January 30th, 2012

Weekend Results: Sitting Pretty (But Mostly Still)

Players disrespecting referees is a big problem in many European leagues. Not so much in the Bundesliga, though. Image:  THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images.

While everyone in England was caught up in the now traditional FA Cup bicker-fest, the rest of the European Leagues had a peculiar stillness about them this weekend.

FA Cup

There were other talking points in the Arsenal/Aston Villa game, as Robbie Keane would like to demonstrate. Image: AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON.

With the FA crushing our dreams of a pathetic hand-shake face-off situ breaking out before the QPR/Chelsea game, we were worried there would be nothing to write about this morning. But there was still plenty for the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Alex McLeish to moan about as their respective sides were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition. Liverpool beat Manchester Utd 2-1 thanks to a late Dirk Kuyt strike – a defeat Fergie described as “sickening” – while Robin van Persie’s two penalties for Arsenal dumped Aston Villa out. Manager McLeish felt the Dutchman elbowed his way past Carlos Cuellar and has called for the FA to investigate the incident.

Chelsea eventually beat QPR 1-0, although their performance could hardly be described as thrilling, while Bolton, Norwich, and Stoke were among the other EPL sides to force their way into the next round.

An honorable mention must go to League Two’s Crawley Town, who beat  Hull City 1-0 and are now the lowest placed side left in the competition. We haven’t found evidence of any nekkid worth checking out there yet, but we’re on it. We promise.

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La Liga

Barca fans? Does it make it easier that you were held by a team that contains the hotness of Mateo Musacchio? No? Ok. Image: Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images.

If you were to glance at the La Liga table this morning, you might think that little of note took place in the games featuring the top six clubs. However, three of the ‘em failed to pick up maximum points over the weekend, the biggest shock coming at Villarreal where second place Barcelona were held to a 0-0 draw. They are now seven points behind Real Madrid, who, despite going a goal down to Zaragoza, won the game 3-1.

Elsewhere, Valencia conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Racing Santander, while Levante lost 2-1 to Getafe. There was good news for Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao fans though, the former beating Mallorca 1-0 and the latter beating Rayo Vallecano 3-2 thanks to a Fernando Llorente hat-trick.

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Serie A

‘Closed-eye’ man hugs are so mid-January La Liga. We’re backing the ‘full eye contact hair grab’ (being given an early run out here by Juve’s Matri and Marchisio) to be the go-to goal celebration this February. Image: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe.

Lazio’s 3-0 victory over Chievo was enough to force them into the top four at the expense of Inter, who were surprisingly beaten 1-0 by relegation threatened Lecce. Juventus remain one point clear of AC Milan after beating title challengers Udinese 2-1, while Milan pushed Cagliari ever closer to the drop zone with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat.

Roma’s four match winning run was ended by sixteenth place Bologna, but the result of the weekend had to be the game at Genoa, where the home side almost lost a three goal lead to Napoli. Genoa were two up before half-time, Rodrigo Palacio seemingly making certain of three points with a third on seventy minutes. However, two goals in two minutes from Cavani (80) and Lavezzi (82) made for a nervous finish but Genoa hung on and are now ninth. Napoli remain seventh.

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Bundesliga

Despite a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich are still having to share the top spot with upstarts Dortmund and Schalke. In fact, pretty much everyone has had to make do with sitting still this week, with the top eleven (!) sides staying put. The only teams who shifted were Mainz, whose 3-1 win over Freiburg lifted them to twelfth, while Nuremburg, Cologne and Hertha Berlin all dropped due to defeats to Hannover,  Schalke and Hamburg respectively.

Next week, we hope to have something slightly more interesting to report. Like movement.

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Ligue 1

In case you were wondering, we WILL be claiming full credit for Nolan Roux’s ‘two-goals-in-two-minutes’ debut for Lille this weekend. Our post on his pretty was clearly a confidence booster. Image: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol.

Compared to the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 was a hive of activity this weekend, with table movement occuring as high up as fifth place. Marseille beat Rennes 2-1, which was enough to prompt a polite dosey-doe between fifth and six, while the top four all won and stayed put.

Further down, the bottom three now comprises Auxerre, who lost 3-1 to Nancy, Sochaux, who drew 1-1 with Lorient and Nice. They lost 1-0 to Montpellier; Olivier Giroud missing a penalty on the half hour mark, then snagging the points anyway via a 90th minute strike.

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We think we might be in love with him. Have we mentioned that?

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29 Responses to “Weekend Results: Sitting Pretty (But Mostly Still)”

  1. It is really interesting and great post thanks for sharing.

  2. sa335 says:

    Your blog is great. Your thoughts are also very good and i am very inspired from your post. That is why I visit this blog again and again and will come back in future too.

  3. bri_saldana says:

    YAY! Liverpool with FANTASTIC WINS against the Manchester's this week! AND Kuyt finally with a goal this season! Can't wait til Louie is back….I JUST LOVE EVERYONE :D

    OH BTW….. (revised) I'm not sure who you are in 1st Bundes Liga pic but I want to pinch your cheeks….ALL OF THEM!

  4. nayet21 says:

    Iker in red and a little angry looks gorgeous. That man is perfection ;) I'm happy they won. Hala Madrid!

  5. Alone- Brazil says:

    for me the crowns are the least interesting part of the European Continete then: I want a man!

  6. futbolfan says:

    Ozil goal and assist.
    And even better Kaka goal and assist!!!!!
    Mou has finally listened to me and has started playing the two of them together; I absolutely love when they are on the field at the same time!

