October 3rd, 2011
Weekend Results: Traumatised Torsos
Image: AP Photo/Daniele Badolato; Dan Istitene/Getty Images Europe.
Early in the season it’s difficult for players to work themselves into sufficient frenzy to rip their shirts off and run around the pitch in merriment. Not so much at stake, y’see.
But fortunately for ab connossieurs like our good selves, trauma and disappointment also evoke a need to bury noses in polyester. So if you’re commiserating your team’s loss this weekend, just remember: every shirt has a silver (ish) lining.
Well, that’s one way to respond when you’re banished to the bench and your usefulness in the team is the subject of some serious speculation. Images: Michael Regan/Getty Images, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.
Frankie’s hat-trick, plus two from Daniel Sturridge, might be great news for Chelsea, but Bolton Wanderers certainly didn’t need to be on the wrong end of a 5-1 thrashing. They remain bottom with a goal difference of -12 and Owen Coyle is surely only a week or two away from a media and fan driven campaign for his sacking. Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has been fending off the inevitable for weeks now and his side’s 4-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday won’t have helped.
United and City are now level at top of the table, a sight we’ll probably get used to over the next few months. United snatched top after beating Norwich 2-0, but most people’s attention was on the possible blow-ups in the EPL derbies in Liverpool and North London. However, aside from the controversial sending off of Finest Five puppy Jack Rodwell and some more horrendously innappropriate and stupid chanting at White Hart Lane, shocks and surprises were limited. Liverpool beat Everton 2-0 while Spurs grabbed the bragging rights over the Gunners with a 2-1 win, during which Bacary Sagna broke his leg.
Hat-trick Higgy, anyone? Image: JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images.
A hat-trick from an unexpected source condemned Espanyol to defeat this weekend too. His appearances have been sporadic to say the least in recent months due to injuries, but Gonzalo Higuain demonstrated he at least looks ready for action last night with three goals that contributed to his side’s 4-0 win over the Catalans. They are third.
Given their propensity for scoring recently, 1-0 is a fairly restrained result for Barcelona, but the win over Sporting Gijon sufficient to take them top of the table, even if they do have to share the space with Levante. They beat Real Betis 1-0, a fourth successive victory and remain unbeaten, although even we can see that will be tough to maintain over a season. Still, makes a change to have someone else in there, no?
Claiming that Claudio Ranieri is a superior coach to Jose Mourinho would be controversial at the best of times. When Inter have just gone down 3-0 at home to Napoli? We can only conclude that the ‘tached dude is a relative. Image: Claudio Villa/Getty Images.
Heaven knows what they’re putting in the water in Milan, but it seems to be working. Two late goals from Marchiso secured a 2-0 victory over AC Milan and Juventus’ place at the top of the Serie A table, while ten-man Inter lost 3-0 at home to a fierce and pretty convincing Napoli side. Udinese’s 2-0 win over Bologna allowed them the privilege of snatching second place in the league while Napoli had to content themselves with third.
Bayern Munich’s misfortune is our gain as Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Holger Badstuber and Thomas Mueller commiserate their goaless draw with TSG Hoffenheim. Image: Reuters Pictures.
Despite the draw, Bayern Munich held on to top spot over the weekend, largely thanks to Werder Bremen’s 3-2 defeat to Hannover. A win for Borussia Monchengladbach could have seen them elevated too, but Freiburg secured only their second victory of the season and took the points in that game to lift them from the relegation zone and into fifteenth.
Borussia Dortmund and Schalke also have reasons to be cheerful after sporadic form; Dortmund beat second from bottom Augsberg 4-0 to go sixth, while a brace from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar saw his side beat Hamburg 2-1 and secure fourth.
We don’t claim to be experts, but that looks like dangerous play to our weekend-addled eyes. Image: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler.
Javier Pastore may be blowing hot and cold in the style department but his on-pitch form is not in doubt after he scored in Paris St Germain’s 2-0 win over Lyon and his side took top spot. With only goal difference separating second from fourth, it’s nothing if not competitive in Ligue 1, a point driven home by the fact that if Rennes had not been beaten 2-0 by Lille, they would be in second this morning. That honour belongs to Montpellier, who drew 2-2 with Bordeaux.
Rennes had to content themselves with sixth, but they’ve got to be happier than Nancy, whose 1-1 draw against Evian extended their winless run to nine matches. Will they beat Arles-Avignon’s points tally of twenty from last season?
Thoughts, complaints and requests for nude photos of players should be written out below, while bribes with a net worth of five hundred dollars or more can be sent to the usual address.