LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur (second left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal with team mates Gareth Bale (L), Emmanuel Adebayor and Luka Modric during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on October 2, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

English Premier League, Week 7: Huge Derby Win For Tottenham Hotspur As Arsenal's Slump Resumes

Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal 2-1 thanks to a spectacular long-range winner by right back Kyle Walker. Elsewhere, Chelsea, Fulham and Swansea each earned important wins.

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Fulham Vs. Queens Park Rangers, 2011 Premier League: Cottagers Rout QPR 6-0

Fulham got off to the races in the day's other London derby and never looked back, crushing Queens Park Rangers by a final score of 6-0. Andrew Johnson led the charge, his first-minute goal beating out Daniel Sturridge's opener in Bolton vs. Chelsea earlier that day to be the fastest goal scored in the league this season, and he added two more before the hour mark as Fulham ran rampant.

Danny Murphy, Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora were the other scorers, and the latter probably deserved more than one solitary goal for his efforts as he masterminded many of the Cottagers' most dangerous attacks. The scoreline and three points, however, will have cheered the on-form Zamora, as well as manager Martin Jol, who had yet to taste league victory with his new club. The win sees Fulham more than double their goals scored on the season, hauling themselves from the relegation zone all the way up to 12th place. Pretty good day to be a Cottager, and a rather forgettable one for QPR fans, who've now been the subject of two rather odd routs this season.


Swansea City Vs. Stoke City, 2011 Premier League: 2-0 Win For Swans After Professional Display

Swansea City secured their second win of the Premier League season with an assured display against Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium. Stoke are usually a very difficult side to break down, but Ryan Shawcross made things far to easy for the hosts, scything down Wayne Routledge very early on and allowing a tenth-minute penalty by Scott Sinclair to put the Swans in front, the winger sending Asmir Begovic the wrong way for his second goal of the season.

Stoke were forced to go onto the attack, and although they came close to the goal several times, hitting the woodwork twice, that's not exactly their forte and they didn't do enough with the possession the had in the first half. When their hosts countered, they looked pretty dangerous, and Potters left back Andy Wilkinson really ought to have been sent off for a pretty dire tackle on Kieran Dyer as the first half came to a close.

The second half was fairly uneventful - Glenn Whelan hit the post for the visitors with a free kick, while Swansea had scattered chances on the break, but things weren't completely wrapped up until a neat strike by Michael Graham int he 85th minute put the hosts 2-0 up, more or less ending the game. It would have been very different, one suspects, had Stoke not conceded so early, but they've only got themselves to blame.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Disjointed Performance Costs Gunners As Spurs Win 2-1

An interesting match at White Hart Lane led to yet another Arsenal defeat in a season that really hasn't been going according to plan. The Gunner visited Tottenham Hotspur with a defensive setup that was in disarray, and their midfield was hardly something to shout about either - Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey is hardly equivalent to Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere. Tottenham, meanwhile, had some defensive problems of their own, and were forced to field Younes Kaboul and Ledley King as a central defensive partnership.

The match was characterised by sloppy defending on both parts, and the only reason that more goals weren't scored is because the midfield play was also pretty poor. Arsenal should have dominated possession, but the extra man counts for naught when said extra man appears to delight in gifting the opposition with the football, a hobby Ramsey appears to have picked up and mastered in the past few months.

The hosts had the better of the chances in the opening stages, notably when Scott Parker was played through one-on-one with Wojciech Szczesny, and it came as little surprise when they took the lead, Rafael van der Vaart taking down a nifty diagonal ball and slotting past the helpless goalkeeper half a second later, rippling the net at the back post.

Half time saw much whining about possible hand balls and second yellow cards for van der Vaart's celebration (he probably ought to have been booked for going into the crowd, and was already on a yellow), but the team on the pitch reacted far better than their fans did, immediately putting intense pressure on their hosts and getting the equaliser through Ramsey after excellent work from faux-centre-half Alex Song.

For a few minutes, Arsenal were clearly in the ascendancy, but that spell was rather shattered by Emmanuel Adebayor going clear on goal in the 57th minute. Although Szczesny was able to make the save in rather spectacular fashion, the Gunenrs' period of being on top was over and the game went back to being reasonably even. Then, disaster struck.

