January 23rd, 2012

Weekend Results: We Need To Work On Our Cardio

Who does this tasty torso and tent combo belong to? Answers can be found in the relevant section. Image: AP Photo/Frank Augstein.

This weekend’s games offered their usual blend of record breaking rude boys, incomprehensible decision making and unnecessarily harsh twists of fate.

Be still our beating hearts; the summer break is a looooong way away.

EPL

This morning, Clint Dempsey can claim to be the first American to bag a hat-trick in EPL history, and call himself  US player of the year. Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

In fact, the EPL was chock full of fabulous displays and disappointing reversals of fortunes. There was Wolves’ gargantuan comeback effort from a goal down against Aston Villa to lead 2-1, only for Robbie Keane to piddle all over any hopes Mick McCarthy may have had of his side clawing their way out of the relegation zone.

Or what about Gareth Bale’s wonder goal against Manchester City? It temporarily brought Spurs back from the brink of defeat, only for their hopes of a title challenge (and Scott Parker’s skull) to be crushed by Mario Balotelli’s right foot.

Mick McCarthy and his Tottenham team-mates are probably in a better mood than Arsene Wenger this morning, though. The Arsenal manager’s decision to replace the amazing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with the slightly less amazing Andrey Arshavin in the second half  of their crunch game vs. Manchester United was greeted with boos from fans and incredulity from his No.1 striker. Arsenal went on to lose the game 2-1 and are now eighteen points off the lead.

Wenger is unrepentant. Which makes the next few weeks tough for Arsenal fans, and mighty interesting for neutrals, we reckon.

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La Liga


We didn’t forget that there are other teams in La Liga, trust us. However, we all need a helpful reminder once in awhile,  so thank you for this, Levante UD. Image: JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images.

Valencia finished third by some distance last season, and while it’s still way too early for predictions, their patchy form of late implies they’ll be doing the same in 2011/12. Five points from a possible fifteen so far this calendar year, including one from yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Osasuna, has left them fourteen points off the pace, and as long as Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to pick up points like Kickette staffers pick up complimentary drinks, they don’t stand a chance of breaking the status quo.

Both of the big boy clubs eased past mid-table opposition with minimal 4-1 fuss – Leo Messi claimed the bragging rights with another hat-trick, while Cristiano only managed two.

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Serie A

Someone really should remind Cagliari’s El Kabir Moustapha that starting a row while wearing a head bandage lessens the impact of one’s argument by 32.6%. Tru fax! Image: Enrico Locci/Getty Images.

Juventus’ 2-0 defeat of Atalanta put them one point clear at the top this weekend, but despite dropping points and pride in last week’s derby defeat, AC Milan efficiently demolished Novara to keep the pressure on. Udinese are in third, largely thanks to Antonio Di Natale, whose goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Catania was his thirteenth in fourteen home games.

Unfortunately, his achievement was overshadowed by Francesco Totti, whose second goal in Roma’s 5-1 drubbing of Cesena was his 211th for the club and makes him the most prolific scorer for a single club in Serie A history. Which is pretty darn awesome in anyone’s book, no?

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Bundesliga

If you correctly identified the lead torso as Bastian Schweinsteiger, you should seek help as you’ve been spending too much time on this site. Before you do that, please enjoy Stuttgart’s Pavel Progrebnyak’s rather attractive thigh. Image: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender.

The top of the Bundesliga table is a little congested this morning, and Bayern Munich have no one but themselves to blame. Presumably well rested after a far longer winter break than most of us feel is fair, Jupp Heynckes boys capitulated 3-1 to last year’s play-off survivors Borussia Monchengladbach. Add to the mix a 3-1 victory for Schalke over Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund’s 5-1 battering of Hamburg in their own back yard and the only thing separating Bayern from a vigorous challenge to their dominance is their vastly superior goal difference.

We don’t blame Basti for hiding.

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It was the Coupe De France this weekend, so no Ligue 1 fixtures to report on. Check out what happened to your favourite Monsieurs here, and look forward to random, in-match nudity being posted as we find it.

