November 28th, 2011

Weekend Results: Attitudes & Unworkable Themes

We have two takers for our next viewing of ‘Return Of The Jedi’.

One of us accidentally padded out our football viewing this weekend with episodes from the Star Wars trilogy.

Can you take a wild guess at which staffer that was?


Er… Benoit? Andre 3000 from Outkast just called. He wants his fro back. Tom Dulat/Getty Images.

Mario Balotelli received two yellow cards in the space of eighteen minutes yesterday afternoon. With his track record, we assumed the next thing we would see coming out of Eastlands was the striker’s contract attached to a rocket, but astonishingly, Roberto Mancini has defended his player – claiming opponents Liverpool were to blame for Balotelli’s hasty Anfield exit.

The game finished 1-1 (largely thanks to Joe Hart’s astonishing late show in goal) and Manchester United’s controversial 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Saturday ensured the Blues will remain five points clear at the top into December. Newcastle are fourth having only lost one all season, while Spurs are sandwiched in between after a super-duper 3-1 away win over West Brom.

Chelsea put their poor recent run behind them with a convincing 3-0 win over Wolves, while Stoke beat points-starved Blackburn Rovers 3-1 and left them propping up the table. Again.


La Liga

Oh, don’t worry, Mesut. It takes time for baby deer to find their feet. You’ll get there soon enough. Image: Denis Doyle/Getty Images.

Barcelona lost their first league game of the season to humble Getafe, allowing Real Madrid to open up a six point pre-Christmas lead in La Liga. Two goals for Ronaldo, one each for Di Maria and Higuain and two red cards for Atletico handed Mou’s boys the initiative just a couple of weeks before El Clasico.

Meanwhile, Spanish football’s equivalent of the Rebel Alliance recovered from their recent engine problems to beat Gijon 4-0. Is it too late for Levante to seriously threaten a strike on the Death Star? Are Barcelona and Real Madrid in any way comparable to a fictional space station from a series of sci-fi movies from the late seventies?

And if so, who the hell is going to play Chewbacca?


Serie A

No, not you, Edinson. You might have the hairdo for it, but this Star Wars theme is complicated enough to deal with, without getting Serie A involved. Image: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images.

Edinson isn’t really auditioning for the role of chief wookie in our increasingly irritating analogy – he had just scored a stoppage time equaliser for Napoli in their game vs. Atalanta. His side are still in the running in eighth spot, but will have to put together a decent run of results if they hope to challenge for the title as they did last season.

For a start they will have to get past AC Milan, who seem to be finding their feet after a rough start. The Rossoneri beat Chievo 4-0, while Inter also seem to be turning things round; a late goal from Luc Castaignos giving Ranieri’s men a vital three points and taking them to the heady heights of er… fifteenth place.

Elsewhere, Udinese beat Roma 2-0 and are third, while Juventus sneaked top spot away from AC Milan with a 1-0 away win over Lazio. Noice!



There are very few football teams we would refuse to go for a celebratory drink with. Borussia Dortmund may well be one of them. Image: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender.

Congratulations to Mainz, who beat Bayern Munich 3-2 yesterday and enabled the Borussia massive to sneak the top spot. Dortmund beat Schalke 2-0, while Monchengladbach put three past Cologne; both now have 29 points although Dortmund have a superior goal difference.

Eren Derdiyok scored a hat-trick in Bayer Leverkusen’s 3-3 draw with Hertha Berlin, while Augsberg shocked the pants off everyone by beating Wolfsburg 2-0. Obviously Augsberg remain bottom, but they’re now into double figures. That’s a reason to celebrate right there.


Ligue 1

Yep, we know we put a picture of Olivier Giroud in last week’s results. But what kind of short-tent authority could we claim to be if we failed to publish this bulging beauty? Image: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler.

Ooh. Paris St Germain were defeated for the second week in a row in their game vs. Marseille and have conceded top spot to Montpellier, who beat Sochaux 3-1. Indeed, it’s all getting a little too close for comfort in Ligue 1, where a mere ten points separate the top eight clubs.

