The most memorable plays are not always the best plays and Soccer365’s Charles Brody looks at 5 moments that lacked the brilliance usually associated with the English Premier League.
#5 Chris Smalling must be mightily relieved that his miss didn’t matter. Manchester United’s improved form of late continued with a win against Swansea, but no thanks to the defender who managed to launch his volley over the bar despite being picked out all by himself in the six-yard box.
#4 Ryan Shawcross will be very disappointed indeed with the role he played in Liverpool’s first two goals at Stoke. Raheem Sterling’s effort was heading wide after just five minutes, but Shawcross couldn’t get out of the way and his heavy deflection sent the ball in past a wrong-footed Jack Butland. The defender did his shot-stopper no favors again when his backwards header allowed Luis Suarez to easily round the onrushing keeper and slot in.
#3 Fulham expected more from Dimitar Berbatov. The floundering Cottagers may well have walked away smiling from the match at home to Sunderland, but the Bulgarian squandered two great chances in the first ten minutes, opening the door for Adam Johnson to steal the show. Looking far from the clinical finisher he once was for Fulham, he nodded straight into the turf and then sent the ball lamely wide when the goal was gaping.
#2 Referee Mike Jones has some explaining to do. In a decision that rightly infuriated the St. James’ Park faithful, the referee chalked off Cheik Tiote’s stunning equalizer against Manchester City for a mysterious offside. Yes, Yoan Gouffran was in an offside position, but he was far from Joe Hart’s line of sight, and did not touch the ball as it rocketed in off Tiote’s boot from well outside the area. Football fans were robbed, but City should thank their lucky stars.
#1 Jason Puncheon’s penalty miss was THE shocking moment of the weekend. Poised to give Crystal Palace a deserved lead at Tottenham, the 27-year-old stepped up to convert from 12 yards out, and instead produced an almighty mis-kick, skewing the ball off the side of his foot to send it miles high and wide of the target. You’re welcome, Spurs!
Arsenal 3 – 0 Fulham, as the sorry Cottagers continue to slide.
Manchester City 4 – 1 Cardiff, who can’t keep pace at the Etihad.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Aston Villa, Suarez and Benteke running the show.
Chelsea 2 – 1 Manchester United, a massive fixture that the Blues are far more prepared for.
How I did last time: 4 for 4. Predicted Arsenal’s win exactly, as well as victories by the big names.