March 19th, 2012

Weekend Results: A Few Things To Brighten Your Day

We thought you might need cheering up this morning, and the boys across the European Leagues obviously felt so too.

Don’t keep them waiting, Kickettes!

The FA Cup

Aww, he’s really pleased about that, isn’t he? Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images.

Chelsea extended their winning run under Roberto Di Matteo to four in all competitions this weekend with a 5-2 win over Leicester City, two of the goals coming from drought stricken striker Fernando Torres. Nandina, who hadn’t found the net for 25 hours and 40 minutes, scored two in the match and afterwards stated that all he had needed was the confidence of his manager. Di Matteo has tipped the blonde bombshell to go on a spree, which is going to leave them both looking a bit daft if he fails to do so. And AVB laughing like a drain, presumably.

Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Stewart Downing scored only his second for Liverpool in a 2-1 win over Stoke City, while city rivals Everton have a replay to fit in after failing to beat Sunderland at Goodison.

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EPL

And with that, our thoughts plummeted gutter-wards. Scott Heavey/Getty Images.

Wolves’ season went from awful to “we can’t bear to look anymore” on Sunday as Manchester United put five goals past them and sent them to the bottom of the table on goal difference. United have moved four points clear of Manchester City, whose game in hand vs. Chelsea has been moved to Wednesday.

Newcastle remain sixth after a 1-0 win over Norwich, while surprise package Swansea put three past Fulham.  Wigan, who have been contesting bottom spot with Wolves for most of the season, drew 1-1 with West Brom and have hit the heady heights of nineteenth.

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La Liga

Ruud played for thirty minutes for Malaga at the Bernabeu and got a standing ovation from the Madrid faithful. Image:AP Photo/Andres Kudacki.

A stoppage time goal from Santi Carloza saw an end to Real Madrid’s eleven match winning run – their game vs. Malaga finished 1-1 after they failed to convert a number of opportunities. Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-0 to come within eight points of their rivals, while Roberto Soldado’s hat-trick vs. Athletic Bilbao kept Valencia in third.

The battle for survival continued at the bottom, with Granada picking up a valuable three points vs. fellow strugglers Sporting Gijon, beating them 2-1. Granada are fifteenth while Sporting slip to nineteenth.

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Serie A

Edinson Cavani: Cometh the hour, cometh the abs. Image: Dino Panato/Getty Images.

Claudio Ranieri was forced to deny that Diego Forlan refused to come off the bench when asked this weekend, during Inter’s 0-0 draw vs. Atalanta. Forlan was called upon to replace Joel Obi, but Luc Castaignos ended up coming on, with Ranieri claiming that the Uruguayan felt unable to carry out the role his manager had in mind for him.

Put it this way, Kickettes. One of them is going to end up on the golf course soon enough. Care to wager who it’ll be?

AC Milan’ four point lead at the top remains intact after they beat Parma 2-0. Closest rivals Juventus did their goal difference no harm at all with a 5-0 away win over Fiorentina, while Napoli put their Champions League woes behind them, coming back from 2-0 down vs. Udinese to pick up a much needed point. Edinson Cavani, once again, was the hero of the hour, scoring both and bringing his total for the season to eighteen.

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Bundesliga

He only got one goal and Arjen got three, but we’re pretty sure you lot are not going to moan about our choice of image here. Image: AP Photo/Michael Sohn.

It would take something pretty enormous to eclipse the twenty goals in three games that Bayern have notched up, but we think we found it in Thomas Muller’s shorts. Tommy scored the first of Bayern’s six unanswered goals vs. Hertha Berlin, with Gomez and Kroos taking one each and Arjen Robben helping himself to a nifty little hat-trick. Hertha are now lying in a crumpled little heap at nineteenth in the table.

Borussia Dortmund retained their position at the top despite their rival’s greed – they beat Bremen 1-0 – but they will be well aware that should it come down to it, they will no longer be able to rely on goal difference to take the title. Bayern have +47 while Dortmund have just +37. What a difference ten days makes!

