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