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Weekend Roundup - Big Boys Fall Hard

Posted on Nov 19th, 2012 by Araz Heydariyehzadeh

Last weekend the Premier League's big boys fell hard as Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton went on their travels expecting 3 point bounties and returned with nothing as the league's lesser lights showed once again that nothing can be taken for granted.

West Brom
The least surprising heroes of the hour were West Brom, they've been excellent at home all season, winning 6 of their 7 matches at The Hawthorns and whilst many expected Chelsea to have a tough time of things there, few thought the baggies would take all 3 points. Not for the first time this season West Brom won a game in which they had half the amount of shots of their opposition did and less possession as they taught the league yet another lesson in using what little you have to devastating effect. Elevating everyone's relegation favourites at the start of the season to the heady heights of 5th place. If their away form was half as good their home form they would be serious European contenders.

Winless Reading must have expected a good old beating when national treasures Everton turned up last weekend. Premier League pundits can't get enough of praising the miraculous work David Moyes does year in year out with scant little in the way of resources, being forced to sell off his most prized assets but this one might have been on the cards for the braver mystic.

Everton went in to the game with just 1 win from their previous 5, that being courtesy of a 2-1 victory against Sunderland the previous week, a game they could and maybe should have lost. There was a sense that their blistering early season form was just beginning to dip a shade and that dip and full credit has to go to Reading for being made os steely enough stuff to take wor wonders wit what little they had. Reading managed just 4 shots on target in the game compared to Everton's 12 but goals are what count and reading's 2 brought them all the points.

The biggest shock of the weekend came at Carrow Road, but once again, was it really that much of a shock?

Norwich had quietly gotten themselves on a fabulous run. After a disastrous start to the season Hughton's men had won 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 games (including that win against Arsenal) and managed to keep clean sheets in 2 of those matches but that little run of form was ignored in the might of a United team who had won 5 games on the spin.

Not only did Norwich break their stride but they also broke a run of 10 consecutive league games in which United had scored 2 or more goals by shutting Ferguson's team out completely. But don't be fooled, it's not that Norwich have suddenly found new strength at the back, they have conceded more than 1 goal in a game on just 3 occasions this season and the 5 clean sheets they've kept is a league high. In fact they are now on a run of 4 clean sheets in 5 and have perhaps slipped under many people's radars retaining their status as potential whipping boys when form has changed that status to tough battlers who are solid at the back.

Their away form has been a little worse so it will be interesting to see how they fare in next week's double headers against Everton and Southampton but don't be surprised if they give both of those teams a much harder time than you expect and come back with more points to lead them towards the safety of mid-table.

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