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Ligue 1

Eden Hazard. Young, cute and if the rumours are to be believed, heading towards the EPL. Image: Reuters.

While we’re sure he was at the game to watch his number one summer target’s performance on the pitch, Roberto Mancini must have appreciated the sight of Eden Hazard’s superb thighs during Lille’s 4-0 tonking of Valenciennes. The rumoured target of several big name EPL clubs scored one and claimed three assists in the game which helped Lille retain third spot, while Toulouse gained ground behind them with a 1-0 win over Rennes.

Second placed Montpellier suffered a shock defeat to Nancy, but leaders PSG obligingly failed to beat strugglers Caen, so the gap is just two points.

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Seen anything there you like, people?

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66 Responses to “Weekend Results: A Few Things To Brighten Your Day”

  1. April says:

    I do! Sorry.. should have clarified that in my statement… I meant yesterday specifically. It's most certainly possible… I think the guy actually ups his game a bit when playing the top teams. Don't know that he will start against City, though, as I think they were resting Drogba for that match, but we'll see what RDM thinks is the right line-up, and hopefully all the guys picked perform their best. :)

  2. Dols says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al2PPlsBupw&fe…

    Nando in action of getting naked <3
    I LOVE when they exchage their uniforms! It is a tradition that should be observed in every single game!

  3. Naomi says:

    I knew Torres would eventually begin to get back on his feet and the day that he does I obviously miss it! It's okay, I'm super happy for him (& for Chelsea). I got all emotional when I found out he scored not only one but two and two assists! Even if it is against Leicester, that's fantastic for a player who hadn't scored in a while. Also, Cavani seems to get really excited when he scores goals and to be honest, I don't mind a bit. He can take his shirt off all he wants.

  4. Mrs_Q_Borri says:

    I'm kinda of scare with Cavani's pic… it looks like a robot I think!

    I'm still in shock with Muamba's collapse… and really can get it of my head. I hope he gets well soon, and we can see him on the pitch. This event puts everything in perspective for other players cause something like that can happen to anybody -obviously not hopping for that to anyone- and is such a tragedy, for everybody. Can't even imagine it!

    Mucho animo a su familia, y que muy pronto se recupere. Bendiciones! :)

  5. littlegreenpea says:

    WOW, Cavani. Didn't know you were hidig that beneath your shirt. ;)

  6. Miss Lampard says:

    i have always said that I wanna be David Luiz, well I was right…Well done for a special boy that tomorrow turns 28..It seems like yesterday when I fell in love with him. C'mon Chelsea!

  7. gigi says:

    Nannnndooooooooo! Ok fine, the first goal was not pretty, but it crossed the line now, didn't it? And the second, the header? That was beautiful. But what really makes me think he may be getting his groove back is his consistency in assists. Unselfish and on target, that's Nando. So what if the opponent wasn't a top club? He must rebuild again from somewhere. Baby steps, el Niño, baby steps.

    • DebS says:

      The scoring was great and I was so happy for him. But his play on the pitch in addition to the goals has been phenomenal. You can clearly see that he's getting his confidence back with the way he's taking on players and not losing the ball a lot. Raul did get him some great balls in and he does get more chances with Mata on the pitch so here's hoping they continue to gel. :)

  8. Loninha - Brasil says:

    Miracles this weekend Fernando Torres scored!!!It stays that way, at least until Super Mario Gomez renew with Bayern and have no chance of him going to Chelsea as well Abramovch want!
    My Bayern Munich once again gave show!
    Super Mario 22 goals in the Bundesliga!

  9. zoraida says:

    id like fernando to shine in the champions league games and the premiere league but not in the fa cup. that trophy belongs to my liverpool! ;) )

    p.s. kickette gals, The Nando is trying his best to get back in the finest 5 list. please, do the right thing.

  10. Annika says:

    I just want to take the whole team of Bayern Munich and hug them tight because they are perfect and amazing.

