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TEAMtalk's Premier League blog - August 28
Published : 28 Aug 2010 23:20:00
From Berbatov's volley to Varney's debut, TEAMtalk's Jon Holmes reflects on the best and worst from Saturday's action in the Premier League. Goal of the Day: With England players dropping like flies (Terry, Lampard and Crouch were among the casualties on Saturday evening), Fabio Capello can take some comfort from the knowledge that his side will not have to line up against an in-form Dimitar Berbatov next Friday. With three goals in four games for Manchester United so far this season, the languid Bulgarian - who chose to retire from the national team in May - looks back to his best and is even winning over some of his harshest critics. His latest effort came in the 69th minute of the 3-0 home win over West Ham, leaning back (even at his most acrobatic, he appears to be reclining in a comfortable armchair) and executing a sensational volley from Nani's chipped cross. Long-Awaited Goal of the Day: You've suffered eighteen-and-a half-hours of barren competitive football and then comes along... Jonathan Spector. The clumsy Hammer (the third right-back Avram Grant has tried out so far this season) brought Ryan Giggs tumbling down in the Stretford End penalty area, thus presenting Wayne Rooney with exactly what he had been looking for - a free shot on goal from 12 yards against Robert Green. Rooney's next game will be in an England shirt, however; he'll probably need more than just a penalty to get the Wembley crowd on his side again. Slightly Pathetic Post-Match Quote: Avram Grant after West Ham's defeat: "People can say what they like about this performance but we tried our best." Pencil Pusher of the Day: Stuart Attwell might be asking for a secretary for his next assignment after appearing to spend most of Saturday's match at Molineux scribbling in his notebook. The Nuneaton name-taker produced his yellow card no less than 12 times (the final count read Wolves 7 Newcastle 5) and one particularly unsatisfied customer was Joey Barton. The now clean-shaven Magpies midfielder was on the receiving end of four of the home side's cautionable offences, and eventually became enveloped by the familiar 'red mist' that has plagued his career. Fortunately no one was within striking distance at the time and it was not until the very last minute of the game that Barton himself was booked. How Did He Miss That?!: Antolin Alcaraz looked very much offside when Hugo Rodallega played the ball across from the right at 0-0 in Wigan's clash at Tottenham, but the linesman's flag stayed down. Alcaraz's shot, from six yards out with the goal gaping, did not. Fortunately for the Latics, Rodallega then found the net, with Carlo Cudicini's right wrist - broken in his motorcycle accident last November - not equal to the Colombian's strike. Also a contender in this category was Chelsea's Frank Lampard, whose poor spot-kick was saved by Thomas Sorensen at the Bridge in an otherwise straightforward 2-0 win over Stoke. But as he was clearly carrying an injury, we'll let him off. Debut of the Day: Fair play to Luke Varney. His arrival at Blackpool on Friday provoked a few raised eyebrows at TEAMtalk Towers as we began wondering just how far down Ian Holloway's list of transfer targets the former Crewe man might have been. But the one-time factory worker quickly got the goals rolling out at the new-look Bloomfield Road on Saturday, forcing Fulham's John Pantsil into an own goal before finishing neatly himself from a well-crafted Seasiders move. Dickson Etuhu salvaged a point for the Cottagers, but the day belonged to Varney. Woodwork Class: Special mention to Wigan's Steve Gohouri and Stoke's Glenn Whelan for properly clattering the crossbars at White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge respectively. Old Friends' Reunion: Finally, wasn't it nice to see Manuel Almunia and El-Hadji Diouf renewing acquaintances in the Blackburn v Arsenal clash? However, as that Fosters advert would have it, Dioufy appears to be a 'space invader'. Next time Manuel, just shout him down.