It was a great Sunday for Manchester as it saw both Manchester City and Manchester United cruise to victories over Tottenham and Arsenal.  It was not a good day for North London sides as it saw their teams lose by a combined ten goals, and with the transfer window closing in a couple both sides are left asking if their squads are strong enough to compete with rivals to the north.

Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
It was an unbelievable day for Edin Dzeko on Sunday and the forward could not have been asked for a better performance.  Dzeko’s four goal performance was more than enough to earn Manchester City the victory it deserved, while Spurs fans will be left asking when their squad will be able to find their way out of the bottom spot of the Premier League table.  Dzeko opened the scoring in the 34th minute, after a tight opening half hour, with a leaping right footed finish to a lovely Samir Nasri cross.  Nasri and Dzeko would find each other on the second goal as well, striking in the 41st minute.  Nasri’s cross again found Dzeko who was somehow able to get his head to it and leave Brad Friedel helpless to stop the perfectly placed header. 

The halftime break provided a slight reprieve for Tottenham, but the scoring would kick up again in the 55th minute, again from Dzeko who found himself in perfect position after a touchline run from Yaya Toure.  Nasri would get his third assist of the game after playing Sergio Aguero in on goal with a perfectly weighted through ball before Aguero skinned Spurs defender Michael Dawson and blasted the ball past Friedel.  Younes Kaboul was able to get a goal off of a headed corner kick to save some face for the demoralized Tottenham squad.  The unquestioned man of the match Edin Dzeko would cap off his day with a lovely left footed effort from the edge of the box, bringing the final score to 5-1 in favor of the Citizens.  All the goals can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/tottenham-manchester-city-15337123/

Spurs will be left asking a lot of questions of their squad as a result of their performance.  New arrival Emmanuel Adebayor was unavailable for the match, and according to manager Harry Redknapp, unhappy midfielder Luka Modric had requested to be left out of the squad.  With just a couple days remaining in the transfer window, Spurs must make a move in an effort to boost the squad and gain some momentum to move off of the bottom of the Premier League table.  On the other side, Manchester City appears to be suitably prepared to make a title challenge against their cross town rivals in red.

Manchester United vs. Arsenal
Arsenal entered Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon in desperate need of a result to renew faith in beleaguered boss Arsene Wenger.  They left Old Trafford with more questions being asked; only this time “Should Wenger be fired?” has now been added to the laundry list.  After losing Samir Nasri to Manchester City, Wenger has been keen to say that big market transfers are not necessary to bolster the squad, but Sunday’s 8-2 drubbing at the hands of United showed the gap in talent between the two teams.

Danny Welbeck opened the scoring after outmuscling Johan Djourou and heading home Anderson’s floated ball.  Young Spanish keeper David De Gea has come under fire for some blunders in this early season, but they did not stop him from turning the momentum of the game by saving Robin Van Persie’s penalty kick.  United carried that momentum forward with Ashley Young scoring a magnificent curling shot and Wayne Rooney would score the first goal in his hat-trick effort shortly before halftime.  Theo Walcott did manage to get one back for Arsenal before the halftime whistle, but their relief would not be for long. 

Rooney kicked off the second half scoring before being followed by Nani, and Park Ji-Sung.   Robin Van Persie would score Arsenal’s second goal in the 74th minute, only to see United strike back with two more before the final whistle, with Rooney capping off his hat-trick and Ashley Young adding another in stoppage time.  It was a thoroughly dominant performance from the defending champions and their squad looks ready for the challenges, while Arsenal have been left wondering what to do after going their last six Premier League games without a win.  All 10 goals in this epic beatdown can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/manchester-united-arsenal-15337501/


If it has not been made blatantly clear that Arsene Wenger must do something to add to the squad before the close of the window, however I am unsure if Phil Jagielka is the solution to Arsenal’s problems.  The current squad is lacking a significant amount of creativity in the midfield and must add a playmaker if the squad is going to remain in contention for a Champions League place.  If they are unable to add this element to the team, they may be looking at Europa League football or worse for next season.

