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All Things Footie | Monday, October 29 | Jordan

The Premiership (online edition)

Chelsea scramble a draw with Derby, Sunderland scramble a draw with Arsenal, Villa top the table, Fulham finally pick up their second win of the season and United only pick up a point, better than they did last week anyway...

It's some kind of miracle that Sunderland managed a point on Saturday (they call him Stefan Schwarz I think). Arsenal were undone—not for the first time—by a poorly missed penalty, unusually from the otherwise superb Patrick Vieira. Another perfectly legitimate penalty was also denied (although penalty=goal is a questionable assumption), for the first time in a while Arsenal were saved by an excellent offside decision—ruling out a Sunderland goal in the last few minutes.

Trusty Steed

Amazingly (not if you read my season preview) Fulham picked up only their second win of the season on Saturday against a poor Southampton side. Steed Malbranque was excellent and combined running the midfield with scoring both Fulhams goals—even if the first was just a tap in. I just love that headline.

Man Utd vs. Leeds was meant to be the showpiece game of the weekend and it didn't disappoint to a great degree. Robbie Keane should have been sent off in my opinion (either that or Paul Ince should have his red card rescinded), and David Beckham finally put in an England class performance for United. Rio Ferdinand and Dominic Matteo put in superb performances for Leeds, but I have to say something about the Van Nistelrooy best striker in Europe claim from Sir Alex. Raul, Michael Owen, Thierry Henry, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Gabriel Batistuta, Francesco Totti... the list goes on of strikers more worthy—both through statistics and performances—than RVN right now. He has a long way to go before he is even close to any of the above.

NOTE I've just learned that United/Leeds referee Dermot Gallagher will be relegated for not sending Keane off against United. Full Story Here. I would like to know exactly what action is going to be taken against Steve Bennett—referee of the Derby/Chelsea game yesterday—Marcel Desailly and Ravanelli both raised hands and only Ravanelli was even booked.

The Boy Is Back

And what better way to announce your return than to carry on as before. A superb goal and the indignity of being flagged offside when he was in his own half topped an efficient, if not spectacular win for Liverpool. Gerrard Houllier must be shaking in his hospital bad with the red's stringing together result after result and with Jamie Redknapp returning to fitness (but for how long....)—strength to strength springs to mind.

Derby certainly gave Chelsea a scare yesterday, only a typically emphatic scorcher from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saved Chelsea's skins—minutes after Fabrizio Ravanelli should have put Derby 2 up. Both teams could legitimately claim to have deserved three points, a string of fine saves from Mart Poom and Mark Bosnich kept their respective sides in the game.

Lofty Villa

In a move that's almost more unlikely than Bolton being top, Aston Villa are now looking down on the rest of the Premiership after a somewhat fortunate win over lively Bolton. Once again Michael Ricketts scored a brace and Bolton were a bit unlucky to get nothing from the game—a very dodgy penalty separating the two.

Good wins for West Ham (over Ipswich) Newcastle (over Everton) and Spurs (Middlesborough) made up the fixtures, with only the routine thrashing of Leicester to come tonight.

Here we go...

Performace of the week : Leeds vs Man Utd
Player of the week : David Beckham (Man Utd)
Goal of the week : Stefan Schwarz (Sunderland vs Arsenal)
Team of the week :
Mart Poom
Derby
Andy O'Brien
Newcastle
Rio Ferdinand
Leeds
Dominic Matteo
Leeds
Nigel Winterburn
West Ham
David Beckham
Man Utd
Gavin McCann
Sunderland
Steed Malbranque
Fulham
Juan Pablo Angel
Aston Villa
Nwankwo Kanu
Arsenal
Michael Ricketts
Bolton

What do you think? Owen should have been in? Bosnich better than Poom? Vieira deserved a place? Just leave your message by clicking on ‘have your say’ below (it will ahve changed to ‘x comment(s)’ if someone has already mouthed off!

NEWSFLASH : any Newcastle fans may be interested to know that Laurent Robert and Andy Griffin have had a fight on the training ground. Big Bobby is not impressed.

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