Rennes beat Evian Thonon Gaillar 3-2 in a dramatic fixture, while Lyon found their feet again with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Auxerre. Rennes are fourth, while Lyon are breathing down their necks in fifth and Toulouse are sixth after a 2-0 win over Valenciennes.


Feel free to riff on our Star Wars theme as you comment on the weekend fixtures. You don’t have to, but it might be fun.

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43 Responses to “Weekend Results: Attitudes & Unworkable Themes”

  1. Lurker says:

    Cesc can play Chewbacca….

  2. Anita says:

    That first picture is adorkable xD
    maybe i am the only one, but i think Thiago Silva is super cute!! :3
    So happy for my boys, go Milan!!

  3. Katrin says:

    "Oh, don’t worry, Mesut. It takes time for baby deer to find their feet. You’ll get there soon enough" hahaha brilliant! Go Getafe!

  4. Agnes Wonka says:

    Madrid's derby was very exciting! but I felt so bad for Benzi, you could see that he wanted so bad to score and he couldn't :(

  5. Natalie says:

    Alves (animal nature) or Pique (has the hight) can be Chewbacca!

  6. Natalie says:

    Alves or Pique can play Chewbacca!!!

  7. Kristina says:

    It's hard to see your team, in my case Barca, loose. But they have been winning for so long now. No team can keep that up. It's just bandwagoners or very childish people who believe that. And, besides, it's more exciting this way… So I try to tell myself, anyway :) .

    Still I'm very proud of them. No whining. Just a determination to try to do better next time. Visca Barca!

    Things are exciting in the EPL, don't you think?

    • Gladys says:

      Totally agree with you. Was crushed about Barca but it's bound to happen some time and you have to stay loyal to your team through good times and bad. I took consolation in Levante and Valencia's wins (great that Los Che still had the energy after their 7-0 CL midweek win). And of course, Mata scored a goal for Chelsea, so that brought a smile to my face.

  8. IrishBlue says:

    I love Wolves (i.e. their number 29) but I am so relieved to get three points!

    Mata played great, Romeu looked promising and Sturridge is our best striker by far at the moment. Obviously there will be much tougher opposition but for now, I'm happy. Oh and Spurs, stop being so good! It's annoying!

    • April says:

      You can only win the games they put in front of you, so Chelsea fans should be pleased with it :) Let's hope this is the start of a winning trend!

  9. Lauren_BCN says:

    Barcelona and Manchester UNited :-( (( BCN lost, Manchester made 28 shots on a goal…. on the other hand- my mom made a cheesecake this weekend! ;-)

  10. Hot4Spurs says:

    Definitely happy with the weekend results! I love Beniot Assou-Ekotto and his hair. I can't believe the position Spurs are in. We were bottom of the table you know! Hope we can keep this good form going.

  11. Zahara says:

    damn real madrid are top of the table!
    but its ok, barca cant win em all!

    visca el barca!

  12. LindaTuga says:

    Warning: Rant!!!

    I was watching the Madrid derby but I had to give up because I was getting so fed up with Di Maria and his play acting. Seriously, I just wanted to slap him. My husband told me to stop watching the game because he could see how pissed off I was. Urggghhhh Let me just tell you something, I LOVE football,madly!! When my team is playing I wont do nothing else,I cannot even eat. But I am getting so fed up up with all the dishonesty in the game nowdays.
    I know Di Maria is not the only one and there are worst cases but its so frustrating when you are trying to watch what could be a great game and it is being overshadowed by play acting. The worst thing is that Di Maria could suffer a genuine injury but because I am so used to warch him roll over like he has been shot countless times I wont even believe him.
    I wish there was a way of shaming all the players that do this and are ruining the game we love. Something has to be done.