  11. Jayy says:

    Just found out that Fabrice Muamba is showing small signs of improvement – come on Fabrice! You can pull through this.

  12. Kat22 says:

    Wow…damned if you do, damned if you don't. Everybody ridicules him for not scoring, now he does score (twice, plus two assists) and the critics are again out in full force.

    • Kat22 says:

      By the way: Did anybody see the interview with Gary Cahill and Fernando after the game? I think Fernando was slightly peed off with the interviewer. ;-)

      • April says:

        It was a bit awkward to watch, but that guy may have gotten what he deserved- he phrased his question about the goal with a negative approach and then got the MotM backwards. Does anyone know if that was the usual guy that does those interviews? They rarely show those MotM interviews in the States, so I don't get to see much of them.

        • Kat22 says:

          I honestly have no idea if it was the same guy.

          But yes, I agree; he was being a bit sh*tty with his question about the first goal.

          • April says:

            Yeah- it wasn't so much a bad question to ask, but he framed it in a way that left it pretty closed-ended. I was more humored by his telling Nando to give Gary the bottle of champagne. After he remedied his mixup, both Gary and Torres just sort of walked away. During the whole thing, I think I was more distracted by Nando's awkward crotch-grabbing. Boys…

      • jean says:

        He was back to his sassy self in that interview, I loved it. That stupid and condescending rerpoter deserved it.

    • Guest says:

      But don't you see, that's exactly what I mean! It was the same when he scored against Genk last year and everybody was creaming themselves thinking he was back. It was Genk! And now it was Leicester.

      If it had been a top team nobody would question his abilities.

      • Mirella says:

        I have to admit, I really thought he was on his way back then, not because he scored two against Genk, but because he played really well for some games and scored four goals in three matches: Genk, Swansea and Man United (which is a top team, right)
        Then he had to sit out three games because of a red card and after that AVB benched him for nearly two months. I seriously couldn't understand why, he had been so convincing before, and maybe Torres didn't understand himself….I don't blame him if that was the reason why his confidence was shattered again

    • kel says:

      Well I suppose it's not like he hasn't scored for Chelsea at all. He has scored occassional goals. People are looking for some continuity out of him. He's shown he can still score, so now he needs to show that it wasn't a one-off… or two-off.

  13. Gladys says:

    What a weekend of scoring! (In order of time, not importance) First, Xavi's awesome free kick goal..then, Nando! (not just two goals but some boss-like assisting, as well.)…a luscious hat-trick from Soldado…and finally that glorious last minute goal from Santi "professional smiler" Cazorla (my apologies Madrid fans, but it honestly could not have happened to a sweeter guy; OTH, I think it was very classy of the Bernebeu fans to applaud Ruud).

    Overshadowing all this, of course, is the far more serious situation with Fab Muambu. I hope he is out of danger at this point but have not read any updates. All the strength and support to him and his family.

    • DebS says:

      Saw Xavi's, Fernando's and Santi's goals and I have to agree.

      I just love Santi. He has to be one of the happiest guys. I don't think I've ever seen him not smiling, except when he's on the pitch. Was gutted that we lost points but that goal was beautiful and there was clearly nothing that Iker could do about it.

  14. AiM says:

    It just keeps getting better:
    - first he scores
    - then he scores again
    - ends goal drought 2 days before his birthday
    - he takes off his shirt *wipes drool off keyboard*
    Let's hope he keeps this up..:D

  15. IrishBlue says:

    Didn't see much football this weekend, St. Patrick's day put an end to that!

    Obviously I'm pleased for FT9 (can I call him that?) but I'm not going to go for a ride on the 'Nando's back baby yeaa' bandwagon just yet. I won't be shouting for him to start against Man City either. I need to see some consistency before I declare that the Fernando Rebirth is upon us. Was a nice touch for Cahill to show his support for Fabrice Muamba when he scored too.

    Poor Wolves, what more can I say :-(

    Oh and that pic of Cavani: Kinda scary.

