Few teams outside of the Premier League's elite are given any chance of a result when they travel to Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United. The
received wisdom is that if you play a 4-5-1 formation and hunker down for a tie, you might be lucky enough to come away with a point. As Bolton Wanderers proved in its 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford,
it rarely works, and you spend the large majority of the game smacking the ball upfield to your lone forward.
Then there's the revolutionary Hull City approach -- reason that
there's a good chance you'll lose anyway, and so take a few risks. Don't be scared of your opponent and its 60,000 home crowd, or the fact it has not lost at home for almost a year and a
half. Not only do you come away with a historic win, but you are party to a terrific game of soccer that has the nation admiring your play, your courage and your positive philosophy.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
gave credit to the extra "commitment" that Hull showed, and said that the defeat was a lesson for his team. His Hull
counterpart, Phil Brown
, confessed that when Arsenal took a one-goal lead at the start of the second half, they could have rattled up the kind
of score that had seen off Sheffield United in the League Cup in midweek, when Arsenal won, 6-0. But rather than hide or roll over, his team pressed back with two goals in the space of a few
minutes, including a highlight-reel strike from 30 yards out by Brazilian Geovanni
Hull moved up to sixth, and now has 11 points from its first
six games, the same number Derby County accumulated over the whole of last season. Hull, it should also be remembered, was tipped to be this season's Derby.
To be fair to
Bolton, it was unlucky to fall behind to a Cristiano Ronaldo
penalty when the Portuguese midfielder was tackled by defender Lloyd Samuel
referee Rob Styles
interpreted it as a foul. Bolton manager Gary Megson
refused to blame the penalty for the defeat,
though, acknowledging United's superiority. Wayne Rooney
came off the bench to add a second, lifting United, with one game in hand on its rivals, to 11th
Chelsea is top after a comfortable 2-0 victory at Stoke, while Liverpool is second after winning another intense but poor quality Merseyside derby at Everton on two goals
from Fernando Torres
past Tim Howard
Tottenham's still bottom and winless after losing to Portsmouth,
while Newcastle's new interim manager, Joe Kinnear,
could do nothing to stop the Magpies' losing streak, now at five games following a 2-1 defeat at
home to Blackburn Rovers.
"They seem to be lacking in confidence," said Kinnear after the game. Where on earth did he get that idea?
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson
unusually made no substitutions as his short-handed side fell 2-1 at home to West Ham, which meant no playing time for substitute Clint Dempsey
. His compatriot, Brad Friedel
, was more successful, conceding one but taking the three points as Aston Villa beat
Sunderland by the same scoreline. STANDINGS:
Aston Villa 13
West Ham 12
Manchester City 9
Manchester Utd 8 (5 games)
West Bromwich 7
Fulham 6 (5