Jack’s EPL Weekend Wrap

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Only two games we possible on a weekend where the winter freeze wreaked havoc with the fixture list in the Barclays Premier League. Remarkably, the two fixtures which did go ahead were in Lancashire and Tyne and Wear, the later which has been battling enormous amounts of snow since November.

It was there that the first of the two fixtures took place, with Sunderland emerging victorious over Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light in the lunch time kick off.

A goal from the Black Cat’s Danny Wellbeck (his 5th of this campaign) was enough to separate the sides, though Owen Coyle will feel, with some justification, that his Bolton side deserved to take something from a match that, in truth could have gone either way.

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Despite the goal, undoubtedly the highlight of the match was Sunderland goal keeper Craig Gordon’s stunning reflex save to deny Zat Knight from 5 yards.

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It has without a doubt locked up the save of the season award already, and in my eyes will go down as one of the best saves ever made in the Premier League.

The only other Premier League fixture of the weekend to be played saw manager-less Blackburn Rovers host bottom of the table West Ham. After a dire first half in which neither side created much of note, Rovers took the lead early in the second stanza following a goal from the New Zealand international captain Ryan Nelsen.

Blackburn’s new Indian owners sacked manager Sam Allardyce during the week in the pursuit of more attractive football, and the first goal of their reign will be remembered as one of the most scrappy goals in recent history.

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Following a corner which West Ham failed to clear, the ball bounced around the area before falling to the feet of Nelsen just three yards out only for him to be denied by a stunning block from debutant West Ham ‘keeper Ruud Boffin, however the luck was again against the Hammers, as it tends to be when you are bottom of the league, as the rebound from Boffin’s save only went as far as Nelsen’s knee before looping into the corner of the net.

West Ham then had to go all out and chase the game and they did, and were rewarded for their efforts when with 12 minutes remaining the ball broke to substitute winger Junior Stanislas who neatly slotted home to give the 1,500 West Ham fans who had made the 500-mile round trip in the snow to Blackburn something to cheer about as the clubs shared the spoils.

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