    • Guest says:

      <<Obviously I'm pleased for FT9 (can I call him that?) but I'm not going to go for a ride on the 'Nando's back baby yeaa' bandwagon just yet. I won't be shouting for him to start against Man City either. I need to see some consistency before I declare that the Fernando Rebirth is upon us.>>

      Totally agree with this.

    • Kat22 says:

      I think you're probably right and Fernando shouldn't start ahead of Drogba on Wednesday night.

      And I also agree with you on the Cavani pic. :-/

    • jean says:

      I'd rather him starting than Srurridge to be honest. He's earned it in this last performances and he's shown he does really well on the right.

      • DebS says:

        I agree. I don't care for Sturridge much. He's too greedy and he doesn't help a lot on defense. Maybe RDM will start both Drogba and Torres. Against a team like City with so many scoring weapons, it might work better to have more scoring threats on the pitch. Also, I've read that Tevez may be "back" for the City game. blah!

  16. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Ay Dios! Cavani, I didn't see it, more of this and thank you!

  17. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Happy for Torres, however he can't catch a break can't he, since his competition scored a hattrick against Athletic yes in San Mames, yet happy for his goals! Keep it coming all for the benfit of La Roja!!

    As for RM, before anything yesterday one of these you are proud to be a Madridista, their message support to Abi and Muamba "Animo Abidal" and "Get Well Soon Muamba" and then standing ovation, chanting his name :') for the our bernabeu love Van-Gol, I am sad we conceded in dieing minute, but it is rule in football lose your chances you will be puinshed, Kudos to Pellegrini's men for their beautiful performance! Cazrola Free kick was a beauty and who doesn't want see Santi's adorble smile.

    Again, want send my thoughts of support to Muamba and his family, stay strong!!

    • Mirella says:

      I don't know why everyone is acting as if Soldado and Torres couldn't both go to the Euros. Is it because there's only one shirt with the number nine, or what? I'd say the more strikers in form, the better for Spain.

      • Sarah, Madrid says:

        because there is Llorente as well, don't forget Villa who can make a come back, it not about them not going together to Euro, but Mister has Villa first choice ( if he is fit), then Llorente, Negerdo I guess comes ahead, then comes Torres and Soldado, based on performancesd Soldado seems to earn it ahead of him.
        I already said, more competition the greater for La Roja, as like with situation with midfielders, we can't play all iniesta, silva, mata, cesc together we have to chose. That's it :)

        • DebS says:

          Yes, both Soldado and Llorente are in good form. But I did hear that Negredo has been a bit out of form lately so maybe there is room for Fernando after all. I'm sure VDB would like Villa to be there but I have to wonder if his match fitness will be there, having not played for so long. I'm having flashbacks of what happened to FT during the world cup. poor guy :(

          • jean says:

            Soldado has been very good overall this season, but he also had been going through a 12/13 matches goal drought until sunday. Negredo, despite all the hype and the (frankly a bit ridiculous) call up to the NT, has only scored 6 goals in all competitions this season. Same as Torres actually, but Torres has 10-12 more assists.

            • Sarah, Madrid says:

              hmmm…there is enough players in La Roja for assists or building up plays, Soldado has been working so hard this season, yes he had 7 games not 12/13 games without scoring goals, but during this period he was called to La Roja and scored a hattrick, Torres waking up in the last 2 months of the season, getting called up ahead of Soldado is unfair, calling them together would be fine but am assuming La Roja will go for 2 to 3 strikers, Llorente, Soldado is there, Torres should earn it, furthmore there is other Spainsh strikers who deserve a call up for their work including Michu in Rayo who has scored more goals than Torres, RAUL who people seems to forget that he exists, he went through the same rough patch as Torres and no one called him back although he had been having amazing seasons with Schalke including last one in UCL.

