Juan Mata’s incredible volley was the highlight of Chelsea’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United. Fernando Torres delivered a cross that dropped toward his fellow Spaniard, and Mata couldn’t have met it any better. Striking the ball fully on the volley, he unleashed an explosive shot that crashed into the roof of the net before David De Gea knew what had happened.
Ashley Williams escaped from one of the most blatant handballs of the season after referee Jon Moss failed to notice the Swansea defender’s arm flying through the air. Williams had leapt to keep Nicky Shorey’s aerial pass from the head of Gareth McAuley, and in doing so extended his arm into the air to block the ball, but neither penalty nor yellow card were awarded.
Tim Howard’s shocking mistake gifted a goal and a point to Wigan. Phil Neville had directed Jean Beausejour’s cross fairly harmlessly back toward his goalkeeper, when the truly bizarre occurred. The American had apparently underestimated the spin of the ball, and the bounce took it suddenly back to his right, beyond his reach, and into the net.
Chris Baird had an awful afternoon as Fulham lost to a superior Manchester City side,Tim Masthay Jersey. After just ten minutes referee Mike Dean incorrectly pointed to the spot for a foul by Baird on Adam Johnson, who not only went over far too easily, but, like Welbeck, needed to extend his own leg toward the Fulham right back in order to make contact. Baird then found himself in the right place to block Johnson’s cross, but could only divert it off his shins and into the net.
Djibril Cisse produced a ridiculous chokehold on Roger Johnson that rightfully earned a sending off in his second match back in the Premier League. His contribution at the start seemed to bode well for QPR,James Starks Jersey, but Cisse completely overreacted to Johnson’s sliding tackle, furiously grabbing the Wolves defender by the throat. Credit to referee Mark Clattenburg, who correctly spotted and punished the incident that lasted no longer than a second.
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Robert Huth saw a very harsh red card in Stoke’s loss to Sunderland,Danny Woodhead Jersey. His slide on David Meyler was certainly late, but neither high nor dangerous, and after Benoit Assou-Ekotto got away with a vicious studs-up tackle in midweek, he will feel hard done by.
The on-loan Gylfi Sigurdsson has already made his mark for Swansea, as he engineered a second-half comeback to beat West Brom 2-1. The Iceland international was instrumental throughout the match, and contributed valiantly at both ends of the pitch. He equalized for the visitors, side footing coolly home after a glorious, flowing team move. Just four minutes later the turnaround was complete, Sirgudsson finding Danny Graham in the area to stab home.
Wolves have lifted themselves out of the relegation zone after a comeback victory at QPR. Under-fire Mick McCarthy will have plenty of positives to take out of the performance, as his substitute Kevin Doyle turned the tide in the match. Wolves found the equalizer just after half-time through Matt Jarvis, who jinked his way into the area, turning outside, then in to cleverly set up an angle to shoot, and bending the ball deliciously into the far corner. Doyle then grabbed the winner, rolling clinically across Paddy Kenny after good buildup by Jamie O’Hara and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
Arsenal finally have something to smile about after demolishing Blackburn in a stunning 7-1 display. Robin van Persie & Theo Walcott each were at their flying best, and the Englishman’s two similar low crosses were dispatched consummately by the Dutchman early on. Then youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continued to impress, running onto van Persie’s through ball, rounding the keeper and tucking home. After Mikel Arteta fired home a rebound,Marshawn Lynch Jersey, Walcott earned his third assist of the match. His weaving,Greg Jennings Jersey, mazy run took him past five defenders, then he picked out Oxlade-Chamberlain, who steadied the ball before firing coolly inside the near post. Van Persie grabbed his deserved hat-trick when he turned in Francis Coquelin’s cross with a difficult finish directed into the top corner,Steve Smith Youth Jersey. The Gunners’ dream performance was capped off when substitute and legend Thierry Henry played a 1-2 with van Persie before finding a fortuitous finish in off the goalkeeper.
By Andrew Discenza
Papiss Cisse made a dream debut for Newcastle, scoring a golazo that earned his side the three points. After having spurned an earlier chance, Cisse controlled on the chest before hitting an instinctive and sweetly struck half-volley that rose like a bullet into the top corner.
Howard Webb’s wrongful penalty undoubtedly swung the momentum in Manchester United’s favor. Credit to the champions for their morale boosting three-goal comeback at Stamford Bridge, but it was aided by the referee who awarded a very soft spot-kick. The penalties have been rightfully going United’s way recently, but Danny Welbeck was not fouled by Branislav Ivanovic. Instead, the Englishman left his leg trailing to deliberately make contact with the Serbian, who was attempting to avoid the foul.
Sergio Aguero showed his silky skills for a fine assist to cap off Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Fulham. Having thumped in the first from the penalty spot, he danced between three defenders into the area, before having the awareness to square for Edin Dzeko’s tap in.