May 23rd, 2011
Weekend Results: Over & (Nearly) Out
If you’re going to take off your boots and shirt, it’s hardly a stretch to whip off your shorts, is it? Images: Getty Images/Zimbio.
If we appear a little shaky this morning, please forgive. The end of the season for most means no more results, no more debating crap rules about shirt removal and hardly any on pitch idiocy to laugh at. It’s tough, but not terminal.
For us? Well, we’re getting the Ouija board out of the broom cupboard to beg the spectre of creativity to join our editorial meetings. We have to actually use our imaginations to come up with interesting, thought provoking posts to get you through these lean times.
The fear is all pervading.
Rob Green haz the sadz. Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
Finally, however, all the build up was justified. It was absolute bedlam at the bottom of the EPL table circa 5.15pm yesterday afternoon, but fortunately the aforementioned TV station kindly provided up to the minute tables to enable even the most inept mathematicians (us) to keep up.
It fell thusly:
- West Ham, who were relegated last weekend, lost 3-0 to Sunderland. So far, so meh.
- After a titanic battle at Old Trafford, Blackpool finally capitulated 4-2 to champions Manchester United and finished the day in nineteenth.
- Birmingham City, who also hovered tantalisingly above the drop zone during game time, were sunk by two Roman Pavlyuchenko goals. The final score was 2-1, and opponents Spurs finished fifth.
- Wolves were 3-0 down at half-time against Blackburn, but Spurs’ win over Birmingham – plus a pair of Wolves’ 2nd half comeback goals – proved sufficient enough to keep them up and leave Mick McCarthy a very relieved man.
- Wigan, who have been in the drop zone practically the whole season, managed to stay up by the skin of their teeth and a ridiculous header from Hugo Rodallega. The man will certainly have the freedom of Wigan, which will be lovely for him.
- Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after his team lost 1-0 to Everton and finished…er…in 2nd place.
- Arsenal settled for 4th after failing to beat Fulham, while Manchester City skipped into third via a 2-0 win over Bolton.
- Manchester United won. But then again, you already knew that.
Could somebody help Bojan? He’s dropped his snuggly. Images: Getty Images/Daylife.
If you don’t find him physically attractive, Cristiano Ronaldo is not an easy man to admire. He has everything a man could want, and he kind of knows it. But even those who fantasise about offering Ronnie a swift punch up the bracket upon first meeting should offer a grudging nod to the man this morning, for he picked up another two goals during Real Madrid’s 8-1 thrashing of Almeira on Saturday, breaking the record for the most goals in a single league campaign.
As we said last week, it was the only honour left to take and he took it. Congrats Cris. Now if you could just pop off on holiday and arrange for a pap session feat. your torso and your toddler, your triumphant season would be complete.
Once again, Barcelona had one eye on next weekend’s Champs League fixture and consequently fielded a side whose combined life span failed to exceed 50 years of age. The Barca bubbas, who’ve firmly installed themselves in our ‘guilty pleasures’ files this season, still had enough about them to beat Malaga 3-1 with goals from Bojan, Afellay and Bartra. We shall watch their journey through puberty with some pride next season.
Slightly less attractive to watch was Deportivo La Coruna’s 2-0 capitulation to Valencia. Thanks to the visitor’s two unanswered goals, Deportivo join Hercules and Almeria on the Segunda division line up for next season, for the first time in twenty years.
For every misery there is a joy though. Real Zaragoza survived the cut after beating Levante 2-1, thanks to midfielder Gabi. Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick in Atletico Madrid’s 4-3 marathon at Mallorca but their hopes of avoiding the qualifying stages of the Europa League were dashed by Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao’s winning scorelines. Atletico finish in seventh.
Think of it as ‘Where’s Wally?’ but with naked torsos. Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
Having already claimed the Scudetto, AC Milan could afford to take it easy this weekend; a fact that Udinese cheerily made the most of. A 0-0 home draw was sufficient for the team to finish fourth and qualify for the final Champions League spot, a fact which some players celebrated appropriately (above). The other spots had already been claimed by Inter Milan, who beat Catania 3-1, and Napoli, who drew 2-2 with Juventus. Juve’s patchy season overall left them in seventh place.
Roma, who have also had their moments this season, scraped into a Europa League spot after a 3-1 victory over relegated Sampdoria. Bari, who were relegated some time ago and have clearly gotten a little demob happy, thrashed Bologna 4-0, while Lecce were lucky to survive after being beaten 4-2 by Lazio.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Dante has just read our explanation of the Bundesliga play-off system. Whoops. Image: Reuters/Daylife.
Right…so, the Bundesliga sort-of finished last week, apart from a relegation play-off thingy, the rules of which are very confusing. It seems that whoever finishes sixteenth in the Bundesliga plays whoever finished third in the 2nd Bundesliga in a two leg tie. The winner of this two leg tie plays in the Bundesliga next season while….. Zzzzzz.
Anyone still awake? If so, Borussia Monchengladbach take a 1-0 lead into the second leg against Bochum. The goal came via Igor de Camargo in the third minute of stoppage time. If you are a fan of either club, please make yourself known via the comments section. It would make us feel so much better about our travails.
Suddenly, Sami Nasri’s offences against pants make a little more sense, no? Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
To continue the confusion, Ligue 1 doesn’t actually finish until next week, which leaves next week’s results post looking a little bedraggled. With one eye on this, Lille did us a favour by finally secured the points needed to take the title with a 2-2 draw against Paris St Germain; rivals and former champs Marseille drew by the same scoreline with Valenciennes.
All the action is at the bottom in Ligue 1 though. With bottom side Arles-Avignon taking their first away win of the season against already relegated Lens, the battle to avoid the third drop spot is heating up with seven teams teetering on the brink. In the hot seat at the mo is Monaco, who just about kept the trapdoor open with a 1-0 win over Montpellier, but Nancy, Caen, Valenciennes, Nice, Brest and Auxerre could all potentially find themselves in trouble if next week’s results don’t favour them.
We should probably start working on the post now.
Editor’s Note: raise a glass of Bucks Fizz to our ever-amazeballs staff writer and Weekend Results poster extraordinaire, Kelly T. She takes the mundane stats and other such hooey and makes this ish look good. (God knows the rest of us don’t want to do it.) You rock K2!