    Sorry for the rant but I really upset. (still am actually)

    Congrats to Real though and thank you Liverpool for drawing with City. You salvaged my weekend although it really pains me to admit it and say thank you to Scousers haha

    • Lauren_BCN says:

      Spot on!!! Di Maria gives me an alergic reaction… It is sooo sad that his talent is overshadowed by his acting talent! Yes I am Cule ( and no I am not saying this because he is RM player ) and yes I know Busquets can get all dramatic , Alves too!
      like you've said – there has to be a way of punishing them,it's just represents everything different from true sport values!!!
      And as long as young kids don't see the consequences they will act the same way in the future :-(

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      Hear hear!!, I fully understand and agree.
      Angel isnot the first or last player to do so ( Jordi Alba was in last week in Valencia game even worse), but as I am Madridista I am concered with my own players and the fact they are representing a certain escudo that they get embarrased by certain theratical. I was screaming my lungs out with cruses on him in this game, he did get couple of legit tackles, one tackle that actually I could hear scream when he was hit, actually the only thing that left me with an OH NO you didn't mode was when was slightly pushed and went down clutching his face, it was embarrassing and as a Madridista, I don't accept it, I thought Mourinho has set him straight the first time, but apparently he didn't, BUT again in the second half he was staying on his feet and playing football, when he did he was one of the best wingers out there, I have to give credit to Mourinho.
      As for Busquets, he did get booked for it, FINALLY!

      • Kristina says:

        Yes, he really had it coming. Although he got 9 yellow cards last season, so he's no stranger to the ref's :) . Di Maria and Sergio even things out, don't they?

        • Raven says:

          You're right. But I can't help but wonder what comes next. Guardiola kicking some RM staff member on the knee to even things out with Mou?

          • Kristina says:

            lol, Somehow I can't see that happening. If he didn't move a muscle when Zlatan threw paper bins and other stuff across the room, I think he will keep his cool now as well. Oh God, now you got me thinking of Pep! I will never get any sleep tonight!

        • Sarah, Madrid says:

          They certainly do and make it no easy for us to defend them. However diving in Liga is becoming ridicilious, just seen Villarreal vs Malaga, Toulalan was sent off over a tackle he didn't commit or even touch the player, all I am saying these has company in Liga!
          Clasico is comng in less thn 2 weeks now, so all we should agree let's the diving of these two slide, unlesss we saw other did it, then we let it slide too, bare with Mourinho too, I don't think he will ever shut up either so brush him off, as we will brush off pique and xavi. :P

          • Kristina says:

            Diving is so ridiculously common in la Liga, I have almost stopped reacting to it. I have no problems with letting that slide, since we've got divers everywhere. Somebody's gotta do something about it though.

            BUT, I'm not gonna be one of those who accepts Jose's bad manners as antics. I'm sorry. People seem to think that he needs to be like that, that it's a part of his genius. I don't buy that. I'm not gonna use the words I really want to, because then I guess Kickette will shut me down :) . And however pro-Barca Xavi has been, I don't think he has behaved as bad as Mou? I think Mou stands out from the crowd, in that aspect.

            I'm not even gonna watch the next clasico, I'm gonna be traveling. I'm almost glad I am. :)

            • Sarah, Madrid says:

              Xavi for me do annoy us madridisita, but again brushing everything off, as for Jose no one can live up to Mourinho though, I do think it is part of his antics because he have done that in every league he had been too, he was much appreciated in epl than in liga and calcio but again referees rants, these antics are more acceptable in epl than anywhere else..
              You are not! so far no tension is building up for this one, everyone is behaving! I hope this will only a clasico that will be remembered by the football played in, I actually can't believe it is already here!

              • Kristina says:

                Me too. I'm also hoping for a clasico remembered for the good stuff. It doesn't even have to include a win for Barca, I just want things to be about football. Yes, I'm gonna be traveling, sigh. I'm relying on you guys to give me all the juicy stuff afterwards ;) .

      • DebS says:

        Sarah, I couldn't agree with your more about Angel. I had been so proud of him for staying on his feet of late, thinking that Mou had really put the fear of God in him but….sigh. It did appear that he hit his head when he fell during the foul but he popped right back up to confront the Athletic guy so he couldn't have been hurt bad enough to go down holding his face after the slight push.

