This weekend’s Premier League games demonstrated the good, bad and the ugly side of the top flight.

Latics demonstrated a mixture of all three during their outing at Ewood Park. The football played was attractive, even if it didn’t yield a positive result, it could have easily earned three points in another game due to Wigan’s dominance.

The bad side was shown by not just Latics’ inability to win a game they controlled, but by some woeful refereeing decisions.

Sam Allardyce’s tactics hardly do him any favours in the ‘dirty teams’ debate, and those tactics were on show again on Saturday as a number of Blackburn fouls went unpunished by the referee Kevin Friend. Jordi Gomez, already the victim of one terrible tackle this season, was the victim on numerous occasions as he was hacked down.

Mr Friend then baffled the Latics largeCharles N'Zogbia BRFC vs WAFC away following when he disallowed Charles N’Zogbia’s seemingly legitimate opening goal. He was penalised for a ‘foul’ on a Rovers defender before he poked past Paul Robinson. It was a pathetic decision and if fouls are that easy to concede, then forty penalties should be given out each game, if referees are to be consistent. In contrast, isn’t it strange how defenders are allowed to commit GBH on a striker when defending a set-piece, yet a foul is given for a petty push?

Blackburn took the lead when Morten Gamst Pedersen’s deep free-kick beat Ali Al-Habsi to make it 1-0 to the home side. Former Latic Jason Roberts’ expert finish off his shin made it 2-0, his lack of celebration gained much respect from the Wigan fans. Charles N’Zogbia’s inspired free-kick then made it interesting at 2-1, yet Wigan couldn’t find enough attacking prowess for an equaliser that they would have deserved.

Earlier that day in the North West, Bolton shocked Inter Milan destroyers Tottenham at the Reebok. This is the second time Spurs have suffered a ‘Champions League hangover’ after being beaten by a certain team from Wigan after thrashing BSC Young Boys in the week.

Spurs’ performance was riddled with errors and Bolton made them pay on 31 minutes as international striker Kevin Davies struck home the opener after Sandro was caught in possession. Gretar Steinsson made it 2-0 with a sweet strike just after the break, Kevin Davies then seemingly made the game save with an expertly taken penalty.

Tottenham then scored two excellent goals to set up an interesting finale, Alan Hutton first curled in a beauty of a left foot curler, before substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko smashed home for 3-2.

As Spurs attacked, Bolton hit them on the counter attack as Kevin Davies nodded into the path of Bulgarian Martin Petrov, who raced clear and knocked the ball past Gomes to seal the points. It was an excellent game full of pace, goals and action; the only downside was the Bolton win.Martin Petrov BWFC vs THFC

Considering Inter Milan are the European champions, and Spurs beat them; then Bolton beat Spurs, Liverpool beforehand beat Bolton and Northampton beat Liverpool; doesn’t that make Northampton the best team in Europe?

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Liverpool shocked Chelsea by showing us what they’re made of by beating the Londoners 2-0 at Anfield. Fernando Torres’ two excellent finishes were the difference between the teams and showed us why he’s valued so highly by so many. The sky cameras then zoomed in on the on-looking Joe Cole who was stood with a smug smile on his face to greet his ex-teammates second defeat of the season.

Yet that wasn’t the only shock result of the weekend, Newcastle visited Arsenal with little hope of getting a result, yet their emphatic derby day win against Sunderland seemed to give them great optimism as they beat Arsenal with a 1-0 scoreline. The impressive Andy Carroll scored the winner with a trademark header past Fabianski to delight the travelling faithful. This goal then led to the fast becoming cliche ‘as England manager Fabio Capello watched’ yet I swear he is at every Premier League game, as impossible as that sounds.

At the Hawthorns, we were shown the good, the bad and the ugly by one singular player as Manchester City and trouble maker Mario Balotelli rolled into town. The summer import from Inter Milan showed us his undoubted ability to match his huge price tag by bagging the only two goals of the game in a City victory. Yet he also showed us why he is branded a ‘bad boy’ with a nasty stamp on Youssouf Mulumbu which saw him rightly sent off. Mulumbu himself was later given his second yellow card as both teams ended up with ten men. City ended up running out as 2-0 winners.


6th November 2010
Bolton Wanderers 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Blackpool 2-2 Everton
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Manchester United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Fulham 1-1 Aston Villa
Sunderland 2-0 Stoke City
Birmingham City 2-2 West Ham United
7th November 2010
Arsenal 0-1 Newcastle United
West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Manchester City
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

The Duke’s…

Goal of the Weekend: Alan Hutton’s brilliant strike after checking inside onto his left foot , Bolton vs Tottenham

Blunder of the Weekend: Martin Atkinson’s inability to spot Lee Cattermole’s blatant handball on the goal line, Sunderland vs Stoke

Save of the Weekend: Ben Foster to deny Carlton Cole, Birmingham vs West Ham

This week’s teaser: How many goals has Jason Roberts scored in Wigan vs Blackburn fixtures, and how many for each team?