April 30th, 2012

Weekend Results: Too Little, Too Late?

Image via elpais.com.

When this man got within feet of Francesco Totti, he chose to scream in his face.

This was not the wackiest thing that happened across the European leagues this weekend, which tells you everything you need to know about this time of year.

EPL

A phenomenal display from Fernando yesterday. Images: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, elpais.com.

Thank heavens for Fernando Torres. On Tuesday night, seeing him score was enough to take our minds off JT’s innovative approach to captaincy, and yesterday his lovely hat-trick and subsequent pantie party was a happy distraction from the section of Chelsea fans who booed QPR defender Anton Ferdinand throughout the game. Way to take the gloss off an amazing performance, guys.

Whether Chelsea get the opportunity to pull off another Champions League masterclass next year depends largely on what Newcastle and Spurs manage in the final few games. Spurs kept up the pressure and are the current occupants of the magical fourth spot following their 2-0 win over Blackburn, while Newcastle capitulated 4-0 to a resurgent Wigan.

Liverpool, who are well out of Champions League contention, put on a brilliant display at Norwich City yesterday – the highlight being a superbly taken Luis Suarez hat-trick. Rivals Everton went one better, with a 4-0 win over Fulham, while already relegated Wolves found their fight after the fact.

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La Liga

Antoine Griezmann. Ensuring our support for Sporting Gijon strengthens by the second. Image via eurosport.

It’s scant comfort for Wolves, but at least they can say that for the first time in their history, they’re in a similar position to Barcelona. Last week saw Barca’s aspirations to win back-to-back league and European titles mercilessly crushed and their manager tender his resignation. With nothing left to fight for, they’d have been forgiven for giving Rayo Vallecano an easy game, but instead they thrashed them 7-0.

Maybe they just wanted to delay Real Madrid’s party? Defeat to Rayo would’ve handed Mou’s boys the title after their 3-0 victory over Sevilla at ridiculous o’clock yesterday morning, but now they’ll have to wait until next week.

Luckily for Racing Santander, their weekend performance ensured no hanging about would be necessary. They lost 3-0 to Real Sociedad and relegation was confirmed. Sporting Gijon prolonged their own agony with a 3-0 win over Espanyol and are eighteenth, level on points with nineteenth placed Zaragoza who beat Bilbao 2-0.

Technically they can both stay up, but our advice is avoid holding your breath.

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Serie A

There’s always an exception to a rule, and this year’s exception is Inter Milan. After a terrible run of results earlier in the season that dropped them into their league table’s lower half, they’ve now hauled themselves back into Champions League contention (yesterday’s 2-1 result vs. Cesena pushed them into fifth). Unfortunately, only goal difference separate Napoli, Udinese and Lazio, who are also on 55 points, so their poor form may yet come back to bite them on the backside.

Juventus remained three points clear at the top upon leaving Novara to drift to within smelling distance of the drop. AC Milan were also victorious, beating Siena 4-1 to maintain pressure on their title rivals in the lead up to their 6th May meeting.

Anyone fancy an upset?

Images: REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo.

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Bundesliga

Having secured top flight football for another season, FC Augsburg players had a crack at a spectacular revision of the ‘wheelbarrow’. Image: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images.

Thank heavens for Augsburg. Without their input, our mockery of the Bundesliga would have been severely restricted this season and this post would not have been graced with the above photo of naked, writhing players. They secured Bundesliga football for another season with a 0-0 draw vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, while Cologne slipped even further from safety with a 4-1 defeat to Freiburg.

Champions Dortmund had little sympathy for Kaiserslautern who are in a similar predicament to Cologne; they beat the strugglers 5-2 with Lucas Barrios netting a hat-trick. Bayern were obviously still buzzing from their midweek victory over Madrid, picking up a 2-0 win over Stuttgart.

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Ligue 1

Ligue 1: Like a morning commute on the London Underground. Image: PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/GettyImages.

All the keen eyes were on the Coupe De France match between Lyon and Quevilly this weekend, but since we’re going to be posting photos of those naked celebrations later on, pardon our inability to prioritize the rest of our Ligue 1 match watching time, please dear readers?

One thing we did catch was the shock defeat of Paris St Germain to Lille, which when coupled with Montpellier’s 1-0 victory over Toulouse on Friday night, adds up to a five point gap between the two title contenders. Olivier Giroud missed a penalty, but as far as we could work out, it didn’t affect his hotness one jot.

