Monday, March 20, 2006

Premiership Weekend Roundup: March 18-19

Fulham 1 - 0 Chelsea
Fulham are my new favourite team this week, between shipping five goals against Liverpool on Wednesday and then beating Chelsea yesterday. The game game Jose Mourinho plenty to complain about (but then, what doesn't?), between Gallas getting red carded and Drogba having a goal disallowed for handball. But I think the final scoreline was fair -- Fulham played their butts off for 90 minutes, whereas Chelsea's expensive squad looked like they didn't know how to fight back against a team that had the nerve not to roll over and play dead for them.

Newcastle 1 - 3 Liverpool
I spent the first 10 minutes of the game trying to figure out what formation Liverpool were playing and what kind of crack Rafa was on when he did the lineup. I spent the next 80 minutes trying to fend off the attentions of a creepy West Ham fan so that I could actually watch the game. Anyway, let's assume that Liverpool were playing 3-5-2, with Warnock and Kromkamp as wingbacks. It certainly seems to have worked. And I got a free beer out of the West Ham guy, so everybody wins. Everybody except for Newcastle, that is. It didn't help them that Boumsong got sent off at the beginning of the second half for a rugby tackle on Peter Crouch, but on the other hand he hadn't been much use when he was actually on the pitch.

West Brom 1 - 2 Manchester United
Much like United's game against Newcastle last week, the scoreline flattered their opponents, with Rooney and Giggs both missing obvious chances. Meanwhile, Van Nistelrooy was left on the bench yet again, fuelling speculation that Sir Alex is going to sell him to the glue factory the highest bidder at the end of the season. Saha has been playing well lately -- he scored both goals in this game -- but I'm still not convinced about him. With the attacking options that United has (and their continued lack of a midfield), I think I'd rather see them playing 4-3-3. I mean, who would you rather have in your starting XI: Ruud Van Nistelrooy or John O'Shea? Exactly.

Birmingham 0 - 2 Tottenham
Birmingham tried to do the same thing as Fulham -- fighting hard to harass Tottenham and not let them settle into their game -- but couldn't manage to keep it up for more than an hour. Then Spurs took advantage of sloppy play from Melchiot for their first goal, Birmingham's morale plummeted, and Robbie Keane scored a second (at least we were spared his stupid goal celebration) to seal the win and keep the race for fourth place tight.

Everton 4 - 1 Aston Villa
James Beattie for England, anyone? I know he's been inconsistent, but then so has Peter Crouch, and if you want to play with a big target man, maybe it's better to go with one who doesn't get knocked over so easily. The whole Everton team had a good game on Saturday -- although Aston Villa made it easy for them -- and they're starting to look like the club that finished fourth last year rather than the relegation fodder from the beginning of this season. The question is which team is going to show up for the Merseyside derby this weekend.

Other results
Arsenal 3 - 0 Charlton
Blackburn 3 - 2 Middlesbrough
Bolton 2 - 0 Sunderland
Manchester City 0 - 1 Wigan
West Ham 2 - 4 Portsmouth


ynba said...

Well, see, I think Crouch has definitely earned his place in the England squad. I mean, they've already got the special bed ordered and everything. I wouldn't really mind if Beattie got picked over, say, Defoe or Bent, though, since I don't think they've done enough.

Scott Parker? Continues to wait by the phone.

footie girl said...

I think I agree with you about taking Crouch over Beattie. But I'd consider him if they were to take a fifth striker, rather than yet another speedy little guy.

Poor Scotty Parker. Nobody loves him but me.