Friday, 16 March 2012

All the midweek football

Well you can't say we haven't been blessed as four pretty incredible games occurred in the space of three days. We'll start on the 217th Merseyside Derby and what a game it was. It's quite funny how King Kenny only plays   for the big games as this game proved. His team played attractive football but didn't have it all their own way. In fact, Everton looked the most likely to take the lead in the first 20 minutes but the play soon changed and Liverpool got their goal through a delightful chip from their captain, Steven Gerrard who went on to get himself a hatrick and take his team 5 points clear of Everton, some much needed breathing space. There was some delightful play one show from the league's most hated player, Luis Suarez and he would have scored were it not for some brilliant defending (and also because his finishing is rather poor, to put it lightly) from a very much underrated back four. The final score may not have been great news for Moyes who celebrated his 10th year in management the following day and the result was made by his own poor decisions, making 6 changes from the winning side against Spurs but the Goodison faithful will love him just the same.
Gerrard curls in his first of his three goals.
On Wednesday, Chelsea took on Napoli at Stamford Bridge. Many had written of Chelsea already as recent poor performances made them doubt that Chelsea could beat one of the best teams in Europe, They thought wrong. Some incredible performances from the old guard of  Didier Drogba, Frank Lampars and John Terry and a surprise goal from right back Branislav Ivanovic made the score 4-1 on the night and 5-4 to Chelsea on aggregate. Today's draw has them lined up against winnable opponents, Benfica and they can prove they are still a team who are destined to win things.
Roberto Di Matteo embracing Lampard after a dramatic victory in Europe.
Two games were played on Thursday with both Manchester clubs trying to claw back from their respective first leg failures with United playing Athletic Bilbao and City hosting Sporting Lisbon. I now have a new favourite Spanish club, Athletic Bilbao. They chase every ball, no matter where or when, they play attractive 'tika taka' football and also outplayed the best team in England. Fernando Llorente's goal was incredible and given the fact that he was injured throughout his time on the pitch it makes it doubly impressive. Rooney managed to get a spectacular consolation goal but could not stop United from exiting another European tournament. I hope Bilbao go on to win the whole thing because they are sheer brilliance and should be a model on how teams play, bloody incredible.

The other Manchester club went out but on very different circumstances. They were 1-0 down from the first leg and then played appallingly in the first half to trail 3-0 on aggregate. They must of took a right bollocking from Mancini as they came out after the break all guns blazing with Aguero and Balotelli scoring in quick succession and on the 80th minute drew level through Aguero but because of away goal they still went out despite the best efforts from Joe Hart who nearly won them the tie with a last minute header just touched away by the Lisbon keeper. 

Aguero nets a brace but can't win the tie for City as they crash out of the competition.
I hope you'll all be watching the FA Cup matches this weekend as I will be trying frantically to find my mother a suitable gift for Mothering Sunday whilst also trying to fit in the games. Any ideas anyone???

Dan Broeders

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