Offside’s weekend in pictures: Spurs vs. QPR and more

It was another busy weekend of Premier League and Championship football for the Offside Sports Photography team…

Simon Stacpoole: Grabban grabs the winner for Norwich.
Simon Stacpoole: Grabban grabs the winner for Norwich.

Simon Stacpoole was at the East Anglian derby on Saturday August 23 for the first meeting between Norwich  City and their bitter rivals Ipswich Town.

The action took place at Portman Road, with the visiting Canaries claiming all three points thanks to a Lewis Grabban headed winner, that sent the bragging rights for the the first Old Farm derby of the season back to Carrow Road.

The early kick-off in the Premier League was covered by Paul Roberts, who was on hand to snap the action at Villa Park, as Newcastle United headed to the Midlands.

Paul Roberts: Siem de Jong looks at the referee as Michael Williamson of Newcastle United is sent off for a second yellow card.
Paul Roberts: Siem de Jong looks at the referee as Michael Williamson of Newcastle United is sent off for a second yellow card.

Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa are hoping to rediscover their forward momentum this year after a troubled campaign last season but had to settle for a stalemate against Alan Pardew’s visiting Magpies. The game ended 0-0.

In the afternoon, Mark Leech headed off to Stamford Bridge for Chelsea versus Leicester City.

Mark Leech: Diego Costa celebrates his goal for Chelsea.
Mark Leech: Diego Costa celebrates his goal for Chelsea.

Diego Costa was the man who broke the deadlock, with the naturalised Spanish striker showing just how much Jose Mourinho’s team needed a star striker last season.

The Blues’ 2-0 win was sealed by Eden Hazard, last years’  Young Player of the Year. Leicester fans will be hoping their other trips down to London this campaign will be more fruitful.

Saturday’s late kick-off saw Arsenal head up the motorway to Merseyside to face Everton. It was to be a showdown between the eye-catching styles of Roberto Martinez and Arsene Wenger, and as a spectacle it did not disappoint.

Marc Atkins: Phil Jagielka of Everton tangles with Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal.
Marc Atkins: Phil Jagielka of Everton tangles with Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal.

Marc Atkins was Offside’s man on the sidelines capturing all the action as the two sides played out an exciting match that ended 2-2.

Yet prior to the final 10 minutes, it looked as though the Toffees had secured all the points thanks to first half goals from Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith. The Gunners needed the late, late interventions of Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud to level the score before the end.

On Sunday, Simon Stacpoole made the trip up the East coast to Hull as Steve Bruce’s side welcomed Mark Hughes’ Stoke City for a clash of two Premier League middle-weight contenders.

Simon Stacpoole: Ryan Shawcross of Stoke battles with Thomas Ince of Hull.
Simon Stacpoole: Ryan Shawcross of Stoke battles with Thomas Ince of Hull.

The Potters were able to snatch a point from their trip over the Pennines to face the Tigers, with Ryan Shawcross’ bundling the ball over the line to make it 1-1, cancelling out Nikica Jelavic’s earlier strike for the hosts.

A single point was enough to send Hull into the unlikely position of fifth after just two games, while Stoke were able to rise up out of the relegation spots after having got their tally going for the season.

Mark Leech: The two teams walk out of the tunnel, with QPR on the near side.
Mark Leech: The two teams walk out of the tunnel, with QPR on the near side.

Perhaps the best action of the weekend came at White Hart Lane, where Mark Leech was on hand to cover Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-0 demolition of Queens Park Rangers.

QPR took to the field playing the fashionable 3-5-2 system but the hype behind this number combination wasn’t enough to hold back Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Erik Lamela in particular shone against the West Londoners, taking on opponents and playing clever balls into his team mates both through the centre and out from the flanks. Maybe that Bale money didn’t go to waste last season, after all?

Marc Atkins: Antonio Valencia of Manchester United crosses the ball past Patrick van Aanholt of Sunderland allowing Juan Mata to score the opening goal.
Marc Atkins: Antonio Valencia of Manchester United crosses the ball past Patrick van Aanholt of Sunderland allowing Juan Mata to score the opening goal.

With only the Monday night game between Manchester City and Liverpool left to be played, Marc Atkins headed to the North East to shoot their bitter rivals Manchester United as they travelled to play Sunderland.

Louis van Gaal wasn’t happy that his side were only able to take a point away from the Stadium of Light, but it was certainly an  improvement on United’s loss to Swansea.

There was another Manchester-Merseyside connection to events in Sunderland too,  with former Everton and City midfielder Jack Rodwell cancelling out Juan Mata’s opening goal to make it 1-1.

Offside is the UK’s leading independent sports photography agency, home to an extensive collection of classic First Division and Premier League pictures as well as other images from across the world of sport. Explore Offside’s unique library at www.welloffside.com.

Follow Offside on Twitter at @welloffside.

 

 

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Author: gregianjohnson

Football writer for The Blizzard, FourFourTwo, The Mirror, Squawka and VICE amongst others. Follow me on Twitter at @gregianjohnson.

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