Monday, April 10, 2006

Premiership Weekend Roundup: April 8-9

Manchester United 2 - 0 Arsenal
I was worried for the first 15 minutes or so. Arsenal were playing very well -- the kind of smooth, pretty passes that decimated Juventus in the Champions League. I suspect that the scoreline would have been different if Thierry Henry had been on the pitch to finish off some of the chances they created, instead of Robin "Airball" Van Persie. But then, I don't know if it was because United's midfield was getting stuck in more, or if Arsenal were getting tired, or what, but for the last hour of the game United were all over them. They don't play the same way as Arsenal does, but it's still damn good football to watch -- lots of surging runs down the wing and defence-splitting passes for the forwards to run onto.

If United hadn't won by at least two goals, though, I would have been complaining a lot today about the refereeing. I'm all in favour of letting play go on rather than calling every niggling little foul, but Graham Poll missed a couple of blatant penalty calls -- most notably Kolo Toure doing his best John Terry impression by flinging himself at a shot from Wayne Rooney and blocking it with his hands. And this is the team of which Arsene Wenger said beforehand, "I know that we'll try to be fair and to play our game"? Ha.

Liverpool 1 - 0 Bolton
Liverpool ground out another win over Bolton, who have kind of been self-destructing recently. Meanwhile Liverpool are solidly in third and only five points behind Man United -- but for some reason, nobody outside Liverpool is really talking about their chances of catching them for second place. Robbie Fowler scored the only goal, strengthening his case for being kept on next season. I hope that Rafa does extend his contract, because for one thing, he's probably their only striker with a real instinct for scoring. Sell Cisse, please Rafa, I beg you.

Chelsea 4 - 1 West Ham
Chelsea went down a goal, then down a man after Maniche was sent off for stamping on Lionel Scaloni. And then they decided to demonstrate that they really do know how to play good football -- when they want to. Bastards. If they played like this every week, would people actually respect them? Or would we just hate them more?

Tottenham 2 - 1 Man City
A solid game from Tottenham to keep them in fourth place, ahead of Blackburn and Arsenal in the race for a Champions League spot. They could have won by more than just the one goal, but David James made several excellent saves -- although he also had one of his characteristic brain cramps in the first half when he tried to play around with a back-pass and Mido nearly capitalized.

Portsmouth 2 - 2 Blackburn
Twice Portsmouth were one goal down, and twice they managed to equalize, for a well-deserved draw. A point doesn't do much toward helping them to avoid relegation, but if they keep playing as well as they are now, they ought to stay up.

Wigan 1 - 1 Birmingham
All of a sudden Birmingham have stopped sucking. How did that happen? They even managed to fight back after falling behind at the beginning of the second half. Plucky Little Wigan(TM) are still safely in the top 10, but their form has dropped off recently.

Other results
Aston Villa 0 - 0 West Brom
Middlesbrough 1 - 2 Newcastle
Charlton 0 - 0 Everton


brookster said...

Cisse? Look at the type of interview he's giving...

Sunday's game was sublime: I don't have seen a more exciting 90 minutes since the Liverpool- Luton FA Cup Game. I'd I think Poll did the best he could there in that short space of time (Toure): but more evidence for a second referee at least. I also don't understand the Chelsea thing at all: why did they then just go for it like that? First time I think I've even seen Maniche play.

Still optimistic Pompey will stay up. I have a soft spot for Redknapp.

ynba said...

Liverpool are solidly in third and only five points behind Man United -- but for some reason, nobody outside Liverpool is really talking about their chances of catching them for second place.

Well, Man U does have a game in hand over Liverpool, so the lead's really eight points. If seven's making Chelski uncatchable, then eight should be even more so. Also, I'd be happy to stay in third if it means someone catches Chelski. I mean, I'd completely prefer us to destroy everything in our way, including y'all, to take first, but it would require both Man U and Chelski to completely self-destruct, and I just don't think it'll happen.

Mike said...

A female Canadian United fan? That's hot. I'm not too sure about the Liverpool bit though but since you're a girl I can let it slide.