May 9th, 2011
Weekend Results: Thumbs Up, Shorts Off
‘Dad? Dad? Are we nearly there yet?! Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
No amount of placing one’s hands over one’s ears and making loud, discordant and frankly upsetting noises can disguse the fact that we are hurtling towards the end of the football season at an alarming rate. We know, we’ve spent the last month doing it and the only thing that we have achieved is a complaint from the neighbours.
If you have trouble facing reality too, please lose yourself in our Weekend Results post, a pleasure with a limited time frame now. Sob.
Leighton Baines looks on with interest as Jolean Lescott unleashes his ‘avant-garde’ tattoo collection on an unsuspecting Everton team. Images: Getty Images/Daylife.
Far be it from us to tread a different path from our more ‘football focussed’ (and less pretty) counterparts, but as weekend shocks/surprises are concerned, Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Stoke was surely a bigger deal than Manchester United’s title bothering victory over Chelsea. Arsenal watched their meek charge for the league collapse in a knackered heap as the lifeline goal scored by Robin van Persie was immediately cancelled out by Jonathan Walters’ 82nd minute strike. It isn’t the first time the Adorkables have suffered a major blow this season, but this time they seemed so resigned.
Upsetting, from a team capable of playing such beautiful football. What now, Arsene?
Chelsea, on the other hand, due to play Manchester United in a game that would be nothing less than decisive in the title race, looked tired, bewildered and totally unprepared for the onslaught that awaited them. Javier Hernandez struck the mortal blow in the first minute; Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung combining in a defence splitting display to provide the ball that Cheech put away with style. Nemanja Vidic headed in to make it two, and although Lampard scored a consolation goal midway through the second half, his side never looked threatening. Manchester United now need just one point from two games. Hard to see past them now, no?
Elsewhere, Spurs hopes of a Champions League spot took two further blows via their 1-1 draw against Blackpool and Gareth Bale’s injury, received during a clash with Blackpool’s Charlie Adam. Spurs are fifth, but Manchester City’s remain six points clear of them, despite their 2-1 defeat to Everton. At the bottom, Wolves picked up a priceless three points against local rivals West Brom and are now out of the relegation places. Just.
So let’s just be clear. If Cristiano had taken his shirt off to celebrate a goal, he would’ve been booked. This, however, remains unpunished. Further evidence of football’s demise, in our humble opinion. Image: CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images/Daylife.
It’s a shame, really, that scoring six goals at this stage of the season really has no impact on the Spanish league’s title. Barcelona, who beat Espanyol 2-0, were able to ignore their noisy, fractious challengers during their game; a luxury we’re sure Pep Guardiola will have relished after recent events. Barca are cruising atop their eight point lead, but we can’t help but wonder where the Cristiano Ronaldo who scored four goals on Saturday night was in his side’s Champions League semi-final fixtures recently.
Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
At the other end of the table, Osasuna launched themselves out of the bottom three with a vital 3-1 win away at Real Zaragoza, while Deportivo La Coruna, Hercules and Almeria all dropped points and now flounder in the relegation spots. Getafe aren’t quite out of it yet, but did their chances no harm with their 2-0 victory over the aforementioned Almeria.
AC Milan celebrate winning the Scudetto by taking their shorts off. Yay! Image: Getty Images/Zimbio.
It’s lucky that AC Milan did confirm the Serie A title away at Roma, because the game itself wasn’t really worthy of any clothing removal. The sides played out a dull 0-0 draw with the occasional chance squandered by both but we must confess we weren’t concentrating totally on the on-field action.
Marco Borriello’s hair caught our attention while it was resting on the bench, then warming up on the touchline before popping onto the pitch for a runabout. For those who didn’t see the game, Borri is now sporting a bouff that demands it’s own postcode. Thoughts, people?
Anyhoo, we’re sure Inter Milan fans will be thrilled to watch their league trophy wending its merry way across the corridor to their bitter rivals’ trophy cabinet. Their boys beat Fiorentina by a comfortable 3-1 margin, but even if they win their remaining matches and AC Milan lose theirs, Inter’s record against Milan this season counts against them. Basically, it’s over.
In similar helples straits are Brescia, whose 2-1 defeat to Catania confirmed their relegation from Serie A. They join Bari, who lost 2-1 to Palermo this week while Sampdoria languish in the third trapdoor spot after losing to Genoa. Theoretically though, hope remains for them. Not much, but a bit.
A similar scenario to La Liga in the Bundesliga, with a team bringing up the rear pull off a spectacular result just a little too late to make any material difference. Bayern Munich whipped St Pauli 8-1, with a hat trick from Mario Gomez, two from Ribery, two from Robben and a spare from Van Buyten. It does them no good in terms of the league, which Borussia Dortmund claimed last weekend, but was still impressive nonetheless. Dortmund, for the record, didn’t really bother to show up to their fixture against Werder Bremen and subsequently lost 2-0.
Meanwhile, relegation threatened Borussia Monchengladbach continued their mad run of form with a 2-0 win over Freiburg; they remain in the bottom three, but on equal points with Wolfsburg. Schalke’s hideous run continued with a 3-1 loss to Mainz. The side are fourteenth and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they may be dragged into a relegation fight. Meh.
Our tour around the sites of Ligue 1 brings us to Lyon’s Lisandro Lopez. We’ll just pull up here to get a look at the view, shall we? Image: Reuters/Daylife.
We were beginning to suspect that no-one wanted to win this title, the amount of stumbling at the final hurdle that has been going on lately, but we are pleased to report that Lille have now drawn four points clear with a 1-0 win over Nancy. Rivals Marseille dropped points against third placed Lyon, meaning that it is getting very snuggly indeed up there; just three points now separate the two. At the bottom, a scrap between Caen and Lens resulted in a 1-1 draw that leaves Lens staring into the abyss. You know, the one that Arles-Avignon disappeared down some months ago.
View on the situation as it stands, Kickettes? Start your engines, please.