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50 Responses to “Weekend Results: We Need To Work On Our Cardio”

  1. sa335 says:

    Good stuff as per usual, thanks. I do hope this kind of thing gets more exposure.

  2. IrishBlue says:

    Delighted for Keano!!

    If Balotelli did stamp on purpose, a retrospective ban should be given. It's hard to know for sure to be honest though, I've heard arguments for both sides. Plenty will of course say it's a media witch hunt and so on as he's the guy who many love to hate. The second half of that game was brilliant though, Bale's goal was spectacular! It did feel odd to be wishing for both Manchester teams to win but it was only to benefit Chelsea's current league position…though it pains me to say that I'm really enjoying watching Spurs this season….:O

    Oh and boo to Frank Lampard getting hurt. :(

  3. nayet21 says:

    Just a couple of things: Iker is perfect! Congratulations for his wonderful career and Bastian's torso (and all him) is nice ;)

  4. Agnes Wonka says:

    I'm so happy for RM! I like Mou and I hope he continues….

  5. DebS says:

    Geez! As if Arshavin's confidence was most likely at an all time low, the booing from the crowd and RVP's alleged dismay over the substitution must have made him feel absolutely horrible. Yes, he hasn't been playing well but booing him certainly isn't going to help.

  6. Taz says:

    yay for Barca on the win with a mightily reshuffled team (i was honestly a bit worried when i first read the line-up) and for Leo's hattrick!:) In other liga news, fern llorente was his usual mighty fine 'ballin self last night, was really crossing fingers for Athletic, you can't help but like them!
    I don't know if i'm just being naive in hoping for the best, but i truly hope that the Ballo stamp on Parker was unintentional, if it wasn't shame on him (especially since my last post about him was actually a positive one).

    • DebS says:

      I watched the game and the replay made it seem as if it were intentional. I usually find Balotelli interesting but that was not cool AT ALL and I am very glad that Parker wasn't hurt much worse than he was.

      • Taz says:

        i also watched the match and the millions of replays and i still lived in hope but unfortunately because of his past behaviour its more feasible that it was intentional. one step forward and one thousand steps back. luckily Parker ended up okay.

  7. Matellia says:

    I just hope Real Madrid get it together and win games without penalties even though they were COMPLETELY fairly given, because the way Madrid played in the first half is not going to get them through Barca.
    And I find it extremely shocking that Madristas were jeering Jose? Be unified with everyone and Madrid is getting stonger and stronger as days on so Mourinho's work is paying off :)
    I love Madrid but I need to say they should play like they did in the second half and that we should be united with Mourinho.
    But congrats to Messi on the hattrick! Those were absolutely beautiful goals!

    • DebS says:

      I will never understand why fans whistle at their team and/or players. I sat there yelling at them thru my computer screen. Ugh!

      • Matellia says:

        I know right! Show support for the team you're rooting for or go root for the other team lol

    • Kristina says:

      I didn't se the game. Why were the fans jeering Jose if they won?

      • Sarah, Madrid says:

        because of the way the team played in the clasico and yeah Pepe's thing, then you have the Marca story. Anyway, players came out to his defensive, it is pretty much a media chaos to be honest, when you read or hear programs speaking about RM currently you feel like they are in the crisis of being relegated or out of group stages UCL….
        Too much drama, unbelievable. it gives us Madridistas headache simply.

        • Kristina says:

          Aha, yeah I read about it now. If that Marca story is true, then I can understand a bit of tension. But, a big crowd is seldom very particular about the truth… I don't see why Marca would lie though, why would they want to hurt the team? Perhaps they twisted the story a bit, but still.

          • Sarah, Madrid says:

            So, if the story is true why publish it to hurt the team in the first place, I never fan of Marca, as it is never a pro-madrid newspaper as it claimed, it;s the TMZ of spainsh media. .
            If this is a crisis that my club is going through as it is proclaimed, still manage to produce incredible football as one of best games played after winter break agains Bibloa, oh well don't all crisis be like this one?

