February 28th, 2011
Weekend Results: Director’s Cut
Image: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh.
Seriously, we’re starting to feel persecuted now. It’s hard enough to keep track of the Weekend Results as it is, without the English FA continually running interference in the form of League Cup finals in the middle of an EPL fixtures schedule. Apparently there was some sort of movie awards thing going on, too. Sigh.
The chance of us getting through this post without confusion arising is diminishing by the second. Please be aware of this and we can limit the unpleasantness to a dull roar.
Carling Cup Final
Image: Getty Images/Zimbio
Well, we have to offer the man something. To watch a team you have nurtured through nappies finally walk onto the Wembley pitch with a nailed on opportunity to take home some silverware, only to see them (literally) hand it to the opposition, must be traumatic beyond belief.
But we shall limit our coverage of the matter to offering hearty congratulations to Birmingham City, who managed to turn up on time at the venue, despite not having been there for a final for fifty odd years. They fought hard and to the end; Obefemi Martins taking advantage of hideous confusion between Laurent Koscielny and Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny (whose family had travelled from Poland to watch him) to tap in for 2-1.
Birmingham fans in raptures, Arsenal fans distraught. What next, Gunners?
Does this need a witty caption? No, thought not. Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
Elsewhere in England, quantity over quality was the order of the weekend, with Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa all scoring four goals.
With Arsenal otherwise engaged, United were able to increase their lead at the top of the table to four points with their 4-0 win over doomed Wigan; Chicharito (2), Wayne Rooney (whose unnecessary elbow to the head of James McCarthy has prompted calls for his immediate electrocution, apparently) and Fabio doing the damage.
Relegation threatened Wolves clawed their way out of the bottom three with a startling 4-0 win over Blackpool and Aston Villa’s 4-1 victory over Blackburn gave Gerard Houllier’s boys a much needed boost.
The blue half of Liverpool celebrated a 2-0 win over Sunderland, with Jermaine Beckford finally living up to his lower league scoring credentials, while the red half fell to an awkward 3-1 defeat to an inspired West Ham. Props to West Ham’s Demba Ba, who caused mayhem in front of the Liverpool defence, demonstrated promising thigh action (left) and scored the Hammer’s second.
Image: Getty Images/Zimbio
Palermo. Miserable(and topless) in defeat. Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
The architects of their downfall were Udinese, with Antonio Di Natale scoring three and Alexis Sanchez (left) helping himself to four goals. The result pushes Udinese up to fifth place, while Palermo are eighth, but only through the kindness of Juventus, who softened the blow by losing to Bologna 2-0. Oof.
Image: AP Photo/Daylife
Lazio’s 1-0 defeat to Cagliari leaves them four points below Napoli, who play top of the table AC Milan tonight. It’s an important clash, too; Inter’s 2-0 win over Sampdoria has taken them to within two points of the league leaders.
Meanwhile, Roma continued their unfortunate habit of chucking hard earned points away; this weekend they were 2-0 up at half time and ended up 2-2 against Parma, thanks to two goals from Amauri and his hair. Roma are now sixth.
Don’t you hate it when this happens? Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
After Barcelona’s stuttering draw against Sporting Gijon earlier this month, it really felt as though the door to the title had opened up for Jose Mourinho an inch or two.
But no more. Real Madrid’s 0-0 draw against Deportivo this weekend (left), coupled with Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Mallorca means that Pep’s chaps are seven points clear at the top. It’s that simple. Your job is to tell us whether it’s over, Kickettes.
Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
Elsewhere, despite beating Athletic Bilbao 2-1, Valencia surely have to admit that their title dreams are over; they are now seventeen points behind Barca. Fourth placed Villarreal dropped two points against Racing Santander in a thrilling 2-2 draw, Nilmar scoring an injury time equaliser for the Yellow Submarine.
Well hello, Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitch Langerak. You’ve grown up, haven’t you? Image: Reuters/Daylife.
With this (above) kind of hotness in goal, there’ll be no stopping Dortmund this season. Twelve points clear at the top, they beat last season’s champions Bayern Munich by 3-1 at the weekend, and were further boosted by their nearest rivals Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-2 draw against Werder Bremen. We suspect that former Melbourne Victory keeper Langerak will inspire a Kickette related surge in interest in the Bundesliga, so feel free to tell us your views on Dortmund’s achievements.
It was pretty much as you were elsewhere, with third placed Hannover beating St Pauli 1-0, fifth placed Mainz enjoying a 2-1 away win against Hoffenheim, Stuttgart defeating Eintract Frankfurt 2-0 and FC Köln toppling Freiburg to take a handy three points with them to the eleventh table spot.
Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis gives us a glimpse of the goods. Uh huh. Image: Reuters/Daylife.
Things have taken an interesting turn in Ligue 1, however, where Lille were temporarily pushed into second place by Rennes, who beat Lens 2-0 on Saturday. Lille’s failure to beat Lyon last night meant they are now level on forty-six points with Rennes. There’s no room for complacency though, as Marseille kept the gap to one point with their 2-1 win over Nancy, while Paris Saint Germain’s 2-1 victory over Toulouse sees them right up there on forty-four points.
Bordeaux beat struggling Auxerre 3-0, and Arles-Avignon were denied only their second victory of the season against Brest. This is, however, their third straight draw, which we think constitutes a run of form.
Optimism is our byword, y’see.
Except when it comes to the comments section, obviously. Will you lot pick up on our ‘subtle’ hints about discussing league issues outside of Spain? No. Thought not. But we love you nonetheless.