Premier League Top 5: Midweek Madness

An unusual match schedule gave way to some unusual and incredible happenings in the Premier League this week, and Soccer365′s Charles Brody breaks down the Top 5…

#5 – Chelsea were held to a frustrating goalless draw with West Ham, but Samuel Eto’o tried to pull a fast one in a truly bizarre incident late on. Hammers goalkeeper Adrian had placed the ball on the turf and turned his back, when the Cameroonian raced into the box to fire home, sure he had grabbed a vital goal, only to discover that referee Neil Swarbrick had already blown for a free-kick.

#4 – Diego Lugano, having scored last week, produced a string of astonishingly poor moments in West Brom’s heartbreaking 4-3 defeat at Aston Villa. The Uruguayan’s backwards header let in the opener, then he missed a glaringly free header, gave away the winning penalty, and was booked for a rather lame dive as his side squandered another 2-0 lead.

#3 – Daniel Sturridge put on a inexplicably two-sided performance in Liverpool’s comfortable win in the Merseyside Derby. He scored two beautifully clinical goals within two first-half minutes (the second an audacious lob), but it was a different story in the second half as he managed to launch his penalty kick over the bar, and dallied late on instead of finishing off a simple move.

#2 – Red cards galore! Danny Rose was harshly sent off for Tottenham despite getting the ball with his last-gasp challenge, Steven Nzonzi was sent off for Stoke, and Mathieu Flamini’s two-footed lunge reduced Arsenal to ten men and condemned them to settle for a draw. But the craziest match of the weekend was Newcastle’s visit to Norwich, where in addition to the woodwork being hit four times, Bradley Johnson and Loic Remy were issued simultaneous red cards for squaring up to one another and aggressively bucking heads.

#1 – Sergio Aguero had a mad 40 minutes in Manchester City’s resounding 5-1 victory at Tottenham that took them to the top of the table. A deft finish made him the 5th fastest player to 50 Premier League goals, and could have had more but for the post and a brilliant reflex stop by Hugo Lloris. But City, who seem more likely than ever now to claim the title, were dealt a blow when the Argentine had to be subbed off for an apparent hamstring injury. The maddest thing of all is that they might not even need their star striker to lift the trophy come season’s end.

Brody Predicts:
Stoke 1 – 2 Manchester United, the returning Rooney involved.
West Brom 2 – 2 Liverpool, who face a stern test at the Hawthorns
Arsenal 3 – 1 Crystal Palace, who can’t keep up with Cazorla and co.
Manchester City 2 – 1 Chelsea, the Citizens simply too good for the opposition.
How I did last time: 4 for 4. Predicted Arsenal’s draw and goals by Suarez and Aguero.

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