This weekend’s talking points in the Barclays Premier League

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC

There’s only one place to start this week…..

Five star Liverpool trash sorry Arsenal

Many fans were expecting an evenly matched game top of the league Arsenal made the long trip to Champions League challengers Liverpool. Evenly matched it certainly was not.

Martin Skrtel headed Liverpool into the lead in the first minute of the game and the defender added a second on the 10 minute mark. With Arsenal shellshocked by the whirlwind start made by the home side they could only watch as Raheem Sterling added a third for the reds with just 16 minutes gone.

The early goal scoring had not finished though, Philippe Coutinho’s defence splitting pass found Daniel Sturridge who calmly finished to make it 4-0 after just 20 minutes. Sterling added another after halftime before Mikel Arteta scored a consolation penalty.

The Gunners were a shadow of the team that has spent so long at the top of the Premier League. Arsene Wenger’s side were poor in possession, lacked discipline in defence and toothless coming forward while Liverpool showed the flair that has been so typical of their games at Anfield this season.

Arsenal’s trip to Anfield marked the start of a difficult run of fixtures for the club during which they will have to prove they’ve got what it takes to win the league. The run did not get off to the best start as the Gunners slip to second in the table.

Liverpool had won just one of their last 13 Premier League games against Arsenal before Saturday’s game.

Man City draw another blank

Many Norwich fans were fearing Saturday’s visit of Manchester City, and for good reason. During the last six games the Canaries have played against City the sky blues have scored 37 goals, an average of 6.1 goals a game.

On top of that City were looking to bounce back after their first home defeat of the season against Chelsea on Monday night. All things considered the omens did not look good for Chris Hughton’s side.

But when it came to the full time whistle Norwich had kept a clean sheet and claimed a point a in a 0-0 draw against the frustrated title contenders. It’s the first time that Manchester City haven’t scored in two consecutive Premier League games since January 2012.

The absence of City’s injured star striker Sergio Aguero is starting to take it’s toll on Manuel Pellegrini’s side. The Argentine is currently the club top scorer in the Premier League.

Hazard’s hattrick eases Chelsea past the Toon

With Arsenal losing and Man City dropping points Chelsea made no mistakes on Saturday at home to Newcastle. Eden Hazard was the star of the show as he scored an impressive hat trick to send Jose Mourinho’s side to the top of the table.

The 23 year old Belgium scored two in the first half before completing his hat trick from the penalty spot after Samuel Eto’o was fouled in the penalty area.

The top of the Barclays Premier League table now reads as follows:

1. Chelsea (56 points)

2. Arsenal (55 points)

3. Manchester City (54 points)

Swansea shine in the South Wales derby

There was only one winner as bitter Welsh rivals Swansea and Cardiff faced each other on Saturday night. After Michael Laudrup’s dismissal in the week all eyes were on Swansea’s caretaker manager Garry Monk going into the game.

Wayne Routledge opened the scoring for Swansea just after halftime and the shortest man on the pitch, 5 foot 4 Nathan Dyer, headed in the home side’s second. Wilfried Bony scored Swansea’s third with 5 minutes to go to make the points safe and secure the local bragging rights for the Swans.

Last minute woe for Manchester United

It feels like every week this season I find myself writing about the misery at Manchester United and desperately trying to think of an original introduction.

When United bought Juan Mata and comfortably defeat Cardiff at the end of January many thought that the side’s season had turned a corner. They looked with excitement to the follow week when they faced Stoke with Rooney, Van Persie and Mata all playing together for the first time.

The result from the Britannia was another defeat for David Moyes men who hoped they could get their season back on track this weekend at home against bottom of the table Fulham. The game should have been a routine win for the current Champions but that wasn’t to be the case on Sunday afternoon.

Fulham’s Steve Sidwell gave his side the lead after 19 minutes. After that the visitors bulked up their defence and tried to weather out the United storm hoping they could hold on to what could be a vital three points in their hunt for survival.

It was all going so well for the visitors until the 79th minute when Robin Van Persie finally found the equaliser that United had been threatening since Fulham took the lead. Things got better for the home side 90 seconds later when Michael Carrick fired them into the lead.

A United win looked a certainty, they had taken a late lead after creating chances all game and were certain to claim the points. But Premier League football is just not that predictable. In the final minute of stoppage time Darren Bent’s header spoilt the Old Trafford party and snatched a point for Fulham, 2-2 the final score.

The result means more frustration for United fans, their team is now seventh in the league, 15 points off top and nine points away from those all important Champions League places.

Spurs edge Everton

With fourth place Liverpool winning on Saturday the pressure was on both sides when sixth place Tottenham played fifth place Everton in the quest to qualify for the Champions League.

Spurs ran out winners at White Hart Lane, Emmanuel Adebayor continued his fine run of form under Tim Sherwood to score the only goal of the game.

The result means that Spurs are now fifth three points behind Liverpool while Everton are sixth, two points off Spurs.