x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Premier League: Di Canio's emotional display, McCarthy saves Reading and assistant referees change games

On the upside is Paolo Di Canio, whose emotional display on the touchline for goals scored made him a hero to Sunderland fans. On the downside are referee assistants who changed the momentum in two games this past weekend.

Paolo Di Canio's emotional display on the touchline for goals scored made him a hero to Sunderland fans but not his dry cleaner.
Paolo Di Canio's emotional display on the touchline for goals scored made him a hero to Sunderland fans but not his dry cleaner.

THREE UP

Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland

The Italian has gained plenty of negative publicity since becoming Sunderland manager. But you cannot fault his passion for the game. His celebrations in the win over Newcastle were wild. His dry cleaner will have a job getting the grass stains out of his suit.

Alex McCarthy, Reading

Liverpool had 26 shots - 15 on target - at Reading, but could not score. The hero was Alex McCarthy, 22 and making his first start since November, who made save after save in a 0-0 draw. "Absolutely staggering" said Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers.

Wigan Athletic

Wigan were still in the fourth division less than 20 years ago. Now, the club from a rugby-loving town in northern England will play their first FA Cup final and have qualified for next season's Europa League.

 

THREE DOWN

Fabian Delph, Aston Villa

Delph was to be a big prospect when Villa paid £6 million (Dh33.8m) to sign him from Leeds in 2009. Injury has hurt his progress and an own goal against Fulham was about the most notable thing he has done in a Villa shirt. Shame it cost his side two points.

Sergio Aguero, Man City

With Carlos Tevez in the squad, Aguero has always been the more lovable of City's Argentine strikers. However, his two-footed lunge on David Luiz's backside against Chelsea, showed a dark side - just how did the referee miss it?

Assistant referees

One gave a penalty to Arsenal from 40 yards away after incorrectly giving a corner against Norwich. It turned the game. Newcastle also had an equaliser wrongly chalked off for offside, against Sunderland. They lost.

 

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