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Merse, Le Tiss, Thommo and Charlie discuss Saturday's Premier League action and more...

Soccer Saturday Posted 17th November 2012 view comments

Paul Merson on WBA's 2-1 victory over Chelsea

"I thought West Brom deserved the points. I thought they played very well. As soon as they scored the first goal through Shane Long (who was absolutely outstanding all day - he ran David Luiz and Gary Cahill ragged) - they sat back and counter-attacked with so much pace. Chelsea got a goal back with a Hazard header that I don't think would have gone in unless it hit Billy Jones. Boaz Myhill made some great saves. Then another good move by West Brom and Peter Odemwingie scored with a near-post header. Ryan Bertrand probably could have done better. But after that it was Myhill against Chelsea and he was absolutely outstanding.

"To be where West Brom are with 23 points is outstanding - before the start of the season the first thing they want to do is get 40 points. They have a system; they get back very quickly into a shape, they defend very well. The lad Olsson headed everything that came in and they work their socks off for each other. It's easy working your socks off for each other when you are winning every week. If you are not winning every week it does become hard but the counter-attacking football they play is excellent and I thought they were outstanding.

"Roberto di Matteo had to bring Juan Mata and Oscar on. Mata was outstanding when he came on - he made things happen. He was always looking forward; he was like David Silva. But it was Myhill - everything that Dean Sturridge hit, he saved. Sturridge had chances and he should have scored; he done alright but it's hard when you are just coming in for one game. Fernando Torres was shocking."

Read our match report here

Matt Le Tissier on Man City's 5-0 victory over Aston Villa

"You knew it wasn't a penalty [for City's second] because not a single Manchester City player appealed for a penalty. That tells you everything about the decision. David Silva, who took the corner, had exactly the same view that the linesman had, because the linesman was standing exactly where he was, and he didn't bat an eyelid. He jogged away as if it was a goal-kick to Aston Villa, which is what it should have been. It was a really baffling decision. When a linesman intervenes in the game like that he's got to be 100 per cent certain that he's seen an offence. There's no way that he could have been even 50 per cent certain that he'd seen a handball. Andreas Weimann gets a little nudge, which sends him off-balance a little bit, and his arm comes out to regain his balance but the ball goes over the top of his shoulder and hits the Man City player behind him. You just think, how on earth can he give that? It was a big turning point because it was 1-0. Villa had done alright, first half; they could have gone ahead with a Christian Benteke header, which Joe Hart did really well to save. Alright, they weren't the better team but City got the goal just before half-time. Villa were still in that game at 1-0. Paul Lambert's absolutely right - at 1-0 anything can happen but once the penalty is given, it took the wind out of Aston Villa's sails.

"The second penalty was given not long after and there was a slight question mark about that too because Barry Bannan had gone to slide in to block the cross. The City player - I think it was Maicon - checked back - and as he did where Bannan was sliding there was nowhere else for him to put his hand. His hand was right on the floor - it's not as though it's up in the air to stop the ball from going anywhere and it just rolls over his arm. That, for me, is not deliberate hand-ball and from my point of view I think the linesman got both of those decisions wrong. That's not to say the result would have been any different because City, although they weren't at their best in the first half, certainly once they got the second goal it was like a training match after that."

Read our match report here

Charlie Nicholas on Liverpool's 3-0 victory over Wigan

"It wasn't straightforward for Liverpool. The crowd was as subdued as I've ever heard it at Anfield in the first half - the team's passing really wasn't going anywhere, Wigan didn't really threaten too much. There was one good opportunity in the first half for Suso, who like Ben Watson also came off injured in the first half. It was a header from only eight yards but it was really poor - he didn't adjust his body to suit the situation. Other than that Wigan kept Luis Suarez quiet. Enrique and Suarez were the two lively ones but it didn't really get going.

"But then all of a sudden in the second half it's a poor mistake; Jean Beausejour has tried to knock it back to Maynor Figueroa. The pass is slightly short; I think the defender can take the risk and take him out if he is really that determined but to be fair to young Raheem Sterling, he skips by him, he cuts it back and it's a fantastic finish from Suarez.

"Suarez just floats in and out of the three centre-backs that they have and they just found it really hard. Again, Enrique comes inside and Suarez is cute enough to get inside two of the centre-backs; it's a pin-point accurate pass and he just stubs it past the keeper with a little toe-poke. It was really game over after that. Wigan never, ever got going in the second half; they couldn't respond at all. They got deeper and deeper and then it was a simple tap in for Enrique, who is in good form at the moment. It was another one-two set up by Sterling and Suarez. That's 10 Premier League goals now for Suarez - he's starting to get a mixture of tap-ins and exciting ones. He's the difference."

Read our match report here

Phil Thompson on Newcastle's 2-1 home defeat to Swansea

"Swansea did very well but it's worrying times for Newcastle. We mentioned before the game the injuries that are cropping up with them and the suspension to Cheick Tiote; it's not just working out for them at the moment. Defensively they are not as secure. But this is a Swansea side that, for me, are capable of taking advantage of that and they do it by keeping possession as they do. It was a strange first half because it was very flat. The crowd didn't really get up and that didn't help Newcastle at all and so Swansea were able to get nice and comfortable and play their stuff.

"Sammy Ameobi did ok and in the second half they took off Shane Ferguson and brought on Shola Ameobi so both brothers are on, so it's a huge size advantage to them. But Ashley Williams and Garry Monk did very, very well in defence and it was like 58 minutes when Michu scored. It was a bad kick out of defence from the goalkeeper Tim Krul. He puts it straight to Hernandez; he attacks it and dinks a great ball in and there's Michu, just timing his run, and it's a downward header right into the back of the net.

"Newcastle have tried, huffed and puffed, but then in the 87th minute Swansea counter-attack again. It was awful defensively by Steven Taylor; Danny Graham goes forward, gets a shot in and Krul only parries it out to the side and there's Jonathan de Guzman and he puts a high shot in and that's 2-0 down. Newcastle score - Demba Ba gets his eighth Premier League goal - but I would have to say that Swansea deserve this result."

Read our match report here

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