            • Kristina says:

              You've got a point there :) . Unnecessary drama then. Even if the team remains unaffected why create all this fuss? And you could wonder whats' going on with the audience. If it's Mou I can understand that, but I'm a cule. But as I said, a crowd of people are seldom smart.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      fans are demanding, they booed the team after 15 minutes of playing after conceding the goal, so what's with the surprise? it is not like it is the first time they booed a coach, or a player, I remember the team was booed when we played Villarreal because after scoring 3-0, the second half RM spent it passing the ball around, they get booed.
      Mourinho said it perfectly zizo, cris, ronaldo, ramos are booed in the Bernabeu why not him? at least they didn't show him the white flags.
      ultra were singing anti-pepe chants, although I don't agree with 90% of what they do, but Pepe deserved it, thinking he was in the recieving end of them chanting his name before the winter break, what a shame Pepe!

  8. Kristina says:

    Happy with the Barca win, obviously. VV was a monster! But sad for Spurs. I was really rooting for them. Balotelli was disgraceful! Terrible to see.

  9. Maran says:

    Balotelli is just disgusting. Throw him out in the cold! These kinds of actions must be handled accordingly. Gutted for the Spurs.

    The only thing that I could ask more of the Sevilla derby was a win for Sevilla (no offense Betis fans). But, one point is one point is one point.

    Messi seemed to be in goal scoring mood. Bless him. He's got a lot of tricks up his sleeve that guy. Is there a way of scoring he hasn't tried and succeeded? He's not so lucky with the penalties but that's ok with me.

    • Lisette says:

      Wow. I really am the only person who thinks it was an accident.

      I was disappointed that Spurs didn't win, considering how well they played for most of the match. But picking on Balotelli is just a way to avoid asking hard questions about why they lost. Why, for instance, would Jolean Lescott give a blatant penalty away like that?

      • Hot4Spurs says:

        I'm a huge Spurs fan. You win some, you lose some. The head stomping happened before the penalty. It has nothing to do with Spurs losing and everything to do with Balotelli's disgusting behavior. He's recieved a four match ban and rightly so. Same with Pepe from RM. He stomped on Messi's hand. Disgusting behavior. I'm a Real Madrid fanatic and i was very disappointed. I mean, we expect a certain level of foolery when it comes to these matches, but when a player is "in your face" nasty that just shouldn't be tolerated.

      • MissU Paolo says:

        No you're not.

        I won't get into the debate whether it was intentional or not, but will say across each team's fans and neutrals, opinions are divided. Yes, even City fans. Spurs fans probably less so.
        But what enrages me is the hypocrisy of the FA. There is doubt in some people's minds that it was intentional. Not so with the Rooney foul on the Montenegro player. Only a diehard (deluded) United fan would say it wasn't, yet the FA appeals it. Incredible.
        I am not normally a paranoid, conspiracy theorist but the FA is really leading me to believe there are rules for English players and different ones for non-English players. Scholes studs on the Bolton player's chest-laughed off, not even a yellow. Lampard escaped a red for a dangerous tackle b/c he was repentant. Same game, Ashley Cole kicks a player *twice* while he's on the ground-but FA do nothing.

        I just want consistency, from the FA and the refs (lol on that request. Webb, 1 of the "better refs", doesn't even book Balotelli. But his bosses think NOPE, WRONG so what does that say about them both?). Of course, rules are for everybody, but the inequality that it's given is detracting from the game.

      • mata says:

        No, I'm inclined to agree with you. I watched the videos about 10 times and it really looked as if Balotelli and Parker jumped for the ball, Balotelli tripped over him when they came down and was trying to recover his balance. I saw nothing to suggest that it was a deliberate kick in the head at all. Sad for Spurs, but disappointed in Harry's response which was to lash out at an opposition player rather than address the problems in his own team.

        • Hot4Spurs says:

          Problems? what problems? Spurs played very well. It was a draw until King messed up. It was a penalty that won the game sure. Any coach would have lashed out at an opposition player stomping on another players head. Anyway, he's banned. He deserves it. He's a complete idiot. And so is his agent with the comments that Balotelli is treated unfairly in the EPL. He did wrong, he got a ban…Now he has to pay the price. I think this is what's wrong with him. He does stupid things, people want to cover for him. He's really like a spoiled child. But just for a sec, lets say it was accidental. His reputation tells us it more than likey was NOT accidental. He's sort of like the boy who cried wolf too many times. Maybe if he behaves like he's an actual man, he'll be treated like one.

