I've already filled you in on the huge upset that was Hull City's victory at Arsenal this past weekend. Was there anything else interesting happening in England? Fix yourself a nice place of spotted dick and find out!
(2-3-1) EVERTON 0, (4-0-2) LIVERPOOL 2
Fernando Torres' torn hamstring has not only healed, but apparently has given him magical powers. He scored twice to keep Liverpool unbeaten, and give them a win on the grounds of the other Liverpudlian club.
(4-1-1) ASTON VILLA 2, (2-3-1) SUNDERLAND 1
Sunderland jumped out to an early lead over what appeared to be a tired Villa squad (they lost a Carling Cup match earlier in the week to second division club Queens Park Rangers). Villa hung in there though, and scored on a pair of set pieces off of free kicks to grind out a home win, and vault themselves into third place in the league. A possible Champions League spot for the Villains next fall? Mmmmm?
(2-3-0) FULHAM 1, (4-2-0) WEST HAM 2
The Hammers got goals just before halftime from Carlton Cole and Matthew Etherington, and then a red card to Fulham's Andrew Johnson made the second half pretty much academic. West Ham remains perfect under their greasy new Italian coach, Gianfranco Zola. I can say that, because my mom is Full Blooded Italian. And I'm 1st generation Italian-American. You better not say that though, or else I'll put you in a meat locker.
(2-1-2) MANCHESTER UNITED 2, (1-4-1) BOLTON 0
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his first game of the 08-09 Premiership season with a goal on a penalty kick, and Man U cruised to a home win over putrid Bolton. Bolton manager Gary Megson's official premierleague.com quote after the match was, "If the penalty had not been given (to Ronaldo) we wouldn't have had to go 4-4-2 and dur dee dur dur dee dur". Geez Megs, you want some spotted dick with that whine? Keep losing, maybe Eddie Vedder will write a song about your team like he did with the Cubs.
(2-4-0) MIDDLESBROUGH 0, (2-3-1) WEST BROM 1
In my daily internet hike yesterday, I found out that Robert Plant is from West Bromwich. Albion's stirring performance brings to mind the lyrics of one of my favorite Zeppelin songs. "Oh sweet Satan, you are the key to my lock". I listen to all my Zeppelin backwards. I do the same thing with Nickelback. Except Nickelback's subliminal messages are all about taking it in the ass.
(1-4-1) NEWCASTLE 1, (3-2-1) BLACKBURN 2
Paul Ince says he is pleased that his lads were able to spend 48 hours thinking about what Blackburn Rovers is all about instead of feeling sorry for Newcastle. That's a pretty impressive psychological weapon for Newcastle though, that they are so bad that other teams have to worry about sitting around feeling sorry for them for 2 days.
(1-4-1) STOKE CITY 0, (4-0-2) CHELSEA 2
Fullback Joe Boswinga had a goal and assist, as Stoke City blows its chance to make this a crazy bizzarro weekend by being the second newly promoted team to beat one of the big boys on the same day.
(3-3-0) PORTSMOUTH 2, (0-4-2) TOTTENHAM 0
It's been 30 years since Spurs have played anywhere but the top flight of English football. It's starting to look a lot like that's going to come to an end.
(2-2-2) WIGAN 2, (3-3-0) MANCHESTER CITY 1
A game winning penalty kick for the Egyptian Magician! (Amr Zaki). The Egyptian Magician! He has small mountain cat, that he uses to terrorize the people. In his country, that is considered magic.
TOP 5 (PTS/PLAYED/GD)
1. Chelsea 14/6/+9
2. Liverpool 14/6/+5
3. Aston Villa 13/6/+4
4. Arsenal 12/6/+8
5. West Ham 12/6/+3
16. Middlesbrough 6/6/-3
17. Bolton 4/6/-4
18. Stoke City 4/6/-5
19. Newcastle 4/6/-6
20. Tottenham 2/6/-5
TOP 5 SCORERS
1. Amr Zaki, Wigan, 5
2. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa, 4
John Carew, Aston Villa, 4
Jermain Defoe, Portsmouth, 4
5. Lots O' People 3
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP PLAY
Romania's champs, CFR Cluj, continued to acquit themselves well in the second round of group play. They battled to a scoreless draw at home against Chelsea, and are tied with the Blues for 1st place in the group. Roma went to France and drubbed Bordeaux 3-1, pretty much ending any hopes of the grape stompers of advancing out of group play.
The most surprising team in the tournament thus far comes from the island of Cyprus. Anorthosis is showing they are more than just happy to be here, as they throttled Greek side Pantathinaikos 3-1. They are now tied for the top spot in the group with Inter Milan, who couldn't hold a 1-0 lead and had to settle for a home draw against Werder Bremen.
Barcelona has put themselves in the drivers seat in this group with a thrilling 2-1 win at Ukraine's Shakhtar. Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice in the waning minutes. Sporting Lisbon kept themselves in the mix with a 2-0 home win over Swiss champs Basel, who have 0 pts and are probably done.
You may as well put a stamp on this one and mail it to the North Pole. Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are both 2-0-0 after wins this week. PSV and Olympique Marseille are toast.
Man U and Villarreal were the favorites in this group, and they seem to be well on their way to advancing. Manchester went to Denmark and drilled AaB 3-0, while Villarreal sweated one out at home over Celtic 1-0.
Probably the most wide open of all the groups right now. Bayern Munich came off the deck to salvage a 1-1 tie at home against Lyon on a header by Ze Roberto. Fiorentina missed a chance to take the lead in the group when they were unable to score and had to settle for a scoreless draw at home against Steaua Bucharest.
Arsenal's Premier League home loss to Hull City may be explained by saying they were tired after destroying Porto 4-0 in the Champions League. 2 goals each for Van Persie and Adebayor. Porto still hangs on to second place in the group, as Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kyiv ground out a 0-0 draw.
It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Real Madrid and Juventus will advance here, but Belarus' BATE got a result to remember when they got a 2-2 draw at Juve. Real got a tiebreaking goal in the first half from Ruud Van Nistelrooy to pass a stern test at Russian champs Zenit.