Goal of the Weekend
In any other week, Mikel Arteta’s long range effort against Aston Villa would win with ease but this was no ordinary weekend. As the ball flicked off the back of Peter Crouch’s head from Asmir Begovic’s long punt, little brilliance looked likely. Yet did anyone anticipate what would happen after Ryan Shotton headed the ball back into Peter Crouch’s path. Controlling neatly just outside the angle of the 18 yard box, the lanky striker kept the ball airborne before unleashing what can only be described a “worldy”, looping past the despairing dive of Joe Hart.
Player of the Weekend
The most complete individual performance was delivered by Sunderland’s James McClean. He played a role in all three of Sunderland’s goals against QPR. His delicious curling cross was planted into the corner by Nicklas Bentdner. McClean scored the Mackems second with a deflected effort. Finally, he flicked the ball with the outside of his left foot to David Vaughan, who’s teasing low cross was converted by Stephane Sessegnon.
Even though Ireland is well endowed with talent on the wings, it would be surprising if Giovanni Trappatoni opted not to take McClean to the European Championships in the summer, such has been his form for Sunderland
Honourable Mentions: Papiss Demba Cissé, Hatem Ben Arfa
Performance of the Weekend
Credit must go to Newcastle for the way in which they swept West Brom away in a blitz of a first half at the Hawthorns.However, Wigan Athletic have battled hard for the majority of the season without any real success. As the season enters the back straight, the Latics are starting to find some form which could see them make another late escape from the relegation zone.
Saturday’s victory against was not only the first in their history at Anfield but it also helped to claw Wigan back towards the “Holy Grail” which is 17th spot. Even though their opponents have been woeful of late, plenty of credit must go to Roberto Martinez’s side for grinding out the win. Captain Gary Caldwell kept his composure to slot past Pepe Reina for the Wigan winner.
Quote of the Weekend
Mick McCarthy – how I’ve missed your no-nonsense approach to football.
“It was brainless”
His description on Goals on Sunday of Djibril Cissé’s reckless lunge was spot on. Does Cissé realise how detrimental his actions might prove to Queens Park Rangers? Judging by the fact he’s managed to get sent off for the second time in the space of two months, it doesn’t. Should QPR get relegated, Mark Hughes might just wonder how his side would have fared had they managed to keep 11 men on the field for 90 minutes in more games.
Moment of the Weekend
It was very poignant to see the Bolton Wanderers squad huddle round at full time after delivering a performance which is sure to give Fabrice Muamba some cheer in hospital.
It’s difficult to imagine what Owen Coyle and the Bolton squad have gone through in the last week, not to mention most importantly the immediate family of Fabrice Muamba. It was nevertheless uplifting to see Wanderers win and the understated celebration at the end.
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