    • cma77 says:

      It's obvious this Real Madrid team as it is currently comprised has some issues with dealing with overly aggressive tactics such as the ones Atleti resorted to after Real's equalizer through Ronaldo. As is their conditioning they simply gave up, stopped playing football and just began hacking away at anyone in a white shirt, quite frankly I'm surprised the ballboys and subs warming up were spared. I'm not excusing Angelito's actions in the first half but he only seems to resort to that sort of behavior when the referee offers no protection to the skill players which IMO was the case yesterday. Ronaldo and Oezil also reacted negatively with the former resorting to his "me against the world with my superhero runs" and negative body language the latter simply fading from the game.

    • cma77 says:

      Kudos to Mourinho for "righting the ship" in the second half but knowing that this is a tactic teams will use against us from the first whistle he needs to have these players prepared to react to them from the start, against a more worthy opponent having to wait until HT to make adjustments could prove to be disastrous. Not dwelling on the ball and a bit of patience in possession would be a start like we saw in the second half instead of those longs balls and players taking too many touches in the first half. Next weekend in Gijon is going to be a pretty stern test becasue there is no doubt Sporting will be bringing their machetes out, hopefully Mou has the boys prepared to take care of business from the start and get the three points in order to retain our cushion heading into the Clasico.

    • xoWinnie says:

      ugh, Di Maria is like a thorn in every Madridista's side…
      like, you wanna be able to defend him,
      but realistically you can't without seeming like a tool
      but then you might get defensive when non-Madridistas
      criticise him because there are similar examples on their teams…
      oy vey!

    • Ba USA says:

      I agree! Even as a RM fan, DiMaria was ridiculous. I thought Mou had him under control and he was playing so well but this week he returned. I know diving is a big part of the game and ALL teams and ALL players at some point take the dive but come on guys, stop acting like little girls and play. This is one of the reasons Americans don't like the sport. A grown man rolling around on the field or jumping 3 feet in the air when you were barely touched makes people think it is a sissy sport!

    • Gladys says:

      I'm a Barca fan and I have the same problem with Busi. He constantly gets labeled by Barca haters as over-rated but objectively he is one of the smartest, most talented defensive midfielders around, especially for his age (plenty of non-FCB coaches and players say the same). But I can't for the life of me stand his behavior (and diving is the least of it, mind you). I just want to slap him into maturity. No one's going to take him seriously and give him the accolades he deserves until he shapes up.

  13. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Higuain chest made the news twice in 2 La liga games, his GOL Heart!!
    Hala Madrid!!!!!! Asi, Asi, Asi, gana el Madrid, :) :):):)!! I will go easy on Atelti, but 12 years without winning ouch!, it hurts, though they did good before the sent -off ( which was very much legit, lucky for them that they didn't get more players sent off, looking at you Perea, Cris was limping for almost second half because of his tackle), referee was very kind and understanding. Angel needed a card for all I care, BUT again Mourinho did set him straight in the second half

    As for Getafe, Vamos Azules, it is not about Barcelona, but Getafe is my second fav club in La liga, Sarabia is one of my fav young players too, the way he played was very very good, however what I admire the most about Getafe, the way they carried themself on the pitch, although they were facing almighty Barc with 15 minutes left to the game which we all know Barcelona can easily change the result in ( they came close, the goal wasn't offside in my opinion) they didn't restore to provovcation or wasting time or hard tackles, they played football, San Moya! Human highligther was something too.

  14. Kat22 says:

    So Mancini said Skrtel made a bit of a meal out of the challenge? Can see a lot of players doing that, but Skrtel? Come on. He's not exactly a delicate flower who goes down at the lightest touch.

    And apparently Balotelli damaged the dressing room door at Anfield? While I think he's certainly fun to watch and read about I feel he needs to do a bit of growing up.

    Joe Hart was simply great. It's thanks to him City were still able to claim a point. Liverpool are looking stronger and stronger with each game.

    • Caitlin says:

      We are indeed improving.