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MLS

Thierry Henry is the top scoring striker in the MLS, despite an apparent inability to differentiate between a ball and a flag. Image: Andy Marlin/Getty Images.

Henry was the difference in Red Bulls victory over New England, but the hamstring injury he suffered later on in the game ensured that his fellow strikers will have to pick up the slack. Good job Kenny Cooper is just behind Henry in the rankings, really.

Kansas City remain top of the Eastern Conference, with a game in hand over closest rivals DC United. DC beat Houston 3-2, but despite the defeat Houston moved up fourth after Chicago Fire lost 2-1 to Seattle Sounders.

San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake are split on goal difference alone at the top of the Western Conference after wins over Philadelphia and Toronto FC respectively. Toronto FC are still on zero points, a fact that we’re going to stop mentioning now because even we’re embarrassed for them.

Heaven knows how the fans are coping.

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It’s all to play for as we move into the comments section, Kickettes. Hope you’re on good form…

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35 Responses to “Weekend Results: Too Little, Too Late?”

  1. Jenni says:

    Wow, Thierry… how did that corner flag offend you, exactly?

    Happy for Real Zaragoza to get relegated because I'd been supporting Arsenal for about three weeks when 'Nayim from the halfway line' happened. It's amazing how such formative incidents stay with you. My mum was reminded of it when Suarez scored his third!

    Come on Milan – hate Juventus with a passion, mostly because of their fans' atrocious racist chants and banners.

    • gigi says:

      I like the Juve players (ADP!!!) and Conte, but yeah, their right-wing ultras are absolutely horrible. But as much as I find Ibra entertaining, I can't really get behind Milan either because of Berlu.

  2. Anne says:

    Am I the only one supporting Chelsea not for Mr. Fernando Torres?
    Glad for the lad, though.. :)
    Oh, I seem to remember a lot of crazy girls supporting Liverpool only because Torres was there…
    And now that he's gone, they still manage to fake attachment to the squad.
    Guess who are the plastic supporters….

    • Guest says:

      Totally agree with your post.

      I wonder how many fans Chelsea gained when Torres joined, and how many they will lose when he leaves. (Interestingly, as far as Chelsea is concerned it seems to be fangirls and fanboys).

      It makes a mockery of any real supporter. To be honest though, as much as the players may smile and pose for photos etc they probably think it's pathetic themselves and prefer the real supporters over the fake one any day.

    • Jean says:

      It doesn't make you a better supporter, or a 'real' one at that. Everyone has plenty of different reasons for supporting a club, and that's just fine. Sometimes 'real' attachment to a club starts with an attachment to a player. Do you know how many Liverpool fans started following the club because of Torres and thanks to him became life-long supporters? Plenty. And it happens with every big name player and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Unless you are homegrown or have a family tradition, love for a club seldom starts out of nowhere. Most of the time a player comes in first, and the player might leave, but the love for the club remains. It's not all black an white and seeing it from your perspective (that also condems 'fangirls', i.e. mostly women) is quite sad.

      • Guest says:

        <<<<Do you know how many Liverpool fans started following the club because of Torres and thanks to him became life-long supporters?>>>>

        Do you realise how much rubbish you're talking? Torres joined LFC in 2007 and left after three and a half seasons. So how can anyone who started following the club because of him be a 'life-long supporter'?

        Go back to tumblr or gawk at your Torres poster. You only ever crawl out of the woodwork when there is a post concerning Torres. Not a clue about football.

    • Jean says:

      Also, most of the time the real plastic supporters are men and women who only start supporting a club when they start getting trophies/money. I'd take real love for a player any day over that.

  3. con2e says:

    Torres hat trick? Boring! Suarez hat trick majestic! F*** off Torres, Chelsea's plastic supporters will never love you like we did. Enjoy your runner up medals to Liverpool and Bayern!

    • Amy says:

      yep, sounds like you really love him.

    • Guest says:

      In all honesty – Suarez' hattrick was miles better than Torres'.

      • Jean says:

        Suarez's 3rd was great but the other two were just well taken goals tbh, just like Torres' were. Besides, Suarez had like 8/9 shots on goal and scored 3, while Torres had 4 shots on goal and scored 3, which shows better eficiency on Torres' part. It's quite silly to compare them in the first place, but Suarez is a player who's supposed to be at his best and rarely delivers these kind of performances, and when he does, he's labeled as 'the best striker in the epl'. Torres had been having a rough time and is recovering, but he does this and it's 'meh' at best. Come on.

