September 26th, 2011
Weekend Results: Inconsistency & Impact Injuries
Thanks (in part) to the delectable Roque Santa Cruz, Real Betis are top of the La Liga table. Beauty is a powerful thing, Kickettes. Image: CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images.
It’s that time of the season where nothing makes any sense and teams we rarely
bother about report on are topping tables. Fortunately, we’re way too sharp on a Monday morning to allow such trifles to confuse us.
Or so we’d like to think.
Gareth Bale scored against Wigan. We can think of at least one person among you lot who will be most pleased by this. Image: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images.
Fernando Torres’ red card shenanigans barely rattled his Chelsea teammates, who went on to comprehensively beat a promoted Swansea side. What Torres’ ref baiting tackle will do to his prospects of getting picked after a three match ban, only Andre Villas-Boas knows, though.
Manchester United’s perfect record was finally broken by a frisky Stoke City side, who are proving more than troublesome to the big boys so far this season. Peter Crouch scored the equaliser after Nani finished off a stunning one-two with Darren Fletcher, putting the Reds on level pegging at the top of the table with rivals City, who beat Everton 2-0. Meanwhile, Arsenal recovered some sort of form to topple Bolton 3-0, compunding the Wanderers problems and pushing them down to bottom place.
After an early scare, Real Madrid reverted to their usual gameplan of scoring shed-loads of goals and generally giving their opposition a thorough examination. Image: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki.
Despite having a game in hand, Real Betis will be feeling the hot breath of Barcelona on the backs of their necks this morning (a notion that makes us flushed under the collar, we admit) after beating Real Zaragoza 4-3 and snurfling their way into top spot. Apparently, Barcelona thrive on the pressure of being the best team in the history of the universe, though, and casually responded to the challenge with a 5-0 win over Atletico and another Lionel Messi hat-trick. Presumably Leo is intending to break last year’s tally in all competitions before Christmas.
Level with the Catalans on eleven points are Levante and Sevilla, who beat Espanyol 3-1 and Valencia 1-0 respectively. Valencia’s punishment for taking their eye off the ball (literally) is dropping from top spot to seventh. That’ll teach ‘em.
Clearly we’re not very nice people here at Kickette, cuz we can’t figure out which is funnier; Giovinco’s diminutive stature or Gobbi’s spectacular black eye. Image: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images.
Wins for both Milan sides will have boosted confidence in the respective camps, if not league position. Inter’s 3-1 win over Bologna put them in sixteenth while Clarence Seedorf’s fifth minute strike vs. Cesena was only sufficient to push AC Milan as far as twelfth.
Still, there’s plenty of time left – a fact that Roma will be grateful for. They picked up their first win of the season with a 1-0 result over Parma and are one of five sides now on five points. If this wasn’t enough of an indication of the temperamental nature of this year’s table, Napoli slipped to fourth after drawing 0-0 with Fiorentina, while Juventus stay top after a 1-1 draw over Catania.
We will restrain ourselves from offering any predictions at this point. At the end of the season, we’ll just claim we had it pegged all along and lie, as usual.
If you want us to look, take your shirt off. We’re busy too, y’know. Image: PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images.
Another win for Bayern Munich saw them making themselves comfortable at the top of the Bundesliga while Bayer Leverkusen were on the wrong side of that 3-0 victory, causing them to slip to eleventh (Bayern’s goal difference increased to an alarming +20). If we’re talking boring stats, then the big game of the weekend had to be Werder Bremen’s 2-1 coup over Hertha Berlin, which saw three goals, a winner in stoppage time, eight yellow cards and two reds. Werder climbed to second after the dust had settled, while Hertha are twelfth.
Elsewhere, Hamburg, Freiburg and Augsberg’s competitive jostling for bottom spot took an interesting turn as Augsberg drew 0-0 with Hannover, Freiburg lost 4-2 to Schalke and Hamburg got their first win of the season with a 2-1 win over Stuttgart. They’re all still flailing about on four points, however, so not much really changed after all.
It’s Joey C’s first goal in Ligue 1, but we’re waaaaay more interested in what happened to his shorts in all the excitement. Image: DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images.
Unfortunately, the tastily tan-lined Londoner’s strike for Lille was cancelled out by a late Lorient equaliser, but sixth and seventh places in the table at this stage of the season is pretty respectable. It’s certainly better than bottom, where Nancy find themselves this morning after a 1-0 defeat to Toulouse. The brilliantly named Alain Casanova’s boys are currently in a three way tie for top spot with Paris St Germain & Lyon, who beat Montpellier 3-0 and Bordeaux 3-1 respectively.
What exciting event lifted your shorts to decency-defying levels this weekend, people?