February 7th, 2011
Weekend Results: Umm…What’s That You Say?
Sorry, but this is weird, no? Getty Images/Zimbio
We’re prepared to admit we occasionally (and by ‘occasionally, we mean ‘every week’) tend to waffle more about the EPL than other European leagues in the Weekend Results post. We don’t mean to, but it’s like opening a bottle of fine wine, y’see. You plan to just have a glass, but before you know it you’ve necked the bottle and are half way to the off-licence wearing only your dressing gown and one slipper.
Oh. Is that just us, then?
Anyhoo, this week we make no apology for emphasising the EPL. The anticipation for this weekend’s matches in light of Monday’s last minute transfer capers has been huge, and surprisingly the games lived up to expectation.
Come with us and see. Just let us get dressed first.
It’s seems hard to remember in light of the weekend’s events, but Liverpool and Chelsea weren’t the only sides affected by deadline day drama. Newcastle United waved Andy Carroll goodbye on Monday, leaving many questioning where the goals necessary to keep them safe were going to come from, especially when Arsenal were due to visit. And Arsenal duly flexed their firepower in the first half; an apparently unassailable four goals scored by the break.
However, the early and controversial sending off of Arsenal’s Abou Diaby in the second half gave Wenger’s men a disadvantage which Newcastle duly exploited.
Two penalties from Joey Barton, a strike from Leon Best and an equalising goal on his debut from Cheik Tiote (left) saw a 4-4 result and two points thrown away by the Adorkables. Jack Wilshire, having learned nothing from recent controversies, took to his Twitter to denounce the referee’s decision making skills. We’re sure the FA will be in touch. (Getty Images/Zimbio)
Fortunately for Arsenal, they were not the only top four side to slip up. Manchester United travelled to relegation threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers, where the smart money was on United picking up an easy three points, in spite of their recent dodgy form. However, in the most unlikely of circumstances, United lost the game 2-1 and watched their hopes of an unbeaten season in the EPL disappear with it. Kevin Doyle scored the winner and was molested by Jonny Evans for his trouble (left). (Getty Images/Zimbio)
United’s rivals Manchester City, meanwhile, efficiently disposed of West Bromwich Albion via a Carlos Tevez hat-trick and kept themselves in the title race. Just. But three wasn’t sufficient for Everton’s Louis Saha who (despite his horrifying hair) put four past Blackpool in an enthralling 5-3 win. Wigan beat Blackburn 4-3, Spurs sneaked past Bolton 2-1 via a last gasp Niko Kranjcar goal (Rafa Van Der Vaart missed a penalty on the retake), Stoke beat Sunderland 3-2 and Aston Villa drew 2-2 with Fulham.
That’s 41 goals in eight games on Saturday. Could Sunday be any more exciting?
Um, yes. Even our most er… creative and imaginative writers at Kickette would have struggled to have come up with a scenario whereby Fernando Torres would leave Liverpool for Chelsea on the last minute of transfer deadline day and then face them on his debut. And we have some seriously weird imaginations working here.
Yes, Nandina pulled on the blue of Chelsea and ran out onto the Stamford Bridge pitch, hoping to live up to the expectations of Chelsea fans, soap opera buffs and his own optimistic hyperbole. He ran off the pitch sixty-five minutes later, having been the least threatening striker in Chelsea’s terrifying triumvirate (Drogba, Anelka & Torres. Seriously.) although the money from the shirt sales will invariably come in handy. Just to add insult to injury, Raul Meireles (short tent fans should zoom. Trust us.) scored the winner for Liverpool moments later, sending their fans wild, Fernando Torres into a hair despair spiral and Chelsea fans to the pub. (Image via liverpoolfc.tv)
The rest of this season is going to be sooooo fun, no?
While it was EPL fans expected to get on players backs this weekend, the most eye catching banners in the stands was actually in France where Marseille narrowly beat Kickette favourites Arles by one goal to nil. Fans of Marseille expressed their discontent with their side, who achieved just their second win in seven games with this result, by unfurling banners advising their players to move their backsides. Other banners implied that the sexuality of their players was the reason behind their poor form. Sigh.
Elsewhere, top of the table Lille dropped points against Auxerre in a 1-1 draw, but runners up Paris St Germain failed to capitalise, losing 1-0 to third place Rennes who are now level on thirty seven points. Fifth place St Etienne beat Montpellier 2-1 and are now share thirty five points with Lyon who drew 0-0 with Bordeaux. We have used this result as an excuse to post this picture (left) of Yoann Gourcuff’s tummy. (Getty Images/Daylife)
Having looked as the title was theirs for the taking just a few short weeks ago, AC Milan now look positively vulnerable, having dropped points for the second consecutive game. 1-1 against thirteenth placed Genoa is not a good result at the best of times, but when your city rivals (left) beat their opposition by 5-3 (Inter Milan vs. Roma) and narrow the gap to five points, it looks even worse. Roma slip to seventh. Napoli, meanwhile, are even more of a threat to the Rossoneri’s title chances, their 2-0 win over Cesena putting them within three points of the lead. (AP Photo/Daylife)
We are rapidly running out of superlatives to describe Barcelona and Leo Messi’s (left) form of late. Another three for the Balon D’or winner against Atletico Madrid, another victory to nil for Barca, another record broken. Yes, that’s sixteen successive victories, sixty goals scored, six conceded since October. That’s a lot of sixes. And we thought it was Mou using the voodoo. (AP Photo/Daylife)
Not that Real failed to perform. They beat Real Sociedad 4-1, with two from Ronaldo, one from Kaka and Adebayor’s first for his new side. But after last week’s shock defeat to Osasuna, is it too little too late? Hard to say, but at seven points behind Barca, Real will be relieved that closest challengers Villarreal lost 1-0 to Levante.
Also throwing points away were sixth placed Espanyol, who lost 3-2 to struggling Almeria. Kickette favourite Fernando Llorente scored in Athletic Bilbao’s 3-0 win over Sporting Gijon and Getafe smacked Deportivo 4-1.
A 0-0 home draw against Schalke saw league leaders Borussia Dortmund stumble in their quest for the Bundesliga title, but following the pattern of the weekend, second placed Bayer Leverkusen lost 1-0 to Nuremberg. Leverkusen are what should be an unassailable twelve points behind Dortmund with twenty-one played.
Made it this far? Please have a muffin to celebrate, then offer forth your opinions on the amazeballness that was the football this weekend. Don’t get crumbs in your keyboard, though.