There’s life in Scholes’ old legs yet
You could almost sense football writers getting ready to write Paul Scholes’ football obituary, as United found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, with the athleticism of Sandro and Dembele posing their counterparts some problems in the game’s first 45 minutes.
However, the second half was a different story. Scholes completely dictated the play for the remainder of the game, bringing Man United right back into the match through his intelligent and incisive passing against a leggy-looking Tottenham side.
And while United may have ultimately somewhat unfortunately lost the game 3-2, Scholes still undoubtedly emerged as the best player on the park.
Thus, he proved once again that, despite being 37 now, he remains one of Alex Ferguson’s most invaluable assets.
Luis Suarez is being harshly treated
Whatever you think of Luis Suarez’ previous acts of simulation/falling under duress, Premier League referees should not allow that to influence their thinking.
At Carrow Road today Suarez was in a different class to the Canaries defenders. After 20 minutes he raced in behind Leon Barnett and the defender clunked his elbow down onto the striker’s shoulder. No foul.
Now, we’ve seen plenty more blatant penalties not given and it wouldn’t be the first time a referee bottled out of awarding a penalty which also necessitated a red card. However, you just can’t escape the feeling that any other Premier League player would have been awarded a chance from 12 yards.
The Uruguayan was his usual mix of class and carelessness, but amidst his wonderful hat-trick it was worth noting that the assist for Nuri Sahin’s striker came after he rode a challenge from Barnett. His reward for keeping his feet was being perfectly positioned to receive the rebound and pick out the on-loan midfielder.
That’s why they’re champions
Manchester City may not like being compared to their most hated rivals, but they are now the proud owners of that most valuable of intellectual properties: scoring vital late goals.
Whether they start with Balotelli, Aguero, Tevez, Silva, Dzeko (or any combination of those five) along with the force of nature that is Yaya Toure, Roberto Mancini always has an obvious switch to make when he needs a goal.
In Edin Dzeko, he has a world-class striker chomping at the bit for game-time. He proved as much in Madrid and he needed just 60 seconds today to provide the mix of strength and subtlety to end Fulham’s resistance.
Arsenal are good, just not good enough
The Gunners could have snatched a late draw when Gervinho’s shot struck the woodwork, but aside from that it was difficult to make any case against Chelsea taking this game comfortably.
Every time Arsene Wenger has lost a pivotal figure, his troops have rallied. After the departure of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry they have showed all-too-brief promise of freshness and renewed purpose. But it fades away.
All the plaudits sent the way of Steve Bould for moulding a decent defence are also fading as Tomas Vermaelen lapses into one mistake after another. Vermaelen clumsily gave away both free-kicks which resulted in Chelsea goals. His marking from said free-kicks was also more of the laissez-faire variety than touch-tight.
Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport
Everton are the Premier League’s most entertaining side
The Toffees fell behind to Southampton early on, but could well have led 4- 1 by half time had Marouane Fellaini’s shot not cracked off the crossbar.
At Goodison Park, Everton almost seem able to turn the style on and off as they please. They would obviously prefer to leave the tap running for 90 minutes, but from the moment they fell behind to the Saints there was little doubt that they would kick up a gear or three.
In Kevin Mirallas, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar they have the budget version of Chelsea’s Juan Mata, Oscar and Edin Hazard – that is no insult. Watching that trio operate in between Fellaini and the clinical Nikica Jelavic is, quite simply, a joy.
-By Sean Farrell and Paul Fennessy