Sunday, February 8, 2009

Round 25 Reaction; United stay top, Chelsea fall behind.

This was one of the most exciting rounds of the season; the first after the January transfer window! A chance to get a first laugh at what will surely be the biggest flop, and the first look at some big names. Unfortunately, the biggest name of the window didn't feature this weekend as Wenger decided that Arshavin wasn't ready to take part in the west London derby. Maybe he should've gambled, though, as the match ended 0-0, with Spurs and all their new-old players unable to capitalize on Emmanuel Eboue's sending off in the 37th minute. Arsenal can definitely kiss their title hopes goodbye now, as Arshavin will now be looking to carry his new team into a Champions League spot, as the Gunners continue to disappoint, lurking in 5th place.

Elsewhere, Chelsea's title hopes took a similar blow, failing to score on a scrappy Hull side at the Bridge. There were very few positives to come away with if you're a Blues fan, as Scolari's side continued to not live up to expectations, and the Chelsea faithful even broke into a chorus of "You don't know what you're doing" aimed at the Brazilian manager. Quaresma made his debut for the side, and looked promising and industrious, coming close on a couple occasions and delivering good crosses until he was substituted for Drogba in the second half.

United and Liverpool both scraped wins, looking to make it a two horse race. United looked like they would be stunted by Zola's hardworking West Ham side until old boy Giggs showed off some fancy footwork to give them the 3 points in the 62nd minute, finishing 1-0. Liverpool's match at Portsmouth was far more exciting, with Pompey looking the better side for most of the match. David Nugent fired in Peter Crouch's setup in the 62nd, only to have it cancelled out by Aurelio's freekick in the 69th. Hreidarsson's header put Pompey ahead again, before the Reds equalized for a second time, in the 85th via a totally ludicrous near post finish from Dirk Kuyt. Finally, several minutes into stoppage time, Liverpool continued their last minute heroics, snatching all three points with a finish from... who else? Substitute Fernando Torres. El Nino strikes again.

Villa leapfrogged Chelsea into 3rd place as they continued their stellar run of form... Jo notched a brace in his Everton debut, as the Toffees went on to beat Bolton 3-0... Kinnear's Newcastle side snatched a relegation dogfight 3-2 over WBA.

Other scores:
Wigan 0-0 Fulham
Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough
Sunderland 2-0 Stoke City

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