Sunday, March 26, 2006

Premiership Weekend Roundup: March 25-26

Manchester United 3 - 0 Birmingham
If Liverpool can beat Birmingham 7-0, then United probably should have won by about 10 goals. True, they took their foot off the gas in the second half, but they'd also missed a bunch of chances by that point. Which is fine when you're playing teams like Birmingham and West Brom, but not a good habit to get into if you've got Bolton and Arsenal coming up in the next couple weeks.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy was relegated to the bench yet again, so the speculation about whether Sir Alex plans to sell him continues. I can't decide if I think it's a good idea or not. On one hand, he's the top scorer in the Premiership, and who knows when Saha will pick up another hangnail that rules him out for months. But on the other hand, if you can sell Van Nistelrooy for enough to pay for a solid midfielder or two, then maybe it's worth it.

Liverpool 3 - 1 Everton
The 7:30 a.m. kickoff meant I wasn't really awake for the start of this game. But that only lasted up until the point when Steven Gerrard got sent off for a second yellow card. Was it stupid of him to get booked twice in about a minute? Yes, admittedly. But I also think it's kind of harsh to get sent off for what boils down to one bad tackle and a moment of petulance.

It did seem to help his team, though. Everton had been dominating for the first 20 minutes or so, but once they had a man advantage, they sort of fell apart, whereas Liverpool stepped up their play. Peter Crouch beat James Beattie in the Battle Of The Potential England Target Men, Luis Garcia demonstrated that even if his tricks fail nine times out of ten, he's still worth having in the lineup, and Xabi Alonso was completely fucking awesome (and I'm not just saying that because I love him).

Having had a bit of time to think it over, I'm not as indignant as I was about Steven getting red carded, but I do still think that the referee started out on the wrong foot. The Merseyside derby, you expect it to be a nasty, chippy game, so Phil Dowd wants to establish his authority early on -- which is understandable, but I think it backfired in this case.

Chelsea 2 - 0 Man City
Chelsea are, much as I hate to admit it, a very good football team, and they proved it with the way they played for the first half-hour of this game. So why do they always seem to resort to cheating? Drogba's second goal was another blatant handball -- and he even admitted it, sort of -- but the referee didn't call the goal back this time. Possibly because the Man City players didn't make as big a fuss as Fulham did last week, possibly because Chelsea were playing at home, possibly because he's a wanker.

And then, to top things off, he books the Manchester City captain, Sylvain Distin, at halftime for having the temerity to question his decision. Not haranguing the referee, just stating his team's case -- which, as I understand it, is sort of the captain's job -- and he gets sent off. Not that it probably would have helped City if they'd had eleven men for the second half, but it might have prevented the game from turning into such a snore-fest.

I think next week they should tie Drogba's arms behind his back and see if he can still score. Although he'd probably just use that as an excuse to fall over even more often.

Other results
Charlton 3 - 1 Newcastle
Middlesbrough 4 - 3 Bolton
Aston Villa 0 - 0 Fulham
Sunderland 0 - 1 Blackburn
Wigan 1 - 2 West Ham


brookster said...

If you haven't heard the BBC's phone in show, 606, you should hear Saturday's, as everyone is not loving Drogba right about now.

footie girl said...

I haven't heard it -- I don't know if you can listen to it online or not. But I'm glad that I'm far from alone in my Drogba hate.