Nothing seemed particularly worrying when Bacary Sagna went up against Spurs left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto for an aerial challenge on the touchline, but the Arsenal defender landed badly on the hard area that surrounds the pitch at White Hart Lane, and mangled his ankle in the process. It looked like a bad injury, and Sagna immediately signalled for a stretcher and a substitution - Arsene Wenger was forced to commit young Carl Jenkinson to the fray.

Having a severely weakened right flank is hardly ideal when Gareth Bale is on the opposition, and it came as little surprise when Spurs scored following good work in that area. Somewhat strange was the fact that it was Ramsey against substitute Ramsey who was primarily responsible for the opportunity, but regardless of who was at fault, the resultant goal was spectacular, with a Luka Modric effort only cleared so far as Kyle Walker, who opted to take a blistering shot from 40 yards out with so much movement that Szczesny fell over while trying to save it.

With the lead back, Tottenham really had their tails up and looked by far the more likely side to score. They were especially dangerous whenever Bale was in possession, and on a different day could easily have knocked a couple more past Szczesny - the game should not have been in doubt going into the last few minutes. In doubt it was, however, and Wenger made things slightly interesting by shoving huge centre back Per Mertesacker up to centre forward in order to win some knockdowns. It was a desperate gambit that didn't work, and ultimately the hosts were fairly comfortable in seeing out Arsenal's non-threat.

Mike Dean's whistle after five minutes of injury time might have ended the Gunners' on-field misery, but one can't imagine that anyone in that organisation is particularly thrilled right now. Tottenham, meanwhile, further secure their position as Liverpool's main rivals for fourth, moving to within a point of the Reds with a game in hand. The very top of the table might be rather boring, but the battle for the final Champions League spot is promising to be a thriller.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Gareth Bale Vs. Carl Jenkinson Isn't Fair

It's all happening at White Hart Lane now. Mistakes in the midfield at both ends lead to attacks breaking down and incisive counterattacks. One sees Ledley King stranded in the Arsenal area after Jermain Defoe had been stuffed by Alex Song. The Gunners riposte is eventually snuffed out by Scott Parker who races back to cover despite quite clearly being injured. Weirdly, Jake Livermore doesn't come in for the stricken midfielder - he's on for Emmanuel Adebayor instead.

We've also had a fun taste of what happens when Carl Jenkinson tries to defend against Gareth Bale: Bad things for Arsenal. Twice the substitute has been obliterated by Tottenham's left winger, and the first very nearly led to a goal, with Defoe's subsequent shot tipped wide via a lovely save from Wojciech Szczesny, who appears to be trying to atone for his mistake in allowing Walker's shot past him. Arsenal only have a few more minutes to get the goal - it's still 2-1 here.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Kyle Walker Stunner Gives Tottenham 2-1 Lead

If you weren't watching Aston Villa for the second half of last season, you missed a curious scoring threat that the midlanders offered - ludicrous long-range shots from an on-loan right back named Kyle Walker. Walker is now back at Tottenham Hotspur, and he's just showed off what he can do after it looked like an attack had totally broken down. Following a giveaway by Arsenal goalscorer Aaron Ramsey, Sandro steamed down the left and cut back - poorly - for Luka Modric. The midfielder's shot was blocked, and the ball popped out to Walker 40 yards out.

One touch got the fullback into shooting position. The next slammed the ball home, a swerving, sliding effort that wrong-footed Wojciech Szczesny and went buzzing into the back of his net. It was a stunning strike, and that's made it 2-1 Tottenham. Gareth Bale nearly doubles the lead shortly thereafter, but it's suddenly all Spurs at White Hart Lane again. Gervinho is yanked for Andrei Arshavin.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Bacary Sagna Stretchered Off With Ankle Injury

Oof, that's rough for Bacary Sagna. He goes up for a 50-50 ball with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and is knocked off the grass, landing awkwardly on a rather unforgiving part of White Hart Lane and looking as though he's hurt his ankle rather badly. Stretchers and medical staff are out to greet the stricken Arsenal right back, and considering how Sagna's reacting one would have to suspect that that's quite a bad injury. Carl Jenkinson comes in, which makes Arsenal's back line look even more makeshift than usual, and Sagna is stretchered off.

