Crazy day in the English Premiership: Arsenal’s title hopes in tatters as Hull Manager head-butts player •Chelsea extend lead

Posted by News Express | 2 March 2014 | 3,329 times

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It was a day of the unexpected yesterday in English Premiership football. While Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger painfully admitted that the Gunners’ title chances are receding after a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City, Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew head-butted a Hull player in the heat of anger. On the positive side, Chelsea literally rolled over Fulham to extend their lead at the top of the table by four points. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s 3-0 victory at Southampton lifted the Reds above Arsenal into second place on goal difference.

“It is not a slight worry, it is a big worry for us to lose a game like that,” Wenger said after a Jon Walters penalty settled the contest in Stoke’s favour. “I was not happy with the performance and the result was a massive setback for us.”

Wenger confirmed Mesut Özil was fit, even though he kept the German on the bench for most of the game, and said he was disappointed how little his side created going forward. “We did not create enough chances and we were punished,” he said. “When you are going for the title and you are expected to perform, you have to perform. It is as simple as that.”

For Alan Pardew, it was a regrettable moment of madness and he now faces a hefty fine and a significant touchline ban after he lost control on the touchline and head-butted Hull City midfielder David Meyler. Pardew was promptly sent to the stands by referee Kevin Friend in the 72nd minute. The incident soured the celebration of Newcastle’s 4-1 win

The incident was sparked by Pardew taking exception to being moved out of the way by Meyler as he retrieved the ball for a throw-in. Pardew objected to the slight contact from the home defender and, after squaring up to Meyler as he sought to rejoin play, the manager then head-butted him in the face.

Pardew was contrite after the match and told Sky Sports News: “It was a heat of the moment thing – I massively regret it. I think I’m going to sit down now because that’s two or three incidents I’ve been involved in. I didn’t meant to do anything aggressive but I moved my head forward and that’s enough. It’s a shame because it took the gloss off a fantastic performance from us. That's really upsetting.”

The 52-year-old later was quoted by Newcastle’s website as saying: “It was wrong and is a wake-up call for me to go and sit down and have a think. I did not mean any damage to the guy but I have moved my head forward. I tried to push him away with my head but I should not have done that. I apologise to everyone. I should not have got involved in it.”

On the positive side, it was indeed a happy evening for Jose Mourinho a.k.a The Happy One as German midfielder Andre Schurrle netted a second-half hat-trick to give the Blues a 3-1 win in the west London derby at Fulham, who remain bottom.

The boys from Stamford Bridge, driven on by brilliant Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, blew Fulham away with three goals in the space of 16 minutes following the restart to consolidate on their top position on the log.

Result of Premiership matches played March 1, 2014

Southampton 0-3 Liverpool

Fulham 1-3 Chelsea

Everton 1-0 West Ham United

•Story pieced together from reports in the British press. Photo shows the moment of madness when Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew head-butted Hull City midfielder David Meyler. He now faces a lengthy ban as a result of the incident.

Source: News Express

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