          P.S. I love the debate though. That's what it's all about. :)

      • csh says:

        I thought it looked accidental as well. As a natural clutz, I feel very qualified to make this judgement.

  10. Hot4Spurs says:

    But on a brighter side…Dempsey!!! You da man!!!

    • bri_saldana says:

      I'm so super proud of him….given the way Liverpool played this weekend I was super bummed; Clint's accomplishments have just brightened my week. He's a great player!!!

  11. Hot4Spurs says:

    Words cannot explain my thoughts on Balotelli, and not just because it was a Spurs defeat. He's a joke and an idiot. Peter Crouch is another I'd love to smack after the weekend. And I actually like him.

  12. linvinnaar says:

    To guess "Bastian Schweinsteiger" was a no-brainer. It was the red gloves that gave it all away.

  13. Sarah, Madrid says:

    First of all Iker reached his 600th game and he is 30!! Congrats my Capi!!
    Bibloa vs Real Madrid, Javi hotness with Granero starting and Alonso of course being there Ramos Iker oh this game screamed hot men, I really enjoyed my night watching one of two hottest spainsh footballers on the pitch fighting in very thrilling first half, the first half was intense fast, I loved every second.
    Then the second, we just played incredible football, Pirata I want him more on the pitch!! Ozil was spot on brilliance, Kaka was good yaay Kaka!!..Then come Callejon and of course couple of minutes off the bench and he scores with the most heart warming celebration there is to Madridista, with everything happening, yesterday was a breeze of fresh air of why I love Liga.
    Betis vs Seville was an spot rivalry, how fast competitive it was the perfect poster for Spainsh football. Oh, how much I missed this, yaay for the friendly atompshere off and on the pitch too!

  14. faustineli says:

    It's the gloves that give Basti away…

  15. Sergz says:

    Balotelli should be severely punished for stomping on someones head. What the f*ck was up with that?

  16. Alone- Brazil says:

    I was sure that this picture of Bastian would be in the post about results! Bayern took a beating!

  17. Kat22 says:

    * Tottenham. Should really check my posts before I hit the 'Reply' button.

  18. Kat22 says:

    What a great weekend of football – especially on Sunday!

    Let's see…Norwich v Chelsea. I thought Norwich played really well, especially given that they were only recently promoted to the PL. Wonder if Frank is gutted he's missing the Mallorca trip or if it was a ploy so he could stay home with Christine. ;-)

    Man City v Tottehnham. Couldn't help feeling sorry for Spurs. They really deserved a point. Don't want to get into the whole Balotelli debate.

    Arsenal v United. I think Arsenal gave a point away cheaply there. Did like van Persie's tribute to his grandad. Very cute. :-)

    • Kat22 says:

      Oh, forgot to mention Bolton v Liverpool (yes, I watched that one too). They're not having a good time at the minute, are they? I think Kenny was furious…

      • April says:

        Not as a dig at Pool, but I am happy for Bolton… I like Owen Coyle and have been sad to see him and the club in relegation zone. He needs Stu Holden back! And some other missing parts… I hope they can stay out of relegation.

    • April says:

      Some people thought the Norwich/Chelsea match was boring because Chelsea were back to playing a bit slower and not as well as they can, and because it ended as a nil draw, but I thought it was decently entertaining. I think their trip could be what the doctor ordered… at least I hope. And Frank may be able to head down after all, if the scan reveals the injury isn't too bad (as they want him to be part of the team bonding.. actually, as I was typing this: http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268… ). And yes, props to Norwich as they defended really well and deserve a lot of credit for their form this campaign.

      Didn't get to watch either of the big Sunday matches, but the results ended as I'd hoped for my team in the table (aside from the result for Chelsea, itself). Caught the very end of the City/Spurs match just to see the drama play out!