Pre-match handshakes, or the absence of them, overshadowed the eight fixtures in the English Premier League on Saturday as the feud between Queens Park Rangers defender, Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry continued at Loftus Road.
Ferdinand ignored Terry as both sets of players assembled to shake hands before kick-off in what was the first meeting of the two players since the Chelsea defender was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand (younger brother of Rio) by a court in July.
Charges against Terry were brought following an incident during the corresponding fixture in October last year. Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for Terry at the trail at Westminster Magistrates Court, was also snubbed by Ferdinand.
The match itself was predictably lively but yielded no goals. Chelsea had the better of the first half with Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres both testing Julio Cesar in QPR’s goal.
The home side had their chances in the second half but Park Ji-Sung squandered a free header while Bobby Zamora couldn’t find a shot after rounding keeper Petr Cech.
The result was a goalless deadlock which is enough to keep Chelsea at the top of the table with 10 points. QPR, meanwhile, are struggling in 18th place with only two points from a possible 12. Elsewhere, the blue and red halves of Manchester experienced mixed fortunes.
Reigning champions, City could only manage a 1-1 draw away to Stoke City and remain in fourth place. But United are up to second after claiming all three points with a 4-0 thrashing of Wigan at Old Trafford.
Paul Scholes, who was making his 700th appearance for United, scored the opening goal six minutes into the second half. It opened the floodgates, with Hernandez scoring in the 63rd minute and Alex Buttner adding a third three minutes later.
Teenage striker, Nick Powell completed the rout with a thunderous drive eight minutes from the final whistle. Arsenal were in fine form against Southampton at the Emirates with Gervinho scoring a brace in a 6-1 drubbing of Southampton.
Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott were also on target for the Gunners whose total was boosted by two first-half own goals by Southampton’s Dutch defender Jos Hooiveld and Nathaniel Clyne.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are still searching for their first win of the season after only managing a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland. Luis Suarez’s 71st minute strike canceled out Steven Fletcher’s first half goal to lift Liverpool one place to 17th, while Martin O’Neill’s side rise to 14th.
Aston Villa recorded their first victory of the season beating high-flying Swansea City 2-0 at Villa Park. Fulham beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at Craven Cottage, while West Ham United drew 0-0 against Norwich City at Carrow Road.