As we edged closer to the halfway stage of the season and the Xmas frenzy of a match schedule, the biggest game of them all had still eluded us thus far, until this week. On Sunday, the Manchester Derby between the two best teams in the country was sprung upon us after a long, long wait, and it certainly did not fail to deliver, with both teams serving up an early Christmas cracker!
United started the day with a slender three point advantage over their city rivals, but the Champions from last season were also unbeaten so far in this, so something had to give. The match began at a frenetic pace with both teams going for the jugular, but it was United who stormed ahead by half time, with two well taken goals from talisman Wayne Rooney. With the game looking dead and buried, the second half was end to end, but it was City who turned the screw and stormed back to level at 2-2 with just four minutes left. The grandstand finish did not disappoint either. With just one minute of injury time left, who else but Robin van Persie stepped up to curl a brilliant free kick inside the far post, via a small deflection, and sent the away faithful into raptures. Ferguson and his old timers still rule the roost in Manchester it seems!
Elsewhere on super Sunday, another top of the table clash between highflying Everton and a rejuvenated Spurs also produced another scintillating finish. With Spurs 1-0 to the good and seemingly winding the clock down, a quick fire double in injury time sent Spurs packing and Everton back into Champions League contention.
Liverpool also got in on the act with a hard fought win away to West Ham. With Andy Carroll ineligible to play due to being on loan from Liverpool, the home team looked less powerful going forward, although took a 2-1 lead early in the second half. But a goal from forgotten man Joe Cole and a winner from Shelvey means Liverpool are gradually beginning to show that they are a useful team again.
In other games on Saturday, Norwich took their unbeaten stretch to 8 games after a brilliant 4-3 win at Swansea, and Chelsea won 3-1 at Sunderland with Fernando Torres scoring once more! Yes, you heard it here at BBM first! Arsenal finally eased a little pressure on the manager after winning 2-0 at home to West Brom. Villa still cant hit a barn door after a 0-0 with Stoke, and Wigan shared the spoils with QPR, 2-2 the final score.
Lets hope the Xmas schedule does not let us down!
A full-classified list of scores from match day 16 can be found below.
Match day 16
Arsenal 2-0 West Brom
Aston Villa 0-0 Stoke
Southampton 1-0 Reading
Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea
Swansea 3-4 Norwich
Wigan 2-2 QPR
Man City 2-3 Man United
Everton 2-1 Tottenham
West Ham 2-3 Liverpool
Fulham 2-1 Newcastle
By Duncan Robinson