By Matt Scott
Value for money at the Emirates
There was a reason the tickets were so expensive after all.
Fans of both Arsenal and Manchester City moaned at having to pay £62 (€75) to watch their teams square off, but it turned out to be one of the bargains of the century.
Those in attendance were treated to a feast of variety entertainment – with something for absolutely everyone.
His West Brom team-mates may have binned off a two-goal lead to lose at Reading, but the bulky Belgian’s double makes sure he’s still the best striker under contract at Chelsea.
Things kicked off with a tear-jerking tragedy as a hapless Laurent Koscielny, driven to despair by Edin Dzeko’s sight of goal, was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The Frenchman’s tragic tale highlighted just how far people are willing to go when desperate, and left many in attendance re-evaluating their own lives afterwards.
After a tug on the heartstrings, it was time for a tense thriller as Dzeko and Wojciech Szczesny starred in ‘The Penalty’.
Szczesny was a goalkeeper in peril, facing the petrifying sight of the towering Bosnian with a free shot at taking the young keeper’s clean sheet, and with that – his pride, dignity and sweetheart.
Dzeko confidently stepped up, fired a single shot, but Szczesny leaped to his left. The ball looked destined for the net, and the Pole’s dreams were surely crushed – but his right leg flicked out, sending the ball bobbling across the line.
Inches away from death or glory, the ball nudged back of the post, tumbling for an eternity across the line before miraculously nestling in Szczesny’s arms – the day was saved!
Fans of bloody-minded action were soothed by explosions and fireworks courtesy of James Milner’s right foot and Vincent Kompany’s kung-fu scene with Jack Wilshere.
A small pocket of people in attendance who had come to see European expressive dance were also catered for, with Per Mertesacker’s interpretation of a new-born pelican in the face of Mike Dean.
Conclusion? If you want to get your money’s worth in the Premier League, head to the Emirates.
“Places, people! We have a show to run!”
Quote of the weekend
“They’ve paid £62 over there, go and see them.”
– Linesman John Brooks with a lesson in humility for Joleon Lescott.
Sian Massey found herself highlighted this weekend with a particularly excellent offside call as Stoke appealed for a penalty against Chelsea on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the male footballing world, including Tony Pulis, then proceeded to call her “the lady linesman” when praising the decision.
Norwich & Newcastle
Benitez getting his own back
He came. He got booed. He’s had enough.
Like a fed-up mother withdrawing her son’s Playstation controller until he does his maths homework, Rafa Benitez is punishing Chelsea’s fans for their recent behaviour.
Until they buck their ideas up and show some respect, the team will not be putting in good performances at home.
However, they will continue battering teams on the road, just to show everyone at Stamford Bridge what they’re missing out on.
If the Blues’ fans want Eden Hazard playing well at the Bridge, they will be nice to Benitez, maybe sing a song about how he’s going to win them lots of trophies and stop wittering on about Roberto Di Matteo.
The fans will have a chance to prove they’ve learnt their lesson against Southampton on Wednesday, but if their behaviour does not improve, Rafa will have no choice but to let Arsenal win in west London next weekend.
Shed End. You’ve been warned.
Brendan Rodgers is going to need more envelopes
Liverpool aren’t having the best of seasons, with the club very much in transition from a successful club that can challenge for honours to snoozy perennial mid-tablers.
Brendan Rodgers saw his side completely dominated by Manchester United on Sunday, before Daniel Sturridge came on for his one-man band cameo.
The Ulsterman cringe-inducingly claimed in ‘Being:Liverpool’ that he had written the names of three players who he believed would let him down this season, and concealed them in envelopes.
Well, between Pepe Reina’s failure to kick the ball out of his own half, Andre Wisdom’s inability to mark, tackle, dribble, pass, cross or shoot, Joe Allen’s insistence on passing exclusively to United players, Lucas Leiva’s incredible vanishing act in midfield, Raheem Sterling’s apparent refusal to beat a man and Luis Suarez’s monumental big-game bottling – the Rodge might need to take a trip to the post office for extras.
Follow Matt Scott on