THE WEEKEND REVIEW – 07/02/11

Pretty much every newspaper you pick up this morning will be going on about Fernando Torres and his inauspicious debut against his former teammates. So we don’t need to go on about it here.Fernando Torres in the new Nike T90 Laser IV Football Boots

Suffice it to say, Torres was anonymous, Liverpool contained Chelsea well and then made the most of Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic’s lack of love at the back to take all three points. The game itself – predictably after so much hype – was a drab affair, not that Kenny Dalglish or Liverpool fans will care one jot.

Earlier in the day, Birmingham’s Nicola Zigic ducked to head home a high cross to the back post in the relegation battle at Upton Park, meaning that ‘W’ is the end of the alphabet in Premiership terms, even if two of their number gained vital wins over the weekend.

On Saturday, Wolves’ reward for beating previously unbeaten Manchester United at Molineux wasn’t immediately apparent – they remained bottom overnight – but the quality of their performance suggests that they are in with a decent chance of staying up.

When it’s backs-against- the-wall time, in addition to having a well-organised defence you need a striker who can hold the ball up for longer than three seconds so that everyone can catch their breath; in Kevin Doyle, Wolves have that man. He was outstanding.

West Brom’s defeat to Manchester City on Saturday might have been expected, but the Baggies’ general poor form since November is possibly what accounted for Roberto di Matteo’s job on Sunday.

One thing we have learned over the past few years is that it doesn’t really matter who West Brom have as manager in the Premiership – they tend to get relegated (Bryan Robson temporarily suspended that belief). Equally, no matter who they have at the helm in the Championship, they tend to get promoted. The ‘yo-yo’ cliché was made for them.

Wigan edged out Blackburn 4-3 in atrocious conditions at the Dave Whelan I Made This Club It’s My Stadium, but they too remain locked in a dogfight but one ray of hope for the teams at the bottom is Blackpool.

Once Ian Holloway’s entertaining (tedious?) press conferences and asides are done with, his team is in freefall. ‘A breath of fresh air’ doesn’t keep a team safe, after all. Everton came from 3-2 down to run out 5-3 winners at Goodison Park, with Louis Saha joining the ranks of those strikers who have scored four goals in a game.

Another eight-goal thriller will go down in folklore and be remembered for years to come by Newcastle United supporters who were there – save for the ‘loyal’ fans seen filing for the exit gates at St. James’s Park after 26 minutes when Robin van Persie scored Arsenal’s fourth.

After the break, Abou Diaby’s dismissal triggered a remarkable collapse/comeback, and Newcastle became the first team in Premiership history to successfully come back from 4-0 down. They very nearly won it at the death, when Nolan’s drive flew past the post. Andy Who?