Monday, April 02, 2007

Premiership Weekend Roundup: March 31-April 1


(I'm still wacked out on decongestants. Wheeee.)

Liverpool 4 - 1 Arsenal
That was a nice bit of revenge for getting knocked out of both domestic cups by Arsenal last month. Ironically, the Gunners have now been knocked out themselves, and with nothing left to play for this season, they looked like they just couldn't be bothered. They were definitely not the incisive team we've seen before.

Liverpool, on the other hand, weren't holding back to rest for their Champions League game this week. They hustled from the kickoff, and not only that, they were combining well as a team. I think I kind of like this 4-2-3-1 formation for them -- with Alonso and Mascherano anchoring the midfield, it gives Stevie G the freedom to roam around and charge at people. The vital thing with that formation is that you need movement from the wingers and the fullbacks to give you width -- which they did. You could see it in Peter Crouch's hat-trick, where all three of the goals came from the wings. The first one, especially, was great link-up play from Pennant and Arbeloa.

As for Crouch: we already knew that he has a good touch for a big man. But actually what impressed me most was his headed goal -- he got up to meet it well and put some power into the header, rather than just letting it bounce off him like he often seems to do.

Manchester United 4 - 1 Blackburn
The first half was about even, but ended with the advantage to Blackburn after United lost Nemanja Vidic to a broken collarbone and then gave up a goal thanks to an attempted clearance from Michael Carrick that was sliced towards the post. The injury to Vidic is a blow -- he's been very solid this season, and combined with the injuries to Silvestre and Neville, it means bringing in Wes Brown and (gulp) John O'Shea on a regular basis.

Going down a goal, on the other hand...well, like I've said before, if you score early against United, all that does is make them mad. They came out for the second half and put the Blackburn goal under siege. They'd already had several good chances at goal before Paul Scholes finally scored in the 60th minute -- after deking around two or three defenders on the edge of the box -- and opened the floodgates. (I know other people have already pointed out how much England could use Scholes right now, but it's worth repeating; the thing I neglected to mention in my post last week was that Steven Gerrard, much as I love him, is no Paul Scholes. Although if Scholes did come out of international retirement, they'd probably stick him on the left to accommodate Lampard again, so what's the use.)

Wayne Rooney looked out of sorts again; he had a buttload of chances and hit them all straight at Brad Friedel. It's a bit worrying, with Louis Saha still not quite fit and Alan Smith apparently only being used as a sub. But at least he didn't look like he wanted to throttle everybody else on the pitch, like he did with England. Maybe this is naive of me, but I sort of wish we could just leave the kid alone and let things work themselves out.

Other results
Bolton 1 - 0 Sheffield United
Charlton 1 - 0 Wigan
Fulham 1 - 1 Portsmouth
Newcastle 0 - 1 Manchester City
Watford 0 - 1 Chelsea
West Ham 2 - 0 Middlesbrough
Tottenham 1 - 0 Reading


Jamison Parker said...

hey ummm i had to link to some blogs for my class (ya, i am lame and keep a blog for a class) and i came across your's and i have to say, i like it a lot...that's all i got, have a lovely day!

Jen said...

Thanks, glad you like it!

Michael said...

Who would your root for if Liverpool played ManU in the semifinals?

Jen said...

Michael: The semi-finals of what? The Champions League? Liverpool and United can only meet in the final, I think. If that happened...aaagh, it'd be tough, but I think I'd have to cheer for Liverpool. (I'm assuming that United are going to win the Premiership, so.)