April 10th, 2012
Easter Weekend Results: Vulgar (But Hot) Displays Of Power
Whether to your liking or not, Kickettes, several clubs reasserted their dominance over their respective leagues this weekend.
Your failure to recover from the extended Easter break enough to read about them is aided by today’s Weekend Results roundup.
Despite rumours to the contrary, Manchester United players are not yet able to control the game by sheer force of will. They’re not far off it though, so you can’t blame Rafael for trying. Image: REUTERS/Darren Staples.
A few weeks ago, the wise sages in the UK press were stroking their chins and shaking their heads at the possibility of Manchester City nicking the title from under the noses of the red rivals. United have too much experience at winning, they said. City will lose their nerve.
Irritatingly, it seems they were right. This morning, Manchester United sit eight points clear at the top of the table after a comfortable (if slightly controversial) 2-0 win over QPR. Manchester City played Arsenal, and anyone who enjoyed our lead image this morning knows what happened there. Short of Roberto Mancini having a Keegan-esque meltdown on live TV, there’s probably not a great deal more to see here.
Clint Dempsey dented Bolton’s hopes of staying in the EPL on Saturday, then dumped Chelsea into the most ignominious of positions – below Newcastle in the table. Deuce scored two at the Reebok, but since Wolves, Wigan and Blackburn all lost, Bolton are still hovering above the relegation places today. His 82nd minute strike at home vs. the Blues was arguably the more damaging – they are now in sixth and face a struggle to make it back into the top four.
They’ll be ever so grateful to Tottenham, who followed up a goalless draw at Sunderland with a 2-1 defeat at Norwich and are now level on points with the aforementioned Magpies. Whose amazeballs form may well usher them into that much sought after Champions League spot.
Any clever pundits predict that? No. Thought not.
Michu. Scores twice, then roars in a vary manly manner. Fair enough. Image via rayovallecano.es.
Let us begin by giving Rayo Vallecano an honorable mention. The promoted side, whose troubles off the pitch have so far eclipsed anything they’ve managed on it, trounced an unsuspecting Osasuna 6-0 on Saturday. Two of the goals were scored by Michu (above), but before fans of the side rush out to get his name printed on their replica shirts, please note he has already responded positively to rumours that Manchester United and Porto are interested in acquiring his services.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s failure to beat Valencia at the Bernabeu has merely strengthened our resolve to take Monday 23rd April off. Barcelona’s Champions League commitments have caused El Clasico to be brought forward a day to Saturday 21st April, and with the gap between the two down to four points after Pep’s boys beat relegation threatened Real Zaragoza 4-1, we fear a bloodbath.
Not on the pitch. We take that for granted. No, we’re talking about the comments section of the subsequent results post.
If that wasn’t enough trauma, Fernando Llorente ended Bilbao’s five game winless run with a header and crept to within a point of opponents Sevilla. As of today, a mere five points separate 13th and 6th place, so it’s going to be a super exciting run-in outside of the top two as well. Awesome.
Leonardo Bonnuci gets his guns out for the Kickettes. Image: REUTERS/Massimo Barbanera.
Carvalho Amauri was an unexpected contributor to Juventus’ title challenge on Saturday, despite having left the club last year. The man whose crimes against hats (among other things) saw a disgruntled fan put him up for sale on eBay, scored a last minute winner for latest club Fiorentina, who just happened to be playing Juve’s title rivals AC Milan. Milan dropped three points, Juve went on to beat Palermo 2-0 and now they’re tightening their grip on the lead.
Looking at Bonnuci’s muscles, we won’t bet against ‘em to hold on.
Normal service has been resumed at Inter, who came from behind twice vs. Cagliari but ended up drawing 2-2. If it’s surprise you want, look no further that Roma, whose Champions League fantasies took a serious knock at the hands of relegation threatened Lecce. The Giallorossi lost 4-2, but it could’ve been a damn sight worse. As late as 85 minutes the scoreline was 4-0; goals from Bojan (88) and Lamela (90) saved some serious blushing.
What’s going on, Kickettes? Is the overwhelming prettiness becoming to much to bear at the Stadio Olimpico?
Couldn’t you have just kicked it clear? By the way, team, this Thomas Kraft chap. He’s cuter than this picture implies. Image: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay.
With Dortmund and Bayern seeing off their respective opponents, the gap between the top two remains at three points in Dortmund’s favour. Schalke’s 3-0 win over Hannover saw them consolidate position in the Champions League spots, but while Borussia Monchengladbach’s nine point advantage over closest rival Stuttgart implies that fourth is theirs, their recent run of poor form does not. ‘Gladbach’s 0-0 draw with Hertha plus Stuttgart’s 4-1 win over Mainz confirmed our idle speculation nicely.
Cologne’s battle to stay in the top flight took a knock as they drew 1-1 with Werder Bremen and Hamburg don’t have a great deal to be cheery about this morning either. They drew 1-1 with sixth placed Bayer Leverkusen and while they’re not actually in the relegation zone, they can surely feel it’s hot breath on the back of their necks.
Sorry. Blame the purple prose on the fact that we’re almost certainly still drunk after Easter.
If you stick an unwanted appendage in someone’s mouth, Alou Diarra, you run the risk of having it bitten off. You have been warned. Image: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images.
Despite their own outbreak of unsportsmanlike behaviour, Paris Saint Germain joined Montpellier at the top with a 2-1 win over handsy opponents Marseille. Lille failed to keep up the pace though, unexpectedly losing 3-1 to Brest and presumably spending most of Sunday watching their title hopes trot off into the distance. Fourth placed Lyon didn’t help, winning their fixture vs. Auxerre 2-1 and creeping to within three points of the side who they beat by the same margin just a couple of weeks ago.
Speaking of Auxerre, while it’s theoretically possible for them to remain in the top flight next season, their recent poor form suggests that it’s about as likely as Kickette being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Not. Gonna. Happen.
Sorry boys. We’re dealing with it, so you have to.
Montreal Impact’s Bernardo Corradi (R) fights for the ball against Toronto FC’s Richard Eckersley Image: REUTERS/Christinne Muschi.
Montreal Impact’s uninspiring form in their first MLS season was forgotten by their fans this weekend, as they beat Canadian rivals Toronto 2-1. Toronto, for all their success last season, find themselves pointless at the bottom of the Eastern conference this morning, while the three points won by Montreal sees them move up to 8th.
Will Toronto take comfort from the fact that the team they beat in last season’s CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final are also floundering? Doubtful, but even our paralysed eyebrows have forced themselves into an arch over Becks boys’ recent form. Galaxy are rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference on three points, beaten 1-0 by a super perky Sporting Kansas City. Portland Timbers’ 2-1 defeat to Chivas makes this weekend’s game vs. Galaxy a must-win for both teams.
Other notable happenings included Thierry Henry taking his season tally so far to seven, adding another two in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 win in Columbus Crew’s back yard, with Chris Wondolowski bringing up the rear on six. He scored two in the Earthquakes 3-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps.
Do you lot find this end of the season as stressful as we do? Tell us. But in a calm, relaxed manner so as not to add to our pain at coming back to work this morning.