What the fans say...

September 22, 2008
By Soccernet Correspondents
(Archive)

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City

Kevin Brodie: Gutted. Dropping two points at home to Stoke made for a nightmare of a Saturday. After two superb wins this week I felt we might only scrape past Stoke at home but once the referee/linesman made a horrible decision on Stevie Gerrard's free kick (to rule the goal a no goal) I felt it might not be our day. Liverpool dominated everything about this game, we didn't even allow Stoke a throw in until the last minute of the first half, but we couldn't hit the target. This was not like other games last season were we failed to create chances. Liverpool had a tremendous amount of good chances, but our strikers were not on their game. Torres and Keane both let the side down and need to get firing soon. No better time to start hitting the target then next week.

Sean Kesluk: Well I never thought I'd smile my way through a nil-nil, but a point at Anfield at the weekend was quite delightful. The most crucial statistic being neither the Reds' 70% possession nor their 30 shots but rather their 1 offside. On that note I'd say Torres was clearly in an offsides position when Gerrard's free kick was struck, subsequently and illegally obstructing Sorenson's view. Saturday was a terrific display of the manager's Premier League savvy and both the physicality and discipline of the squad he's assembled. 11 men behind the ball may not be 'just like watching Brazil' as the Potters' support would have it (referring to Stoke's vibrant yellow and blue), but the next 8 months certainly shouldn't prove to be like watching Derby County.

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

David Esposto At 1-1, the early-season meeting between these two Premiership heavyweights surely did not live up to the billing of a classic. Salomon Kalou's goal in the 80th minute rescued Chelsea's 85-game unbeaten record at home, ensuring that Stamford Bridge continues to remain a nightmare for opposing clubs. Once again possession was dominated by the west Londoners, but unfortunately they could not earn the full three points. While this game featured two powerhouses of English football, it ultimately left more to be desired.

Mark Payne: We have to view this as a huge missed opportunity. I think anybody who is honest was not confident before the game and even less so when the teams were announced. How wrong we were. The build up for our goal was first class but it is a damn shame that with a squillion pounds worth of strikers we only had one bullet in the chamber. Chelsea came back as Chelsea do and we looked a little out muscled in the second half, is Rio our biggest tough guy at the moment? It is hard not to think that with either Vidic or VDS on the field we might have defended better for their equaliser. This is far from a tragedy, but we should have won. Bringing on O'Shea was the move that lost us the points. No offence John.

Manchester City 6-0 Portsmouth

Wallace Poulter: And to think we haven't even started to spend the new owner's money yet. Honestly, if Portsmouth played Real Madrid I wouldn't expect them to lose 6-0. Sunday was just one of those days. Wonderful, marvelous and showed how a blend of the academy and Brazil could work wonders for the club when everything just clicks. It will not be that easy over the next few months or even after the January sales but given the history of the club I hope you'll allow a smile of satisfaction. 6-0... who would have thunk!

Colin Roberts: The less said about this Sunday the better as far as Pompey are concerned. Myself and company left Eastlands after the fifth goal went in - 'collapse' doesn't quite cover it. Onwards and upwards...

West Ham United 3-1 Newcastle United

Billy Blagg: Well, if this what we can expect from Messrs. Zola and Clarke then we are in for some pretty interesting times at Upton Park. Take no notice of the surprisingly even contest that was shown on Match of the Day; West Ham completely dominated the Geordies for all bar about 10 minutes and the 3-1 scoreline flattered Newcastle. It could and should have been four at least, but really five or six was probably a better indication of what took place.

Rob Lee: Another shambolic performance at Upton Park saw us defeated 3-1 at the hands of yet another ordinary side, and once more reflected the state of Newcastle United at present. With Charles N'Zogbia playing at left-back and Cacapa strangely playing in midfield along with the tiresome legs of Licky Butt and Geremi, things were never going to be good in what turned out to be a pathetic and lacklustre performance.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Wigan Athletic

Colin McCullough: Let's first accentuate the positive (and there is only one), namely that Spurs achieved their first clean sheet of the season. Otherwise, this was a toothless and disjointed performance from a side that look like they have never played together. And given the manager's constantly shifting line-up, that's not so far from the truth. A return of two points from five games is truly abysmal, especially since three of the opponents finished below Spurs last season. Or, to put it another way, relegation form.

Spurs' lack of quality firepower since the departure of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane was even further apparent as they struggled to break down Steve Bruce's side and they are still searching for their first league victory after five matches. After the match Bruce said 'they were there for the taking, basically', and with that in mind a 0-0 draw was slightly disappointing.

