April 2nd, 2012
Weekend Results: Coming From Behind
The Pincer Movement. We may try this one ourselves.
We managed to find a theme to our post this week and stick to it all the way through. Boom.
The “Bloody hell. That’s heavy.” Image: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth.
Although he had the concept of ‘squeaky bum time’ explained to him by Sky’s Geoff Shreeves a few weeks ago, it’s only now that Yaya Toure will be feeling the physical consequences. Sunderland put on an amazing (and let’s be fair, highly unexpected) display against the Blues at the Etihad on Saturday, taking a 3-1 lead before eventually being pegged back to a 3-3 draw. If Manchester United can beat Blackburn this evening, they will be five points clear in the title race.
If this wasn’t gratifying enough for Sir Alex and his boys, problems at Anfield seemed to be intensifying too. Liverpool lost 2-0 to a splendid Newcastle side – a display only marred by James Perch’s theatrical collapse when Pepe Reina swatted him with his handbag. Reina was sent off for his trouble and will miss the next three games, a fact that will only encourage more scenes of unrestrained mirth at Carrington.
Elsewhere, Chelsea fought off a Stan Petrov-inspired Villa comeback to beat the troubled Midlands side 4-2 while Spurs are level on points with Arsenal after they beat Swansea 3-1 and Arsene’s men lost 2-1 to QPR.
Having lost their “must-win” game vs. Bolton, most feel it safe to say Wolves are on their way down to the Championship. They’re six points adrift after the 2-1 defeat and the bitching between captain and ‘keeper implies a level of togetherness that will only assist them on their journey. Amusingly, calls for Mick McCarthy to be reinstated have already begun.
The “Quick! He’s going to embarrass himself again. Oh, too late”. Image: AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos.
We didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be more obsessed with Cristiano’s thighs than we are, but if his goal celebration on Saturday was any kind of evidence, we have serious competition from the man himself. Crispy popped his quadricep out for a stroke after scoring in Real Madrid’s 5-1 win over Osasuna, prompting much hilarity on the bench and a fair bit of snarking from the Kickette sofa.
Leo Messi’s one and a half game goal drought ended with a penalty strike in Barca’s 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, keeping them within six points of Real and making us increasingly nervous about the imminent El Clasico. If we post a ‘Gone Shopping’ sign on the site and disappear for several days around 22nd April, please don’t be surprised.
Other notable results from La Liga included a vital 4-0 win for Real Sociedad over Rayo Vallecano, a 3-0 victory for Atletico vs. Getafe and a totally useless 0-0 draw for Villarreal and Espanyol. A win for Espanyol would’ve seen them move into European contention, while a point gained for Villarreal sees them hovering perilously close to the relegation zone. What the hell’s going on, Subs fans? You finished fourth last season!
The “snuggle”. Image: REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello.
A mere two points separate AC Milan and Juventus at the top of the Serie A table after the former drew 1-1 with Catania. Juventus capitalised on the opportunity to close the gap with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Napoli and since third place Lazio fell to a 3-1 defeat vs. Parma, it looks as though the title race is gonna be a two horser. This is fine with us, as it means we don’t have to do as much math.
Andrea Stramaccioni made an er… exciting start to his new career as Inter manager with a 5-4 win over Genoa. ‘Twas an eventful game at the San Siro, featuring nine goals, two red cards, four penalties, a Diego Milito hat-trick and a late, late comeback from Genoa, who apparently don’t know when to quit.
Unlike Novara. A 77th minute strike from sub Takayuki Morimoto offered scant relief to the promoted side, who were taken apart by Roma in a 5-2 thriller at the Stadio Olimpico. Novara are now nineteenth and the best they can probably hope for now is a West Brom style yo-yo trip next season. Not ideal.
The “moment before Holger Badstuber sprays beverage due to unexpected rear Robben impact.” Image: AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE.
The gap at the top of the Bundesliga isn’t as comfortably cavernous as Dortmund would like this morning; their five point margin has been narrowed to three after they failed to hold off a stubborn Stuttgart. The leaders looked to have the game in the bag when an 87th minute Ivan Perisic goal took the score to 4-3, but a stoppage time equaliser from Stuttgart’s Christian Gentner scuppered the celebrations. Bayern beat Nuremburg 1-0 via Arjen Robben, making the fixture between the leaders on 11th April all the more important.
Schalke failed to consolidate on third position with a 1-1 draw vs. Hoffenheim, while Hannover popped up to fifth place at the expense of troubled Borussia Monchengladbach. After an awesome run, Die Fohlen are stuttering having lost three of their last five games. They’re still in fourth though, so even if they fail to win another game this season, they’ll do better than last year.
The “too tight, dude… gah!!!!” Image: REUTERS/Alexandre Marchi.
A shock defeat for PSG vs. Nancy opened the door for Montpellier to go top this weekend, assuming they can win their game in hand. Yoann Mollo scored the late winner for Nancy, and with third placed Lille beating Toulouse 2-1, they have to keep an eye on what’s going on behind them, too. Lyon failed to exploit the unexpected opportunity to play catch up as well – they only drew 1-1 with Rennes and are now ten points off the lead.
AJ Auxerre took what could be a decisive step in their battle to stay in the top flight, beating Valenciennes 2-0 and hauling themselves to within three points of fellow strugglers Sochaux and Caen. Sochaux beat Brest 2-1, pulling them back into the mix, while Caen saw out a 0-0 draw vs. Ajaccio, which didn’t really help anyone.
The “tackling from behind – you’re doin’ it wrong!” Image: AP Photo/Michael Perez.
And now for the home stretch of scores…
Thierry Henry netted his first MLS hat-trick in the NY Red Bulls 5-2 win over Montreal Impact, but other ex-EPL employees fortunes were mixed in the weekend’s US based action. David Beckham was subbed at half-time during LA Galaxy’s 3-1 defeat to New England Revolution, reportedly after a little on-pitch aggro with teammates Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas. It was left to Robbie Keane to restore some decorum to the proceedings; he scored the Galaxy’s consolation goal, but they remain in eighth place having picked up just three points from a possible nine.
Real Salt Lake are currently top of the Western Conference on goals scored after Kyle Beckerman scored the 90th minute winner in their 2-3 thriller vs. Portland Timbers. In the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC are bottom having failed to pick up a single point; their latest defeat coming courtesy of Columbus Crew. Kansas City are the winners across both conferences though, having picked up a perfect twelve points in their first four games. Chivas were their latest victims, CJ Sapong scoring the only goal in last night’s game.
Whew. We made it. Oysters and chompers at Selfridges to celebrate!