Manchester United win English Premier League title

May 6, 2007

Thanks to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea at Arsenal, Manchester United have officially won the 2006/07 EPL title. Congratulations and thanks for keeping Chelsea from winning another crown. Mourinho, I guess, has a future in wrestling, but maybe not at Stamford Bridge, especially not if there’s no FA Cup trophy to put in the awards display.

Manchester United won 0-1 at Manchester City on Saturday and then Chelsea’s away draw sealed the deal on Sunday. Must be nice for the ManU fans to “win the league at City,” especially with a game at Stamford Bridge coming up. They’ll be able to gloat to their hearts’ content and no doubt they’ll have snide words for the Blues when they meet in London.

Anyway, congrats.

Real Madrid 3 – 2 Sevilla: The Guti Show in Insanity-Vision

May 6, 2007

There are times as sports fans when we must admit our enemies are, actually, really good. This is one of those rare moments. Jose Maria Guti is a good player. Man, that hurts. I just had to get that out there, though, so that I could move along and get to the real issue at hand: Real Madrid vs Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

The game was, to put it pretty mildly, fantastic. There was so much energy on display and no one sat back and defended. The final score (3-2) suggests as much, but it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what this game was like to watch. The man of the match, Guti, wasn’t even on the field until he came on for Raul in the 59th minute as part of a double switch that also took Miguel Torres off for Ivan Helguera.

Quick Hits first before I get to a detailed breakdown of the game.
Goals: Maresca 41’, van Nistelrooy 62’, Robinho 78’, van Nistelrooy 85’, Chevanton 93’.
Red cards: Luis Fabiano 74’, Robinho 79’, Aitor Ocio 82’.
Yellow cards: Miguel Torres 40’, Sergio Ramos 55’, Hinkel 67’, Robinho 79’, David Beckham 84’, Javier Chevanton 84’.
Man of the Match: Guti

Those lists give you an idea that this was not a calm game, but even that doesn’t let you in on the absurdity that was Luis Fabiano’s sending off: he wasn’t on the field. He was warming up along the sideline and got a red card. For what, I don’t know yet, but no doubt the match reports and the Spanish press will fill us all in. Regardless of why it happened, I’ve never seen that before. And then Robinho was sent off after being shown a single yellow card immediately after scoring the go-ahead goal.

Much, much more after the jump.

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Long, good weekend

April 15, 2007

Quite a long weekend of soccer watching for me as I caught all or parts of 5 games. I missed Saturday’s action until the exciting Guadalajara derby, which Chivas took home 2-0 at the expense of “home side” Atlas. The game was pretty exciting with several opportunities falling for both sides; Chivas was the club to take advantage, is all.

My favorite Barcelona took the honors at home 1-0 thanks to a late own goal created by lots of pressure and Javier Saviola banging the ball off the post and then off of Fernando Navarro. Sevilla failed to keep themselves within a single point of the Spanish leaders, falling 2-0 at the Mestalla to Valencia in a pretty fantastic game that starred, above all else, Joaquin. Real Madrid floundered against Santander, losing 2-1 at El Sardinero.

In England, Aston Villa came back from down a goal to win 1-3 on the road against Middlesbrough, pushing the Lions up to 10th in the Premiership table, 10 points from the relegation zone with only 4 games remaining. There is little hope of getting into Europe, but at least relegation has been avoided and a top half finish is more than possible. Games against Portsmouth, Manchester City, Sheffield United, and Bolton should ensure a top 10 end to the season, but both Portsmouth and Bolton will prove tough as they vie for European spots. Sheffield will be desperate to avoid the drop as they’re only 2 points from 17th placed Charlton. Man City has about as much to play for as Villa, so perhaps they’ll come out flat.

A more in-depth look at the Villains’ season is coming up, as well a review of the Valencia-Sevilla game and several longer posts concerning La Liga and the wider European game, especially as the semis of the Champions League draw nearer.