Anyway, the game's been going on while medics were treating Sagna. Not much has happened - Rafael van der Vaart's wasted a free kick, Sandro has come on to replace him, and there have been quarter-chances here and there. Luka Modric is now playing on the right wing, which is slightly bizarre, but hey. Whatever works, I suppose. Arsenal's pressure after their goal has really eased up, and it's still 1-1 here. Yossi Benayoun is about to come on for the visitors, replacing Theo Walcott. who has been poor.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Emmanuel Adebayor Wastes 1 On 1

Adebayor, Adebayor, that was a mistake and you know you should score. Tottenham Hotspur spurn a glorious opportunity to go back in front following that Aaron Ramsey equaliser. Their avatar of spurniness is one Emmanuel Adebayor, who is released one on one with Wojciech Szczesny only to see his shot's path towards the bottom corner impeded by the goalkeeper's outstretched hand. It was a very good save, but Adebayor has to do better there.

Speaking of having to do better, from the following corner it looks as though Arsenal will be able to break only for Luka Modric to do brilliantly in stealing a ball and then winning a free kick near the edge of the area. Having done all of that hard work, the little Croatian goes and wastes it, blasting straight into the wall for no discernable reason. Bit silly that. Anyway, things are still level here at White Hart Lane, although considering how each side is defending that might not be true for long...


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Aaron Ramsey Levels Score

And now it's not 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur anymore. Alex Song is a midfielder being played out of position, and he's been showing that in a bad way all evening here. This time, however, he shows off his skills, picking up a loose ball 35 yards from goal, scampering past what was hypothetically some sort of challenge by Rafael van der Vaart and scooting down the left touchline, sending in a cross that Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey raced onto and slammed into the roof of the net. I guess he was sick of me making fun of him, huh?

Not entirely sure what van der Vaart was doing there, but it's pretty clear by now that expecting him to defend is like waiting for a dinosaur to tell you you've won the lottery. It's not going to happen, and if you're going to rely on it, bad news! Anyway, Arsenal have their tails up and are really going at their hosts now. 1-1 at White Hart Lane.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Second Half Underway

Since I called out Arsenal fans for their unpleasant little chant about Emmanuel Adebayor nearly getting shot to death in Angola, I suppose I should remind the world that the songs that Tottenham Hotspur fans sing about Arsene Wenger are also pretty tasteless. Although since they don't involve anything that's actually happened, they're not as bad. MORAL HIGH GROUND ESTABLISHED in that all of you are awful.

We're off in the second half, anyway. Spurs have started brightly, earning a series of corners, and Arsenal can only break when Luka Modric rather uncharacteristically swings at an incoming pass and completely misses. No worries for the hosts, however - they retrieve possession and send the ball Gareth Bale-wards. The Welsh winger scampers infield and sends a scorcher of a shot just over Wojciech Szczesny's crossbar. That's the second time he's come close to a spectacular goal in the last few minutes of football.

Shortly afterwards, Robin van Persie and Aaron Ramsey combine to try to unlock the Tottenham defence. It doesn't work, because Aaron Ramsey. Still 1-0 to Spurs at White Hart Lane for now.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Rafael Van Der Vaart Grabs Opener

Classy atmosphere at White Hart Lane: The away fans are chanting at former player Emmanuel Adebayor. They are not chanting nice things. I know that there's no love lost between the striker and Arsenal fans, but singing about the attack on the Togo national team in Angola - yeah, the one in which several of Adebayor's friends were shot to death - seems just a little bit beyond the pale.

Justice is done shortly after the chanting begins, with Rafael van der Vaart running onto an Adebayor diagonal in the penalty area, guiding the ball down (possibly with his hand, but oh well) and finishing sweetly past Wojciech Szczesny at the young goalkeeper's far post. Where was Bacary Sagna? Not defending, that's for sure. Anyway, that's Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Arsenal, and the hosts are currently threatening to score another. This could get pretty exciting - Gareth Bale's nearly just scored from fully 40 yards out!

Arsenal's response is to have Aaron Ramsey hit a daisycutter at Brad Friedel from range. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work. Oh, and lost in all of that - van der Vaart's celebration saw the midfielder running into the crowd, which is usually a bookable offence. He's already on one yellow and should be off. Mike Dean ignores it.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Great Chances At Both Ends

Goodness me how have Tottenham not scored there. Luka Modric makes things happen with a flicked pass out to Jermain Defoe on the right flank, and with Alex Song confused about this whole 'being a centre back' thing Per Mertesacker is left marking both Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart. The German deals with this problem by completely ignoring the latter, leaving him to able into the area and get on the end of Defoe's cross, eight yards from goal. Wojciech Szczesny makes a good save.

