Inspiration is found in the unlikeliest of places. When Manchester United trailed at the Stadium of Light, to the only winless team in the League with David Moyes staring down the barrel at United’s first three consecutive league loss streak in twelve years, his saviour was not one of United’s many illustrious stars. Young starlet Adnan Januzaj’s brace (on league debut) thrust this relatively unknown teenager into Old Trafford folklore and a public debate on Januzaj’s future England credentials. Sunderland, who have announced the appointment of Gus Poyet today, slipped further from safety, left with a solitary point after seven games following this 2-1 defeat.
Meanwhile, Ravel Morrison adds his name to the list of the Premier League’s brightest young English stars with a darting run deep into the Tottenham half which culminated in a dazzling finish, all of his own doing. West Ham’s 3-0 victory at White Hart Lane (their first victory since 1999) was the greatest upset this weekend, as Tottenham continue to be hampered by glaring inconsistency despite their impressive new squad this season.
Arsenal’s league winning streak, which extends to August 17th when they were overturned at the Emirates by Villa on the opening day has also been halted. The Hawthorns is becoming an ever increasing fortress for The Baggies. Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea all failed to win there last year, as did Manchester United when Fergie signed out with a 5-5 draw in his final game at the helm. Arsenal’s 1-1 deadlock at the Hawthorns was not a complete shock given that this replicated their result at the same ground in the League Cup, late September.
At the top Liverpool, (who have never won the Premier League since its creation) continue their resurgence from the relative mediocrity of high mid-table with a convincing win at home against struggling Crystal Palace, also stuck in the relegation zone. Needless to say that Suarez and Sturridge, lauded by their manager as the best strikeforce in the Premier League midweek, made the scoresheet as Liverpool temporarily hit the summit on sixteen points.
On the other hand, Chelsea’s strikers are painfully short of goals. Emerging from Carrow Road with their full allotment of points the goals, yet again this season, came from midfield. Mourinho’s two substitutes, Eden Hazard and Willian’s crisp curler (his first goal since arriving from Anzhi) broke stubborn resistance from the Canaries late on.
Nevertheless, Mourinho must be fretting over the goal drought upfront, especially after offloading Romelu Lukaku who, after Monday’s exploits against Newcastle, grabbed another at The Etihad. Everton lost their title as the only unbeaten team left this season but still can take solace from the fact Lukaku has scored seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances despite being downed 3-1 at Manchester City.
Elsewhere, dark horses Southampton dispatched Swansea 2-0 to hit fourth spot, above City, Tottenham and United no less. Newcastle claimed a 2-1 win at Cardiff to ease early season Geordie fears, while Fulham left it late to beat Stoke. Hull played out a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa. Roll on the international break.
Image courtesy of Belfast Telegraph