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Sunday, September 25, 2011

EPL Weekly Round-Up: Red Devils Held, Title Rivals Grab Victories and Demba Ba Scores Three for Newcastle!

Manchester United's five-match winning streak in the Premier League this season finally came to a halt as they were held 1-1 at Stoke City. The Potters put on an impressive display at the Britannia Stadium & dominated the game often for large periods. Luis Nani put the visitors ahead in the 27th minute when he finished a beautiful move showing his exquisite dribbling skills. However, the hosts struck back strongly in the second half & equalised when new signing Peter Crouch headed in his first Stoke goal from a well-taken corner by Etherington. David De Gea was particularly impressive in goal, pulling off a string of close range saves to deny the home side any sort of advantage. The result might be a tad disappointing for the high-flying Red Devils, but as they say - "You can't win them all." Stoke City totally deserved atleast a point from this game, and they seemingly got their due. This result means Manchester United are still on top of the points table, with 16 points from 6 games so far.

How The Rivals Fared

Manchester City kept the pressure on league leaders & city rivals Manchester United with a laboured 2-0 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium. Mario Balotelli & James Milner both came off the bench in the second half to score the only goals of the fixture. The Citizens are currently level with Manchester United, behind just on goal difference.

Fernando Torres was sent off for a straight red card even as Chelsea prevailed 4-1 over Swansea City at Stamford Bridge. Torres broke the deadlock in the 28th minute & Ramires doubled their lead in the 35th minute but the former was sent off just 3 minutes later, leaving the hosts with 10 men on the field. Ramires again scored in the 2nd half & Drogba also came off the bench to score, while Williams pulled back a consolation goal in between for the Welsh club.

Liverpool fought off a stern challenge from Wolverhampton Wanderers to march on to a 2-1 victory at Anfield. Roger Johnson's own goal & Luiz Suarez were enough to keep Wolves at bay despite Steven Fletcher's strike early after the break. The victory kept the Merseyside Reds in the hunt for a top four finish this season in the Premier League.

Robin van Persie was on target as Arsenal beat Bolton Wanderers comfortably 3-0 at home. The Dutch forward, now captain of the Gunners, struck just after the interval & then in the 70th minute, while Alex Song also put his name on the scoresheet just two minutes away from stoppage time. This was the Gunners' second consecutive win after the League Cup victory over Shrewsbury on Tuesday.

Tottenham Hotspur recovered from their midweek League Cup defeat to Stoke City with a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic away from home. Rafael Van der Vaart put Spurs ahead as early as the 2nd minute & Welsh winger Gareth Bale scored twenty minutes later to make the scoreline 2-0 at half time. Diame netted for the hosts just 3 minutes into the 2nd half but it was not enough to prevent the Latics from their third loss in 6 league games.

Newcastle United maintained their unbeaten start this season with a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at St. James Park. Demba Ba, who signed on a free from West Ham this summer, stole the limelight as he opened his account for the Magpies with a brilliant hat-trick. Junior Hoilett tried to get Rovers back into the game with a beautiful strike before half time but Newcastle & Demba Ba were simply too good for them.

The Weekly Verdict:

Team of the Week: Newcastle United

Player of the Week: Demba Ba

You can follow the author on Twitter @AbhinavCJ.

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