On a weekend in which almost every ground in the country marked the sad passing of football legend George Best on Friday 25th November, some stirringly exciting football served as a fitting marker to his memory.
Saturday saw Arsenal, as predicted, prove too strong for Blackburn Rovers and were worth their 3-0 victory. Aston Villa did very well to earn their second consecutive victory and hand visitors Charlton Athletic their second consecutive defeat; Manchester City should have beaten Liverpool but stuttered again and lost 0-1; whilst Sunderland lost the basement battle with Birmingham 0-1 and are starting to look doomed already.
The game of the day saw Wigan Athletic fall from second place, just being shaded 1-2 by an invigorated Tottenham Hotspur, whilst runaway leaders Chelsea had an easy evening’s work brushing aside managerless Portsmouth 0-2.
Sunday offered a veritable marathon of football spanning almost six hours, starting with Everton v Newcastle United, which most years you’d fancy Everton to win and indeed they did, turning round their recent poor run with a 1-0 win over the subdued Geordies. Fulham were impressive against Bolton Wanderers, winning 2-1 thanks to two goals from American striker Brian McBride.
Steve McClaren’s Middlesbrough were severely tested by Bryan Robson’s West Bromwich Albion and were relieved to finish 2-2. Manchester United’s moving appearance at West Ham ended happily for the Red Devils, winning 1-2 thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney and John O’Shea after going behind in the first minute.
A good weekend for Chelsea, United, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Everton but bad news for Wigan, Bolton, Man City, West Ham and Charlton, who all tumble down the current Premiership League table.