A split round gave us 6 matches that didn’t cause much change on the standings, but two blasting scores from the Manchester clubs and a new surprise from Wigan.
By Camilla Mancini
This round was split due to the matches Liverpool vs. Everton and Tottenham vs. Chelsea from the FA Cup played between April 14th and 15th. Therefore, those four clubs and their rivals for this round will be meeting in a couple of weeks; meanwhile the other twelve teams had their encounters through Saturday 14th and Monday 16th. The clubs on both ends of the table remain in the same positions, but some did earn necessary points. So, following their games the Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League continue separated by 5 points, since each achieved a nice victory on their last fixture.
Roberto Mancini’s men travelled east on Saturday to visit the Carrow Road Stadium for its second match with Norwich; unfortunately for the Canaries, they had the same luck than on the 1st leg. One more time the Argentineans were responsible of the massacre, which started with the forward Carlos Tévez at 18′, when assisted by David Silva, made a shot from outside the penalty area and scored it -just the first of his hat-trick. The second was a perfect combination between Sergio Aguero and Tevez, who end up back-heeling the ball to his fellow countryman that without hesitations fired it into John Ruddy’s goal. The Sky Blues double lead was kept for the rest of first half and the first 5 minutes of second half, when the Canaries saw an open door and took advantage of it.
At the 51′ the substitute, Andrew Surman, scored all by himself the only goal from his team, which at the moment raised hopes in vain, for within the last 17 minutes of the clash the Citizens placed other four marks. Carlos Tevez scored two of those goals, the first one (73′) arrived when Ruddy blocked a drive from Yaya Toure and the ball flew near the Argentinean, who headed it from inside the box. Then Tevez found the third chance with a low shot that placed in the middle of the goal at the 80th minute; that was the fifth goal for his team, for Aguero by them had scored the fourth (75′). Finally in the very last minute Adam Johnson completed the 6-1 with a sweeping move that sent the ball to the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Red Devils recovered from Wednesday’s Wigan defeat, but again involved with some controversy. A week ago United obtained the lead on the match with QPR through a controversial penalty for a foul on Ashley Young and so it happened again at the Old Trafford against the Villans. The opening on the score sheet from Saturday was achieved through a penalty goal charged by Wayne Rooney, after Young was apparently tripped by Ciaran Clark, who actually had minimal contact with the midfielder. Nevertheless, with or without the penalty, MU would’ve won, for Danny Welbeck scored two minutes before the mid-time break, followed in second half by Wayne’s second (73′) and later by Nani’s last-minute goal.
Also continuing in a victorious path is Wigan, which this time had Arsenal as victim, with two goals in the first 8 minutes of the clash. Although the Gunner Thomas Vermaelen got in the scoring sheet with a headed goal at 21′, he couldn’t do more to beat the goals from Franco Di Santo (7′) and Jordi Goméz (8′). Another winner was Sunderland, which climbed two spots following the draw with Wolves that continue on the bottom of the board. The Swans also managed to climb after triumphing home 3-0 against Blackburn; although they tied in 42 points West Bromwich and Stoke City, the three goals they scored to their visitors gave them an advantage on the Goal Difference.
The other results from Round 34: West Bromwich 1-0 QPR; Sunderland 0-0 Wolves. Postponed for May 1st and 2nd: Liverpool vs. Fulham; Stoke vs. Everton; Chelsea vs. Newcastle; Bolton vs. Tottenham.