As every Premier League weekend goes by there is always something to learn and this weekend was no exception. We’ve had calamitous referees, star performances and a momentous encounter in yet another round of breath taking Premier League football.
These are the five things I’ve learned from this weekends Premier League action:
5. Rickie Lambert is Premier League quality
The Southampton striker really established himself on the Premiership stage on Saturday with an inspiring performance in the 4-1 win over Aston Villa. It was the Saints first league win of the season and it showed just how important Lambert is to the team and how he could be the key to survival for Southampton. He scored and set up goals as everything went through the target man in a fantastic comeback at St Mary’s. After being 0-1 down at the break, the Saints came roaring back in the second half as Lambert turned on the style and ripped open Villa’s defence time and time again, scoring twice in the process. It was an exemplary performance and an indication of just how important the number 7 is to Southampton’s survival hopes.
4. Stephen Fletcher doesn’t miss
Sunderlands new £12million man has made a brilliant start to life on Wearside, in fact it has been perfect,literally. With four goals from four chances Fletcher has a 100 per cent record in front of goal this season, although it doesn’t seem to have helped his team that much as Sunderland are drawing better than Rolf Harris at the minute. However in this run of impeccable form it’s hard not to see the Black Cats improving soon.
3. Diving is creeping into the Premier League
A couple of simulation incidents cropped up in Chelsea’s game at home to Stoke on Saturday that alerted fans to the changing tides of Premier League football. Thankfully, however both diving attempts from Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and Oscar were both dismissed by referee Michael Oliver as the home side desperately searched for a goal via a penalty. Hopefully this kind blatant cheating can be washed out of the league as soon as possible although these are likely signs that this sort of behaviour is set to grow.
2. Nothing is funnier than seeing a referee get fouled
Seeing referee Lee Probert getting scythed down in a red haired slide tackle sandwich was probably the highlight of the weekend. The man in black took a tumble during Wigan’s match against Fulham on Saturday as Steve Sidwell and Ben Watson slid in to win the ball and accidentally poleaxed the ref. It’s one of the greatest sights in football, seeing the ref hit the deck always brings the house down and it was good to see Probert take it in good spirits as he playfully brandished a red card to Gary Caldwell. Not only did we learn of the delights of seeing a referee get tackled but also i’m sure Lee Probert will have learnt to be more aware next time he’s anywhere near the ball.
1. Justice is all that matters
It has been a momentous couple of weeks in football and for the city of Liverpool since the shocking revelations of the Hillsborough report. It revealed that evidence was tampered with as Liverpool fans were cleared of any wrongdoing in the disaster which saw 96 people lose their lives. On Sunday it was Liverpool’s first home game since the revelations and rather appropriately it was against rivals Manchester United.
However this emotive occasion has given the perfect platform for both clubs to end the sick chanting and remember whats really important, that justice has been done for the supporters of Liverpool and the families of the victims. This is the most important lesson of this weekends football action.