Happy Monday to one and all, after a weekend that saw clubs festively playing out scoreless draws and the big 4 all charitably drawing, to leave the top 3 unchanged.
Gareth Southgate’s record against Arsenal in his 2 and a bit years of management has been excellent, drawing 3 games and winning one. The early kickoff at the
Villa's great win over a slugging Bolton took them to 4th in the table, after an excellent performance from both sides. Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor both proved to be virtually unplayable, while Villa's midfield purred under the direction of Gareth Barry. The pick of the goals has to be Agbonlahor's, collecting a long ball and smashing home like he didn't care.
A triumvirate of thumpings were dealt out by Sunderland, Wigan and Newcastle, over the pummelled West Brom,
In other games, Stoke had a thrilling encounter with Fulham, which ended 0-0 and Manchester City's slide down the table continued, after a strikerless Everton side scored in injury time. West Ham's Craig Bellamy scored the first goal in a decent encounter at Stamford Bridge, but the Hammers couldn't do anything about Anelka's reply, although they held on for a very creditable draw.
Goal of the Week
It has to be Heskey's effort, even if he didn't mean it. The big striker, whose ball control has been likened to a Disney character on frozen water in the past, touched in a nice cross from Zaki with a flick behind his standing leg.
Game of the Week – Liverpool vs
An exhilarating contest at Anfield ended with Liverpool and
Player of the Week – Gabriel Agbonlahor
Perhaps inspired by team-mate Ashley Young's recognition in the same category last weekend, Agbonlahor produced a dazzling display to help Aston Villa come from behind and claim a 4-2 victory over
Hero of the Week
Martin O'Neill's men really showed what they can do on Saturday, with an absolutely beautiful attacking display against a pretty well organised Bolton team. In moving up into 4th, ahead of Arsenal, Villa really showed what they are made of and what they can potentially achieve this season, when Arsenal may not be at their best.
Zero of the Week
John Pantsil's hilarious panto dive takes the biscuit here. After an ill-advised contretemps with Yardie striker Ricardo Fuller, where foreheads were homoerotically rubbed, Pantsil went down like he'd been helicoptered by John Holmes. Fuller's reaction was priceless - a combination of malice, confusion and disdain.
Petulance of the Week
Ronaldo's silly little kick on Dawson deserved a card and players have been sent off for much less, even though Ronnie wanted big hugs to say sorry afterwards.