Wolves started brightly against Everton but once they fell behind they were never likely to recover. Three nice goals from the visitors and it turned out to be a straight-forward day at the office.
The Blackburn v Birmingham match can be summed up by the following. Just before the hour mark there were four players all down injured within a five yard radius.
At times it looked like a re-enactment of the Battle of the Somme. In the end both teams shared the points but only after playing close to eight extra minutes on accounts of hold ups.
Don’t be surprised if the Birmingham and Blackburn physios ask for a piecework agreement for next season.
Arsenal fans sufferred through another nervous spell even though their club led 2-0 at half time and could have scored many more against Blackpool.
Blackpool pulled one back and then had a very good shout for a penalty turned down by referee Lee Mason. Blackpool continued to threaten until a good counter attack was finished by Robin van Persie and that weakened Blackpool’s resolve.
Aston Villa needed three points desperately and against Newcastle they got them. Although Villa had the better of the play there was never a moment when Villa looked comfortable and Newcastle had a very good chance of sharing the spoils right until the end.
The goal was a great example of what happens when a defender does not do his job and be first to a ball when it is crossed in. James Collins got to the ball first and his head-flick was enough to beat Steve Harper.
The Udinese v Roma game was very disjointed for much of the ninety odd minutes but did it ever have a trick or two in the tail.
An excellent equalizer from Udinese’s Antonio di Natale with two minutes left, a disallowed winner from Asamoah that might have been a penalty and then the Udinese defence (or one defender to be exact) went to sleep and allowed Riise to set Totti up for the Roma winner with ten seconds left in added time.
Two straight losses mean that Udinese has dropped to fifth and are in a battle for 4th rather than pushing for the title.
Knowing that Napoli had beaten Bologna 2-0, Milan needed to negotiate three points from a tricky encounter at Fiorentina. They would have been buoyed by the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was able to play after having his suspension for punching an opponent reduced.
Just like last week Milan got off to a flyer with Clarence Seedorf pouncing on and taking advantage of hesitancy in the Fiorentina defence. The second was a wonderfully constructed counter attack that Pato finished off.
Fiorentina enjoyed good spells of possession but had trouble cracking a water-tight Milan defence. They did finally score with ten minutes to play and when Ibrahimovic was sent off (the third red card to a Milan player in the last four games) a draw seemed possible.
As it was Milan came through and remain three points above their nearest challengers Napoli.
The latest goal scored in a Saturday match on the Barclay’s Premier League match came in the 72nd minute. It was scored by Paul Scharner for West Brom at Sunderland and proved to be the deciding goal in five.
You can judge how unusual this was by the fact that going into the weekend a quarter of all goals scored in the Premier League came in the final 15 minutes of play.
Up until the match against Blackpool on March 19th Blackburn had failed to gain a single point after falling behind. They broke that streak when recovering a two goal deficit against Blackpool to draw 2-2. They did again on Saturday when they came back from a goal down to draw with relegation rivals Birmingham.
The San Jose Earthquakes have played three home games already in the new MLS season but have yet to lead in any of them.
Courtesy of Opta Jose – Valencia’s 5-0 thrashing of Villarreal together with their 4-2 win last week against Getafe was the first time Valencia after four or more goals in consecutive matches since 1999.
Bari seems to be destined to become the first team guaranteed to be relegated from Serie A this season. With games remaining they are 11 points from safety. The 1-1 draw at home to Catania was their 13th at home without a win.
The 1-1 draw between Cagliari and Brescia was the first time in their last 16 Serie A matches that these two have finished drawn. The last time it happened was in 1966.
The fact that Auxerre drew with St. Etienne should not have come as a surprise. It was Auxerre’s 16th this season – the most in Europe’s big five leagues.
West Brom picked up another three valuable points in their bid to avoid the drop. The odds against WBA winning at Sunderland was 12/5.
Two draws constituted the biggest surprises in Spain. Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna finished scoreless while Levante’s drew 1-1 at Racing Santander. Both games came with odds of 12/5.
Sampdoria’s horrific run of form continued with a 2-1 home loss to Lecce. The win allowed Lecce to leap frog over Samp who have now lost 6 and drawn 2 of their last eight matches.
Sampdoria is only a point above the bottom three and Lecce was 9/2 against winning this one.
Arles is so far out of their depth in Ligue 1 that they should be wearing water wings. Going into their match away to Bordeaux Arles had collected only 12 points in 29 games and only three draws in 14 away matches.
Nonetheless they held Bordeaux scoreless and the odds of this match finishing in a draw was 4/1.
Kaiserslautern rebounded from 2-1 down to beat Vfb Stuttgart 4-2 on Saturday in the Bundesliga. The win offered Kaiserslautern some relief from immediate relegation worries and they now sit six points above the relegation zone.
Not such good news for Vfb Stuttgart who are only two points clear but have to face four top half sides in their final five games. The odds were 10/3 against a Kaiserslautern win.
In MLS the upset results according to the odds-makers were two draws. You would have received 23/10 against either of the San Jose Earthquakes and Chivas drawing at home with Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew respectively.
Player of the Weekend Nominees
Leon Osman (Everton)
David Hoilett (Blackburn Rovers)
Abou Diaby (Arsenal)
Jean Makoun (Aston Villa)
Francesco Totti (Roma)
Clarence Seedorf (Milan)
The winner to be announced on Monday night’s Fox Soccer Report.
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