At the other end of the pitch, Arsenal also ought to have found the net. Robin van Persie has the ball behind the defence (not for the first time, either), and his cutback eludes the entirety of the Spurs team and is met by Gervinho at the top of the area. With Brad Friedel helpless, all the new signing has to do is hit the target. He doesn't, of course. Still 0-0 at White Hart Lane. Somehow. Oh, and Mertesacker's just picked up a yellow card for a foul on Defoe.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Back And Forth Play In Open Match

Better play from both teams. Kind of. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey gives the ball away to Gareth Bale, who steams down the left side and lays a nice little centering pass to Rafael van der Vaart. It's a little bit too far behind the Dutch midfielder, however, and he can only blaze a shot high over Wojciech Szczesny's goal.

Minutes later Ramsey makes up for his (latest) mistake by playing a sublime through ball to Robin van Persie, who's behind the Tottenham Hotspur defensive lines in the left channel. Younes Kaboul eventually gets over to tackle foul him, and fortunately for Spurs its a) outside the area, just and b) Mikel Arteta decides to spank it out of play for no apparent reason. So it's still 0-0.

So I guess that's not better play so much as more mistakes by both sides. And now Tottenham right back Kyle Walker is down after a clash of heads with van Persie, who was... heading the ball completely legally. Get up, kid.


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Theo Walcott Nearly Sneaks A Goal

That's more like it by Arsenal. Good midfield play sees the Gunners pin the hosts back into their own penalty box, and although Tottenham Hotspur do manage to scramble the ball away, it only gets as far as Theo Walcott. The England man tries to bend a shot towards the far corner, but a Spurs defender gets in the way can barely diverts the shot past the post, with Brad Friedel nowhere.

A string of corners ensues, some of which result in rather panicky play by the home defence. It's nowhere near the horror show that occurs whenever Alex Song is put under pressure at the other end, of course, but if Arsenal's game plan is to not have to defend ever, it might just work out for the best after all. Of course, that requires keeping the ball for most of the game, and they're away from home against a team with better midfielders. Hrm. Still 0-0 here.


Bolton Wanderers Vs. Chelsea, 2011 Premier League: Full Time, Blues Run Riot

Bolton Wanderers are off to their worst league start in over 100 years, and they're going to stay at the bottom of the English Premier League table for at least one more round. They hardly put up a fight on Sunday night as Chelsea absolutely steamrolled them, winning 5-1 at the Reebok Stadium. The first half ended 4-0, at which point Chelsea let up on the accelerator a bit. Bolton scored just after the start of the second half, but they would struggle for chances for the rest of the match.

Frank Lampard was the man of the match, scoring an impressive hat trick. Daniel Sturridge was equally impressive, though, netting a couple goals of his own. The first came just two minutes into the match as he scored a completely free header on a corner kick. Bolton's lack of marking was a sign of things to come.

Adam Bogdan, filling in for Jussi Jaaskelainen in net for Bolton, had an absolute shocker. Chelsea's third goal - Sturridge's second - should have been easily saved, but he let it sneak by him at the near post. Just one minute later, he failed to handle a David Luiz shot and let Lampard score the rebound as Chelsea went up 4-0.

Dedryck Boyata, on loan from Manchester City, netted his first goal for Bolton in the 46th minute, heading in a great delivery by Martin Petrov, but that would be the best opportunity Bolton would get to score. Lampard completed his hat trick on the 59th minute, and Chelsea coasted to a comfortable victory.    


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Arsenal, 2011 Premier League: Lineups

Arsenal are fielding an interesting lineup for the North London Derby - injuries have forced them to use Alex Song at centre back, which means a start for Francis Coquelin as a holding midfielder. Tottenham Hotspur have injury problems of their own, but their core is intact - the midfield battle promises to be very interesting here. On paper, we're going to have a high scoring game, so this match will probably end up 0-0 and be dreadful or something.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Brad Friedel; Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Ledley King, Younnes Kaboul, Kyle Walker; Gareth Bale, Scott Parker, Luka Modric, Rafael Van der Vaart; Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe.

Substitutes: Carlo Cudicini, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Giovani dos Santos, Sebastian Bassong, Vedran Corluka, Jake Livermore, Sandro.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Kieran Gibbs, Alex Song, Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna; Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey; Gernvho, Robin van Perie, Theo Walcott.

