Nothing beats derby day as Lukaku, Suarez and Sturridge shine on
It is very rare that a local derby in the Premier League is a disappointing occasion and this Saturday’s early kick off was no exception. Liverpool made the very short trip to Goodison Park to face local rivals Everton in a fixture that divides Merseyside.
The game started as it meant to go on as Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool in front after just five minutes but the home side were quick to respond equalising three minutes later through Kevin Mirallas.
Luis Suarez is never one to miss out on the action this season, he put Liverpool into the lead with a free kick from 25 yards after just 19 minutes. Everton could have been down to 10 men after half an hour when Mirallas was lucky to see just a yellow card for his studs up, knee high challenge on Suarez.
The second half would feature no less drama. Romanuel Lukaku, who has been in fine form since his loan move from Chelsea in the summer, equalised and then put the Toffees into the lead in the 82nd minute. That’s his 7th goal in 8 games for Everton.
But the goal scoring was not finished. Daniel Sturridge, the last of the inform to not make his mark on the game, came off the bench and rescued a point for the Reds with a superb header.
Exciting, passionate, frantic, dramatic and marvellous advert for the Premier League.
Great Scott! Parker discovers that there’s another goal at the other end of the field
To watch Scott Parker play for Tottenham Hotspur was to watch a player who simply did not understand that a football pitch features two goals. Always a hard worker, always a fan favourite, but never a goal scorer. Rarely was he ever even a shot taker in his two years at Spurs.
But this weekend the 33 year old midfield talisman found the net for the first time since August 2011, when he scored for West Ham, and he meant. He definitely meant it. Didn’t he? No. He can’t have meant it.
Parker, looking to place a cross back into the danger zone, watched in awe along with the rest of the ground, as the ball arch and dipped and left Michel Vorm standing, and sailed into the net.
If he meant it was a finish that Messi would have been proud of. It wasn’t enough for Fulham though, they slumped to another defeat at home 2-1 to Swansea putting more pressure on manager Martin Jol.
Artur’s season has taken a slight dip
Southampton’s defence was a surprise to everyone at the start of the season. They kept six clean sheets in their first nine Premier League games and the Saints keeper Artur Boruc was one of the stars of the stars of the show. However, recently things have not been so rosy for the Polish keeper.
At the start of this month he was beaten in the first minute by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and this weekend he will be making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Boruc is a man known better for his saves then his quick feet and sharp turns and this is clearly something he set out to change in 22nd minute at the Emirates stadium. With Olivier Giroud closing him down Artur took the opportunity to show the world his silky skills.
It didn’t quite go as planned. He dummed a clearance, which lead to the ball getting trapped in his feet, he tried to backheel it out for a throw in, he missed the ball, he even tried a Cruyff turn, under pressure from Giroud he fell over leaving the Frenchman to tap in his 7th goal of the season.
It’s the first time since April that Southampton have conceded more than one goal in a league game. I dare say Artur will be promptly clearing his lines next week against Chelsea.
The Pulis effect
On they day they appointed Tony Pulis as their new manager ten man Crystal Palace claimed only their second win of this season with a 1-0 win at Hull City.
Barry Bannan’s late goal was enough to take all three points from the KC Stadium and lift Palace off the bottom of the table on goal difference.
There’s a long, long way to go for Palace but every little will help in the fight for survival at the bottom.
A tale of two Cities
So far this season you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that the Manchester City side that play at the Etihad and the side that travel are completely different clubs. City have six wins from six at home and have bagged an impressive 26 goals in that time, helped by this weekend’s 6-0 thrashing of Spurs.
The home side were ahead after just 14 seconds through Jesus Navas and added two more goals before half time before completing Spurs’ misery with three more in the second half.
It is no doubt that this is the home form of Champions but to threaten this season Manuel Pellegrini’s side will have to show that flair away from home. So far this season City have four defeats on the road, one draw and just one win.
Spurs have lost that spark
Tottenham haven’t impressed anyone this season. They have scored only nine goals this season, only the two sides at the bottom of the league, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, have scored less.
Big money signings such as Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela, who cost a combined total of £51.8m, are yet to show any real promise while Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor are yet to score in the league this season.
At the start of the season the only thing Spurs had going for them was an impressive defensive record keeping seven clean sheets in their first ten. However this weekend’s thrashing at the hands of Manchester City showed that they will have to up their game if they are going to even consider challenging for Champions League qualification.
Spurs will have to recover from this weekend quickly though, they welcome Manchester United to White Hart Lane next week.
Follow Alex Meakin on Twitter @Alexsimonmeakin