The Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admitted that his side had been "lucky" to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, who "deserved a point at the very least." You needed the fingers of both hands to count the saves that the goalkeeper Tim Krul had to make at Molineux, including two impressive stops with his feet that kept Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher from scoring, and only a dubious call from the referee's assistant prevented a last gasp equalizer. It is still far too early in the season for the Premier League table to be much worth looking at, and Toon must navigate a course past Tottenham, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in upcoming fixtures.
In the thick of the Anfield soap opera, which has brought to the sports pages of British newspapers the orgy of hairdresser's-chair gossip usually confined to the TV mags, Sunday's Merseyside derby has become a minor subplot. New England Sports Ventures' stop-start and now concluded takeover, Tom Hicks' desperate interventions, anguished supporters' pleas ... the chronic uncertainty of Liverpool's future has left barely a column inch for the soccer.
Three years ago, World Soccer magazine published a list of the 50 most exciting teenagers in the world. With the benefit of hindsight, of those named, you could say there are 13 who either achieved stardom or are on their way to it: Pato, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Fabio Coentrao, Marouane Fellaini, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Ivan Rakitic, Gregory van der Wiel and Theo Walcott.
Andrey Arshavin scored his first goal for Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger's side followed-up their midweek success on penalties in Rome by thumping Blackburn 4-0 on Saturday to move up to fourth place in the Premier League.