Newcastle maintained their challenge for a European spot despite being outplayed passed and outplayed for large stretches of the match by Swansea. Pappa Demba Cisse made sure he would be part of the headlines with both goals while Cabaye did his part as well with assists on both. And who would have thought that a centre back partnership of Perch and Williamson would go 180 minutes against Liverpool and Swansea without allowing a goal.
This is a strange one but a case can be made that Bolton, Blackburn, QPR and Wigan all finished the weekend as winners even though they all lost. The reason? At this stage in the season it is often not just what your team achieves but what happens to its closest rivals. All four teams lost so no team lost ground.
What a turnaround for Milan in the last two and a half weeks. Knocked out of the Coppa Italia semi-final by Juventus; fell to Barcelona in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League; a four point lead at the top of Serie A had=s turned into a one point deficit in just two games. Last week it was a draw away to Catania while on Saturday it was an unlikely loss at the San Siro to Fiorentina. Meanwhile Juventus beat Napoli 3-0 and then went to Palermo and won 2-0 on Saturday. What’s more it was Amauri, a Juventus player on loan at Fiorentina, who scored the late goal that beat Milan.
Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper are the hottest striking partnership in MLS. Thierry Henry has 7 goals and 3 assists in the last 3 games, while Kenny Cooper has scored in last three games for the Red Bulls and has 6 goals so far this season.
They may have made a surprising run to the semi final stage of the CONCACAF Champions League but Toronto have lost all four of their MLS games this season. The latest loss came on Saturday against expansion side Montreal Impact. Just like last week against the Columbus Crew Toronto FC was again undone by defensive midfield players who lack the positional sense, intelligence, technical skill and anticipation to play the position.
Congratulations to Celtic who wrapped up a 43rd Scottish League title by beating Kilmarnock 6-0. A point was all that was needed but Celtic over-delivered by beating the team that upset them in the League Cup Final a few weeks.
And so it goes on. Lionel Messi was on target again and became the first player to score 60 goals in a season in a European top-flight league in almost 40 years. “Der Bomber” Gerd Mueller scored 67 goals for Bayern Munich in the 1972-73 season and that record is now in Messi’s sight.
Vancouver Whitecaps set a new record of 422 minutes without conceding a goal at the start of a MLS season. The previous record was set by the New York Red Bulls in 2007. However, the record is the only thing that the Whitecaps left San Jose with. Despite going up 1-0 the Earthquakes rebounded to win 3-1 and to maintain their fine start to this MLS season.
Mario Balotelli and it should come with no explanation. I read a tweet yesterday that proclaimed love for Mario on account of him being football’s anarchist. Time to redefine all adolescents with a proclivity to lash out when things don’t go their way as anarchists it seems. Either that or the tweeter was just another little boy.
Another two goals for Clint Dempsey on Saturday. This time away to Bolton and that means he has scored 21 already this season for Fulham. A fantastic achievement but I am still not sold on the idea of this meaning a move to a bigger club is in his best interests. Seems to me that a lot of US fans are looking to indulge in some reflected glory and don’t see the many downsides of such a move.
No way to sugar coat it – Wigan and QPR came out on the wrong end of two poor decisions on the weekend. In the case of QPR the decision also cost them a player as Sean Derry was sent off. Commentator Martin Tyler makes sense when he points out that there is an inherent contradiction in sending off someone for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity when the punishment is a penalty kick – which is in turn an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Better to scrap the double whammy and perhaps restrict the sending off to fouls outside of the penalty area or intentional hand balls that stop the ball entering the net. After all there is a difference between denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity and denying a certain goal.
Any winners and losers you would like to nominate?
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