Friday, October 24, 2008

Premiership Week Eight

Open wide for some soccerrrrr!

(3-5-0) MIDDLESBROUGH 0, (6-0-2) CHELSEA 5
Chelsea's still very injured, and they are still not slowed down one bit. They continue to maul every Premier League side put in front of them. This was the biggest margin of victory in an away win for Chelsea in 5 years. I see here that their manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has a drink named after him. It's called "The Big Phil", and is made from dark rum and "exotic fruit juices". Gross. 2 goals for Ivorian star Salomon Kalou.

(5-2-1) ARSENAL 3, (2-4-2) EVERTON 1
A lot of stumbling and bumbling lately for the Gunners, with a loss to Hull City and a draw at Sunderland heading into this one. It looked like more of the same when they fell behind 1-0 in the ninth minute, but goals by Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie put Arsenal ahead, and ended the mini-winless streak.

(4-2-2) ASTON VILLA 0, (4-3-1) PORTSMOUTH 0
For every scoreless tie, I give you a term to research on
"Beep Beep Beep," said Little Eugene as he dropped a killer deuce all over Molly and her twin sister. "Now THAT's what I call a dump truck!"

(2-4-2) BOLTON 0, (3-3-2) BLACKBURN 0
Birmingham Booty Call

(2-4-1) FULHAM 0, (2-3-3) SUNDERLAND 0
Boston Lawnmower

(6-0-2) LIVERPOOL 3, (2-4-2) WIGAN 2
As you can see, there were a lot of shnorers in the Premier League this week. This one almost makes up for all of them. Feisty Wigan, and specifically FootFut's favorite player in the whole world, The Egyptian Magican, Amr Zaki, was relentless and twice put Liverpool down by a goal, only to see the equaliser come both times. Then, in the 85th minute, Dirk Kuyt scored his second goal of the game to give Liverpool the win. Particularly heartbreaking for the Latics was that they held a 2-1 lead when Antonio Valencia was sent off after his second yellow card of the match. Says Wigan manager Steve Bruce of The Magician, "He is scary to play against, and he will not understand how he can be on a losing side after a performance like that."

(4-1-2) MANCHESTER UNITED 4, (3-4-1) WEST BROM 0
And so ends Albion's 2 game winning streak. This match was scoreless at the half, but Wayne Rooney opened the scoring, and from there things disintegrated for West Brom. Rooney's now scored in 5 matches in a row. Albion manager Tony Mowbray cries poor afterwards, lamenting "We are coming up against teams that can spend 30 million on strikers." Oh bitch bitch. You need to come to Pittsburgh and watch the Pirates for a month, to learn how to take a small market beating with dignity.

(5-1-2) HULL CITY 1, (4-4-0) WEST HAM 0
Seriously, what Hull City is doing in the Premiership so far makes our little Tampa Bay Rays rags to riches story look like a pile of puke. Hull midfielder Michael Turner had the game's lone goal. Says Hull manager Phil Brown after the match about his team's heroic start, "People were talking about bubbles bursting, but my simple answer to a bubble bursting is to blow another bubble."

(2-5-1) STOKE CITY 2, (0-6-2) TOTTENHAM 1
The Potters get a precious 3 points in this Relegation Derby. This is Tottenham's worst start to a season, ever, as they continue to find themselves lost following the sale to Liverpool this offseason of Robbie Keane, who had been the club's player of the year three times in the last five years. Says Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate, ""We've just really got to start really working and giving each other a good kick up the a****. Sorry for swearing."

(1-4-3) NEWCASTLE 2, (3-4-1) MANCHESTER CITY 2
City's now 0-2-1 since that 6-0 blowout over Portsmouth a few weeks ago that had them being trumpeted as a real contender for a Champions League spot. They needed an 86th minute equaliser from Stephen Ireland to salvage a point against a Newcastle team that's won only one match all year and played much of this match with only 10 men.

1. Chelsea 20/8/+16
2. Liverpool 20/8/+7
3. Hull City 17/8/0
4. Arsenal 16/8/+10
5. Manchester United 14/7/+8

16. Everton 8/8/-6
17. Fulham 7/7/-2
18. Stoke City 8/7/-5
19. Newcastle 8/6/-6
20. Tottenham 8/2/-7

Top 5 Scorers
1. Amr Zaki, Wigan, 7
2. Jermain Defoe, Portsmouth, 5
2. Fernando Torres, Liverpool, 5
4. Kevin Davies, Bolton, 4
4. Nicolas Anelka, Chelsea, 4
4. John Carew, Aston Villa, 4
4. Robin Van Persie, Arsenal, 4
4. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa, 4

This week brought us Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League, meaning one cycle of the double round robin Group Stage has been completed. Thrilling!

Bordeaux's 1-0 win at home against CFR Cluj means that the second knockout round berth from this group is very much up for grabs. Bordeaux is 1 point behind CFR, and tied with AS Roma, who fought gamely but lost a 1-0 decision at Chelsea. Chelsea's on top of the group with 7 points and barring some kind of major earthquake or magnetic field shift of the Earth will advance.

Inter Milan asserted control of this group by grinding out a 1-0 home win over Cyprus' Anorthosis, which has been the George Mason of this Champions League season. Well, actually so far more of a Gonzaga, if they get to the knockout round then they'll be George Mason. Werder Bremen got a match tying goal from Hugo Almeida in the 83rd minute that was a big blow to Panathinaikos' hopes for advancing, as the Greek side now trails the group with only 1 point in three matches.

18 year old Bojan Krcic scored a pair of goals as Barcelona flexed its muscles and stomped Basel 5-0 in Switzerland. Barca has a perfect 9 points, and now Sporting Lisbon is a good bet to follow them into the knockout round after picking up a huge 1-0 away win against Ukraine's Shakhtar.

Liverpool and Atletico Madrid were both 6 points clear into the knockout round heading into their match, and are both still firmly in control after tap dancing to a 1-1 draw. PSV salvaged some dignity for the Eredivisie by taking three points in a 2-0 win over Marseille, who is 0-3 in the Group Stage.

A 3-0 blowout was the result of an interesting draw of Manchester United vs. Celtic, thanks in part to a pair of goals by Dimitar Berbatov. Villarreal also solidified its pretty sure chances of making the next round by outscoring Denmark's AaB in a 6-3 slobberknocker that saw a hat trick for Villarreal sub Joseba Llorente.

Olympique Lyonnais was in huge trouble after falling behind 2-0 in a must-win match against Steaua Bucharest, but the French champs quickly tied it, then scored three unanswered goals in the second half to pick up a huge road win that vaulted them into second place in this group with 5 points. Bayern Munich remains in the lead after their star Luca Toni led them to a 3-0 win over his old club, Fiorentina.

Turkey's Fenerbahce hadn't lost at home in European play in 15 matches, but this has been a disastrous Group stage for them, and this match was no different as Arsenal came to the Anatolian Peninsula and drubbed them 5-2. Dynamo Kiev usually makes it to the Group Stage, then exits quietly. Not so this year. They are halfway home to the next round, ensconced in second place in the Group after stunning FC Porto on the road 1-0.

Juventus is struggling in Serie A, but they are on top of their Champions League Group after topping Spain's behemoth, Real Madrid 2-1 in Turin with goals by Alessandro del Piero and Amauri. Russian champs Zenit were supposed to make some noise in this Group Stage but so far have flopped like the Cubs in the postseason. A 1-1 home draw against Belarussian side BATE being the latest failure.

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