August 8th, 2011
Weekend Results: Big Boys Get Boo-Boos
The next few weeks are going to be a little chaotic, Kickettes. You probably won’t notice the difference, as the Weekend Results posts have been a masterclass in eclectisim since June, but couple the staggered start of the European league seasons with staff holidays, shopping extravaganzas and the ineptitude we wear like a badge and you will immediately see that only mayhem can ensue.
We promise to post lots of pictures of men in various states of undress, just to distract you. Like always.
Image Credit: Getty Images.
Italian Super Cup
Yup. We’d probably feel like that with 6ft 5ins worth of beard and ponytail travelling towards us at speed, Thiago Motta.
Just like United vs. City in the Community Shield, this fixture was an opportunity for Italy’s noisiest rivals to stake a claim on the league before it had even begun. Having won the Coppa Italia last season and seemingly retained Wesley Sneijder’s services despite the transfer jiggerypokery going on in the background, Inter looked the better side in the early stages; Sneijder fulfilling his role in the drama by scoring a superb free kick in the 21st minute.
The fairytale soon crumbled though, as first Zlatan Ibrahimovic and then Kevin Prince Boeteng scored to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for AC Milan. And with speculation about Sneijder’s future only getting more raucous this morning, it looks as though this defeat isn’t the only blow Inter are going to take in the next few weeks.
FA Community Shield
Hmm. We didn’t think this would take long to catch on. Image: Getty Images/Daylife
And so to Wembley, where a significant proportion of the population of Manchester turned out to witness the opening salvos in the battle for the soul of the republik of Mancunia. Or the Community Shield, as less romantic types would have it.
Manchester City literally dominated the first half; their sheer size and speed outwitting a slumbering United and their ‘baby deer-in-the-headlights’ keeper David De Gea twice in the first half. But the one thing (apart from a shed load of trophies, of course) United have that City can’t buy is Sir Alex Ferguson in the dressing room at half-time. The gaffer of doom made a few minor tweaks to his side, presumably offered forth a blast of the hairdryer and sent his boys back out to do their busywork.
Suddenly City’s bulk looked too heavy to bear and a youthful Manchester United ran rings around them – the requested instruction from the dressing room clinically carried out via a goal from Chris Smalling and two from Nani. Manchester United 3 Manchester City 2.
Message received and understood, Sir Alex.
This wasn’t quite what Charlie Adam had in mind when he signed up as Liverpool’s midfield enforcer. Image: Getty Images/Daylife
If Andy Carroll & Robin van Persie’s antics in their respective pre-season games this weekend are anything to go by, a refresher course in the term ‘friendly’ wouldn’t go amiss.
But while Andy Carroll’s face off with Valencia’s Adil Rami after a particularly aggressive challenge from the Liverpool striker was just pointless posturing in a solid 2-0 win for the Reds, RvP’s histrionics in Arsenal’s tie vs. Benfica may be indicative of something a little darker.
While Liverpool have conceded fifteen goals in five games and look far from prepared for the new EPL campaign, Arsenal have looked dishevelled and grumpy in their matches and on more than one occasion have scored early, only to concede defeat to ‘inferior’ opposition.
Frustration abounds at the Emirates, Kickettes. Arsene Wenger has a big week ahead of him.
Mario Goetze of Borussia Dortmund. Yet another reason to pay attention to our Bundesliga coverage. Image: PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images/Daylife
Did this league actually stop? Has our laziness and inability to concentrate been exposed once again?
A quick glance at the scores from this weekends Bundesliga fixtures suggests so; the Borussias of Dortmund and Monchengladbach claimed solid wins (the former having won the title last season after a blistering run of form, the latter surviving almost certain relegation by doing the same thing), Schalke disappointed expectant fans and Manuel Neuer remains the sworn enemy of the Bayern Munich. Unfortunately, this time he is playing for them.
We’ll come to the reasons behind Neuer’s lack of favour with the Bayern faithful in a mo. But first to Dortmund, who gave a footballing masterclass to Hamburg and beat them 3-1. They didn’t even have the decency to do it with a bunch of expensive new players; last season’s danger men Kevin Grosskreutz and Mario Götze scored the goals between them, Grosskreutz propelling himself into joint top scorer spot with two.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart sit atop the embryonic Bundesliga table, having inflicted a 3-0 win over Schalke 04. Schalke, whose side featured both Raul and Huntelaar, appeared toothless at the front and spineless at the back, which we’re sure you’ll agree is not a good look for anyone. Sigh.
Having been harrassed by Bayern ‘Ultras’ from the moment his transfer to Bayern Munich from Schalke was first mentioned, we’re guessing that Manuel Neuer would have been hoping for an impressive competitive debut. Sadly, this happened, leaving the duckfaced one flapping about in the penalty area like a chick left behind by his mommy and his team 1-0 down to last season’s strugglers. Again, not a good look, but we have faith that his skillz will soon assert themselves and he shall be universally loved once more. Ahem.
St Etienne beat Bordeaux 2-1 on Sunday and celebrated like this. Any idea what this is about, people? Image: Getty Images/Daylife
Judging from Rennes performance against newbies Dijon, last season’s slide from top spot to fifth in the latter stages has left a bitter taste. Dijon suffered a 5-1 defeat in their first ever game in Ligue 1, a scoreline which will be difficult to forget in their long battle for survival. Rennes top the table from Montpellier (3-1 over AJ Auxerre) and Lyon (3-1 over Nice) among others, but last year’s champs Lille failed to beat Nancy and are already on the back foot for the campaign in twelfth.
What were you watching, Kickettes? Share the love.