It's like Match of the Day, but with stickmen
The race for the Premier League was blown well and truly open thanks to the performance of the week from Sunderland, who trounced current champions and league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan looks to be settling in nicely, scoring another goal – his fourth in three games. But his celebration makes Uruguayan Luis Suarez’s World Cup handball look like a humanitarian act, especially if Bolo Zenden tries to join in.
Nedum Onuoha started the rout with a spectacular solo effort silencing the home crowd – but let’s be honest, that’s fairly easy to do at Stamford Bridge: those strategically placed flags aren’t fooling anyone. And just to rub salt in the wounds, the Black Cats’ third and final goal was gifted to Danny Welbeck by celebrity divorcee and respected author Ashley Cole.
Another Ashley fared better at Villa Park, Mr Young scoring a penalty for Aston Villa against Manchester United. Have you ever noticed how a penalty can either be brilliant or rubbish depending on whether or not it hits the back of the net or not?
This wasn’t the greatest of penalties but it had Andy Townsend describing it as “emphatic”. Perhaps Andy breathed in too many fumes in his old Tactics Truck, because if Edwin van der Sar had moved to his right instead of his left, Townsend would have said it was an awful kick at a great height for a keeper.
Talking of penalties, Jermaine Jenas take a bow. Usually, Jermaine is one of those players who leaves fans scratching their heads when he is substituted – not because they can’t believe the manager has decided to bring him off, but because they had no idea he was on the field in the first place.
This weekend the Tottenham midfielder became the latest inductee into the Draw Specialist Hall Of Shame, winning a penalty against Blackburn with a dive resembling a drunk tripping over his own shoelaces. But thankfully justice was done when Roman Pavlyuchenko screwed his kick wide of the post. Don’t you just love it when that happens?
And finally, goal of the week was Bolton’s Johan Elmander turning Wolves defenders inside and out, pirouetting like a ballerina, invoking memories of Wanderers’ icon Frank Worthington’s wonder strike against Ipswich back in the days of muddy pitches, Elvis Presley hairstyles, and steak-and-chips pre-match meals. Elmander’s goal had almost everything: smooth ball control, silky moves and a cool finish. All it was missing was a crafty cigarette at half-time.
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