Substitutes: Lukasz Fabianski, Park Chu-Young , Andre Santos, Andrei Arshavin, Carl Jenkinson, Emmanuel Frimpong, Yossi Benayoun.


Wolverhampton Wanderers Vs. Newcastle United, 2011 Premier League: Wolves Stumble Thanks To Tim Krul Heroics

Newcastle United earned a huge win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, although they were immensely fortunate to escape without a hammering. Only Tim Krul stood between the visitors and a bevy of Wolves goals, and his heroics kept the Magpie's two-goal cushion intact until the last few minutes of the game. How they even got that two-goal advantage is anyone's guess - although Jonas Gutierrez's 38th minute strike was pure class, Demba Ba's earlier goal was simply a function of the Wolves defence not paying any attention, and by the time the hosts went behind they'd already had several chances of scoring. But hadn't, obviously.

The second half was a non-stop onslaught on Kurl's goal, with the Dutchman (and his defenders) flying about like a madman to keep Wolves off the board. Eventually, the hosts did get a goal with something like third 24th shot, Steven Fletcher heading home a cross by Adam Hammill, and although that came in the 88th minute it hardly seemed like too little too late with the amount of chances they were getting. In fact, they could easily have had an equaliser when Kevin Doyle stabbed home during injury time, but the linesman claimed that the ball had gone out of play already. It was a dubious decision, although truthfully no amount of video replay could have settled the matter conclusively.

While being denied that last goal will have stung Wolves fans deeply, the truth is that they could have won by three and nobody would have noticed. Krul put in a great performance, yes, but if the hosts had been a little sharper with their finishing, life would have been far easier for them. Newcastle go into 3rd with the win, and Wolves find themselves stumbling, with just one point from their last 15.


Sunderland Vs. West Bromwich Albion, 2011 Premier League: Crazy First Half Spell Leads to 2-2 Draw

If the four goals of the Sunderland vs. West Bromwich Albion match had been spread out over more than 22 minutes of football, we might have had a fascinating game on our hands at the Stadium of Light. Instead, we had a manic spell followed by a period that could never really compare, as West Brom went up by two very early, Sunderland fought back and then the game fizzed out.

It took all of five minutes for Sunderland to go 2-0 down at home, prompting several calls for Steve Bruce's head following James Morrison nodding home from a corner and then a comedy ricochet in midfield releasing Shane Long to slip past Simon Mingolet all of sixty seconds later. It would have been very easy for a Sunderland team that's struggled badly all season to collapse at this point (if they hadn't already) but instead they fought back, claiming a goal through a deflected strike by on-loan striker Nicklas Bendtner and then immediately going level via the unmarked head of Ahmed Elmohamedy.

It was an unexpected comeback, but the Black Cats couldn't do much having hauled their way back into the game. There was some interesting back-and-forth football, but a tthe end of the day both teams seemed pretty happy to settle for the 2-2 draw.


Blackburn Rovers Vs. Manchester City: Late Rovers Collapse Sees City Earn Emphatic Win

No Sergio Aguero? No Carlos Tevez? No problem. Manchester City were held off by Blackburn Rovers for almost an hour before their hosts eventually capitulated, but once the first goal went in, another three followed in very quick succession. Adam Johnson was the first to find the net, shortly before Mario Balotelli added another by converting a cross at the near post. Substitutes Samir Nasri and Stefan Savic got the third and fourth goals respectively as Blackburn collapsed to a 4-0 loss.

City's afternoon was rather marred by an injury to Sergio Aguero, however - the striker was forced off after half an hour thanks to what looks like a groin problem. That's a situtation that could prove fairly distressing for Citizens manager Roberto Mancini: If Aguero is out for any significant length of time City will only have two real strikers at their disposal for the next couple of weeks. Then again, that might mean they only score two goals rather than four every match.


Aston Villa Vs. Wigan Athletic, 2011 Premier League: Gabriel Agbonlahor Seizes Day As Villa Grab 3 Points

Aston Villa have been masters of taking early leads only to bleed them away by doing things like retreating into a shell with Stiliyan Petrov their best defensive midfielder and scoring own goals via Richard Dunne's bottom, but they've finally overcome that particular hoodoo in beating Wigan Athletic 2-0 at Villa Park. It was very much the Gabby Agbonlahor show today, the England striker continuing his stupendous form this season by scoring in the first half and setting up Darren Bent for Villa's second.

