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October 18, 2011

Around the English Premier League - Round 8

Manchester City snatched the first place from Manchester United, which the defending champion could get back next Sunday during the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.

By Andrew Hill

On Saturday the leader of the Premier League, Manchester United, visited No. 5 Liverpool with an eye on their UEFA Champions League confrontation on October 18, at Romania against Otelul Galati. This was the reason why in England’s oldest rivalry Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t come out with three of his key players in the starting 11: Wayne Rooney, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and Nani.

In the first half the Reds could have taken the lead if Luis Suarez’s shot hadn’t been blocked by goalkeeper David de Gea. It was going to be Steven Gerrard who was going to open the score and give the home team lead through a free kick at minute 68.

Down by one, Ferguson was forced to immediately send in Rooney and Nani for Ashley Young and Ji-Sung Park to look for the equalizer. But it was going to be Chicharito, who substituted Phil Jones at minute 76, who was going to even the score with 9 minutes to go in the game, through a cross ball from Nani that he headed to the back of the ‘Pepe’ Reina’s goal.

The Red Devils where able to save one point on their visit to Anfield Road, but not the first place, which Manchester City was going to snatch from them that evening with its 4-1 victory against Aston Villa.

Chicharito saves one point at Anfield Road.

At Etihad Stadium the Citizens went to halftime with a one goal lead thanks to Mario Balotelli, and early in the second half added two more goals through Adam Johnson and Vincent Kompany. At minute 65 Stephen Warnock got to discount in effort to put the Villans back in the game, but their aspirations were buried by James Milner just six minutes later, when he signed the fourth goal of the evening and sealed the 4-1 victory.

Next Sunday the Citizens will defend their No. 1 against the Red Devils in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford. A victory from Manchester United would give them the first place in the standings again, as they would reach 23 points, one more than the 22 that Manchester City currently has.

No. 3 Chelsea received Everton on Saturday as well, in a game where a victory was very important to keep on adding pressure to the teams from Manchester occupying the top seats.

Despite having dominated most of the first half the Toffess suffered two goals from Daniel Sturridge and John Terry, which allowed the Blues to take control of the game in the second half. At minute 62 Ramires added one more, giving the hosts a comfortable three goal lead, which was going to be reduced to two with 9 minutes to go, when Apostolos Vellios scored the discount for the visitors.

Robin Van Persie came to coach Arsene Wenger’s rescue with two goals that allowed Arsenal to win its third game of the season against Sunderland by 2-1, and climb to the tenth position of the Premier League with 10 points. The bad results suffered in this early season have feed the rumors about the French coach’s possible exit from Emirates Stadium after 15 years in charge, but he is confident in the potential and good mentality of his players to revert this situation.

Newcastle 2 – Tottenham 2, Wet Bromwich 2 – Wolverhapton 0, Wigan 1 – Bolton 3, Stoke City 2 – Fulham 0, Queens Park 1 – Blackburn 1, and Norwich 3 – Swansea 1 completed matchday 8 in the Premier League.

About the Author
When it comes to sports, Andrew Hill translates his passion into truthful and objective information of interest for the sports betting industry. As of today he specializes in the coverage of European soccer and NCAA basketball for BetIAS’ website.

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