Premier League – Managers: All hail Berbatov

All the reaction from Saturday’s Premier League action with Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce both praising Dimitar Berbatov.

Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn

Sir Alex Ferguson: “(Dimitar Berbatov’s five goals) was a fantastic achievement. He could have scored six too because Paul Robinson made a fantastic save near the end. When strikers are not scoring they don’t think they are doing their job right. That has always been the case. Today it came back.”

Sam Allardyce: “This won’t be any easy one for us to forget. We were completely outplayed and have just gone under. Berbatov gets a lot of criticism but he has great ability and is a quality finisher. It is unfortunate for him that he has a laid-back attitude. But for me he has always been top quality.”

Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal

Gerard Houllier: “We were poor in the first half. Whether it was because we showed them too much respect, or lacked experience, I don’t know. We never got started. We were a different team in the second half, showed more energy and took more risks. It’s just a shame that when we got to 2-1 that we couldn’t keep the score like that for 10 minutes because, after what happened to Arsenal last week, they would have been shaky.”

Arsene Wenger: “At 2-0, at half-time, you could feel amongst the players that what happened last week (against Tottenham) had an impact in their head. When Villa came back to 2-1, it was in interesting test for my team. We could have crumbled or we could score again – and we did the latter. We got a good mental response. This team is very interesting because they are on the same wavelength in the way they want to play. But they also fight for each other. I thought we had played well against Tottenham, had a lot of possession against Braga and we responded well again.”

Stoke City 1-1 Manchester City

Tony Pulis: “It’s a good point in the end, but we were desperately disappointed not to come in at half time winning the game. When you play that well against one of the best teams in the League, you have to do better when you’re on top or you will pay the price. That’s the one thing that let us down today. It was our final pass on occasions and our finishing where we really should do better.”

Roberto Mancini: “We deserved to win and I’m disappointed for the guys because they played very well. We tried to play football on a difficult pitch and we deserved to win 2-0. I’m happy with (Mario) Balotelli, he worked hard for the team, and I’m happy for Micah (Richards), he scored a fantastic goal. We are disappointed to concede so late, because we played some fantastic football in the second half. But if we continue to play like we did at Fulham and today, we will win a lot of games.”

Everton 1-4 West Brom

David Moyes: “We didn’t start well. We went a couple of goals down because of our poor start. You can play badly and maybe get away with it but we didn’t get away with it today because we didn’t pick up well enough.”

Roberto di Matteo: “There were some excellent goals today – we were very clinical, which has been missing in the last few weeks from our game. I thought we played some fantastic football, we didn’t show any fear. We showed a lot of courage to come here and play the football we did.”

Bolton 2-2 Blackpool

Owen Coyle: “At 2-0 down at home we made substitutions (bringing on Petrov and Rodrigo Moreno) – and I’m not being smart after the event – but I was prepared to lose the game 3-0 or 4-0 to get back into it. We effectively ended up with six attacking players on the pitch and the last 25 minutes we have scored two goals and could have scored four or five.”

Ian Holloway: “We were brilliant, a little bit naive, but to play like we did against Bolton in the form they were in….I believe that playing like that will get us more points than it loses us. I am not disappointed. I thought my team were absolutely brilliant; we came here, took the game to them, passed it and moved it and created a lot of chances.

Wolves 3-2 Sunderland

Mick McCarthy: “I haven’t seen the newspapers, but somebody rang me and said an article said that I’d had a go at the fans. I would never have a go at the fans. I have had such great support from everybody at the club, so I said I never take any notice of internet bloggers, radio phone-ins, or anything else. I said I think anybody who writes on one or rings in to one are numpties. What I do like are all those out there (the fans at Molineux), who have been brilliant.”

Steve Bruce: “If we defend like that, then it is going to be a tough winter for us again because defensively, individual mistakes have cost us the game. Obviously we were without Turner and Bramble and it showed today. We haven’t been beaten against the top 10 teams which is a fantastic achievement. However, we have got to treat these ones with the same respect.

West Ham United 3-1 Wigan

Avram Grant: “It was a good win and a convincing victory, I am happy for us and hope it is only the beginning. We played like we have all of the other games, but were more efficient today. We won, this is the difference and this is the name of the game.”

Roberto Martinez: “We conceded three very cheap goals for our standards, and that is something we will work on. We had a few players missing, but that is not an excuse. You got the feeling nothing was going our way. There was a good opportunity to get back into the game with the penalty, and then even at the end we got a good goal ruled out. It is quite clear to me the things we need to work on, but I was pleased with the reaction towards the end.”

Fulham 1-1 Birmingham

Mark Hughes: “It was difficult because at 1-0 down they got lots of people behind the ball away from. We had to keep on going, keep knocking at the door, keep showing belief, which I was really pleased with and we got back on level terms. We are very aware of where we are, you only have to look at the table. But we only five points away from seventh, so you can look at it both ways.”

Alex McLeish: “If we can keeping winning at home and take four points out of six every two games, I think we will be okay. Some day we will win away from home but nobody has discussed that at all. It is not easy to win away from home. There are no guarantees you can do it. We might never win away in the next two years but as long as we are in the Premier League I will be delighted.”


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