December 5th, 2011
Weekend Results: Red Cards & Revelations
Gareth Bale was among several players to make a personal tribute to Gary Speed this weekend. Image: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe.
There were substantial scorelines, touching tributes and what must have amounted to an entire deck of cards across the European leagues this weekend.
Why waste time pontificating? Let’s dive straight in there and roll around in it, Kickettes!
Shay Given was just one of many thousands struggling to work out how Cheech has managed to do himself so much damage while remaining relatively unmolested. Image: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe.
Rather than celebrating the overwhelming joy of Phil Jones’ first goal for the club/removal of his nasty blond highlights, Manchester United fans will instead be ruing the injury that will see Javier Hernandez sidelined for a month. The Mexican striker suffered ankle ligament damage early on in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa, which has prompted press speculation that United will struggle over the notoriously fixture-heavy Christmas period.
Their top four competition suffered no such strife – Manchester City beat Norwich 5-1, Chelsea gave Newcastle a shove back towards more familiar table territory with a 3-0 victory and Spurs thumped Bolton 3-0. Even Arsenal, who just a couple of weeks ago looked to be enthusiastically volunteering for the season’s ‘Epic Fail’ award, beat Wigan 4-0 and dumped them back to the bottom. The usual occupants of that coveted position, Blackburn, have Yakubu to thank for their second win of the season – he scored four in Rovers’ 4-2 win over Swansea.
The reason for the soft light in Cescy’s hair reveal photo became very clear during his goal celebration. This isn’t over, y’know. Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez.
Cesc Fabregas hasn’t exactly been short on goals since he moved to Barcelona, but his sibling-assisted ‘do’ certainly inspired him on Saturday. He scored two in Barcelona’s 5-0 win over Levante, while Real Madrid only managed a 3-0 win away at Sporting Gijon. We say ‘only’ because it’s El Clasico next week and things have been so insane at the top of La Liga recently, it’s a good way to ramp up the tension. Like that fixture needs it.
But let’s try and focus on the fact that there are other teams in La Liga while we still can, shall we? Valencia beat Espanyol 2-1 to keep pace with the top two, whilst Levante hung onto fourth despite their drubbing. Fernandez Gabi scored at both ends during Atletico Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano, while Ifran snatched three points for Real Sociedad with a very late winner against Malaga.
We didn’t watch the game (and have no evidence to support this theory other than he looks super-hot in white) but we’re pretty sure that Bojan’s sending off was a terrible mistake. Image: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images.
Despite our faithful prayers to the relevant deity every night before bed, Roma’s ‘pretty for the win’ player acquisition policy is not yet paying off in the league. They finished their match against Fiorentina yesterday with eight men and having conceded three goals, scuppering their chances of breaking into the top six and making things rather tough for their fixture against Juventus next week. Juve are two points clear at the top of Serie A after their 2-0 win over Cesena, but suffered a blow of their own in the game – captain Alessandro Del Piero needed eight stitches after receiving a boot to the face. Lovely.
AC Milan kept up the pressure with a 2-0 win over Genoa on Friday, prompting Zlatan Ibrahimovic to remind everyone how fabulous he is, even if no-one actually cares. Inter lost 1-0 to Udinese and saw captain Javier Zanetti sent off. They’re now sixteenth, which is rubbish.
Hajime Hosogai (l). Making us feel a bit guilty for being mean. AP Photo/dapd/Christoph Reichwein.
We’ve been making fun of Augsberg recently for their craptastic form in the Bundesliga. We would like to offer our sincere apologies for this, plus reparations, particularly to Hajime Hosogai (above) who we’re sure we hurt more than anyone else because he is so cute and fluffy. Feel free to get in touch about how we can make it up to you, Hajime.
Now, where were we? Oh yes. Augsberg. They lost 3-1 to Schalke. But we’re sure it wasn’t Hajime’s fault.
Elsewhere, the Borussia’s of Dortmund and Monchengladbach cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw, allowing Bayern Munich to sneak back to the top of the table via a 4-1 over Werder Bremen. Hamburg beat Nuremburg 2-0 and pretty much everyone else drew, which makes it tough to write anything interesting.
So we won’t even try.
We’ve been told we’re not allowed to do this to each other in the Kickette office anymore after a couple of minor incidents involving broken bones. How come Lyon are? Image: REUTERS/Robert Pratta.
Montpellier remain top of the table this morning after thrashing Lorient 4-0. Bad news for David Beckham botherers PSG, who despite a 3-2 win over Auxerre and second position, are the subject of speculation involving a coaching change this morning.
3-2 was a popular scoreline this weekend, with Lille beating AJ Ajaccio and Lyon snatching three points from Toulouse by the same margin. Nancy lost 2-0 to Bordeaux and remain second from bottom, but Nice are slightly further out of the mire after a 2-0 win over high-flying Rennes. Okay, they’re still in the relegation places, but they have a great opportunity to make it two wins in two games next weekend vs. fellow strugglers Auxerre.
They can’t both lose, can they?
Since next weekend is going to be all about you-know-what, shall we leave the Spanish speculation ’til later in the week? No? Ok, worth a try.