Six Barclays Premier League fixtures saw an incredible return of 21 goals on Saturday 15th January, as well as a new league leader, at least for 24 hours, in Manchester City, on a day during which results where probably more true to form than in recent helter skelter weeks.
Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn
Chelsea appeared to finally put their recent rocky form behind them in the second half of this match through goals from Ivanovic (57 mins) and Anelka (76 mins) to which even the returning Santa Cruz for Blackburn – who came on in the 46th minute for Kalinic – could find no reply for Blackburn.
Chelsea move back into the Champions League places two points ahead of Spurs, who face Man Utd on Sunday. Blackburn slide to 11th in the league, still on 28 points.
Man City 4-3 Wolverhampton
Wolves seem to relish playing the top four clubs of late, and so it would seem again at the City of Manchester Stadium, as they took the lead on 12 minutes through Milijas.
City got back into this match with four goals in a devastating 26 minute period either side of half time to get a 4-1 lead. Carlos Tevez (40, 66 mins) bagged a brace with the other two goals coming from brothers Kolo Toure (40 mins) and Yaya Toure (54 mins).
Wolves know how to score goals, however, and late responses from Doyle (pen, 68 mins) and Zubar (86 mins) meant the hosts had a more nervy final five minutes than they needed to. Yet again, Wolves looked too good to go down, though they slid into the drop zone courtesy of Wigan’s point.
Man City overtook Man Utd and lead the Premier League by a point – though United play on Sunday, against Spurs, in the first of their three games in hand.
Stoke 2-0 Bolton
Stoke drew level in the league with Bolton, on 30 points, and are now placed 8th in the league courtesy of this 2-0 home win against the out-of-sorts Wanderers.
Bolton have now not won in four, after Matthew Etherington added a 63rd minute penalty to Higginbotham‘s 37th minute strike giving Stoke a deserved 2-0 victory at the Britania Staidum.
West Brom 3-2 Blackpool
West Brom move up to 14th, a little step further from the danger zone, and Blackpool fall to 10th following this entertaining 3-2 win for the Baggies.
Blackpool took an 11th minute lead through Vaughan before Odemwingie (37 mins) equalised and Morrison (52 mins) took the lead for the hosts. Blackpool looked to have secured the point they deserved from this evenly poised match when Taylor-Fletcher scored after 80 minutes, but visiting fans were dealt a cruel blow when Odemwingie scored his second – West Brom’s winner – on 87 minutes to take all three points.
West Ham 0-3 Arsenal
Alarm bells at West Ham must be ringing, though they will be buoyed by persistent rumours that Martin O’Neill is about to take over the club, as they remain bottom following this 3-0 home defeat against Arsenal.
The Gunners were 2-0 up at half time with goals coming from Robin van Persie (13 mins) and Theo Walcott (41 mins) before van Persie put the result beyond doubt with his second from the penalty spot on 77 minutes, in a match with Arsenal dominated from first to last.
Arsenal remain five points clear of Chelsea, who are fourth, and two points off the top of the league. They remain in third place, and look well poised to challenge should either Manchester side slip. West Ham are bottom of the table, but just two points from safety: an epic struggle for survival is already shaping up this January, with as many as ten teams potentially in danger of dropping out of this league should their form deteriorate.
Wigan 1-1 Fulham
Wigan and Fulham are involved in that scrap to stay alive, and Wigan looked to have picked up a vital three points at home against Fulham when Rodallega scored on 57 minutes. Fulham picked up a late point, however, with a goal Andrew Johnson on 86 minutes, which their superior possession and shot count deserved, though Wigan will be upset that they came so close to three points in this match.
Both sides edge away from the relegation zone as a result of this point, though Wigan are in the nervy 17th position, safe by just one point, and Fulham are only one ahead of them, in 15th.
If its possible, its even tighter are the foot of the table, now, as five points split the bottom nine clubs in the Barclays Premier League. Plus, Newcastle, Blackpool and Blackburn, who sit three points above those nine teams, in 9th, 10th and 11th, could, with a run of bad results, still get drawn into that fight for survival, making both ends of the table, and every match important from now until the season’s end.
This 2010/11 season is currently shaping up to be the best in Premier League history.
Barclays Premier League Results – Saturday 15th January 2011
- Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn
- Man City 4-3 Wolverhampton
- Stoke 2-0 Bolton
- West Brom 3-2 Blackpool
- West Ham 0-3 Arsenal
- Wigan 1-1 Fulham