Order was restored in the BPL over the weekend, as all the top teams -- save Liverpool (which begs the question: is Liverpool truly a top team, or merely a poseur? -- picked up three points, although some teams had an easier time of it than others. The City juggernaut continued to roll on, and and United hung on for a home win to celebrate Fergie's 25 years in charge.
At the other end of the table, Steve Kean's flying ouster demand was reminiscent of a certain New York Football Giants' banner, while lowly Bolton managed to hang a 5-spot on a dispirited Stoke City. In other words, it's all systems normal and full speed ahead as we head into yet another interminable international break -- although not before we make the following observations:
o Manchester City did just enough on Saturday to keep their 5 point lead at the top of the table. This was the kind of game the Citizens will need to keep on winning if they want to come out on top this season, but that'll be easier said than done. QPR gave them quite a test on Saturday, and it's the kind of challenge that will keep on getting harder as Fall turns to Winter turns to Spring. We'll see if they're up for it.... o After what I saw of Blackburn's finishing on Saturday against Chelsea, they fully deserve to go down. Peter Cech left an open net on at least two occasions and yet Yakubu still failed to score.…. How bad was the Rovers' finishing, you ask? It was positively Fernando Torres-like, and managed to hand a woeful Chelsea defense its first shut out in quite some time. o Is there a better player in the league right now than Robin van Persie? Some of you may save David Silva, but I'm sticking with the Dutchman. If the object of the game is to put the ball in the net, by that measure he's having a helluva season. One key difference this season is that he's been injury free so far. Van Persie has always been a great scorer, but this season he's taken it to a whole new level. o I wonder how Liverpool fans are feeling about King Kenny right now? After their second home draw in a row against a team that was in the Championship last year, there's got to be some second-guessing going on. o Brad Friedel is making a huge difference for Spurs this season: example A for the defense was was the performance the American put on against Fulham on Sunday. Making save after save, Friedel was easily the man of the match for Tottenham. I couldn't see her Huerelho Gomes allowing the team to go on this kind of run without having one of his boneheaded mistakes trip the squad up. Friedel's calm and steadiness in the middle of the late Fulham storm on Sunday is exactly what the Spurs' doctor ordered after their adventures in goaltender land last season.