      I wonder how Nando would feel if Chelsea were to to finish outside the top four while Liverpool manage to get fourth spot.

      • April says:

        I was saying after the CL game against Leverkusen that I am sure he'd not enjoy the irony of a finish out of the top four and if they didn't qualify this CL campaign… but then again, I can't imagine many saw it going that route. I never doubted Liverpool (wasn't sure how fast they would rebuild, but I don't count them out)… but I sure as heck didn't think of Chelsea falling out of contention for either.

        We'll see how the coming games play out, I guess!

      • Kat22 says:

        That would be a cruel twist for sure.

        • Caitlin says:

          I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually feel sorry for him now. I think his career is well and truly f*cked – no matter where Chelsea finish this season.

          • April says:

            Question is… would you take him back if you could? Seems to be one of those polls floating about a bit in recent times. One actual poll saw some 2000 votes with about 70% saying "yes", I think. However, I imagine most people that found that poll were looking for something like that to express that opinion, so not sure it counts as much of a proper sample.

            A little Suarez/Torres combo up front? It even rhymes! Though, admittedly, Gerrard would probably be green with envy.

            • Caitlin says:

              I would take him back, yes. I loved that guy and was absolutely heartbroken when he left. Admittedly, I was feeling bitter and some of my posts probably reflected that.

              At first I, like many other Liverpool supporters, were taking comfort in the fact that his Chelsea career got off to such a bad start. Somehow it made his leaving easier to bear.

              But recently I find myself feeling more and more sorry for him. This is a footballer who was simply superb in his first season for us – just unbelievable. To see him reduced to warming the bench at Chelsea is just so sad.

              I also get the feeling that he isn't happy at Chelsea at all. At Liverpool he was adored and loved, he doesn't seem to get that same adulation at Stamford Bridge.

              Of course I may just have my red-coloured spectacles on. For all I know he much prefers it at Chelsea, even though he doesn't get to play a lot these days.

              • Kat22 says:

                I must admit – I wonder sometimes if Fernando would go back to Liverpool, given half the chance. He does not look happy at all. When John Terry scored his goal on Saturday, all the subs jumped up and clapped. Fernando just sat there, arms folded, looking miserable. And who can blame him really? He only played a mere 13 (?) minutes against Liverpool, did not feature at all against Leverkusen and probably expected to at least start against Wolves.

                • April says:

                  I am having a rough time making sense of it myself. It's funny how life works. In a lot of ways, I really wish he just toughed it out at Liverpool, because he'd probably still have the style of play that suits him best. I sympathize with him because the boy left his childhood club for one real reason- Champions League, and toward the end there, they looked hopeless for it. The management at L'Pool, at the time, said they'd help him arrange a way out if he stuck through the club's sale and they didn't qualify, and then the leadership changed and the situation turned on him and all he wanted was Champions League and to not have to carry the team there himself.

                  I figure they probably could have kept him around if they had shown him some solid plans to invest in players that January, but even if they had, it really did appear they were in a rebuilding phase and he only has so many good years left.

                  That said, I like some of the new staff and players at Chelsea and hope they succeed in creating the kind of exciting and vertical football they are (supposedly) setting out to do, and also in getting a Torres that is back in form and firing up the EPL again. I stand by my conviction that the EPL is a better league with an on-song Nando in it. Would break my heart to see him leave the league or rot on the bench.

                  (I think it was 13 minutes against Wolves, and some 8 or so minutes against Liverpool… has to be hard to see your team setting up most everyone but you, for goal.. from the bench, no less. Especially when your replacement has had some questionable performances himself.)

                  • Caitlin says:

                    And don't forget that most Liverpool supporters (myself certainly included) don't really hate Nando at all. We just miss him.

                    Somebody on the LFC forum summed it up by saying "We hate you so much because we loved you so much".

                    It's like a bad divorce where you can't let go of your ex.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      No no Mancini is wrong, it is not about the foul, Balotteli get sent off for that thing on his head!! I get it Skrtel, I didn't stand it too lol