  7. RealFan7 says:

    So happy RM were able to come out on top and extend their lead on the table. They gave a solid performance after two mentally and physically exhausting weeks. I hope the team enjoyed their well deserved two days off and can keep their focus on the league. It is theirs to loose now. Hala Madrid!

  8. Agnes Wonka says:

    I like La Liga. Hope Rcan get it xD
    Hala Madrid!!

  9. DrStrangelove says:

    Nice of Kickette not to mention our south coast debacle.

    Sad to report that Alan Smith has gone to Milton Keynes on loan, so we're unlikely to see anything more of him. :/ Not that we were seeing anything of him as it was mind, but him disapearing into the bowels of the league puts an end to any PL revival.

  10. Kristina says:

    It really is time for Pep to bring in the youngsters. Thiago, Tello (great game!), Cuenca. La Masia is full of them, and I now Pep has a soft spot for them so I say let them prove themselves. First team seems drained of energy, and who can blame them? Three years of competing in every single cup, winning almost everything. And the squad is so small now with the injuries and all. They're not superheroes, but I love them all the same!

    • Gladys says:

      Your last sentence is just lovely! And here's to the youngins. With all the injuries, we'll be seeing more of them, which is the one bright side.

      • Kristina says:

        Thanks Gladys! It will be very interesting to see the line-ups in the games to come. I know that both you and I have a thing for Thiago. I think he should start instead of Cesc, who is struggling right now. Thiago needs to be given more responsibility. He seems to be the kind of guy that you can lay a lot on. It ain't over til it's over!

  11. Mee says:

    Yeah Madrid!
    Ozil has been PHONEMENAL so far in 2012. <3
    And Kaka getting his name on the score sheet, nice :)
    Only thing that bothers me, why is Sahin not being played at all? He's apparantly really good…we didn't buy him for nothing…

    • DebS says:

      In Karanka's post game interview, he said "It was a match for Nuri, but we decided to use Lass. There are many games left and Nuri is working very well. He will be very good for us. We give him our support. All he needs is more playing time."

      I'm guessing that they wanted more of a defensive player in the midfield. The one thing that helps Altintop get minutes is that he can play right back. So when Arbeloa can't play or Mou decides to give him a rest, Altintop will get playing time. Although Lass did well at right back too.

      I do feel Nuri will get more playing time, particularly since Xabi definitely needs a rest from all the minutes he's put in. But I was very glad the Mou played Granero. He too is starved for playing time and is from the cantera.

      • Meeeee says:

        Yeah, I guess, hopefully he'll be played soon :)
        But yeah Granero's passing was certainly beautiful last weekend!

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      There are rumors suggesting mentally Nuri is not ready yet, he is afraid he will injure himself again by playing, that's why he is not being part of the team. I was complaining a month ago about Granero issue of not playing, now he started 2 games in Liga and played a clasico, so maybe that's will happen with Nuri esp now that Xabi ( I know!! :( ) picked an injury…
      We will wait and see still a whole half season in Liga ahead of us with UCL too

    • bri_saldana says:

      You know what ….with all the drama of the classico; I wonder if anyone noticed just how phenomenal Kaka was playing during the first half. There were several stretches on the attack where he was just breath taking. I haven't seen this match YET but I DVR'D it & can't wait till I have down time to catch the match. YAY!!! HALA MADRID!!!

  12. IrishBlue says:

    Heard a rumour on Sky Sports that QPR are interested in taking a certain Mr. Giroud to the Premier League, something that, if true, I whole heartedly approve of!

  13. Mrs. Q.Borri says:

    IS NOT EVEN A THING OF MIGHT!!!! WE ARE IN LOVE WITH HIM, THATS IT. *sight*

    Olivier Giroud…. Oh my…!!!

  14. ChefDi says:

    MIGHT be in love with Giroud?! Oh yum, let's please BE in love with him ;-)

    Matri is irresistible in that deep pink. How much must I pay for a wall-size of that foto of those two, it would be worth every last cent!!

  15. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Llorente scored a hat-trick, yaaay Spain has a fit striker who can score, beautifull my Basque Man.
    Seville yet again gave us a breathe taking derby, well played Sevilla vs Malaga!!

    and yeah of course HALA MADRID!!, Ozil-kaka bromance something I will look forward for every week. Ozil take a bow my bambi! You owned this month..

    • DebS says:

      "Ozil take a bow my bambi! You owned this month.."

      Well said. I LOVE this kid and am so glad that he's getting back to his brilliant self!

      Was SO happy that El Pirata got the full 90 minutes. I really don't want him to leave and hope that Mou continues to give him playing time. He had a very good game I thought.

      And a big THANK YOU to Villareal! Hala Madrid!

    • Gigi says:

      Yay! I love the love for Llorente. He could play a big role in Euro '12 for Spain. I think Torres and Llorente (the 2 Fernandos!) can provide the team with the physicality and strength they need on attack. I have a feeling the other teams are going to play very aggressive with the Spanish NT so it could be crucial to have Llorente (all 6'5" of him) leading the charge. But I've been a bit troubled though by a transfer rumor I read that he'd been offered to Ancelotti at PSG and possibly other clubs in the EPL. It's kinda heartbreaking because I can't imagine what Athletic Bilbao would do without him.

  16. Americus Killaponius says:

    Sure nobody talks about Theo Walcott's goal, nooo. It was RvP's penalties that singlehandledly won the game.

    • littlegreenpea says:

      lol. I'm just glad they didn't go into great detail about man united's slip-up. I've suffered enough as it is. But now united AND barcelona look too far behind city and real to catch up. Not my best weekend, that's for sure.