              • jean says:

                Torres should /earn/ it? I don't think many people would say the same thing about Villa for example, who was also having a very below par season before his injury, but no one would question his place in the nt because he's the all time goal scorer. Well, Torres is third (he is right?) and all his accomplishments are overlooked by his country. But I agree, Negredo should go to the euros because he's had a great season. Llorente too for the same reason, even though he's only scored 6 or 7 goals in all of this nt career and his last goal was almost two years ago (Torres has scored more recently actually lol). And considering Villa might not be at his best come june, even if he should undoubtely go to the euros, they need another proven striker, and that should be Torres above anybody else.

                And soldado had 7 games without scoring in La Liga, but if you count all competitons, they were more than 10 :)

                But VDB has already said he will only call 3 strikers, and they surely will be Villa, Llorente and Soldado imo.

                • Sarah, Madrid says:

                  Your accomplishment. Criticis applies to raul as well, not to forget not long ago he was holding all time record of most scored goals for la roja, people to forget Raul as a striker who did an excellent job IMO when he was playing and scoring goals when la roja wasn't that big force, as I said as they moved on from Raul allow players such villa to shine which I am internally gratfeful for as I am for Torres, soldado, lllorente deserve it ahead of him, villa is mister first choice if fit because regardless of his performance with Barcelona he is still top scooper for la roja, whereas Torres isn't IMO! As simple as that!
                  I have nothing against either strikers, but for me it is just fair ranks of choice, whoever scores for us I am ok with it, Torres has been invisible for la roja since we even, whereas. Negerdo has been injured for almost the whole season so him being called could be unlikely for that an in his performance was effected by. Torres is not matter of goals scored only, it is matter of striker who lost his confidence, a striker who refuse to take on PKS, I hope he is back but I need concistency to prove it, not one game and then the other. 10 he loses his confidence. That's the issue with Torres that's it.
                  As for soldado goal drought he scored for Valencia in el! Against PSV he bagged a brace I guess, it was a liga thing, as far ask remember

    • Kat22 says:

      It was a really nice touch by RM to wear those shirts.

      I hope there is some good news regarding Muamba soon – I watched the game and it was scary. :-(

      • Jayy says:

        Well the doctors have said that Fabrice is improving – his heart is beating without assistance and he can move his arms and legs.
        Come on FABRICE!

        • Kat22 says:

          Oh wow, that is great news.

        • DebS says:

          I just read an article that said he recognizes people and has spoken a handful of words in both English & French. That's great news to hear. They're concerned that their might be some damage if his brain was deprived of oxygen for a bit but the things he's able to do already are a very good sign.

          So many people praying for him definitely isn't hurting any. :)

  18. Pam says:

    Really happy for Fernando Torres. I couldn't stop grinning when I heard that he scored a brace. I hope this is the start of terrific form for him that will culminate in a fantastic Euro 2012.

    • DebS says:

      He was grinning from ear to ear and to see his teammates and coaches reaction after the goals was priceless. You could tell that everyone was pulling for him.

  19. Carolina says:

    More photos of Fernando shirtless please :) .

    • gigi says:

      He's not shirtless in this photo but the look on his face will make your heart smile. ;) ) http://bit.ly/FQ4fW1

      • DebS says:

        OMG How happy was he and his teammates for him when he scored? Then the fans were ecstatic too and started singing their Torres songs. Even RDM gave him a thumbs up from the sidelines.

        I was over the moon when he scored. Then when he scored again!??! He would have had a couple more chances if Sturridge isn't so greedy all the time. That guy gets on my nerves. If someone else is in a better position than you, PASS THE BALL.

    • April says:

      I like this one… mostly because I can see his underoos: http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m15hlvMkyo1qftb…

  20. Realtalk says:

    I never lost faith in Torres. I always knew he'd comeback one day. I'm so proud of you babe!! xx.

  21. Jayy says:

    So glad LFC are through, woopwoop! Especially after that non-existent corner that led to us conceding :(
    Two points I considered after reading this post:
    1. Thomas Muller must have a permanent short-tent.
    2. WOULD YOU LOOK AT HAZARD'S THIGHS?!? OMFG.

