December 19th, 2011
Weekend Results: Forward Or Backward?
Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Recently identified as a player that 4 out of 6 Kickette staff members wouldn’t mind seeing (naked) in their stocking. The other two claim his tongue looks weird. Image: AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ.
‘Tis the season of miracles, and a time to take stock of all the things in life you should be grateful for.
Let’s start you off, shall we? Every single post we manage to put up on this website this week will be a miracle. Trust us and be grateful.
Look, Kickettes! Here’s another job in which close, uninterrupted access to players is actively encouraged. Although the outfit is a bit off-putting, admittedly. We’d have to negotiate on that. Image: AP Photo/Alastair Grant.
Sunday was a festive football extravaganza in the EPL, with five of the top six clubs in action. Indeed, things were so festive that our UK correspondent failed to crawl out from beneath her desk before QPR’s ludicrously early midday kick-off vs. Manchester United and subsequently missed Wayne Rooney’s first goal. Luckily, her caffeine drip had kicked in by the time Michael Carrick scored the second, decisive goal that propelled United to the top of the table.
Their visit to the heady heights was so brief, we don’t blame you if you missed it too. Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 and reclaimed what is fast becoming their default position in the league. Arsenal now share fifth spot with Liverpool, who beat an off-colour Aston Villa team 2-0 via early goals from Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtl. Chelsea are still in fourth after a surprising 1-1 draw against Wigan on Saturday.
Other scores that day included Fulham compounding Bolton’s woes with a 2-0 home win, Blackburn losing yet another home game, this time to West Brom, and Spurs ending Sunderland’s one game winning streak under Martin O’Neill by beating them 1-0.
Real Madrid put on a superb display of
shelf-booty football in Sevilla on Saturday. Image: CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images.
With Barcelona in Yokahama for the FIFA World Club World Cup, Real Madrid had the opportunity to regain their three point lead at the top of La Liga. They did so in style, a 6-2 away win vs. Sevilla coming via three goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and one each for Jose Callejon, Angel Di Maria and Lassana Diarra.
Valencia’s 2-0 win over Malaga kept them in the running for third place, but last week’s defeat to Real Betis has cost them dearly – they are now four points behind the top two. Fortunately for them, Levante’s 2-1 loss to Granada ensured that Juan Ignacio Martínez’ men remain even further behind – eleven points off the ridiculous pace set by Real Madrid.
As did Antonio Nocerino, although his display required a little assistance from ‘keeper Marco Amelia. Image: Claudio Villa/Getty Images.
AC Milan’s grip on the top spot was far more tenuous than that of their Spanish counterparts. They reached the lofty heights on Saturday afternoon after a 2-0 win over Siena, then were shoved back into second when Juventus beat Novara by the same scoreline.
Napoli’s great run came to an unexpectedly abrupt end at the hands of AS Roma who beat Chelsea’s Champions League opponents 3-1 on their home turf. The battle for next season’s CL spots paused temporarily with Udinese and Lazio canceling each other out in a 2-2 draw – they are third and fourth respectively.
Meanwhile, Inter grabbed a vital three points away at struggling Cesena. They have lifted themselves from tenth this time last week to fifth today with that result, and ten points off the lead. Still time to forge an epic comeback, Kickettes?
Meanwhile, in the Bundesliga, Toni Kroos used a more ‘forward-thinking’ approach for Bayern’s game vs. Cologne. Image: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images.
Bayern Munich are still top of the Bundesliga after a solid 3-0 victory over Cologne on Friday. Competition is pretty stiff in the league this year, and last year’s champions Borussia Dortmund aren’t going to give up the trophy that easily – their game vs. SC Freiburg ended 4-1 and put them within three points of their rivals.
However, a 5-0 drubbing by Schalke (including a hat-trick by Raul) on Werder Bremen put the former level on points with Dortmund and the latter in fifth. Borussia Monchengladbach are just above them in fourth, having beaten Mainz 1-0.
It’s going to be a ‘competitive’ second half to the season, don’t cha’ think?
A move also tried by Paris St Germain’s Salvatore Sirigu, with able assistance from Lille’s Moussa Sow. Image: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes.
Although perhaps not quite as competitive as the second half of the French top tier season. A draw for Montpellier vs. Toulouse was not helpful to the top team’s cause; they’re clinging on to the top spot by goal difference alone after Paris St Germain’s goal-less draw against Lille. Lille are now two points off PSG in third, ahead (on goal diff again) of Lyon who beat Evian Thonon Gaillar 2-1.
At the other end, Nice’s 2-0 victory over Valenciennes did little but lift them above their opponents, but, you guessed it, only on goal difference. AJ Ajaccio can only dream of reaching the heady heights of seventeen points though. They picked up a precious three points against Rennes, but it was only their second win of the season, so they are still on twelve points.
At least they’ve broken into double figures though!
Did you see any of the games? Reports from the twilight zone of Hangover City are acceptable at this time.