You know what's awesome? Watching your baseball team crap down their leg in the last week of the season and blow a 2 1/2 game lead in less than 72 hours. Makes you feel like you've really not spent the last 5 months of your life very wisely.
Anyway, enough on that. Open wide for some soccerrrrr!!
(3-0-2) CHELSEA 1, (1-1-2) MANCHESTER UNITED 1
This would be like your Colts vs. Patriots of soccer. Well, not this year I guess. The Colts and Patriots are kind of bad. Chelsea and Man U are still good though. Well, Man U will be good once they get their players back. They're not very good right now. The Red Devils fought gamely though, and made an 18th minute goal by Park Ji-Sung stand up until the 79th minute, when Ivorian winger Saloman Kalou headed in the equaliser to preserve Chelsea's 85 match home unbeaten streak.
(2-2-1) SUNDERLAND 2, (2-3-0) MIDDLESBROUGH 0
Don't look now, but the Sunderland club that has been decidedly out of their league during their Premier League visits is now in the upper half of the table through 5 matches. Michael Chopra came off the bench to score both goals late in the game, saving some face for the name "Chopra" after the abortion that was this summer's Mike Myers bomb "The Love Guru".
(2-2-1) BLACKBURN 1, (2-2-0) FULHAM 0
Matt Derbyshire not only scored the winning goal, he is actually from Blackburn. He is what you might call a "local hero". Fulham manager Roy Hodgson says after the match, that his team's performance was "more than satisfactory". So he's more than satisfied with losing and getting shut out. He sounds pretty easy to please. I bet his wife is happy.
(3-0-2) LIVERPOOL 0, (1-3-1) STOKE CITY 0
The Potters gut out a scoreless draw at mighty Liverpool by utilizing what the Premier league's official website called, "a magnificent rearguard action". You yourself may need one of those should you be anywhere around Wrigley Field during the playoffs.
(3-2-0) WEST HAM 3, (1-3-1) NEWCASTLE 1
The Hammers' first match under new manager Gianfranco Zola goes off without a hitch. Zola was formerly the manager of Italy's U-21 team, and took over after Alan Curbishley resigned a couple of weeks ago, claiming that West Ham was selling players without his permission. Boy for sale. Boyyyy for sale.
(1-3-1) BOLTON 1, (4-1-0) ARSENAL 3
Arsenal vaults to the top of the Premier League, and they're playing the prettiest football in the world right now. So pretty that Bolton manager Gary Megson gushed that his side had received "a footballing lesson" from Arsenal this one. Goals for Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, and Patrick's favorite player, Brazilian sensation Denilson! Actually, just kidding, Denilson is not Patrick's favorite player.
(1-3-1) WEST BROM 1, (3-1-1) ASTON VILLA 2
One of the perennial pasttimes in the Premier League is the search for a team that can crack the "Big 4" (Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal). This year it looks like there are two teams that are going to make a run at it, and Villa is one of them. We'll get to the other one in a little bit.
(2-1-2) HULL CITY 2, (2-2-1) EVERTON 2
Hull just doesn't want to go away do they? They are 6th in the league right now, which is awesome for a team that just got promoted to the Premiership. Give credit to Everton too for scrambling back from a 2-0 second half deficit with goals by Tim Cahill and Leon Osman to salvage a point on the road.
(3-2-0) MANCHESTER CITY 6, (2-3-0) PORTSMOUTH 0
And here's that other team that is the threat to the league aristocracy. They are spending all kinds of crazy Arab oil dollars now (kind of like how Chelsea got good by spending Russian oil dollars no?), and have gotten 2 goals in as many games from their trophy acquisition Robinho.
(0-3-2) TOTTENHAM 0, (1-2-2) WIGAN 0
LEAGUE STANDINGS THRU WK 5
TOP 5 (PTS/PLAYED/GD)
Aston Villa 10/5/+3
Manchester City 9/5/+8
BOTTOM 5 (PTS/PLAYED/GD)
West Brom 4/5/-2
Stoke City 4/5/-3
1. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa, 4
Amr Zaki, Wigan, 4
3. Emmanuel Adebayor, Arsenal, 3
John Carew, Aston Villa, 3
Kevin Davies, Bolton, 3
Jermain Defoe, Portsmouth, 3
Blumer Elano, Manchester City, 3
Mido, Middlesbrough, 3
Robin van Persie, Arsenal, 3
Shaun Wright-Phillips, Manchester City, 3
Ayegbeni Yakubu, Everton, 3
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUNDUP
The group stage of the UEFA Champions League got underway last week:
- Chelsea sniffed Bordeaux's fragrant bouquet, then swished them around for a while and left them in the spit bucket, winning 4-0 at home.
- Romania impressed in this summer's European Cup, and their league champions, CFR, got off to a rousing start in Champions league play by upsetting AS Roma 2-1 in the Eternal City.
- Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho's new club, Inter Milan, got off to a nice Champions League start by getting a convincing 2-0 road win over Greek side Panathinaikos, with both goals being set up by Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
- Plucky Cypriot club Anorthosis continues their Cinderella run (they climbed to the group round thru all 3 rounds of qualifying play) with a 0-0 draw at mighty German side Werder Bremen.
- Ukrainian champs Shakhtar got a pair of goals off free kicks to pick up a road win against Swiss side Basel.
- FC Barcelona has been struggling recently in La Liga, but pulled it together to get goals from Xavi, Eto'o, and Rafael Marquez to top Sporting Lisbon at home, 3-1.
- Atletico Madrid embarrassed PSV and all of Dutch football by crushing Holland's champs in front of their home crowd, 3-0.
- Liverpool got a pair of goals from their captain, Steven Gerrard, to come off the deck and win at Olympique Marseille 2-1. Gerrard's winning goal came on a penalty kick.
- The defending champions, Manchester United, bogged down into a 0-0 draw at home against La Liga's Yellow Submarine, Villarreal.
- Celtic blew a penalty kick and had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Denmark's AaB in front of their Glaswegian faithful.
- Bayern Munich scored early then held on for a 1-0 lead at Steaua Bucharest.
- Lyon went down 2-0 at the half, but rebounded to save some honor for Ligue 1 by salvaging a 2-2 draw against Serie A's Fiorentina.
- FC Porto won this whole thing back in 2004 under Jose Mourinho, and they look like they mean business this year too, drubbing last year's quarterfinalists Fenerbahce (of Turkey) 3-1 in Portugal.
- Arsenal made the trip east to Kiev, where they have an 0-3 record in club history, and needed a goal in the 88th minute from William Gallas to salvage a 1-1 draw against a Dynamo Kiev team which went 0-6 in last year's group round.
- Juventus kept the world safe for democracy by topping the evil Russians, Zenit, 1-0 in Torino on a free kick by Alessandro del Piero.
- Real Madrid were the masters of BATE, beating the plucky Belarussian side 2-0 with goals from Sergio Ramos and Ruud van Nistelrooy.