Another reason to hate England

March 1, 2007

Besides the fact that they burned our capital not even 200 years ago, stole our language but can’t spell it, and care about the Carling Cup, the English are now trying to take away our God-given right to host a World Cup. What I mean is, England is bidding for the 2018 World Cup which should be, according to the cyclical process of where FIFA chooses as World Cups host countries, somewhere in North America. Sepp Blatter has sort of thrown some water on that fire, but just the notion that England deserves a World Cup makes me mad. Back off, Brits. We saved your butts in World War II and this is the thanks we get?

How can you deserve a World Cup if you just had one like 500 miles away less than one year ago. ONE. That takes a single finger to count; a single anything, actually. Cause it’s the smallest whole number that is greater than zero. It’s already been 13 years since we hosted a World Cup in this half of the world. So shut your freaking pie holes. You had one in 1998 on the other side of a body of water that is 21 miles across! You have a train that runs under it! There’s no train from New York to London and even if there was, I wouldn’t take it because the World Cup is going to be over here! Hopefully. England doesn’t deserve it. Actually, neither do we and it should be put hosted by Canada. But that’s still close and I like that.

We’ll come up with a better logo in 2018, I swear!

Some News and a La Liga Roundup: Jornada 24

March 1, 2007

I know I’m focusing a lot on La Liga lately, but I’m finding the EPL harder and harder to pay attention to as there are now 9 points between the leaders and the 2nd placed team (Chelsea do have a game in hand), Aston Villa haven’t played for what feels like 6 months, and the Carling Cup final is dominating the headlines. It’s the Carling Cup, for Pele’s sake! It’s the Intertoto of England! Who cares!? Arsenal started what amounts to a junior varsity team and Chelsea, well, they won and Chelsea winning always sucks, but they had to field a starting 11 to do it. Great job, guys, you beat up on the little kids. Enjoy your only trophy of the year! And I hope John Terry is fine, which he appears to be.

Drogba, for his part, scored both of Chelsea’s goals and won the African Footballer of the Year award. I’m not sure they’re directly related, but whatever, Drogba deserves it, even if he is quite a bit of a jerkoff on the field. He has talent, I can’t deny it. 116th Street has a good discussion of what it’s like to realize that.

InterMilan finally didn’t win (gasp!) in Serie A and it was really about time. F-ing Inter. Serie A is usually entertaining in that you’re not sure if Juventus or Milan are going to win it, but this season…sheesh, boring. (I hope my sarcasm doesn’t drip onto the next paragraph…)

And now to La Liga where things remain tight while the press is trying to hand the league trophy to someone else every 15 seconds. First it was Barcelona that were floundering, falling asunder, in a crisis, and now out of it, flying high, watching as the pedestrian teams like Sevilla and Madrid flounder 2 and 6 points beneath them. But woe is Madrid as they’ve slipped to 4th on goal differential, falling behind basement-dwellers Valencia, who themselves were considered the greatest team of all time after their 2-1 beating of Barcelona. (Sorry, there’s the sarcasm again).

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Voronin to Liverpool

February 26, 2007

Soccernet is reporting that Liverpool have signed Andriy Voronin, who will arrive from Bayer Leverkusen on a free (Bosman) transfer in the summer. Voronin, a 27 year old Ukrainian, is good, if not amazing. What it does mean, however, is that a striker is leaving the club at the end of the season. Soccernet seems to think that it’s Fowler whose Anfield days are over, but I don’t think it should be seen as a definitive fact just yet. When you’ve got a few extra ducats lying around like Liverpool do, you never know who is going to be gracing your club with their presence and it’s not particularly worthwhile for Benitez to have all those robot jokes bouncing around the locker room for the 150th time if he can avoid it. So maybe Peter Crouch is going to Juventus, maybe Fowler is out, or maybe both. Neither would be a bad move on Liverpool’s part, not if they now have a guy who doesn’t even care where the ball is, he just wants to kick it (see above picture). Though, everyone would miss this (warning: 151st robot joke!).

Away for the weekend

February 23, 2007

I’ve been lax about posting this week thanks to getting the Barcelona Offside blog up and running, but I promise more stuff this coming week, especially reflections on the Champions League. Also, a look at what’s coming in La Liga and the EPL.


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