    • mimi says:

      Your hate for a player is embarrassing. Get a life.

      Suarez is a good player and his hat trick was classy, but it has nothing to do with Nandos hat trick. Both players are class.

      • con2e says:

        Don't hate him at all. Hope he's enjoying himself in London with Chelsea and their plastic flag waving supporters. As if it's any of your concern, my life is just fine, luv. Cheers!

    • Lena says:

      Enjoy supporting a racist cheater.

    • Jean says:

      lol omg

    • mar210 says:

      Love is unconditional, so umm no. You guys couldn't have loved him. And exactly what runner up medals? Last I checked, Liverpool got one for the F.A. Cup and Chelsea, the silverware. Have fun rooting against Torres in the Champions League Final, maybe Liverpool can make a comeback soon.

  4. laligaforladies says:

    Antoine Griezmann plays for Real Sociedad, not Sporting Gijon. But you are absolutely right that he's a yummy fella.

  5. Kristina says:

    Congratulations Torres! And oh, Chelsea :) .

    And take that, all you people that somehow has gotten the idea that Pep is abandoning a group of crying, lonely and lost Barcaboys in need. Pffft. They're giving their beloved boss a fond farewell. Theyr'e as strong as ever. Messis assists were especially great. Watch out for Tito's pack next season!

    And wtf just happened in Manchester? I wished for a Red win, but you can't always get what you want.

  6. IrishBlue says:

    Nando!!!!

  7. Carolina says:

    Absolutely Ecstatic for Nando!! I even blew kisses at the television!!!!

  8. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Animo Canales!

  9. Loninha - Brasil says:

    And just as the Bundesliga for Bayern at home is now super concentrate for UCL Final!

  10. anna says:

    Antoine doesn't play for sporting tho.

  11. christinabarca says:

    Visca Barca!!! :-) So so so happy about their victory :-D

  12. Jayy says:

    Antoine is hotttttt!!!

  13. April says:

    Yayayayay Nando! Definitely a highlight amidst a proper thrashing. Apparently Ferdinand had goaded the fans on- someone said he ran over to the fans and put on a little display for them? Not that the fans should have fallen for it… they created exactly the drama that wasn't needed. We managed to avoid that on-field, too bad the fans couldn't follow the simple request of the club and not behave poorly off it. :( Was also silly, given the performance the guys put in- that deserved their full attention. It's getting a little tiring to see reports of these groups of Chelsea fans, though controversy is bound to draw attention and stupidity. Kinda wish the fans would realize that at this point.

    Otherwise, I am quite happy to see such an emphatic and undisputed win, and a few more goals for the differential. Let's keep this form up, boys. :)

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      I was so happy for the Torres fans, you must be so happy :)

      • April says:

        I am, but more importantly, I bet he is! I sure hope for him that it is the start of more regularity in scoring. I'm no fool to think he will be scoring bucketloads or even in every game, but some continuity will be a huge sigh of relief for him so that the doesn't have to risk a sale to another club and have to uproot his whole life again!

        Also… I am super hopeful that he gets a few more in and maybe makes a lil' comeback for the Euros! :)

  14. ras says:

    Ladies at Kickette, I so relied on you to have a nice closeup of Stevie planting that huge kiss on Suarez's neck. Now I'll just forever think I dreamed the whole scene.

  15. mimi says:

    Thank god Mr. Torres regains his form! Well done Nando!

  16. Audrey says:

    Henry's injury sucks majorly (NY is now up to 7 injured players, plus one suspended, with 6 of those 8 being starters) but congrats to Ryan Meara for his first professional shutout!

    Congrats to the entire backline— left back Connor Lade (2nd MLS start), centerback Tyler Ruthven (1st MLS start), right back Brandon Barklage (1st MLS appearance–and he's actually a midfielder!), and the only regular starter of the four, centerback S. Markus Holgersson (who has been awful this season).

    Who would've guessed this game, with that backline, would be the time for NY's first shutout of the season?!

    • April says:

      Aww, they blocked our Benny from scoring, though! Was happy to see him back on the field post-injury. Terrible news about Henry. :(