Premier League Week in Review (January 10th-January 17th)
Arsenal vs Manchester City
Manchester City came to play at the Emirates today as they thoroughly beat Arsenal by a score of 2-0, even though both sides saw red. Following his run of good form, Edin Dzeko scored in the 32nd minute to put the game 2-0 up after a wonderful finish from James Milner to open the scoring in the 21st minute. Arsenal did no favors to themselves in this game as Laurent Koscienly gave away an 8th minute penalty (and a subsequent red card) to Man City. They could not take advantage, however, as Edin Dzeko’s effort was pushed onto the post by Wojciech Szczesny.
Milner’s goal came after a quick free from Man City saw Carlos Tevez play James Milner through in the box and his quick strike effort towards the far post gave City their eventual game winner. It was another assist by Tevez for Dzeko’s goal following a strong save by Szczesny only for the ball to find the feet of a grateful, and onside, Dzeko to tap-in.
Arsenal did not give up though and continued to fight even though they were down a man and two goals to none. They subbed on Giroud and moved Per Mertesacker up front to try and attack on set pieces and it almost paid off as Giroud had a strong header than just went over the ball. The numbers became even later in the match as Vincent Kompany saw a straight red for a two-footed challenge on Jack Wilshere in the 75th minute.
Why this Game was Important?
Arsenal further slipped away from their top four challenge and seem to have no way of scoring without their former iconic talisman of Robin Van Persie. Manchester City, on the other hand, are continuing to push the pace with Manchester United as they kept the lead only to 10 points, a manageable feat that still may be possible.
Chelsea FC vs Stoke City
Stoke City played host to Chelsea FC in front of 27,348 supporters at the Brittania. Stoke City have had a formidable record at home and have become one of the toughest opponents to take points off of. Chelsea FC must have not looked much at this statistic, however, as they romped over a fairly poor Stoke City by a score of 4-0. The first half was a traditional match for Stoke, where their defense held tight and they attacked with a counter. It was in first half injury time that Chelsea finally broke through with the help of Stoke City forward Jonathan Walters who headed the ball into his own net following a set piece situation.
As the second half started, Chelsea pushed very hard to score another and in the 62nd minute they accomplished this feat. They scored, again, with the help of Jonathan Walters as he had a night to forget with his second own goal of the match. Things went from bad to worse for Stoke as three minutes later, Stoke City fouled Juan Mata in the box to allow Frank Lampard to convert the resulting penalty kick. Eden Hazard then finished off the scoring in the 73rd minute with a resounding shot from outside the box that found the upper corner of the goal.
Being up 4-0, Rafa Benitez subbed in John Terry to give him his first playing time for Chelsea in months after coming back from injury. His ‘debut’ was a poor one however, as he gave away a 90th minute penalty…but sticking with the bad luck of Stoke City, Jonathan Walters finished off his night with a missed penalty as his shot clipped the bar and went over.
Why this Game was Important?
Chelsea have finally found their true form away from home as they continue to romp opponents into the ground. If they could find this form at the Bridge, they could be genuine title challengers, however, they seem to leave this form on their travels. For Stoke City, this was a great opportunity to continue their strong run of form and show that they deserve to contend for the European spots, but on this day, could not show up.