brought down in the area.
Though QPR, who had been the better of the two sides for much of the match, continued to threaten, it wasn’t until the third minute of injury time that they got their deserved equaliser when Aston Villa defender Richard Dunner was in the wrong place at the wrong time and turned a clearance from Stephen Warnock into his own net, sparking celebrations from the home fans who must have thought it was not their day when, earlier, the impressive Tarabt had struck the woodwork following a fine effort.
A point shared means Villa move up to 8th with QPR right behind them in 9th – both sides, who couldn’t be split today, are on 8 points apiece.
Norwich and Sunderland are due to play on Monday evening to wrap up this weekend’s Barclays Premier League fixtures – a “six-pointer” 14th v 13th match – both Norwich and Sunderland are currently on 5 points.
Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Results – Saturday 24 September 2011
- Arsenal 3-0 Bolton
- Chelsea 4-1 Swansea
- Liverpool 2-1 Wolverhampton
- Man City 2-0 Everton
- Newcastle 3-1 Blackburn
- Stoke 1-1 Man Utd
- West Brom 0-0 Fulham
- Wigan 1-2 Tottenham
Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Results – Sunday 25 September 2011
- QPR 1-1 Aston Villa