Becca's Weekly PL Round Up: Henderson, Giroud and International Injuries

Becca's Weekly PL Round Up: Henderson, Giroud and International Injuries

It was promoted as “Super Sunday”, and this particular game day certainly didn’t disappoint.

Becca Weekly PL Round Up 2

Starting at Anfield, and Premier League leaders Liverpool kept up their 100% record for the beginning of the season after a hard-fought win against fierce rivals Manchester United. A goal in the third minute by hotshot (and Birthday Boy) Daniel Sturridge was enough to claim the win; one that will mean much more than three points to those of the red half of Merseyside. Being at Anfield myself, it was clear who were the stand-out performers in both teams. In terms of drive and determination, it was hard to look past Jordan Henderson; his stamina levels were admirable, especially towards the end of the game where Liverpool needed to hold the ball up. Entering the final third six times, in a match where United were winning the battle of possession, indicates the passion in this particular fixture. Highlighted no more so than captain Steven Gerrard, winning 86% of ground duel battles and 75% of tackles throughout the game. The hard work was rewarded for Liverpool, although it wasn’t any easy ride. The composure and experience of Ryan Giggs particularly impressed me although he was eventually replaced by Javier Hernandez in one last attempt to penetrate Liverpool’s strong defence. Celebrations at the final whistle from fans and players were a sight to be seen;  has Brendan Rodgers finally found the skill in this team to grind out results? The three one-nil’s would say so.

Part Two of the Sunday Spectacular was the visit of Spurs to The Emirates- a London derby that was in the spotlight, especially considering the contrasting figures being spent in this transfer window by the two teams. Wenger and his spends of zero (at that point), managed to keep the likes of Soldado at bay for large parts of the game, whereas Giroud at the other end of the pitch excelled; he, alone, played 18 passes in the final third, and scored the all important goal. Whereas Tottenham dominated statistically in terms of possession, pass accuracy, and crosses into the box, like Liverpool, The Gunners seemed to have the cutting edge- that one more motivated step to grab the three points.

The other stand-out game of the weekend for me was Crystal Palace vs Sunderland. Ian Holloway needed a solid home perfomance to get the Palace faithful firmly onside, and that’s exactly what his players gifted him with. Although slightly nerve-wracking towards the end, Palace showed a lot more confidence going forward, creating 13 chances in open play compared to Sunderland’s six. A curling effort from Stuart O’Keefe sealed the victory for Palace in the dying moments, sparking almighty celebrations from the home crowd and a spontaneous jig from Holloway on the sidelines. Palace, at this early stage, now lie 11th in the table, having won, drawn and lost in their opening three games.

As the international break beckons, Roy Hodgson has only a thin squad to choose from for England’s upcoming fixtures over the fortnight. This Premier League weekend hasn’t helped with regards to injuries; some of the most significant players in Phil Jones, Glen Johnson and Wayne Rooney have already pulled out, with Daniel Sturridge (thigh) and Jack Wilshere (ill) also doubts. If an unwanted selection headache for Hodgson wasn’t bad enough, a reported ‘snub’ at Anfield on Sunday into the Director’s Box certainly won’t be leaving the England manager in a good mood.