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News from Brazil, and Big Phil Scolari has been appointed as the new team manager. Not a great surprise, though I thought they would go for someone new. Scolari has one thing in his favour - 2002! He took the job in 2001 with Brazil and Ronaldo in particular out of form. Some of us had faith - I had Brazil to win at 8/1 and Ronaldo to be top goalscorer at 16/1, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Its been a busy week for the Premier League, with a full set of midweek fixtures.
Aston Villa 1 Reading 0
Paul Lambert has managed to start turning Villa around, without the talismanic Darren Bent and Shay Given who have been axed. I'm not a big fan of Guzan, but Lambert has shown faith in him, and Bent is a proven Premier League goalscorer but not for Lambert. They are both brave moves, and for now it seems that they are paying off, but Villa are perilously close topthe drop zone and have a relatively inexperienced squad to fight their way out of it. Reading are well and truly in it, and although they are showing great fight and spirit, a few more points would give them much needed confidence. United up next!
Sunderland 0 QPR 0
Not so much the start of the Harry Redknapp revolution at Loftus Road, more another nail in Martin O'Neill's coffin.
Man United 1 West Ham 0
Fastest goal of the season from RVP and we expected the floodgates to open. Unfortunately that was the end of the scoring, which is a worry, but the three points keep us at the top of the league. Another good game from Anderson, so he is due a stinker at the weekend! West Ham were comprehensively outplayed, but with just one goal to make up they were always in with a chance.
Wigan 0 Man City 2
Credit to Mancini for brave substitutions that won the game. Wigan deserved something, but ultimately it came down to depth of squad.
Chelsea 0 Fulham 0
Chelsea in crisis after another goalless draw, and Rafa definitely the most hated manager in the Premier League, by his own fans. Fulham will be relieved and possibly a little surprised to pick up a point at the Bridge, but its a good time to play Chelsea right now.
Everton 1 Arsenal 1
Rapid start for Arsenal but Everton came back well. They are a different side with Fellaini, and were unlucky not to take all three points. Arsenal need something to happen or they will finish 7th or 8th.
Southampton 1 Norwich 1
Two teams that have had good runs of late and the point serves Norwich better than the Saints.
Stoke 2 Newcastle 1
Newcastle took the lead but their fragile confidence took another blow as Stoke came back to win. Good substitutions from Pulis, but can you hear the "Pardew out!" chants yet?
Swansea 3 West Brom 1
West Brom were in an unprecedented run of form until they visited Swansea who tore them apart in the first half. West Brom fought back well but Swansea are the real deal, and in Hernandez and Michu they have a potent threat going forward.
Tottenham 2 Liverpool 1
By all accounts Spurs were lucky to hang on to this one as Liverpool dominated large spells of possession, but they came away with nothing. Oh dear, how sad, never mind!
News from OT that Lindegard is Sir Alex's number one keeper, and strangely he said he hoped De Gea would understand. Probably too early to talk of a rift but I am keeping an eye on this one. Finally, it will be good to see Vidic pull on a red shirt again as he is earmarked for a comeback in the meaningless Champions League game against CFR Cluj. Call me cynical, but could it be that Nemanja is being brought back in this one to ensure a few more ticket sales?