This week's goal of the week surprisingly goes to Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) for his goal at Manchester City.
Due to Mario Balotelli’s last gasp penalty and Jermain Defoe being unable to convert the glaring chance that Wales star had set-up, Gareth Bale’s top quality strike in the clash at the Etihad Stadium was in vain.
Nonetheless, his clinical finish from the edge of the box was of such high calibre that Sunday newspaper transfer speculation of a £150 million price tag seem a little less far fetched.
Gareth Bale was named earlier in the week as the only Premier League player to be selected in the UEFA team of 2011.
After their best start to a league season since their famous double-winning side of 1960-61, Tottenham Hotspur’s title ambitions were dented on Saturday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Wolverhampton Wanderers at White Hart Lane.
The goal that denied Spurs another three-point reward also meant they have become the first club to concede a total of 1,000 goals in the history of the Premier League.
The current top ten of all-time Premier League goals conceded is, as follows
Tottenham Hotspur had won six league games in a row for the first time since 1990, equalling their best ever unbeaten run in the Premier League and must have fancied their chances against a Stoke City side who recently suffered a run of five defeats in six league and cup games.
However, Tottenham were undone by two goals from former Hotspur Matthew Etherington whilst the Stoke team also featured former players Jonathan Woodgate and Peter Crouch.
To complete the humiliation, Stoke boss Tony Pulis had been assistant to current Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp at AFC Bournemouth in 1991.
Congratulations to Stoke City!
Performance of the Week: Brad Friedel
(Photo by James Boyes)
- In a season that has so far been dominated by the astounding number of high scoring games, this week the goalkeepers fought back.
- With notable nods of appreciation towards Ali Al Habsi of Wigan Athletic, Swansea City’s Michel Vorm and Petr Cech of Chelsea, this week’s AFS Performance of the Week award goes to the grand old man of Premier League keepers... Tottenham Hotspur’s Brad Friedel.
- With Fulham putting the Spurs defence under intense pressure during the second-half at Craven Cottage, a string of fine saves from the 40 year-old maintained the visitors winning run.
- Although manager Harry Redknapp’s recovery from
Arsenal & Stoke City
· Stoke City have lost on all of their nine league and cup visits to Arsenal since 1983.
· Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie has scored 23 goals in 25 Premier League appearances in 2011.
· Stoke City have conceded only two goals in the second-half of their Premier League games this season; fewer than any other team.
Blackburn Rovers & Tottenham Hotspur
· Tottenham Hotspur have won all of their last four meetings with Blackburn Rovers.
· Blackburn Rovers are the only team who have yet to be in the lead at half-time in a Premier League game this season.
· Tottenham Hotspur have drawn 99 of their all-time 371 away games in the Premier League (won
Bolton Wanderers & Chelsea
Chelsea have won on each of their last eight visits to the Reebok Stadium (all Premier League) without conceding a goal.Bolton Wanderers are the only team to lose all of their home games in the Premier League so far this season.Chelsea have failed to score in only two of their last 18 Premier League games.
Fulham & Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers have failed to score in their last four meetings with Fulham since 1983.Fulham are the only team who have yet to score the first goal in one of their Premier League games this season.The 3-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers is the only occasion that Queens Park Rangers have scored more than one goal in their last eight league and cup games.
Arsenal & Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers have lost all five previous visits to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.Only Southampton (16 in 1998-99) and Derby County (15 in 2007-08) have conceded more goals than Arsenal after five games of a Premier League season.Bolton Wanderers have lost nine of their last ten Premier League games.
Chelsea & Swansea City
Swansea City have not won at Stamford Bridge since November 1925 when they were known as Swansea Town.Chelsea have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine Premier League games.Swansea City have conceded only one goal in their last four Premier League games.
Liverpool & Wolverhampton Wanderers
Last December’s 1-0 victory was only Wolverhampton
Fulham & Manchester City
· Manchester City have been beaten in only one of their last ten visits to Fulham since August 1999.
· While Manchester City have recorded hat-tricks in each of their last two games, Fulham are still awaiting their first hat-trick scorer after over ten years in the Premier League.
· Manchester City will be aiming to win the first five games of a league season for the first time since 1912-13.
Manchester United & Chelsea
· Manchester United have failed to score in only one of Chelsea’s last 16 Premier League trips to Old Trafford.
· Manchester United have scored 18 goals in their opening four league games. It’s the most by any club in the
Arsenal & Swansea City
This is only Swansea City’s fifth visit to Arsenal in all competitions and their first since New Year’s Day in 1983.Prior to their recent defeat at Manchester United, the last time Arsenal conceded seven goals in a top division game was at Leicester City (2-7) on 31 August 1963. Frank McLintock, who became the captain of the Gunners 1971 double-winning side, scored one of the goals.Having failed to score in their first three Premier League games, Swansea City will be aiming to avoid failing to score in the first four games of a league season for the first time in their history.
Bolton Wanderers & Manchester United
Bolton Wanderers have won only one of Manchester United’s 11 previous visits to the Reebok Stadium (all Premier League). That
Premier League previews for Sunday 28 August:
Manchester United & Arsenal
This will be the 46th time that managers Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have met in Arsenal v United encounters. In all competitions, Sir Alex has won 19 games to Arsene's 15, with 11 drawn (excluding penalty shoot-outs).Manchester United have won 21 of their last 22 Premier League games at Old Trafford.Arsenal have won only two of their 13 Premier League games.
Newcastle United & Fulham
Fulham have lost only one of their last six visits to Newcastle United (all Premier League).Opposition players have been sent-off in three of Newcastle United’s last five Premier League games.Currently standing on 99 losses, Fulham will be trying not to become