January 16th, 2012

Weekend Results: A Little Less Conversation, A Little More (Naked) Action

Daniele De Rossi. Squandered several opportunities to show off his skillz in the rain. Image: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images Europe.

We’ve got backchat, confusion and a massive moisture failure to deal with today, Kickettes.

What are you waiting for? An invitation?

EPL

Amazing news from the EPL this weekend, with Arsenal losing 3-2 to Swansea and manager Arsene Wenger taking the unprecedented step of blaming the referee. The Gunners scored within the first five minutes via Robin van Persie but Swansea were awarded a controversial penalty just 10 minutes later, which Scott Sinclair converted. The Swans took the lead again on 57 minutes through Nathan Dyer, Arsenal equalised through Theo Walcott but were unable to take the initiative and conceded late to Swansea’s Danny Graham. Arsenal are now fifth.

They weren’t the only North London club whose title hopes took a knock though – high flying Spurs failed to beat Wolves at home and further threaten the Manchester clubs dominance. City do not play until tonight, but Paul Scholes capped a week of mad comebacks by scoring the first of United’s unanswered three vs. Bolton, who are now second from bottom.

In other news, money continued not to talk as both Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll failed to score for their clubs. This proved less expensive for Chelsea who won 1-0 over Sunderland via a Frank Lampard strike, while Liverpool drew 0-0 vs. Stoke City at Anfield. Rumours that Carroll was more likely to score from the dugout than the penalty area are very mean.

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La Liga

Ooh look, it’s ‘The Roque & Pull-Winkle Show’. Image: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images.

Real Madrid and Barcelona both suffered what, by their high standards, constituted a bit of a wobble this weekend. Don’t get excited – no-one actually dropped points or anything like that – but both teams had to dig deep to get past teams who had no business posing a threat.

Strugglers Mallorca led for much of their encounter with Los Blancos at the Bernabeu, after Tomer Hemed scored a shock goal on thirty-nine minutes. Gonzalo Higuain and José Maria Callejón saved their team-mates from Jose Mourinho’s ‘special’ brand of finger pointing though, with strikes on 72 and 84 minutes respectively.

Barcelona appeared to be cruising in their game vs. Real Betis, early goals from The Boy With The Ballon ‘Dor and Xavi suggesting a rout was on the cards. But Betis hauled themselves level with goals before and after half time, and it was up to Alexis Sanchez and Messi to nail the points. The gap between the two sides remains at five points, but more significantly, Valencia and Levante both lost. Valencia are now twelve points behind leaders Madrid after losing 1-0 to Real Sociedad, while Levante are sixteen points off the pace after losing 3-0 away to Athletic Bilbao.

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Serie A

Having failed miserably to capitalise on the front page photo opportunity that is ‘heavy rain plus white away kit’, Roma also suffered the irritation of a match abandonment due to a waterlogged pitch on Saturday. The referee called time on the game at Catania after sixty-five minutes of watching the players galumph around what was effectively a swamp, with the score poised at 1-1. According to reports, the match will be finished ‘at a later stage‘.

AC Milan missed a great opportunity to grab the top spot this weekend, losing 1-0 to city rivals Inter. The unexpected result will be even more irritating to Allegri’s men because leaders Juventus only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Cagliari, meaning three points would have put Milan top.

At the other end, Lecce did themselves a huge favour with a 1-0 away win over Fiorentina. They’re second from bottom now, just above Novara who lost 3-1 to Cesena.

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Ligue 1

Olivier Giroud scored two goals and a Kickette Merit Mark this weekend, the latter for in-match booty action. That’s a fine set of buns you have there, Monsieur Giroud. Image: PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images.

Paris St Germain continued the run of form that saw them hit the top before the winter break, beating Toulouse 3-1. This isn’t a title race that’s going to resolve itself any time soon though, with second place Montpellier picking up three points against fellow hopefuls Lyon via two goals from Olivier Giroud. This allowed Lille to sneak into third, despite losing 2-0 to Marseille.

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And for dessert? A large portion of (friendly) banter in the comments section. Begin.

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39 Responses to “Weekend Results: A Little Less Conversation, A Little More (Naked) Action”

  1. crm software says:

    Funny images, not a fan for Barca but I still enjoy these to be honest.

  2. littlegreenpea says:

    not saying I want chicharito to leave, but… I think he would be awesome at tottenham. Since he's not playing and all (stupid danny welbeck snatching his playing time) he could definitely be useful at spurs. I really woukdn't argue about that. Then I could support bale and not feel sorry about it. Just saying. I watch united for chicharito, so I kind of want to see him play. Then he cold be scoring all over the place! I think he'd pair well with adebayor/lennon, bale, and modric, and then he'd get some playing time!! Best idea ever!!

