February 14th, 2011
Weekend Results: Astonishment & Arse Kicking
Despite hours of rehearsal, Nani still hadn’t grasped the basic moves required for his role in Manchester United’s interpretation of Titanic. Luckily, Wayne Rooney was practically channelling Kate Winslet and saved the day. Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
Occasionally in football, a goal possessed of such technical skill, grace and sheer audacity comes along that makes fans of all football clubs pause. That forces grunts of grudging admiration from even the most hardened cynics and alters the course of a player’s season and possibly that of his club.
Admittedly it helps if the player is Wayne Rooney, if he’s coming off the back of a mayhem scandal inspired slump in form and chooses to score it in a game that effectively ends the title chances of his club’s bitter rivals, but doesn’t that just add to the drama?
Regardless of your team affiliations, impatience at football financial wranglings and infidelity fatigue, take a moment this morning to sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacle of Rooney’s overhead kick winner against City on Saturday. It might not be the goal of the season, it might not be the best goal ever scored at Old Trafford but it’s damn good, yo.
Taking the excitement of last weekend into consideration, plus Rooney’s goal in the early kick off on Saturday, we could do with a bit of peace. And thankfully, the other fixtures in the EPL complied with our requirements, offering limited commotion and shocks, allowing us to focus most of our attention on the other leagues and white wine spritzers. Theoretically.
With their Champions League fixture against Barcelona looming large on the horizon, Arsenal made easy work of a struggling Wolves side; Robin van Persie (left) scored two which prompted Wolves manager Mick McCarthy to claim he had a ‘big mark on his arse where he’d had it kicked’.
Normally we’d be first to ask for a look if such a declaration had been made on or near a football pitch, but in this circumstance we’ll decline with thanks.
Raul Meireles scored his fourth goal in five games to continue Liverpool’s resurgence under Kenny Dalglish. Unfortunately, Wigan failed to keep to their remit of losing away from home; Steve Gohouri snatched the equaliser to leave Liverpool stranded in sixth place.
Also finishing in a draw were the games featuring Blackpool vs. Aston Villa (1-1), and Blackburn vs. Newcastle United (0-0) but it was the game at the Hawthorns that drew attention. West Bromwich Albion were 3-0 up at half time, but after an inspirational Scott Parker pep talk during the break, West Ham staged a Newcastle-esque comeback and the game finished 3-3. Great news for new West Brom coach Roy Hodgson, who watched from the stands.
Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
It’s been a record breaking season for Barca so far, but this weekend Real Madrid got in on the act, too. For Iker Casillas (at left) that record was the ’earliest sending off in a Spanish league match for a Real player‘. Still, they all count, and his team held it together with third choice keeper Antonio Adan to beat Espanyol 1-0.
This result was all the more important for Los Blancos considering that league leaders Barcelona drew against sixteenth place Sporting Gijon, leaving them a relatively narrow five points clear of Madrid. David Villa’s late goal saved Barca’s blushes, but for neutrals, the Spanish title race just got that little bit more exciting.
Elsewhere, third place Valencia saw off Atletico Madrid 2-1 but Villarreal lost ground with their defeat to Deportivo La Coruna keeping them in fourth. And, despite a 2-2 draw against Getafe, Malaga find themselves find themselves propping up the table, while Hercules snatched another win, this time beating Real Zaragoza 2-1.
Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
AC Milan appear to have located their winning ways once again: their 4-0 victory over Parma gave a stern warning to a Gareth Bale-less Spurs, who will be visiting the San Siro in the Champions League on Tuesday. Milan are top, but only by three points as Kickette’s own gothic goal fiend Edinson Cavani scored another two to give Napoli a vital 2-0 win against Roma.
Lazio also beat Brescia 2-0 and remain in third, while Udinese’s 3-0 win over Cesena (two goals from Di Natale, one from Inler) made certain of fifth place. Inter Milan remain fourth after a 1-0 defeat to Juventus (Gigi Buffon, left), who rise to sixth.
A second successive draw for Borussia Dortmund saw their lead cut to ten points, a margin unlikely to trouble them. Bayer Leverkusen did their best to cut the deficit, a solid 3-0 victory over Eintract Frankfurt coming despite Michael Ballack’s inability to play due to a knee injury.
Bayern Munich were also among the goals; they put four past Hoffenheim to take third, although at this stage of the season a thirteen point deficit is (barring a spectacular Dortmund collapse) probably too much ground to make up.
Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
And so to France, where Lille maintained their title challenge with a 2-0 win over Toulouse, the goals scored by Gervinho and Tulio De Melo. Current runners up Rennes also won 2-0 over Nice, while two goals from Gignac gave Marseille three points over Sochaux. Which must have been a relief.
Lyon beat St Etienne 4-1 in front of Jose Mourinho, but the hot news comes from Arles, where France’s most patronised team (by us) actually collected their ninth point of the season in a 0-0 home draw with Montpellier.
Sickened by San Iker’s dismissal? Excited by Wazza’s wonder goal? Tell us about your footballing weekend, Kickettes!