This weekend was one of shocks in the Premier League. Big teams, perhaps still dealing with fatigue from the European fixtures, dropped points against teams they would have comfortably beaten otherwise. Every team in the big seven dropped points, all except Arsenal that is!
After Aston Villa went down 0-3 to Arsenal, Liverpool faced West Ham. In a stunning result, the Hammers scored two within the first seven minutes. A reeling Liverpool pulled one back through Sterling, but West Ham scored another late in the game to win 3-1. This was yet another blow to Brendan Rogers’ new look squad, assembled expensively over the summer.
The next day saw Manchester United take on Leicester City in the King Power stadium. In one of the most stunning upsets in recent football history, Leicester came back from 3-1 down to win the game 5-3 in the second half. The comeback was started by a bad decision by referee Mark Clattenburg. He awarded a penalty for the softest of tackles, and once Leicester converted that, there was no stopping them. A goal from veteran Esteban Cambiasso pulled them level and then Jamie Vardy fired them ahead and sent the stadium into raptures. The celebrations were just beginning however; a clearly panicked Tyler Blackett committed a clear foul and was red carded; in addition to giving away the second penalty of the night. Ulloa converted, and then Leicester held on to take the game.
In another fixture, local rivals Tottenham lost at home to a determined West Brom side. The Spurs displayed their usual wastefulness in front of goal and it cost them the three home points.
The big match of the weekend was of course Manchester City against Chelsea. The last time these two teams had met at the Etihad, Chelsea had emerged victorious and for most of this game they employed similar tactics to the last time; solid defending and swift counterattacks. And like last time, they took the lead and looked to be winning until City scored the equaliser late on, through none other than Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. The veteran midfielder made one of his trademark late runs into the box and slotted home from a Milner cross. The Chelsea travelling fans and players were left stunned at this turn of events, especially after the standing ovation they had given Lampard when he had come on.
And in the final fixture, a fatigued Everton side went down to a rampant Crystal Palace. The Toffees rested several players from their midweek win over Wolfsburg, and as a result dropped the points in the Premier League.
So this week, Arsenal profited, and all its major rivals suffered. A win against Southampton midweek and one against the Spurs on the weekend would round off the perfect week for the Gunners.