Friday, June 15, 2007

Season Highlights

It's Friday and there's no real news today (yeah, okay, the Stevens report, but is anyone really surprised that Chelsea and Bolton have been associated with some dodgy deals?), so I thought I'd take a look back at the highlights of the season for me:

10. United 5-1 Fulham (August 20, Premiership)
United began the season the way they meant to go on: by opening a big can of whup-ass on their opponents. They didn't always play well on their way to the Premiership title, but when they did, oh, it was glorious. And I'm going to quote my own remarkably prescient observations: "Probably the best part of this game was seeing Cristiano Ronaldo actually passing the ball to his teammates, instead of just doing endless stepovers and falling over."

9. Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool (August 13, Community Shield)
Liverpool started the game with Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso on the bench, and still beat Chelsea to open the season. Best moment: Momo Sissoko absolutely flattening Michael Ballack, sending him off limping shortly thereafter. Welcome to the Premiership, Micha.

8. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea (January 20, Premiership)
An injury-stricken Chelsea were no match for Liverpool's energy; they had basically conceded defeat before the game even started. That's still no excuse for this, though. Heee.

7. United 4-1 Blackburn (March 31, Premiership)
United went into the dressing room down 1-0 and having lost Nemanja Vidic to a broken collarbone. But, see, if you score early against United, all that does is make them mad. They came out for the second half and put on a dominating display that was pretty much flawless.

6. Liverpool 4-1 Arsenal (March 31, Premiership)
A bit of revenge for Liverpool after the way Arsenal had spanked them in the cups. Peter Crouch and his hat-trick got all the headlines, but really it was a great team performance.

5. Barcelona 1-2 Liverpool (February 21, Champions League)
Beating Barcelona at the Camp Nou doesn't happen every day. And this was no smash-and-grab operation, either -- Barcelona had a strong spell at the beginning of the game, but Liverpool resisted the temptation to crumble and stifled them in the second half, with goals from golfing buddies Riise and Bellamy.

4. United 4-1 Bolton (March 17, Premiership)
United had Bolton's number all season -- they also beat them 4-0 in the reverse fixture at the Reebok -- but this match is the one that stands out to me, thanks to that amazing counter-attacking goal from Rooney and Ronaldo. Yeah, you know the one I mean.

3. Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (May 1, Champions League)
Liverpool bounced back from the first-leg defeat, with Daniel Agger shutting down Didier Drogba and scoring the crucial goal. And then they went on to win on penalties, because Pepe Reina is really fucking awesome. Ecstatic Liverpool players + teary-eyed John Terry = an inordinate amount of joy.

2. United 7-1 Roma (April 10, Champions League)
It was like a goal-of-the-month competition in the space of 90 minutes. United played out of their skins -- yes, even Darren Fletcher -- and Roma were absolutely demolished. I still don't understand how they could play so well and yet not go on to win the whole damn thing.

1. Everton 2-4 United (April 28, Premiership)
It would take another week before it was official, but this was the day that United really won the title. Down 2-0 after 50 minutes, their comeback was sparked by a fumble by Everton's keeper and an own-goal from Phil Neville, to give the conspiracy theorists plenty to talk about. Meanwhile, Chelsea were throwing away a lead at Stamford Bridge, drawing 2-2 with Bolton. Oh, it was a good day.

And honourable mention to a couple of other memorable games:

Barcelona 4-0 Club America (December 14)
This one was notable partly because I was watching it live in Yokohama, but mostly because Barcelona were just stupidly good. It was basically an exhibition game for them, with Deco pulling the strings in midfield, Ronaldinho showing off all his tricks and Club America left chasing their tails.

Toronto FC 3-1 Chicago (May 13)
A gorgeous sunny day at BMO Field, Toronto FC's first win, and 20,000 people gleefully flinging projectiles onto the pitch. Good times.


rafs said...

Woohoo! Gerrard got married. Man, he picked up one fine lookin' lady.

Congrats to him.

weenie said...

Yeh, she's a typical WAG! Saturday was a popular day for marriage for Premier League footballers - John Terry and Michael Carrick got married then too, as did Gary Neville. Was in Manchester and the place was heaving with people hoping to catch a glimpse of Neville getting hitched at the cathedral - Rooney turned up with his WAG apparently.

Jen said...

I'm kind of afraid to see the pictures from Steven's wedding. I've heard that he was wearing a white John Travolta-style suit or something similarly awful. It's just sad when Gary Neville is the epitome of taste in comparison.