Premier Review: Dodgy back-passes, teddy bears & enthusiastic ballboys

It was certainly a topsy-turvy weekend in the Premier League, with Liverpool fans in a dilemma over the outcome of their game with Chelsea and Manchester United fans hoping Liverpool picked up all three points.

Even Sir Alex Ferguson got in on the act during his Friday press conference. Donning a mop top Beatle wig and munching on a piping hot plate of scouse, Fergie revealed his love and admiration of Liverpool Football club.

Some called it mind games, some desperation, but it felt so genuine he was almost expected to break into a chorus of You’ll never walk alone on his way out.

Now if there’s one person everyone knows will always put his childhood team first, it’s Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, and on Sunday it was his trusted right foot that once again provided a clinical, defence-splitting through-ball for the opening goal. 

But Fergie must have been tearing the life-sized Stevie G poster off of his bedroom walls, as it was Chelsea striker Didier Drogba who without breaking stride took the pass from Gerrard, glided past Pepe Reina and slid the ball into the Reds’ net.

A wonderful moment for the Ivorian who just a few minutes earlier looked like he could have suffered a career-ending injury after flying through the air for no apparent reason.

But the 6ft, 15 stone, muscle-bound forward bravely climbed to his feet and courageously fought on through obvious pain that was miraculously cured by the act of scoring a goal.

The Blues doubled their lead in the second half and must surely now be hot favourites to grab the title next weekend.

And keep an eye out for their result as a win will not only clinch the title, but after beating Liverpool they have now claimed the lead of the blogs’ Alternative Premier league championship.

So Liverpool lost their fight for fourth as did Aston Villa who went down 3-1 at Manchester City.

It’s hard to have any sympathy with Martin O’Neill though. In their time of need, when his team were 2-1 down and desperately in need of a goal, the Villa manager brought off their lone goalscorer, John Carew Carew (he’s bigger than me and you) and sent on the one and only Emile Heskey. 

But of course, as it’s been said numerous times, Heskey isn’t there to score goals (thankfully) but to create them, by unselfishly bringing other players into the game.

And sure enough in just over 10 minutes the ball was in the back of the net. Sadly for Villa, it was their own.

A typical Shaun Wright-Philips run from the half way line set up a wonderful chance for Craig Bellamy, who finished with style, curling a beauty into Brad Friedel’s top corner and wrapping up the game for City.

Meanwhile, Big Emile is still stuck on a dismal three league goals for the season; it should be interesting to see how he figures in Capello’s England plans.

Talking of things that just don’t belong on a Premier League football field, an enthusiastic Tottenham ball boy sprinted on the White Hart Lane pitch to retrieve a ball that was still on the field.

Bolton’s Paul Robinson, who was chasing the ball down couldn’t believe his eyes as the youngster beat him to it.

As for the game, Spurs stayed ahead of Manchester City thanks to goal of the week from Tom “big teddy bear” Huddlestone. His thunderbolt was the only goal of the game and kept his team in prime position for fourth, or even third after neighbours Arsenal lost at Blackburn Rovers.

Once again, Gunners’ keeper Lukasz Fabianski turned in a performance so bad that Gooners were calling for Manuel Almunia’s recall.

Rumour has it that after Manchester City were outrageously allowed to loan another keeper last week, Arsene Wenger was caught in his office watching the arm-breaking scene in Escape to Victory, with notebook in hand.

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