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Wednesday 26 December 2012

2012 Barclays Premier League review: September

In the ninth of our 2012 Days of Christmas review, Chelsea remain unbeaten but the chase is on

  • Clint Dempsey's goal helped Spurs to a famous win at Old Trafford

  • Sunderland's Darren Fletcher won the player of the month award

  • Luis Suarez excelled even as his side struggled

  • Juan Mata helped Chelsea to maintain their unbeaten start to the league

  • Newcastle's Demba Ba was one of the leaders in the race for the Golden Boot

  • Matt Lowton's goal helped Aston Villa to record their first league win of the season

  • Robin van Persie scored twice as Manchester United fought back to beat Southampton


Chelsea stayed top of the Barclays Premier League after maintaining their unbeaten start to the 2012/13 season, but the chasing pack were not far behind after another month full of goals and exceptional performances.

Roberto Di Matteo guided Chelsea to five wins and one draw against Queens Park Rangers in their opening six matches to hold a three-point lead at the top of the table at the month’s end. One place farther back were Everton, who had no intention of repeating the slow starts that had affected them in recent seasons.

Everton, with Marouane Fellaini in superb form, recorded victories over Southampton and Swansea City and nearly secured three points against Newcastle United, who had Demba Ba’s late equaliser to thank for sharing the points in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.

Manchester United started the month by staging a trademark comeback to beat Premier League new boys Southampton 3-2 at St Mary’s Stadium. Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick, including two goals in five minutes late on, to leave Saints pointless after their opening three matches, before they registered their first win at the fifth attempt with a 4-1 success over Aston Villa.

United were on the receiving end of a 3-2 scoreline later in the month, though, as goals from Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey helped Tottenham Hotspur secure their first league win at Old Trafford since 1989.  Under the guidance of Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs moved up to fifth going into October.

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers registered his first Barclays Premier League win as the club’s manager with an emphatic 5-2 success against Norwich City. Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick and set up another to continue his excellent start to the league season.

The Uruguayan scored five goals in the opening six games, level with Van Persie and Sunderland’s new striker Steven Fletcher, and just one goal behind Newcastle United forward Demba Ba in the race for the Golden Boot. Another new manager Paul Lambert also registered his first win in October, with Aston Villa beating an in-form Swansea side 2-0 at Villa Park.

One of the most eye-catching fixtures of September was Manchester City pitting their wits against Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium, in a repeat of the dramatic final-day encounter of last season. QPR led again, but City were not denied the points this time, either, as Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez helped the reigning champions emerge as 3-1 winners.

Barclays Premier League award winners

Manager of the month: David Moyes (Everton)
Player of the month: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland)

Key quotes

"His [Robin van Persie’s] first goal was magnificent – the control and then to bury it. It was a really good goal. His header was excellent, too, but he has been a terric player for us. I was surprised [at Van Persie’s missed penalty] because every time I have seen him take a penalty he rattles it in the corners. He made up for it though. He had six attempts on goal and was a real threat. But we didn’t start playing until Paul Scholes came on the pitch, to be honest. In thought he changed the game right around." - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson after his team won 3-2 against Southampton

"His goals here were incredible last year and this was another masterclass in finishing apart from the one-on-one chance.  The second one typifies him because he missed his easiest chance he had, but he didn’t get disappointed, won back the ball, nutmegged the defender with an incredible piece of skill and then to finish the way he did was brilliant." - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers heaps praise on Luis Suarez after his hat-trick against Norwich City

"We spoke about making history at half-time. We knew we would be under pressure. The team excelled themselves. The team put in the effort and the desire. It’s a big night for the club but we have to continue with this kind of form." - Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas savours a 3-2 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

For September's results at a glance, click here

How they stood

Table on 1 Sep 2012                                Table on 30 Sep 2012

    P GD Pts     P GD Pts
1 Chelsea 3 6 9   Chelsea 6 8 16
2 Swansea 2 8 6   Everton 6 6 13
3 Everton 2 3 6   Man Utd 6 5 12
4 West Brom 2 3 4   Man City 6 4 12
5 Man City 2 1 4   Tottenham 6 3 11
6 Fulham 2 4 3   West Brom 6 3 11
7 Man Utd 2 0 3   Arsenal 6 6 9
8 Wigan 2 0 3   Fulham 6 4 9
9 Newcastle 2 -1 3   Newcastle 6 0 9
10 West Ham 2 -2 3   West Ham 5 1 8
11 Stoke 2 0 2   Swansea 6 1 7
12 Arsenal 2 0 2   Stoke 6 1 7
13 Sunderland 1 0 1   Sunderland 5 1 7
14 Tottenham 2 -1 1   Liverpool 6 -3 5
15 Reading 2 -2 1   Aston Villa 6 -4 5
16 Liverpool 2 -3 1   Wigan 6 -6 4
17 Norwich 2 -5 1   Southampton 6 -8 3
18 QPR 2 -5 1   Norwich 6 -9 3
19 Southampton 2 -3 0   Reading 5 -5 2
20 Aston Villa 2 -3 0   QPR 5 -8 2

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Key Points

  • Roberto Di Matteo guides Chelsea to five wins and a draw in September
  • Everton continue their sterling start to the season with the help of the in-form Marouane Fellaini
  • Brendan Rodgers seals first win as Liverpool manager in 5-2 success at Norwich