  3. jean says:

    lol omg why are people comparing Torres and Owen? Some Liverpool fans seriously can't see things clearly. And I don't think the fans only chant for him because they're desesperate for him to do well (I don't see the same thing happening with Andy Caroll for example), they do it because he IS doing well and working incredibly hard (creating, assisting and being really influential in the overall play of the team), and he just needs that little bit of extra inspiration and support to really get going.

    I'm really glad to see Fernando slowly but surely getting back to his best, he's truly worked for it and he deserves it. For about four matches in a row he's been Chelsea's best man, and if he keeps performing like this (I'm sure he will), the goals will arrive very soon.

  4. Mariëlla says:

    What about cassillas taking off his shirt again? He wore something underneath it, but still…

  5. Kristina says:

    I'm heaped with work for the moment and cannot watch as many games as I usually do, but let me just say it was a helluva ride the Barca boys gave us! One minute it's fine, the next we're fighting for our lives (we, it includes me kicking and screaming in front of the TV). I love the celebration after Alexis goal! I wonder what Alves screamed at him :) ?

    • Kristina says:

      Oh yeah Roque Santa Cruz, sigh.. I almost forgive him for scoring. Almost.

      • Pam says:

        Almost? That's tough. The guy scored a beautiful goal and ended up in the losing side and you 'almost' forgive him? Tough world this! :)

  6. Leya_S says:

    Oh Arsenal. It started so promisingly. And then…..shambolic. Forget blaming the refs, the Gunners just were abysmal. Not just in the back, but in the front, too. I read a stat that says the Gunners have had 94 shots, 51 on goal, and 5 actual goals in the last 5 games…like, really??

    I am NOT excited for next weekend against United if we're going to play like that. I'm going to see The Wanted that night, and am desperately hoping to be able to hold up a sign that just says "Arsenal" in order to rub our win (fingers crossed) in the face of one of the ManU-supporting band members.

  7. Maran says:

    Forget Mou and his finger pointing, did you see angry Pep!? Hot! The guy should loose his temper more often. Or not. I really like his passive-agressive ways. It's what's separates him from the beasts.

    I'm not happy with the one point for Sevilla. Especially now when both Levante and Valencia lost their games (sorry boys). It's the time of year got get moving.

    Lastly, Inter won….uuuuhh.

  8. aussiesheps says:

    Thank you for not forgetting about the oh so adorable Danielle , He would definitely be worth more of your time in the future, whether it be "face"time or other wise, bc he has an uncanny ability to be so staunch and straightfaced during matches but charmingly sexy during off the pitch press grins. Excellent pic, made my week :)

  9. I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on the wet De Rossi…..

    The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog

  10. LuvinBale says:

    Forgot to mention Torres- I thought the game was good and I thought Torres looked great.
    His assist for Lampard's goal was awesome!
    I sat Torres is on his way back- so everyone better watch out!!

  11. LuvinBale says:

    Im happy we didn't lose to Wolves– but a tie?!!
    UGH!! We are supposed to be better than this. Better than Wolves. I cant believe it.
    This is why we need a striker ASAP!!! Come on Harry put out some cold hard cash for someone who can consistently convert goals. Its embarrassing to draw with Wolves at home!

    On another not- Bale looked beautiful!!! Just yummy. The cameras always follow him so I can get some great shots of him. OH LORD HES GORGEOUS!!

  12. DrStrangelove says:

    I hate to say it, but I'm beginning to doubt whether Torres will ever get back up to the form he had. Yes, he's beginning to find an acceptable level of performance, but it's nowhere near where he used to be. The hunger, the incisiveness, the pace were really world-class. In the space of just a few years he's gone from that to looking like a player at the end of his career. It's shocking.

    Yes, the Chelsea fans and my fellow members of the Nando fan lobby will all chip in that there's nothing wrong with an acceptable level of performance, and he's clearly getting towards that slowly – but Chelsea did not pay 50m for an acceptable striker, and Torres was playing way, way above that level in the very near past.

    I always thought that there was more to this than Torres simply being stuck in a rut at Liverpool, which is what most people assumed was the problem, and I have to say, I'm still confirmed in that belief at this point. I think Torres is in danger of being the next Michael Owen. In fact he may already be the next Michael Owen.

    • Caitlin says:

      Have to agree with you.

      As a Liverpool supporter and one of Nando's biggest fans during his time with us it now pains me to see him like this.

      Yes, he is providing assists, but at the end of the day that's not what they bought him for is it? He's supposed to be banging in the goals and I'm sure he's not satisfied with the situation either.

      There are so many similarities between Torres and Owen (and I'm not talking about the fact they both left Liverpool). Both had that blistening pace during their best days and that lethal finishing.

