This week’s round of fixtures in the most exciting Premiership season for years produced some surprising results, starting with the early Saturday victory by new boys Wigan, now up to 6th thanks to another Jason Roberts goal, over a still stuttering Newcastle United who drop to 13th and must be feeling their season is already one of recovery – and we’re only at the quarter season mark.
In the main group of Saturday afternoon matches, Premiership leaders Chelsea thrashed the previously highflying Bolton 5-1, but only after being a goal behind at half time. Manchester United advance to third after a relatively straightforward victory over a spirited Sunderland side that are better than their current position implies.
Liverpool had the best of the Northwest derby against Blackburn but both teams remain wedged in midtable. Portsmouth were as pleased as Middlesborough disappointed after their routine draw; the impressive Spurs deepened Everton‘s mystifyingly poor start and climbed to second place; and West Brom, whose only dream is avoiding relegation, continued playing out of their skins for manager Bryan Robson and beat an out-of-sorts and injury stricken Arsenal.
The Sunday lunchtime Midlands derby made history as Aston Villa earned their first ever Premiership victory over neighbours Birmingham whilst the later game saw much-improved-under-manager-Stuart-Pearce Manchester City just best the always positive West Ham United thanks to two goals by the much-travelled Andy Cole on his 34th birthday.
All in all, another good week for reigning champions Chelsea, who lead the table by nine points after nine consecutive victories; the two Manchester teams, United and City, who are third and fourth respectively; Tottenham, who make it a London 1-2 at the top of table; and Wigan, who were playing non-League football only twenty-seven years ago and now are up to sixth in the Premiership.
Week 9 Results
Saturday 15th October 2005>
Chelsea 5 Bolton Wanderers 1
Liverpool 1 Blackburn Rovers 0
Middlesbrough 1 Portsmouth 1
Sunderland 1 Manchester United 3
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Everton 0
West Bromwich Albion 2 Arsenal 1
Wigan Athletic 1 Newcastle United 0
Sunday 16th October 2005
Birmingham 0 Aston Villa 1
Manchester City 2 West Ham United 1
Monday 17th October 2005
Charlton Athletic 1 Fulham 1
The current Premier League table can be seen here.