Well Mario Balotelli may have been reading my opinions of him and decided to show us some of his talent. The temperamental Italian helped himself to a hat-trick against a dismal Aston Villa, as Manchester City helped themselves to a 4-0 win over Gerard Houllier’s men.
Balotelli, starting in place of Carlos Tevez who had a thigh strain and was left on the substitutes bench, bagged himself two penalties and a tap-in (after some superb solo work from David Silva), whilst Joleon Lescott also got himself on the scoresheet.
City were three goals to the good at half-time against a Villa side who look a pale imitation of the team that finished in 6th place last season – Ashley Young must certainly be looking to join a better side in January – and Gerard Houllier’s young side are now certainly in the midst of a relegation battle. Whether they have the stomach for it, I guess we will find out.
Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur were sluggish in the first half against Newcastle United, but a more cultured second-half display, orchestrated by Luka Modric (who could play for any team in the World with his composed, graceful passing), saw Spurs run away from Alan Pardew’s side and emerge with a hard-fought 2-0 win.
Aaron Lennon’s low drive gave them the lead mid-way through the half, before Younes Kaboul was shown a straight red card for thrusting his head in the direction of Cheik Tiote. However, Spurs carried on playing with their swashbuckling style, and Gareth Bale wrapped up the victory late on.
Blackpool continued their impressive away record, as they won 2-0 at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland thanks to two goals from DJ Campbell, who now has five goals this season all away from Bloomfield Road.
Steve Bruce won’t be happy with his sides finishing, Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan both missing guilt edged chances.
Fulham, on the back of their dismal home defeat against West Ham, won 2-0 at Stoke City, thanks to two early goals from Chris Baird.
The Londoners then defended resolutely and were good value for their win, Aaron Hughes and Mark Schwarzer particularly impressive. Quite why Tony Pulis appeared to ignore Mark Hughes at the final whistle however, is anyone’s guess.
Blackburn Rovers and West Brom both ended the game with 10 men, but Steve Kean’s side emerged with all three points from their Hawthorns battle – Nikola Kalinic having a particularly busy day, scoring twice and being sent off.
Kalinic gave Rovers a third minute lead, but Jerome Thomas met a Somen Tchoyi cross to make it 1-1 in the 17th minute.
Kalinic restored Rovers lead in the second half before a Mame Diouf tap-in made it 3-1. Kalinic then saw a straight red for a horror challenge, before Gabriel Tamas, the Albion defender, was shown red for a scything challenge on Benjani late on.