A run that started in February has vaulted Napoli up Serie A and they are unbeaten in their last seven matches with two draws and five successive wins. In the five wins they have scored a total of 14 goals and during the unbeaten run of seven matches they have shut out opponents five times.
Next up is a trip to Stamford Bridge and an attempt to protect a 3-1 first leg lead in the Champions League. Then Palermo visit next week followed by Napoli traveling to Udinese, Juventus and Lazio in the following four rounds of play.
It has been a rough few weeks in league play for both Spurs and Liverpool. Spurs with three consecutive losses have seen what looked like an insurmountable lead for third place weathered away to the point where Arsenal and Chelsea are back within striking distance.
After FA Cup action Spurs are at home to Stoke and then have to visit the Bridge. Hopes of a top four finish and a chance to take a seat at the UEFA Champions League table have disappeared as quickly as a spring snow fall for Liverpool. Losses to Manchester United, Arsenal and on Saturday Sunderland have left the Carling Cup winners ten points behind fourth place Arsenal with just 11 matches left.
Since 2012 was rung in Liverpool have won only once, drawn twice and lost five. The prospect of facing Everton on Tuesday in a make-up match is no cause for encouragement.
Real Salt Lake reminded everyone that they are not to be overlooked in MLS 2012. A cautious first seventy minutes of play burst into life with four goals coming late in the game. When a trademark dipping cross from David Beckham was headed into the Real net by Edson Buddle it looked like the goal was always that was needed to decide the game. Real Salt Lake had a much different opinion. They equalized courtesy of a Sean Franklin own goal and then added two more from substitute Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola.
Perhaps the biggest losers after Saturday’s Premier League fixtures were the fans. Goals doesn’t necessarily mean that entertainment is guaranteed but in this situation 9 goals in 6 games pretty much sums up a rather drab set of fixtures. The Everton versus Spurs match was the only one that fully engaged for ninety minutes.
It seems that at some stage during every season Everton emerge as one of the hottest sides in the Premier League. Everton are now unbeaten in their last seven-league matches with four draws and three wins. Remarkably the wins have come against Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City and have involved maintaining clean sheets in all three matches.
In 7 games Everton have only allowed 4 goals and scored 8 with 7 different scorers stepping up. Goals continue to be at a premium with only 13 goals coming their way in the last 13 games and only six times in 27 games have they scored two goals or more in a game.
Next up is the Merseyside derby on Tuesday while Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle of the current top seven have still to play Everton. It will not have escaped anyone’s notice on Merseyside that an Everton win on Tuesday would move them one point ahead of Liverpool.
Swansea have garnered a lot of admirers this season and their 1-0 win over Manchester City will only serve to increase that number. Like many teams before them City found out that Liberty Stadium is a venue to be feared. But this is not a fear based of brute force or pummelling the opposition but a fear based on being forced to chase the ball for long stretches of the game.
The only goal was characteristic of Swansea’s style with Sigurdsson opting to retain possession over risking a pass that might have allowed City to counter attack. The cross from Routledge was a thing of beauty (why are so many poor crosses played each week?) and substitute Luke Moore make perfect contact with his header.
“Female referee’s assistant gets a huge decision just about correct at the Liberty Stadium as Man City defender Micah Richards appears to be a tad offside,” – this churlish “offside” comment from “Mad Dog and Glory” writing for caughtoffside.com.
First you cannot get an offside decision “just about correct” – it is either right or it is in wrong. By the same token “a tad offside” – “tad” is irrelevant. Either you are or you are not. All that needed to be said was referee’s assistant Sian Massey got the call absolutely correct. TV personalities have got themselves in hot water for similar sentiments.
Sober second thought – Before dumping all over the referee’s assistant for missing the “goal” that QPR scored against Bolton perhaps it is worth considering the context. The TV picture we saw and the still pictures that have been widely viewed all come from the opposite of the field from the referee’s assistant.
The referee’s assistant could be clearly seen mouthing to the referee that he could not see whether the ball was over the line or not. From the angle TV viewers – and commentators – had, as well as the angle provided by the still pictures, it seems inexplicable as to why the referee’s assistant could not see it.
But he did not have our angle and until you see either TV footage or a still shot from the opposite of the field would it not be more advisable to at least give the official the benefit of the doubt?
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