    • bri_saldana says:

      Re #2: I KNOW! HAZARD!!! Honestly I don't get why he hasn't just caught fire on this site. He's seriously scorching hot….obviously my taste ;D

      And not only am I ecstatic about Liverpool going thru but DOW finally seems in his element with that FANTASTIC GOAL! Louie too…I can tell that he misses that quality of shot in his game. YAY Reds!!

      • Jayy says:

        You are soo right bri_saldana :P I personally hope Hazard goes to LFC but I have a feeling he wont :(
        I was so happy Downing scored aswell, he's a great player and I hope he takes more shots at goal, he needs a few more goals :) Suarez's goal was amazing aswell, Lets hope we make it to the final :D

  22. Guest says:

    Yes, Torres finally scored and everybody is glad.

    But, with all due respect, it was against a very weak Leicester team and Kasper Schmeichel really did not have a good day in goal.

    If Torres can manage to score against the likes of Man City on Wednesday and Spurs at the weekend, then you can all say he's back. Otherwise a bit premature I think.

    • Mirella says:

      I can't see any comment that says he's back to his best….so who exactly do you think is premature here?

      People have the damn right to be happy for him, though!
      He needed confidence so badly and in order to get the confidence, he needed goals. If a game against Leicester is doing the job, then who cares in the end.
      If he wants to come back, he has to go step by step. Yesterday he not only scored, but played convincingly overall, as he did against Napoli in my opinion. The right signs are there!

      • Guest says:

        It's not so much the comments on here, but on other sites and blogs.

        I have nothing against Torres – I just think people should wait and see before they predict another false dawn like last year.

    • April says:

      He's not "back". He scored a couple of goals to end a drought that got an absurd amount of press. Let the guy and his fans enjoy the moment before you go and qualify just how good it was or wasn't. Many goals in the top flight also go in with a bit of luck- they aren't all perfectly planned.

      • Guest says:

        Where did I say goals need to be 'perfectly planned'?? All I said was that Leicester, despite having made it thus far in the FA Cup, obviously did not have a good day at the office yesterday, and that goes especially for Kaspar Schmeichel.

        Had Chelsea been playing United, City or Arsenal or another team in the top half of the PL table, I daresay Torres probably wouldn't have been able to score.

        Nothing against the lad personally, just my tuppence worth.

      • Guest says:

        And also…I have read some of your previous comment where you said you are a 'new' Chelsea fan and 'part of what sealed the deal' was the arrival of AVB.

        You are a plastic if I ever saw one! So excuse me for not taking your opinion too seriously.

        • April says:

          Teams get new fans somehow, no? I don't live in England so I get to choose the team I support on whatever basis I feel like.. there isn't any locality or anything like that for me to worry about and I hadn't picked a team to follow yet. And yes, part of the reason I chose Chelsea was on the basis of a coach that wanted a style of play that I felt would benefit the team's talents in the years to come. If that makes me a "plastic fan", then I wear that title proudly. And now you're qualifying fandom- "so excuse me for not taking your opinion too seriously."

          You're right, he might not have scored against a team in the top of the PL… or he might have. Even the best teams have bad days at the office or the luck goes against them and sloppy goals make it in that otherwise wouldn't. The fact is that yesterday it was Leicester they played, and that's the team that needed beaten. No Chelsea fan is acting as if they were the top competition- they just want to see the player build up his confidence after another barren streak and hope that this will help with that.

    • DebS says:

      The one commentator was trying to discount his first goal. And the other commentator wouldn't let him carry on about it. He said, "It crossed the line. That's all that matters."

      In previous games he missed sitters. If this is a starting point for him regaining some of his form, who CARES that it was against Leicester?!

  23. Leah says:

    I was so thrilled for Nando!!! But Kickette, you've let me down a little bit–there are much better pictures out there than the ones posted here.

  24. MsMe says:

    Weren´t you able to find a better picture of shirtless Fernando?