Via SoccerSTL.net correspondent JP Thompson – Welcome back to the week 22 EPL Report. I hope everyone’s holidays went great. I didn’t get to watch many games but did keep up with the highlights. Lets jump right into the review.
The week started with Fulham getting a surprise win at West Brom. Berbatov got the goal scoring started in the 39th minute with a shot that should have been saved but wasn’t. Chelsea loan man Lukaku pulled West Brom even with a tap in after Marco Fortune did great work to keep the ball get it to Jones who found Lukaku all alone in front of goal. But Fulham took back the lead against the run of play when Bryan Ruiz played a delightful ball down the middle to Kacaniklic who did well to hold onto the ball and slide it past the keeper. The game ended 2-1 and Fulham picked up a huge victory to start the New Year.
Manchester United traveled to Wigan and handled them easily behind braces from Chicharito and RVP. Tottenham also took care of business against reading with a convincing 3-1 victory. Arsenal had a match against Southampton but it appeared no one told them about it. Southampton controlled what little control of the game there was and Arsenal snuck away with a point coming from an own goal in the 41st minute.
On Sunday someone forgot to tell Chelsea they had a game as well when they played host to QPR. The bottom of the table squad has shown some flashes of class since putting Harry Redknapp as at the helm. Chelsea were lucky to not be down to 10 min as Marko Marin made a nasty tackle that should have been a red in the 4th minute. The game stayed quite till the 78th minute when QPR corner was not cleared properly and former Chelsea man Shawn Wright-Phillips hit a worm burner into the bottom corner to give QPR their second win of the campaign.
Newcastle playing without Demba Ba as he made his move to Chelsea that morning got an early lead as Papiss Cisse got behind the defenses in the 2nd minute and was able to beat Tim Howard but that would not hold for Newcastle. Leighton Baines scored one of the best free kicks I have seen as he smashed a free kick in the 43rd from 30 yards out. Anicehebe got the lead for Everton just before the hour mark as he slide in to latch onto a cross and into the net.
6:30 AM on ESPN2/3 – QPR vs Tottenham. QPR look to win back to back games for the first time this year while Tottenham look to hold onto third place. Tottenham should win easily.
9:00 AM on FSC – Norwich vs Newcastle. Norwich look to get into the top 10 with a win while Newcastle look to right their ship. I have Newcastle winning but this one will be very close.
9:00 AM on ESPN3 – Stoke vs Chelsea. Chelsea will look to make up for their slip up at home last week. I feel Chelsea will show up on top.
7:30 AM on FSC – Man U vs Liverpool. Liverpool has played up to their competition levels this year but I don’t think they can match the level of Man U for this game.
10:00 AM on FSC – Arsenal vs Man City. Not really sure how this is going to turn out. City have been top class this year in the EPL. Arsenal have as well at times but there lows have been very low. Which teams show up will dictate who wins but either way I feel it will be a quality game to watch