The scoreline would have been even more emphatic if not for a string of fine saves by Ali Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal, but Agbonlahor finally broke the deadlock after being found by Barry Bannan, the diminutive midfielder scooping a pass to the striker, who turned Gary Caldwell and lashed home. His contribution to the second goal was even more impressive, embarking on a blistering run down the left that ate up fully half the pitch before sending in a cross that Bent was only too happy to convert.

Wigan had possession but no ability to convert that into chances (or even pressure), which doesn't exactly bode well for this season, Villa, meanwhile have some very good attacking talent - if they use that rather than relying on a shaky midfield to hold one-goal leads, they might actually win some games this season. Imagine that.


Manchester United Vs. Norwich City, 2011 Premier League: United Snatch Points, Smash Canary Hopes

Once again, Manchester United looked off the pace, but once again it didn't really matter too much. One wouldn't expect newly-promoted Norwich City to give the defending champions too much in the way of problems at Old Trafford, but the Canaries proved a very difficult nut to crack and had things gone ever so slightly differently it'd be United who were looking at a 2-0 defeat rather than their guests.

Norwich defended well for 70 minutes before the breakdown inevitably came off a corner kick, with Anderson ending the head pinball by nodding past John Ruddy from close range, and Danny Welbeck finished the job with five minutes left after combining intelligently with Park Ji-Sung to shred the visitors' back line. The rest of the games' best chances fell to Norwich, and only a combination of exceptionally poor finishing and blind luck saved the win for United. Anthony Pilkington had several great chances only to miss one on one against Anders Lindegaard with the match tied and then hit the post via deflection later, and the hosts defensive play was something approaching 'chaotic' throughout.

They say it's the mark of champions to win without playing particularly well, and if that's true United are now absolute locks for a 20th league title.


Blackburn Rovers Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Premier League: Sergio Aguero Injury Forces 1st-Half Substitution

Some bad news for Manchester City fans, who are already down a striker thanks to Carlos Tevez's antics at the Allianz Arena in midweek: Sergio Aguero has just been forced off the pitch at Ewood Park in the 27th minute of City's match against Blackburn Rovers. The Argentinian forward appears to have some sort of groin injury, and although he was able to walk off he clearly wasn't able to continue, and Roberto Mancini ended up deploying Samir Nasri in his place.

This is probably a precautionary move, in any case, but we won't know more until Mancini lets us know the severity of the problem after the match. If Aguero is indeed unavailable for the next match, City will find themsleves with just Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli out of a corps of strikers that until as recently as Tuesday morning looked immensely fearsome. As for the match, it's scoreless at Ewood Park, with City having the better of things and not much really going on.


Everton Vs. Liverpool, 2011 Merseyside Derby: Full Time, Reds Win Controversial Match 2-0

Everton were always facing an uphill battle in the Merseyside Derby, but referee Martin Atkinson never really gave them a fair chance to defeat Liverpool. The Reds will be satisfied with taking three points away from Goodison Park, defeating the Toffees 2-0, but an early red card put the home side at a disadvantage from a very early point in the match.

Jack Rodwell was sent off in the 23rd minute on a challenge that was possibly a foul and never even a yellow card. From that point on, Everton were at a serious disadvantage. They had chances to score in at the end of the first half, with Dirk Kuyt having a penalty saved by Tim Howard and Charlie Adam hitting the crossbar, but the two teams headed into the locker room tied up at 0-0.

In the first 25 minutes of the second half, very little happened. Kenny Dalglish introduced Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy into a relatively dull match in the 67th minute, bringing on two players that he probably should have brought in at halftime. At that point, the game changed in Liverpool's favor.

They finally found their opening goal in the 72nd minute, thanks to Andy Carroll. Left back Jose Enrique provided the assist, making a great overlapping run and putting in a low cross towards Carroll. It fell perfectly for the previously invisible big striker, and he scored with his left foot to give his side the lead.

Luis Suarez added a second goal in the 82nd minute, thanks to some awful defending by Everton. Sylvain Distin managed to put a clearance right into the chest of Suarez, who quickly brought the ball down and finished, sealing the deal against an Everton team who looked formidable with ten men for the 50 minutes between Rodwell's sending off and the opening goal.

We'll have live coverage of the Merseyside Derby and all of the rest of this week's Premier League fixtures in our English Premier League Week 7 StoryStream. Check out Everton blog Royal Blue Mersey and Liverpool blog Anfield Asylum for more on the two teams. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more on the entire world of football.

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