March 14th, 2011
Weekend Results: The Skin Edition
Roma’s Totti kicks things off for us with a full shirt-removal-and-swing. Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
With Barcelona, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund dominating their respective leagues, our wildly imaginative writers are running out of superlatives. Desperate times call for us taking umbrage in the form of a hastily written and strongly-worded memo, which each league is now in receipt of as we seek to come to a joint resolution on the matter.
We also grumbled about the lack of skin on show as of late, and are pleased to report that many clubs have already embraced our directive with enthusiasm.
Short/shirt grabbing is a much frowned upon approach to tackling. Unless you work in the Kickette office. Image: Getty Images/ Zimbio.
Having lost the Carling Cup to Birmingham City and been knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, the last thing Arsenal needed was an FA Cup quarter final tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
A win could have restored some form of respectability to the Gunners’ season, but sadly it was not to be. Alex Ferguson’s men were able to put their own poor form behind them to take the tie 2-0 with goals from Fabio and Wayne Rooney, and it’s the title or bust for the Adorkables now.
United’s neighbours Manchester City faced a tricky tie against Reading, and the Championship side made the best of their opportunity, keeping plenty of possession and bravely defending against wave after wave of pressure from Carlos Tevez and a sprightly David Silva. In the end it was Micah Richards who made the difference, rising ominously from the centre of the penalty area to head home from Silva’s corner to give his side the 1-0 victory. City will now face United at the Wembley-hosted semi-final, a fact that is sure to please environmental campaigners the country over.
While we, like other venerable footballing portals, will be reserving the purplest of our prose for the Utd/City clash, it would be wrong of us to neglect the other semi-finalists who went to such efforts to attract our attention (Jermaine Pennant, left).
The Bolton Wanderers also plan to take to Wembley’s semi-final stage after beating Birmingham City 3-2. There, they’ll face Stoke City, who beat West Ham 2-1 in a game that made the headlines for its refereeing controversies rather than any outstanding game play.
A problem we’re sure won’t rear its ugly head in the City/United fixture.
Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
The Ramos. Now with extra zing. Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
It says something about a club (or the lack of competition in the league) when an away fixture against a 7th-placed team plays to a draw, sending shockwaves throughout the global game. But that is the burden that Barcelona – an outfit that’s routinely described as ‘the best in the world’ – carry every time they step onto a football pitch. Because Barcelona drew 1-1 with Sevilla this weekend, a two day period that also saw Real Madrid reclaim three table points with their 2-0 victory over Hercules, the Catalan club’s lead was reduced to five points of difference and a sniff of possibility for rumoured want-away manager Jose Mourinho.
Would anyone put it past ‘the Special One’ to snatch the league from under Barca’s nose and then vacate the hot seat for pastures new?
Valencia (left) might have abandoned their hopes of a top two finish some time ago, but a 4-0 loss to Real Zaragoza this weekend could see them concede third spot too. Fourth placed Villarreal drew 1-1 with Sporting Gijon and are now just a point behind.
For their part, fifth place Espanyol beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-0.
Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
It seems a shame to intrude on this precious moment, does it not? Image via el pais.com
Having been knocked out of the Champions League by a stubborn Spurs side this week, AC Milan suffered a blow to their title hopes with a 1-1 stutter against Bari. Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to get himself sent off for two yellows, and it took an 82nd minute strike from substitute Cassano to give the Rossoneri a consolation point. Fortunately (for them), rivals Inter Milan were unable to take advantage, finishing 1-1 in their game against Brescia.
Two goals from Francesco Totti gave Roma’s chest bumpers a much needed 2-0 win over Lazio, and Udinese took the opportunity to fire a warning shot at their rivals; they beat Cagliari 4-0 and hopped into fourth spot. Juventus continued their gentle slide toward mid-table mediocrity by drawing 2-2 with Cesena. They are now seventh.
Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
After a fairly lacklustre season, Bayern Munich reminded a few people of last year’s title taking with a 6-0 victory over Hamburg. Arjen Robben scored three, while Ribery and Mueller contributed one each. Hamburg’s Heiko Westermann didn’t help matters by netting into his own goal.
Borussia Dortmund’s title chances might have taken a blow after a 1-0 defeat to Hoffenheim, if they hadn’t been a gazillion points ahead before kick-off. Their lead has now been cut to nine points – a fact that we’ll sure will cause much trembling on the streets of Dortmund.
While the timing may have been off, Eden Hazard couldn’t help but be impressed by Renaud Cohade’s attempts to ‘bust a move’. Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
Rennes lost ground in one of the tightest title race across the European Leagues this weekend, having been beaten 2-0 at home by Marseille. Lille took the initiative by beating Valenciennes 2-1 and opening up a three point gap, but Rennes might want to keep an eye on third placed Lyon – their 2-0 win over Sochaux sees them just one point behind in third.
A 2-2 draw between Paris SG and Montpellier was helpful for no one apart from St Etienne who trail the two sides; they beat Brest 2-0 to go within one point of Montpellier. Bordeaux, in turn, failed to beat Monaco and remain in eighth position.
Finally, Arles scored three at home and failed to win. Being the kind of women who are attracted by shiny things like trophies and (sweaty) abs, we are considering removing our support for the team on the basis that they supply neither.
Thoughts on this and other important issues, Kickettes? Was the weekend good for you?