Monday, November 27, 2006

Premiership Weekend Roundup: November 25-26

Manchester United 1 - 1 Chelsea
Okay, maybe it wasn't the most skillful display by either team, but it was still entertaining to watch. And I wasn't even drinking during it! (It was enough of a struggle to get the waitress at the pub to serve me breakfast, let alone bring me a tasty alcoholic beverage, so eventually I gave up and just yelled at the TV instead.)

I think a draw was a fair result, much as I was hoping that United would win. They were the better team in the first half, but Chelsea turned things around after the break when Mourinho subbed Arjen Robben on for Geremi.

That part of The Special One's strategy worked, and Ashley Cole also had a very good game (and by "good" I basically mean "kicked lumped out of Cristiano Ronaldo" for 90 minutes). But his other big money signings came up short in the big game. Andriy Shevchenko cost £30 million only for him to shank the ball over the bar in his one clear chance. And how Michael Ballack didn't get booked I don't know, considering that he spent the game throwing his weight around -- how many times did poor Vidic get elbowed in the face? -- but not doing much else.

In other news, Michael Carrick has apparently learned how to tackle. Who knew?

Liverpool 1 - 0 Manchester City
Rafa's solution to having most of his midfielders out injured? Play five across the middle! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?

It worked well enough, I suppose, although I suspect that's mostly because City aren't very good. But it is at least a third clean sheet in a row. And Stevie G. has now decided to start scoring in the league, probably just to prove me wrong. Cue another round of debate about how he should be playing in centre midfield all the time. I think it's not necessarily where he plays but how that makes the difference, and at the moment he's stopped pouting and started commanding games again. Which is a good thing, considering that Liverpool have apparently now lost Bolo Zenden to injury as well. Gerrard's going to have the entire midfield to himself at this rate.

Bolton 3 - 1 Arsenal
The thing that struck me while watching this game was how much bigger all the Bolton players were than the Arsenal ones. It was like watching a team of men against a team of skinny teenage boys. Ridiculously talented teenage boys, but they still couldn't stop themselves from getting pushed around for 90 minutes.

You know who did look good, though? Theo Walcott. Maybe he's still young enough not to be intimidated.

Newcastle 1 - 0 Portsmouth

And you'll notice that Portsmouth lost. This is a corollary to my "fugly kits make you lose" theory. Bad hair is also a portent of doom. See: Gerrard, Steven.

Other results
Tottenham 3 - 1 Wigan
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Middlesbrough
Charlton 1 - 1 Everton
Fulham 0 - 1 Reading
West Ham 1 - 0 Sheffield United

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