Winners – It has been a fantastic week for Milan. Starting with a 2-1 comeback win against Udinese last weekend then picking up steam with a 4-0 pasting of Arsenal and then wrapping up a nice piece of work with a 3-1 win over Cesena. And now to next week’s showdown with Juventus.
Winners – The Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup) has been disparaged by the English media in direct proportion to the success of English clubs in the Champions League. Now with Chelsea the only side retaining a realistic chance to make it past the round of sixteen of the Champions League and Manchester City and Manchester United in good positions in the Europa League after first leg play, the Europa League will never be in a better position to make in-roads into fans conscientiousness.
Losers – There has never been a week like this in the history of Rangers Football Club. Into Administration they go, followed by a ten point deduction and a 1-0 loss at home to Kilmarnock. The really bad news is that it is only going to get worse. Wait till players contracts start getting torn up to say nothing of the Scottish Football Association’s investigation and the one being undertaken by Strathclyde Police into the club’s owner Craig Whyte.
Winners – There are certainly some short comings when it comes to Royston Drenthe – tracking back being a glaring deficiency. But there are things that Drenthe can do that few others on the Everton squad can. Yes, it was against lower tier Blackpool but a goal and an assist early in the game was enough to put Everton on easy street. The question is whether he has instilled enough faith in manager David Moyes to get a regular starting spot?
Losers – For Arsenal fans the last few seasons have been a case of it never rains but it pours. Balloons are not burst at various stages during the season but rather implosions occur in late winter and early spring. A 4-0 drubbing on Wednesday from Milan has some fans declaring “do not resuscitate” just in case Arsenal should grab an early lead in the second leg only to then disappoint.
A 2-0 loss to Sunderland on Saturday in a game Arsenal dominated in possession but never looked like winning meant any chance of FA Cup glory evaporated as well. With the run of games Arsenal has coming up in the league the fourth Champions League spot might also be charging over the hill before March is complete.
Winners – Leicester City are sitting mid-table in the npower Championship and with 15 games remaining and 9 points and 7 teams between them and a play-off spot the chances of reaching the Premier League in time for 2012/13 is a remote to nil. But for a side that has yet to string together back-to-back wins in the league this season they are doing remarkably well in the FA Cup. A 2-1 win at Norwich puts Leicester in the last eight and a chance at the title “Cinderella side.”
Losers – There is no dishonour in going to Anfield in the FA Cup and losing 6-1 but in the case of Brighton the three own goals they offered up must really sting a bit more than normal.
Winners – Andrea Pirlo was at his majestic best against Catania. He scored his first goal for Juventus direct from a free kick and then assisted on the other two to help his club to a 3-1 win. If there was a Player of the Year Tier 2 (below Ronaldo and Messi) Pirlo would have my vote this season.
Losers – The label of “Tinkerman” was pinned to Claudio Ranieri many years ago even though there are many that mess around with formation, tactics and starting eleven than he. Perhaps the new nickname should be “Roller Coaster Man”. After a run of seven games unbeaten Ranieri’s Inter side is now winless in their last 5 Serie A matches (4 losses, one draw). In the five games they have scored four goals (all in one game and all by Diego Milito) and conceded 13.
In their run of 7 games unbeaten Inter scored 16 goals but conceded only 2.
Winners – League One side Stevenage was never outplayed by Spurs although they did look a bit tired in the closing stages. The FA Cup tie produced no goals but it was an affair that always entertained. Question – he looked like a good player during Stevenage’s Cup run last season and he impressed again yesterday. Why has Stevenage’s Lawrie Wilson not attracted interest from bigger clubs?
Winners – Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal against Racing Santander to take him to 28 league goals; a day later Lionel Messi scores four against Valencia to take him to 27; the next highest scorer in La Liga has 14 goals. There is no doubting that we are watching two individuals make a mockery of defences.
Who are your winners and losers from the last week?
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