Around The Grounds: Week 10 review

By Dan Buxton
Last updated : 26 October 2009

After an exciting tenth week of Premier League action, the table is beginning to take shape. The cream of the crop are rising to the top, while the teams now languishing at the bottom of the league can be pretty sure they've got a long, hard season ahead of them as they fight for their Premier League lives.

One side previously exceeding expectations was Tottenham, and, as a home win against Stoke on Saturday would have taken them joint top, are being backed by many to break the chokehold of the "big four" on the Premier League's summit. Against a well organised and committed Potters side they failed to take their chances though, and ultimately paid the full price, Glenn Whelan's superb 86th minute strike earning his side what will go down as an all-time great result, and a first top-flight win in London since the opening day of the 1981/82 season.

There's no doubt that the headline clash of the weekend came on Sunday when Manchester United visited Liverpool. The away fans mocked their Liverpool counterparts prior to the match by throwing dozens of beach balls onto the pitch, making light of the comical way in which Liverpool conceded at Sunderland last week, but it was the home supporters, and football fans throughout the rest of the country, Essex aside, who had the last laugh. Liverpool took the lead shortly before half time through Fernando Torres, and David N'gog made it two late on to seal a memorable victory for Liverpool, while Manchester United's Nemanja Vidić and Liverpool's Javier Mascherano both saw red for two bookable offences.

Chelsea capitalised on Alex Ferguson's side's slip-up, with a Frank Lampard brace, as well as goals from Michael Essien and Didier Drogba and a Gael Givet own goal, helping them to a convincing 5-0 victory over Blackburn, a result that lifts them back to the top of the table. Arsenal were not so clinical. Two goals to the good at half time thanks to Robin van Persie and William Gallas, they collapsed against struggling West Ham, allowing the home side to earn a point after late goals from Carlton Cole and Alesandro Diamanti.

Manchester City also let a two goal lead slip, with Fulham the beneficiaries of their carelessness at Eastlands. Second half goals from Joleon Lescott and Martin Petrov had set up what looked like a regulation home win for the Citizens, but credit to Fulham, they hit back quickly through Damian Duff and Clint Dempsey to record a respectable away draw.

Up the road at Turf Moor, Burnley failed to win a Premier League home game for the first time ever, losing 3-1 to Wigan. Steven Fletcher had given the hosts an early lead, but an injury to goalkeeper Brian Jensen, which gifted Hugo Rodallega a goal, started Burnley's demise. Peruvian substitute Diego Penny was then beaten by Rodallega, and later by Emmerson Boyce to complete an excellent day on the road for the Latics.

On Sunday, Ivan Klasnić saved Bolton's blushes at the Reebok Stadium with a goal four minutes from time against Everton. Lee Chung Yong's second Bolton goal put his side ahead early on, and Gary Cahill doubled their advantage before in the first half. The Toffees hit back through Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini, and seemed to be heading for a pint, before the Croat stepped up with a well-taken winner.

In Saturday's early kick-off, Wolves and Aston Villa shared the spoils in the West Midlands derby. Gabriel Agbonlahor broke the deadlock for Villa ten minutes from time, but Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's perfectly executed penalty five minutes later was enough to give the hosts a second consecutive 1-1 draw. Birmingham beat Sunderland at home 2-1. Goals from Liam Ridgewell and James McFadden put the hosts in control, before Scott Dann's own goal set up a nervy finish. The Blues were able to hold on for a third win of the campaign. Finally, in a game described as the worst you'll see anywhere this season, Hull and Portsmouth played out a dour stalemate at the KC Stadium.

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