The New Year brought about one of the strangest weekends in the Premier League this season; the top four all failed to win whilst the bottom four picked up points. The most shocking result of the weekend was Blackburn’s 3-2 win at Old Trafford which would have surely put a dampener on Sir Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday. However, his spirits would have been raised yesterday as Manchester City lost against Sunderland.
Steve Kean would have been pleased to see Yakubu add to his impressive Premier League tally, the striker scored twice to put Blackburn ahead, 2-0. It didn’t last long as the champions equalised through two goals in ten minutes from Dimitar Berbatov. Both strikers scored 12 fantasy football points. However, it was a defender who stole the show – Grant Hanley spoilt Ferguson’s party when he headed in a goal in the 80th minute and gave Blackburn the victory. The 20-year-old picked up well deserved seven dream team points.
The Red Devils’ defeat gave Mancini’s side the perfect opportunity to go three points ahead, at the top of the table. City fielded a weakened side with Agureo and Silva on the bench and Balotelli not involved at all. The game looked like it was going to end at 0-0, however the Stadium of Light came alive when Sunderland substitute Ji Dong-Won scored in the 93rd minute to cause another shock result.
Arsenal moved into the top four for the first time this season with a 1-0 defeat over QPR. Van Persie scored the only goal of the game, adding another seven points to his impressive fantasy total.
It was Chelsea who dropped out of the Champions League positions after they lost 3-1 against Aston Villa. Stephen Ireland scored ten points and stole the show with a goal and an assist in the game. John Terry is a fantasy football favourite, however he raked in a disappointing minus two points for conceding three goals and picking up a yellow card.
Another defender with a poor show this weekend was Newcastle’s Ryan Taylor. Alan Pardew substituted the left back at half time in Newcastle’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield. Liverpool have found goals hard to come by recently, yet ironically they scored three in a game where they created less chances than usual. Craig Bellamy was on the score sheet twice picking up 12 points. However, Liverpool fans were most delighted when Steven Gerrard came off the bench to score and put the game to bed.
Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp paid credit to Swansea and said they are a delight to watch as the Welsh team gained a well deserved point on Saturday. It looked like Tottenham were going to steal the game 1-0, however Swansea never gave up and Scott Sinclair scored in the last ten minutes to level it.
Premier league results in full:
Sunderland 1-0 Man City
West Brom 0-1 Everton
Arsenal 1-0 QPR
Bolton 1-1 Wolves
Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa
Man Utd 2-3 Blackburn
Norwich 1-1 Fulham
Stoke 2-2 Wigan
Swansea 1-1 Tottenham
Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle