When you consider Sunderland’s poor record at Goodison a 1-1 draw and a replay back at the Stadium of Light has to be considered a great result for Martin O’Neill’s side. Everton was caught napping on an early free kick to Sunderland. Expecting a ball played into the penalty area Everton’s defence reacted to slowly to a ball rolled square to a charging Bardsley who thumped it home. After that is was a case of surfing an Everton onslaught which they did with the exception of Cahill’s equalizer.
Wigan dominated every important statistical category against West Brom but still had to settle for just a point. They recorded 21 attempts on goal but were only on target 5 times. The only goal came when James MacArthur prodded a loose ball into the net from a foot or so out. Wigan has only 22 points with 9 games left and over the next few weeks they face Liverpool (a), Stoke (h), Chelsea (a), Manchester United (h), Arsenal (a). A tough slog.
Juventus dearly needed three points when they travelled to Florence on Saturday after four consecutive draws had allowed Milan to stretch their lead at the top of Serie A. And three points it was they got with a resounding 5-0 win. It was the worst home defeat ever suffered by Fiorentina at home in a Serie A match.
Borussia Dortmund continued with their phenomenal run of domestic form when they extended their unbeaten run to a Bundesliga record 20 games with a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen. The win allowed Dortmund to maintain a five point lead on Bayern Munich who thumped six past Otto Rehhagel’s Hertha Berlin.
Marseille may be in the last 8 of the Champions League but their form in Ligue Un continues to be of the embarrassing variety. They have now lost their last 5 league matches after they failed to cut the mustard – this time against Dijon. A penalty from Gael Kakuta gave the relegation threatened side three valuable points.
I was so impressed by David Estrada in Seattle’s first leg win over Santos that I was shocked to find out he had so little professional playing experience. He scored that night but went two better on Saturday against Toronto FC. His movement is exceptional and his finishing first class. Each of the goals showed something different in Estrada’s repertoire of skills. Alvaro Fernandez assisted on all three of Estrada’s goals.
After a 5-1 hammering from West Brom the Wolves brains-trust decided to call time on Mick McCarthy’s stint as manager. The first game after McCarthy’s dismissal Wolves fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away to Newcastle.
Since then they have lost all three games, scored no goals and conceded 12. The resilience shown by Wolves in previous successful fights against relegation has dissolved and things are looking darker as each game passes.
Wolves have now won just one of their last 15 Premier League games (W1, D5, L9). Wolves have only collected 11 points after 15 Premier League home games and no team has survived in the Premier League after being in such a position. If there is any good news it is that at least one team is going to break new ground as fellow relegation candidates Bolton, QPR and Wigan are all in a similar position.
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