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Aston Villa

Dino Pasalic: The Baggies provided a heroic display at Villa Park, however their performance proved to be unworthy of points following the final whistle. Box to box, the match was played at a fairly equal quality between both sides, however Villa's superiority in the final third and Albion's unacceptable and almost amateur defensive lapse served the Villans a victory on a platter. The Baggies played quite well and competed man to man with vigor and conviction for 90 minutes against one of the Premier League's best sides. However, they need to start turning these convincing performances into results.

Jerrad Peters: It's not the win over West Bromwich Albion that should have Villa fans excited. The Baggies, after all, are going straight back down this season. But after beating Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and then winning their UEFA Cup match in Bulgaria, Sunday's match in the West Midlands represented something of a litmus test for Villa. Could they manage three matches in the space of a week? Could they get results away from Villa Park? Did the manager have the bench strength to get the most out of his players? Each question was answered, this week. And everyone from Martin O'Neill to Randy Lerner, to the club's supporters should be absolutely chuffed at the answers.

Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Fulham

Local hero Matt Derbyshire rounded off a move oozing with South American flair to finally give Paul Ince his first Premier League home win as Blackburn boss. Derbyshire, introduced for the final quarter hour with Ince desperate to break the deadlock, pounced after Roque Santa Cruz flicked a superb through ball from Chilean debutant Carlos Villanueva into his path.

Tom Wille: Fulham's great start to the season took a wrong turn on Saturday. Roy Hodgson's Cottagers were looking to pick up a third consecutive league win and continue their fine start to the campaign, but Paul Ince's Rovers had other ideas. Neither team had too many clear shots on goal in either half although it should be noted that Blackburn were in complete control possession wise throughout much of the game. That advantage in possession paid off late for Blackburn as substitute Matt Derbyshire fired a shot past Mark Scwarzer in the 83rd minute to give Rovers the lone goal of the match. The loss takes the wind out of Fulham's sail after successive wins over Arsenal and Bolton, but the Cottagers have a number of winnable matches over the course of the next month to really cement the club as one that is a contender for a mid-table or even top ten finish this season.

Hull City 2-2 Everton

Hull had looked like maintaining their superb Premier League start by claiming a third win after scoring at corners through Michael Turner and a Phil Neville own goal. But Everton finished a thrilling contest the stronger and were awarded a goal when Tim Cahill's shot bounced down off the bar on 73 minutes, and Leon Osman levelled five minutes later

Tony Burns: Everton's dodgy defending continued as they gifted two goals to Hull, scoring a third own goal in a week in the process. Luckily our attacking players are getting us out jail a bit at the moment and so it proved as Cahill and Osman scored in the second half to rescue a point. If we're to have any sort of success this season though we need to get back to how we defended last season or we might find ourselves on the wrong end of a good hiding off Liverpool, Liege or United in the coming few weeks.

Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal

Bolton started well and almost took the lead in the third minute with a wonderful piece of vision from captain Kevin Nolan and did go ahead through Kevin Davies. However, Arsenal's response was swift and majestic. Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner turned the game on its head with two goals in two minutes. Then Denilson secured the points late on after another swift and decisive counter-attack.

David Young: For the second week running Arsenal made light of an away trip that might have caused them a few problems in recent seasons. Bolton took the lead through Kevin Davies courtesy of some very slack defending by the visitors but the Gunners' response was emphatic. Goals from Eboue and Bendtner put them ahead at half time and a Denilson finish after a blistering run from Theo Walcott made the game safe just before time. It was a result that sent Arsene Wenger's team to the top of the table. Whilst it is great to be setting the pace, it is too early to be getting excited about being top. As yet, Arsenal have not faced any of the Premier League big guns and we will know more about how this season's squad is really shaping up once they do.

Sunderland 2-0 Middlesbrough

Michael Chopra put his personal problems behind him to fire Sunderland to a 2-0 derby victory over Middlesbrough. David Wheater upends Steed Malbranque at the Stadium of Light.The former Newcastle striker came off the bench to slot home an 81st-minute shot, and then added a second in injury time to seal the win.

England winger Stewart Downing fired a 75th-minute penalty over the bar to let the Wearsiders off the hook. The midfielder, who thumped his last spot-kick against the bar, blasted over to give Sunderland the impetus to go on and win the spoils in front of a crowd of 38,388.

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