      As much as I don't want Nando to propel Chelsea further up the table (for obvious reasons), I do really feel for him these days.

      They always say 'Form is temporary, class is permanent', but how much longer do we have to wait to see the Torres of old?

      I wonder if you're right and he's long gone.

      • DrStrangelove says:

        I think Owen is a good example of the notion that class isn't permanent. Some people do go off the boil early, and not everyone is a Giggs.

        I think Torres' game may have been so focused on pace and a set way of playing under Benitez, that he may just not be capable of adapting to a different way of playing in changed circumstances. I hope not, but it's a sad state of affairs all the same. :/

    • April says:

      I don't think we'll ever see '08-'09 Torres again. I've come to terms with this some time ago. What I am surprised about though, is that seemingly, not many others have. I predicted some time ago that he'd probably get about 10 goals at most this year, and I am okay with that if he is contributing to other goals and positive play (I, for one, think he is).

      To me, I have to say I don't agree with the assessment that Chelsea paid 50m for his previous form. It's not so much that they didn't do it with that intention, as much as I disagree with Chelsea's decision to have purchased him a couple years too late with that in mind. Highly impulsive and high risk, and highly unfair for the fans (and the player, I suppose). Highly irresponsible. I think Roman has been eying him for so long he couldn't see past his own first impressions. While I support Chelsea, it was quite stupid of them to buy him for so much with dreams of his past form somehow magically returning and even fitting in with the current Chelsea squad. There were very special circumstances that existed in those first couple of years in the PL, that don't exist now- his success was not all his own. The sooner that everyone accepts that he isn't going to be his former self and forgets the ludicrous price tag that Liverpool and Chelsea agreed to, the sooner everyone can start enjoying the performances he puts in.

      There are a number of reasons he isn't going to recreate his former success (not that he wont try), and it isnt all in his form (though that is certainly a part of it).

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      I don't think Torres is like Owen.
      When Owen played in Real Madrid, he struggled at first but he ended having the best minute to ratio in term of goal scored, Owen situation is different too, he came to a club where they over loaded with strikers, so he did find hard to settle in, but I personally don't think Owen was a failure with Real Madrid, but he came in wrong time where Real Madrid as a club was going down the hill with their stacking stars mentality and left Real Madrid because they were alot of stars coming when he was already there too
      Then Owen was blessed with so many injuries, he is one of these players who get injured all the time.

  13. Miss Lampard says:

    Double compliments for my two favourite men, or "Double F" (as I call them) Frankie and Fernando, there's a great chemistry between them, and this isn't the first time that I have seen it and that he has worked very well. There's a potential treasure behind them, I'm sure. However, even if Fernando didn't scored he was absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, I swear..this was one of his best performances of the whole season, and now just let him time and minutes and I think that he will improve..Still 3 points, I think that's good enough.

  14. rossanera says:

    I'm sorry, I have to crawl out from the ditch in which I've been living in shame and misery after Inter beat us, so I can't offer any commentary today.

  15. Gladys says:

    Wow that was one heck of a nail-biter between Barca and Betis. I second Sarah that I'm too young for a heart attack, though it was also really fun to watch (I don't think I've seen that many handballs in one game– both sides guilty– even though it's mostly a testament to how wildly back and forth the ball was going.) Betis defended and attacked like beasts and I'll say, though it's no consolation for their loss, they are one handsome team (and that was even before Roque came on and scored a goal worthy of his lovely face). I'm so grateful for Alexis– his fierce fighting spirit is pretty much the reason FCB didn't drop any points.

  16. IrishBlue says:

    Poor Nando, I can only imagine his thoughts when his shot on goal was scored by Lampard, sickened I would say! Still, a win's a win and here's hoping that Nando can improve and maybe Gary Cahill can sure us up at the back. *fingers crossed* And Essien! So great to see Essien back playing!!

    Oh I like AVB's new haircut….just sayin….

  17. April says:

    Okay… not trying to be a bitch or anything, or a total Torres fangirl, but anyone that watched the Chelsea game knows that the credit to Frank's goal goes mostly to Torres. Had the guy had any luck, it would have been in and everyone would have called it the goal of the season, and the roof would have lifted off the stadium. Instead it hit the bottom of the crossbar and then ricocheted to a well-positioned Lampard (who barely had time to react- he was good to adjust his leg quickly enough to guide the ball to the side of the net). Well done by Lampard for doing what he does best in being in the right place at the right time.

    /End rant on the continued mention of his lack of scoring a goal (but the no mention that he got MotM accolades for his performance even while not scoring).

    Other than that, it was a frustrating but exciting game since those last ten minutes are now proving crucial in whether Chelsea wins a game or not. We were fortunate that Sunderland's finishing wasn't so good on the day.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      I know, I was a bit surprised to read about how Torres didn't play well, Lampard goal is simply an example of how life can be unfair to someone, truly unfair to Fernando.

