BPL Recap, Highlights: Power Shift In Manchester, Arsenal’s Title Hopes Fade, More

IMAGE, MCFC.CO.UK

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Ever since Manchester City’s infusion of cash, they’ve begun to get on a level playing field as Manchester United.

Now it seems the Citizens have usurped the Red Devils as the best club in the city.

For the first time in 45 years, United has dropped three successive derbies. In the last two with David Moyes in charge, it hasn’t even been close. City were 4-1 winners in September and posted a 3-0 win at Old Trafford during the midweek derby.

From the kickoff, City left no doubt who the better side was. Edin Dzeko scored after just 42 seconds to put the visitors ahead. Samir Nasri‘s shot caromed off the post and Dzeko turned in the rebound.

Dezeko doubled his tally and City’s lead volleying home Nasri’s corner kick in the 56th minute.  Rio Ferdinand was the culprit losing his marker. It’s not the first time Ferdinand has been a liability at the back and his status as a starting center back in the United defense is surely soon to be in jeopardy.

Yaya Toure capped off the night for City, adding the third goal in the 90th minute. Toure found space inside the box and his low curling effort gave United keeper David De Gea no chance.

City are now just three points adrift of Chelsea, but have two games in hand. Man United are left languishing in 7th place in the table.

Other Premier League Results

1. Arsenal’s Title Hopes Continue To Fade After Flamini Own Goal– Arsenal were in need of a big performance and result after being embarrassed by Chelsea. However, aside for one minute of the match, the Gunners were not very good.

The home side were down a goal after 11 minutes. Neil Taylor lofted a cross into the box and Wilfried Bony‘s powerful header from about the penalty spot left Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny rooted.

Arsenal were finally able to produce, scoring two goals within a minute in the second half. Kieran Gibbs drove into the box and he did well to pick out Lukas Podolski, whose first touch was volleyed in.

Podolski then turned provider playing a fantastic low cross to pick out Olivier Giroud to tap in to give the Gunners the lead.

However, the wheels fell off late on. Leon Britton surged into the Arsenal box and it took several deflections into the Arsenal net. Per Mertesacker got a touch on the ball, which then caromed off of a sliding Szczesny and the last touch came off Mathieu Flamini‘s shins for an own goal.

In fairness to Flamini, there wasn’t much he could do about it. However, with the draw, Arsenal are in 4th place with Everton starting to nip at their heels. Swansea get a vital point as they look to avoid relegation. They now sit in 15th place.

2. Liverpool Close Gap At The Top– When watching Liverpool play, there are two things that have become evident. The first is that they will score goals and the second is that their defense is almost never good enough to not allow them. It always makes for great viewing and also has the Reds title-dreaming as they closed the gap on Chelsea to just one point.

With the lion share of possession and scoring opportunities, Steven Gerrard gave the Reds the lead in the 39th minute with a free-kick. Liverpool’s captain sent in an effort that flew into the top corner, beating keeper Vito Mannone.

Daniel Sturridge would double the lead shortly after halftime. In the 48th minute, the English striker’s curling shot took a slight deflection off of Sunderland defender Wes Brown‘s knee, leaving Mannone no chance.

Liverpool’s sloppy defending led to the Sunderland goal. John Flanagan lost track of Ki Sung-Yueng, who headed the ball into the back of the net at the far post from an Adam Johnson corner kick. There were some nervy moments as the game neared a close for the Liverpool defense, but they were able to keep the one goal advantage. For fans of the U.S. National Team, Altidore went 90 minutes but failed to make any sort of impact during the match

3. Newcastle No Problem For Everton– Everton still have hopes for a Top Four finish and easily dispatched of Newcastle.

Ross Barkley gave the Toffees the lead after 22 minutes, with a fantastic solo effort. He picked the ball up in his own half and just kept running with it. Barkley then cut in from the right to the left hand side of the box and fired his shot past keeper Tim Krul.

Everton added a second seven minutes after the halftime interval. Gerard Deulofeu picked out Romelu Lukaku‘s run with a low cross and the young Belgian striker finished from close range.

As the game neared a close, Leon Osman gave the Toffees their third, firing the ball into the top corner from just inside the box.

Everton now sit six points behind Arsenal for 4th and have a game in hand. Newcastle are currently in 8th.

4. Hammers End Losing Streak Against 10-Man Hull– West Ham had lost their three previous matches, but were able to get past a 10-man Hull side.

Hull keeper Allan McGregor received his marching orders after bundling into Mohamed Diame. Mark Noble stepped up to take the spot kick and converted to give the Hammers the lead.

Hull managed to level the match through fortune. Tom Huddlestone‘s free-kick deflected off of Nikica Jelavic and into the net in the 48th minute.

However, more disaster struck for the Tigers as they fell back behind after an own goal. Guy Demel‘s cross hit James Chester‘s knee and looped over the head of Steve Harper to put the Hammers back in front.

Both teams are currently in positions to avoid any relegation danger.

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