March 7th, 2011
Weekend Results: Hot Boys & Hairnets
Is this the most perfect photo in the history of football? For our purposes, yes. Yes, it is. (Image: Getty Images/Zimbio)
Regardless of your club affiliations, you have to admit that it was a cracking few days of football.
No? Oh, come on. Just try. For us.
While you may be rueing missed opportunities, dodgy refereeing decisions or the inconsistency of the form tables, you have to admit this weekend’s results from the EPL, Serie A and Ligue 1 have blown the respective title races wide open. With vital fixtures in the Champions League still to come, plus league cups and the inevitable scandals that players are obliged to involve themselves in, we are stocking up on popcorn for a fab couple of months of footie.
No? Alright. Be like that then.
Andrey Arshavin contemplates the standard of refereeing in the EPL this season. (Image: Getty Images/Daylife)
On paper, Manchester United’s loss at Stamford Bridge last Tuesday coupled with Arsenal’s 5-0 FA Cup win over Leyton Orient gave Arsene Wenger’s babies the opportunity to put some serious pressure on the Red Devils.
Sadly (and controversially, quelle surprise) Arsenal were unable to collect the three points required to give Fergie the fear, with Andrey Arshavin first having a goal ruled offside and then being denied a penalty after a push by Titus Bramble. With United due to play on Sunday, Wenger was noticeably peeved.
Elsewhere on Saturday, David Silva (left) saved Manchester City’s blushes after Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi fluffed an easy save, giving the Sky Blues a 1-0 win. Even if Chelsea win at Blackpool tonight, they will still be two points behind Roberto Mancini’s team, which is clearly not ideal if they plan to win the title. (Image: Getty Images/Daylife)
And so to Sunday, and a match that was always going to pass peacefully. Apparently, Dirk Kuyt (left) hadn’t read the script and scored two poacher’s goals before half time, before netting a third on sixty five minutes, while Javier Hernandez scored a consolation for United in injury time. The fixture wouldn’t have been complete without some sort of outburst, though, and so Jamie Carragher did the honours just before half time by taking Nani down with an ‘enthusiastic’ tackle. Something of a bunfight then unfolded, culminating in Nani being removed from the playing area, sporting a fairly nasty gash to his leg. (Image: Reuters/Daylife)
Rafael and Lucas were lucky not be sent off later after the former took the latter out, but the upshot of all the hot air (Fergie’s hairdyer not withstanding, he failed to show up for the post match interviews) was that United are now just three points clear of a fortunate Arsenal, albeit with a game in hand.
Later, Spurs and Wolves fought out a 3-3 draw, which leaves Spurs level on points with Chelsea and Wolves nineteenth.
See? We told you it was exciting!
So, just to confirm, you’ll pose naked for Kickette after the game, Sergio? Great. (Image: Reuters/Daylife)
Hurling ourselves out onto a shaky limb here, we’re of the opinion that the La Liga title will either be going to the Nou Camp or the Bernabeu this season. There’s always the possibility that Pep or Mou (or both) could do a ‘Kevin Keegan’ but quite honestly we wouldn’t put our remaining credit card balances on it.
Barcelona are now seven points clear of Real Madrid via their 1-0 victory over Real Zaragoza and Real’s comfortable 3-1 away win over Racing Santander. In third place are Valencia, who beat Mallorca 2-1 but fourth placed Villarreal slipped up by losing 3-1 away at Atletico Madrid. Goals from Reyes, Sergio Aguero (above) & Diego Forlan put Atletico in eighth place, on an equal points footing with Sevilla who lost 2-0 to Athletic Bilbao.
At the other end of the table, things are looking dire for Malaga who lost 1-0 to Osasuna and remain at the bottom on twenty-three points while Almeria gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a 2-1 win over Hercules.
To be fair, this would be a tough look for anyone to pull off. Props to Palermo’s Ezequiel Munoz for giving it a go. (Image: Getty Images/Daylife)
With a statement of intent that was hard to miss, Internazionale took second place in Serie A this weekend with a 5-2 victory over Genoa. For their part, AC Milan also collected three points in a tight 1-0 win over Juventus and remain top by five, but we like the way things are hotting up as we slide inexorably towards the latter stages of the season.
Elsewhere, Napoli failed to keep up the pressure after a 0-0 draw at home to nineteenth placed Brescia while Lazio’s 2-0 win over Palermo took them to fourth. A last minute David Pizarro penalty gave Roma a much needed boost; their poor form in their last few games has seen them slip to sixth, while Bari might as well wave goodbye to top flight football, they are now nine points adrift at the bottom of the table after a 1-0 defeat to Udinese.
Lars Bender makes his debut on Kickette. Well, hello there! (Image: AP Photo/Daylife)
Some big scores in the Bundesliga this weekend, although leaders Borussia Dortmund kicked off the weekend on Friday night with a relatively tight 1-0 victory over Cologne. We doubt they give a crap though; they are currently twelve points clear of nearest rivals Bayer Leverkusen who beat Wolfsburg 3-0. Kickettes who have previously expressed an interest in a fresher, younger, blonder type of player may be interested in Lars Bender (above), who scored Leverkusen’s opening goal and got himself noticed into the bargain. Thoughts, please?
Bayern Munich were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline against third placed Hannover while Mainz scored four away goals to beat Hamburg 4-2. Christian Eigler scored four on his own in Nuremburg’s 5-0 demolition of hapless St Pauli, while Borussia Monchengladbach held on for dear life at the bottom of the table with a 2-0 win over TSG Hoffenheim.
Lyon’s Michel Bastos demonstrates the perils of a breast augmentation operation. And his nice abs.(Image: Reuters/Daylife)
After three consecutive draws, we were hoping that bottom of the table side Arles might be on the up. Sadly, these hopes were dashed by the twinkle toes of Lisandro Lopez, who scored three in Lyon’s 5-0 thrashing of the Kickette favourites. Humph.
A very late strike from Pierre-Alain Frau snatched victory for Lille, their 2-1 win over Marseille enough to take them above Rennes on goal difference. Rennes did what they could, a 1-0 win over Montpellier grabbing three points that could prove to be vital at the end of the season.
Ok, give us your thoughts. We’re going to hide with the interns in the broom cupboard.