United steal a win at Chelsea in one of three matches spoiled by poor refereeing. Elsewhere: Suarez is a star, Tevez is a beast, and the unexpected is ever-present in the Premier League Nutshell…
by Andrew Discenza
Referee Mark Clattenburg is under serious fire after a hugely controversial 3-2 win by Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Two shocking decisions robbed Chelsea of a point, and to make matters worse an official complaint has been lodged, accusing Mr. Clattenburg of using “inappropriate language.” The referee had shown Fernando Torres a second yellow card for simulation despite Johnny Evans catching the Spaniard with his outstretched studs, and Javier Hernandez should have been caught well offside but the flag stayed down and United’s winner was allowed to stand.
Why always Luis Suarez? The most divisive figure in English football was central again as Liverpool were forced to settle for an undeserved 2-2 draw at Everton. Always dangerous, the Uruguayan smashed the ball in off Leighton Baines, then nodded in consummately from Steven Gerrard’s free-kick. But it was very nasty when he planted his studs into Sylvain Distin’s heel from behind, and escaped any punishment. And to complete a thoroughly mixed performance he was robbed of a legitimate winner in injury time by a suspiciously late offside decision.
QPR too were struck by the offside curse when Arsenal’s late winner was allowed to stand. As Olivier Giroud headed on goal Mikel Arteta stood blatantly offside, but came back to force the rebound into the net, with the linesman’s flag inexplicably staying down.
Carlos Tevez is Manchester City. The Argentine made the difference for the champions again as City edged Swansea 1-0. Tevez was given a yard of space outside the area and he obliged by unleashing a scorcher that dipped into the very bottom corner.
Two golazos lit up a surprise six-goal thriller between Reading and Fulham. Mikele Leigertwood sparked a sensational encounter with a picturesque first-time curler that rose to settle into the very top corner. Bryan Ruiz then set his sights and cracked a stunner into the roof of the net.
Ivan Ramis helped Wigan to victory with a volley hit directly from a corner kick. The defender netted his first ever Premier League goal when he met the ball perfectly and it flew past the keeper.
An anomaly occurred when three players of the same name were involved in the turning point for Norwich’s draw at Aston Villa. Ryan Bennett passed to Eliot Bennett, who was hauled down by Joseph Bennett for a second bookable offense, handing the initiative to the visitors.
Stephane M’Bia did QPR no favors with a moment of madness to reduce his side to ten men. He had gone down after a 50-50 challenge with Thomas Vermaelen, then inexplicably lashed out two kicks that caught the Arsenal defender and gave referee Anthony Taylor no choice but to show red. Five minutes later it was 1-0.
Gareth Bale produced a fine goal against his former side, rising with a crisp, precise header across the goalkeeper in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Southampton.
Manchester United 3 – 1 Arsenal. With United in top form, stuttering Arsenal will struggle at Old Trafford.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Newcastle, with Suarez in the spotlight for the right reasons.
Swansea 1 – 1 Chelsea, with a late equalizer pinning back the Blues.
West Ham 1 – 4 Manchester City, as Aguero is back on the scoresheet.
How I did last week: 2 for 4. Arsenal edged QPR as predicted and Manchester City beat Swansea. But United found a win at Chelsea and Liverpool were not undone at Everton.
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