Chelsea vs. Norwich City

Chelsea started the day with high hopes, with Drogba and Torres making a rare co-appearance in the starting lineup, however neither would finish the match as Chelsea were faced to fight back again in the face of adversity.  The day began well enough for the Blues as Jose Bosingwa opened the scoring just five minutes in to the match with a right footed twine seeking missile from just outside the penalty area that beat John Ruddy.  Chelsea’s backup keeper Hilario was tested several times in the first half, but Norwich was unable to find the back of the net thanks to some good goalkeeping and defending. 


The second half would begin innocently enough for Chelsea, but the game was drawn level by Norwich in the 63rd minute when Grant Holt took advantage of a mistake by Hilario after catching the keeper sixteen yards off his line with an overhead kick.  Just minutes later the match would take an ugly turn when Didier Drogba was knocked out cold by Norwich keeper John Ruddy.  Drogba had been called offside just before the two players went in on an aerial ball, Drogba’s head made contact with the ball an instant before Ruddy’s fist knocked the Ivoirian unconscious.  Drogba spun in the air as his body fell to the ground unconsciously, his head making contact with the ground first.  The 33 year old striker was administered oxygen on the field before being stretchered off and taken to hospital.



After a long wait due to Drogba’s injury, play resumed and Ramires found himself running with space at Ruddy.  After playing the ball around Ruddy, Ramires was taken down and the referee pointed to the penalty spot along with showing Ruddy the possibly overdue red card.  Backup goalkeeper Declan Rudd made his first appearance in a horror situation which saw him staring down a Frank Lampard penalty.  Lampard struck the ball firmly down the middle past the new debut keeper to give Chelsea the lead.  New arrival Juan Mata would earn a goal on his debut after taking advantage of a Ritchie De Laet mistake making the final score line 3-1 for Chelsea.  It was another inspiring performance in the face of adversity, with both of Chelsea’s new signings Mata and Lukaku playing well on their debuts, the highlights of which can be seen here.  http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/chelsea-norwich-15331126/

Liverpool vs. Bolton
Saturday’s final match took place at Anfield, between Liverpool and Bolton and it was a day to remember for Liverpool fans as both Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam scored their first goals for the club.  Jordan Henderson opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Luis Suarez fed Stuart Downing who volleyed the lovely cross on goal, only a fine save from Jussi Jaaskelainen kept it out of the net, but not for long as Dirk Kuyt fed Henderson the rebound and the young midfielder unleashed a beautiful curling effort past the Finnish keeper. 

Charlie Adam had his hand in the second goal, as it was his corner that met the head of Martin Skrtel seven minutes after halftime to extend the Reds’ lead to two.  Just a minute later, Adam would find himself with space, thanks to a square ball from Kuyt, just outside the area and fire a low shot past Jaaskelainen.  Ivan Klasnic was able to take advantage of a Jamie Carragher mistake and score a meaningless goal with time winding down, but the day belonged to Liverpool, in a game they dominated.  Highlights can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/liverpool-bolton-15331473/

The Rest of the EPL Weekend Matches:

Sunderland and Swansea played to a boring 0-0 draw: http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/swansea-sunderland-motd-15333628/

Ryan Shotton’s 89th minute goal earned Stoke their first win of the season over West Brom: 

Two goals from Leon Best were enough to get Newcastle past Fulham:

Blackburn missed two penalties and was defeated by Everton:

Two “lucky” goals from Franco di Santo lifted Wigan over QPR:

Aston Villa and Wolves remain undefeated in a goalless draw:

Outside of England:

Cristiano Ronaldo opened his La Liga campaign with a hat-trick as Madrid crushed Zaragoza 6-0.
  

Mario Gomez scored a hat-trick despite missing a penalty to lift Bayern Munich over Kaiserslautern 3-0.

Samuel Eto’o scored in his debut for Anzhi Makhachkala, as the side drew 1-1.

Tomorrow:

We’ll have a look at Barcelona vs. Villarreal and discuss any transfer news, which is sure to pick up with the close of the window looming large.

Edin Dzeko earns the background thanks to his four goal effort, but Ashley Young equally deserved it thanks to his two spectacular goals.