In what has come to be yet another scintillating weekend of international football, there was no shortage of goals by any means.
Saturday’s headlines ran rampant with Didier Drogba’s horrifying head injury, when he was knocked unconscious by Norwich City’s keeper and immediately rushed to the hospital. In a game where Chelsea saw Spanish new boy Juan Mata find his first goal for the club, the packed ground at The Bridge was treated to a 3-1 win, with goals also coming from Frank Lampard and Jose Bosingwa.
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Saturday also saw Liverpool claim all three points at Anfield versus Owen Coyle and a promising Bolton Wanderers side. Summer signing by way of Sunderland Jordan Henderson scored his first goal for the club, while fellow acquisition Charlie Adam and center-back Martin Skrtle also had tallies on the score sheet. Bolton’s Ivan Klasnic scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute, but it was just that if anything, as King Kenny’s side went on to a 3-1 victory.
Sunday, with a new day, also came an immense amount of scoring. A rejuvenated Manchester City side featuring former Arsenal gunner Samir Nasri went berserk on Tottenham HotSpur. Behind a stunning 4-goal performance from Bosnian striker Edin Džeko, two of which provided by Nasri, the blue side of Manchester came out victorious with a 5-1 scoreline. It was a completely dominant person by Roberto Mancini’s men in both halves of the field, who are looking like a serious contender for their in-town rivals.
After the 8 am EST Manchester City game where I witnessed the demolition of Spurs with my own eyes, it was about an hour wait until Manchester United kicked off at 11. Going in, thinking Manchester City’s upper echelon performance could not be beat, United proved me wronger than wrong. After a gorgeous chip from Anderson, youngster Danny Welbeck dropped a header over the keepers head to open the scoring. Unfortunately Welbeck’s day was cut short minutes later when he pulled out of a run with a hamstring injury and was subsequently substituted for Javier Hernandez. Winger Ashley Young snagged the first of his two goals next with an immaculately finessed ball into the top corner. It was David De Gea’s epic penalty save that sparked the surge to the goal, and also gave the Spaniard a desperately needed confidence boost.
Wayne Rooney made United lead three a mere thirteen minutes later with a venomous dead ball strike from right outside the box. With Wenger and Arsenal’s tactics and performance continuing to be under speculation, this was certainly not the game they needed to have. Theo Walcott put The Gunners on the board four minutes later, and the score at the half was a semi-normal 3-1. It was the second half where Sir Alex Ferguson’s men asserted their dominance. With goals coming from Rooney, Nani, J.S. Park, and Ashley Young, United eventually saw themselves up 8-2 at Old Trafford, sending Arsenal home with a sour taste in their mouth, and a desperate need for talent.
In the post-strike Spanish La Liga, Real Madrid began their campaign with an authoritative 6-0 trouncing of Real Zaragoza. Cristiano became the third world superstar of the day to snag a hat trick, joining Eden Džeko and Wayne Rooney. With three goals on the scoresheet, it would be difficult for CR7 not to steal the show. But it was German international Mesut Ôzil that was pulling all the strings, his impeccable passing was the catalyst to Madrid’s huge opening day victory. Kàka also started his season off on the right foot with a goal of his own, and Xabi Alonso scored with an extraterrestrial blast from outside the box. Mourinho’s boys look primed to give the Catalan champions Barçelona a run for their money again this year.