Premier League: Weekend Winners & Losers
After an incredible couple of days of shocks in the Premier League, without further ado, here are the biggest Winners And Losers of the weekend.
If the Premier League was a house party, Leicester City are like the cool new kids no one knows but automatically get invited in due because they’ve brought a bottle of Buckfast and one of the original Now That’s What I Call Music mixes.
They’re a bit like Ian Holloway’s Blackpool: they just love getting forward – except, you know, they can actually defend a bit. Their performance on Sunday against Louis Van Gaal’s side was astounding. 2-0 and 3-1 behind, they kept chipping away until the dam eventually broke and the little Dutch boy with his finger in it couldn’t hold a tidal wave of blue. Few promoted sides are an addition to the Premier League but the Foxes certainly cut the mustard so far.
We feel a bit nauseous including Pardew in a winners’ section of anything but it would be remiss of us not to give him a mention. 2-0 down to Hull at home, the Geordie Nation already baying for blood, ‘Pards’ was probably spying the nearest exit to slink out of before things got messy.
Much to his relief, a late Papiss Cisse double bagged much-needed point for his Newcastle side and a stay-of-execution for the under-fire Magpies’ boss. We don’t think it’ll be too long before the former Reading boss will have to be smuggled into witness protection, though.
After a resounding 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener, Arsenal then had a resurgent Aston Villa to deal with. A virus had swept through Paul Lambert’s squad like a scene from the Dustin Hoffman film ‘Outbreak’ but the Gunners stayed calm, stuck on their surgical masks and went to work. It was all over in a matter of minutes – as was the Villan’s unbeaten start to the season – with three first half goals in as many minutes.
A 1-0 win away at Swansea leaves the south-coast club in the lofty position of second; a far-cry from the predictions of a basement struggle after that pre-season fire sale.
United fans squirmed in delight as Brendan Rodgers’ men collapsed again at West Ham, losing 3-1 at Upton Park on Saturday evening. Reds’ supporters didn’t have to long to wait for their own retribution as a capitulation to end all capitulations befell Louis Van Gaal’s side at Leicester. From 2-0 and 3-1 up, they still somehow contrived to lose 5-3.
For supporters on either side of the divide, it’s got to be hurting at the moment. For the neutrals, it’s all absolutely hilarious.
Newcastle United Fans
There are few clubs’ fans that deserve people’s sympathy as much as Newcastle supporters do. A last gasp equaliser against Hull nabbed a precious point for the Geordies but it’s arguable a few would have swallowed a defeat just to intensify the pressure on beleaguered manager, Alan Pardew.
Even had they lost, his sacking is still doubtful as Mike Ashley seems to like keeping him around no matter how bad the performances get.
Chelsea (and Roman Abramovich, sort of)
A 78th minute sub, you just knew in your waters what was going to happen. Trailing 1-0 to Chelsea, Frank Lampard made his Man City entrance against the club he’d become idolised at.
Blues fans chanted his name like he was still their own. Seven minutes later, the held their head in their hands as Lampard arrived so fashionably late in the box to level it with five minutes remaining.
The big baby actually looked like he wanted to sob as he realised what he’d just done – outrageous behaviour.
It’s much, much too early to tell what sort of bearing that result will have on the title race but how ironic it would be if Chelsea lost it all to City by a solitary point gained by a player Roman Abramovich actively pushed out the Stamford Bridge door.