Thursday, January 26, 2006

Carling Cup Semi-Finals

Arsenal 2 - 1 Wigan
(2-2 on aggregate; Wigan advance thanks to away goals rule)

I do love to watch Arsenal lose. Sure, it would have been great if United had the opportunity to face them in the final, and hopefully get some revenge for last year's FA Cup, but seeing Wigan win is even better.

Wigan's keeper, Mike Pollitt, had the game of his life with a series of great saves, including stopping a penalty. But the entire team deserves credit, because they played their pie-eating asses off for 120 minutes.

Manchester United 2 - 1 Blackburn
(United win 3-2 on aggregate)

The way things are going, United are going to have no midfield left by the end of the month. They started this game with only Fletcher, Giggs and Richardson, with a questionably fit Alan Smith coming on for Giggs when he pulled a hamstring -- only to pick up a yellow card that will rule him out of the next game. Sure, fouling Robbie Savage is always worthwhile, but this leaves them with...Darren Fletcher. That's it. I'm waiting for Sir Alex to come up with an innovative 4-2-4 lineup for the next game. Have to play to your strengths, after all.

It wasn't a great game for either side, but I think United deserved the win. Like Wigan's keeper, Brad Friedel had a fantastic game for Blackburn and really kept them in it. Van der Sar also served his team well by keeping the television cameras away from the handbags in the tunnel at halftime. Good for the players who don't want to get smacked by the FA; bad for those of us who like to point and laugh at them.

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