    • IrishBlue says:

      You're dead right. People always seem to focus on the negatives when it comes to Torres. It's always "Oooh well it's been x amount of minutes since he scored" or something to that effect. He still does seem to get a good reception from the fans when he does play though, which is good.

      • April says:

        I did hear the chanting for him- it warms my heart that they really want him to succeed there and seem to have a genuine soft spot for him. When some others aren't performing well and/or aren't doing what is expected of them, they don't always give nearly the encouragement they do to him. I am sure that endears him to the fans more and more, and I think he is really trying to treat them to a spectacular goal, when and if he does get one in this current "drought". While the assist wasnt intentional on his part, he adds the 11th of this season to his name. I believe he is the top in assists at Chelsea, so far. So, even if he isn't putting the goals in himself, he is clearly helping Chelsea to get their goals. Now, if only some of our players would do the same for him :(

        • Caitlin says:

          I don't mean to sound bitter, but I think a lot of this so-called support for Torres is simply the fans' desperation not so much for him to do well (because they have truly warmed to him), as for their expensive signing to start smashing in the goals and prove everyone wrong.

          Chelsea have been the butt of many jokes since they signed Nando and I think they're sick of it.

          Also, if you have a look on their forum there are clearly many supporters who think Torres is the biggest waste of money and Roman's worst mistake to date.

          And to be fair, Chelsea supporters aren't exactly known as the most loyal fans in the footballing world. Can't remember which team they played end of last year where they lost and their supporters already left the ground in droves before it was all over.

          • April says:

            Right…

            Every fanbase has it's detracting type of supporters- it's human nature. I frequently chat with Chelsea fans that didn't want Torres and would be happy to see him go. But saying this is about another club's fans is about as fair as me saying that I have seen the Liverpool forums and comments on articles and see some people say they want to get rid of Kenny and stuff. Clearly, it isn't representative of the entire group, and hopefully it is just a vocal minority.

            • Caitlin says:

              Okay, let's not mention the internet forums and such. Clearly anyone can hide behind the anonymity of their PC and write any rubbish.

              But surely how you behave in public and at matches is important? What about that Chelsea v Liverpool game last year where Lucas was injured (and badly injured, he's still out) and was booed by the Chelsea supporters as he was being stretchered off the pitch? Sorry, but I don't think Liverpool supporters would ever boo off an injured opposition player.

              I thought that was very poor behaviour, and that wasn't just a few supporters.

    • Gladys says:

      Totally agree. It's hard being a striker (and an expensive one at that) since you're judged by actual goals. But I have to say that Torres has been great the last few games– helpful with assists, as well. Again, I know that's not what he was purchased for but I feel like he's getting his confidence back. As you mentioned, it was a beautiful bicycle kick that nearly went in and thank goodness for Lampard. And the crowd recognized it because they were chanting Nando's name afterwards.

    • Kat22 says:

      I agree with you as well. The British press has been on Fernando's back since his transfer. It's almost as if they enjoy seeing his goal drought continue. Although Alan Hansen had some complimentary things to say about Nando's performance on Saturday. Didn't expect that from him as he's come out with some other stuff in the past. But he even mentioned that Fernando should have had a penalty and it was ridiculous of Phil Dowd to book him for diving.

      But yes, I think people need to get off his back and realise that he's working his butt off and still bringing a lot to the team, whether he's scoring or not. Yes, strikers are there for scoring, but when you look at how many assists Fernando has had during his short time at Chelsea then you can't say it's been a total disaster.

      On a sidenote: What happened to Arsenal?? Swansea totally demolished them.

      • April says:

        I liked Swansea beating them (hides from Arsenal fans). I am super excited for Josh's loan spell with them, as it seems a great fit to get him some regular experience. He is a good passer and will contribute to their style well.

        Both teams are known for passing, so it made for an interesting match, too. I just love these lower-table teams showing some fight (except when it's against Chelsea, haha).

    • DebS says:

      April, you are exactly right! Torres is up there making things happen. Was gutted when that goal hit the cross bar. Poor kid. That was a brilliant shot. The card for diving was ridiculous. The guy can't catch a break.

      It was great to hear the fans cheering for him and showing their support. As well as the warm welcome for Essien.

  18. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Romantada Baby!!!..Although I am loving the rush and thriller that comes with a come-back that you are providing recently my babies, but I am too young for heart-attacks!!

    Callejon for seleccion!!!!!! He deserves it his heart his drive as Guti said it the best, a canterano giving us the 3 points, Grande Calleti y Pipita of course!!

    I feel heart broken for Villarreal!!!