Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekly round-up: 9 - 11 March 2012



Vishal Savalani, stuck all the way in Delaware in the US, gives us once more his weekly round-up. Are you started to get used to it? Big thanks to him for his weekly contributions.

France:


After getting knocked out of the CL in Nicosia, Lyon faced 3rd place Lille on Saturday at the Stade Gerland. Lisandro and his friends started strongly and dominated the 1st half. They were 2-0 up with only 3 shots on goal. Lacazette (who missed a penalty against Apoel) and Lisandro scored for the hosts. However Lille got one back right before the half time whistle. The 2nd half saw Lille dominate, they also should have had a penalty but the referee didn’t see Cris elbowing a Lille player. Lyon defended very well. Sir Alex Ferguson attended the game as rumors have it that he was looking at Eden Hazard. However, he told journalists that he was on a “two-day holiday” and had just come to see the game. When asked if he came to monitor Hazard, his response was a clear “No”. With this win, Lyon have closed the gap to 4 points on 3rd place Lille.

PSG won 2-1 away at Dijon. Sissoko was sent off for an aggressive challenge in the 1st half. Tiene scored first for PSG with Dijon equalizing. Dijon dominated as they were against 10 men and had a corner in the 91st minute. PSG responded with a counter attack involving Menez and Gameiro. The striker who had just come off the bench scored to make it 2-1. 2nd place Montpellier won 3-0 at home and it could have been more had it not been for Caen’s goalkeeper.

Marseille lost twice this week (Evian and Ajaccio). They’ve now lost their last 4 games in the league and seem off the pace for that vital 3rd place. They haven’t scored in over 400 minutes. The battle for 3rd place keeps getting tighter with Saint-Etienne winning and now only a point away from 3rd place. Their coach Galtier claims not to be interested in CL football for next season. Teams such as Rennes and Toulouse are still in the hunt despite being held to draws against Auxerre and Lorient respectively.

Next week’s key game: Saint-Etienne vs Lyon. It’s a derby and only 3 points separate these two teams, with both fighting for 3rd spot.

Spain:


Real Madrid are flying like ballers. Nothing can stop them. They came back from behind and ended up winning 3-2 away to Betis Seville with Ronaldo scoring twice and Gonzalo once. Benzema has recovered from his injury. Real were lucky to get all 3 points as Betis should have had at least a penalty. In other news, Pep and Jose are still arguing.

Barca won with Messi scoring twice, so the gap remains at 10 points. Xavi hustled and passed it to Fabregas who crossed it into the box for Messi to score his first. He then converted a penalty. While the top 2 seems to be decided, Malaga are pushing for a CL spot. With Levante losing, Toulalan and his team are now 4th, 4 points behind Valencia.

Valencia were up 2-0, but Mallorca came back and made it 2-2. Espanyol won 5-1 against Rayo with a hat-trick from their Nigerian star Kalu Uche. Bilbao lost to Osasuna despite a goal from Llorente. The 4th CL spot and Europa league spots are far from decided with teams like Atletico Madrid (Falcao scoring from a beautiful counter-attack), Espanyol, Levante, Malaga, Bilbao, and Osasuna all in contention.

Italy:


Juventus are drawing too many games! They are still unbeaten, but have now drawn 14 games out of 27. The Bianconeris were held to a goalless draw at Genoa while Milan won 2-0 at home to Lecce. Ibracadabra scored a great goal, but was apparently caught shouting at a journalist when she asked him if Allegri was upset with his performance at the Emirates. AC Milan, who trailed Juve earlier in the season, are now top of the table with a 4 point lead. Udinese and Lazio both lost. Napoli are the biggest winners of the weekend. Lavezzi and Hamsik scored good goals to lead them to a 6-3 win at home. They join Udinese on 46 points and are only 2 points behind 3rd place Lazio.

Inter won 2-0 at Chievo with goals from Samuel and Milito in the dying minutes. Milito had missed a penalty in the 1st half. The Inter fans voiced their anger at Sneijder and had a banner telling him to stop spending time on Twitter. Sneijder listened to them and showed his class. Manager Claudio Ranieiri, who was nearly in tears at the end of the game, was very happy with Wes’ performance.

Germany:


Dortmund were held to a goalless draw ending their 8-game winning streak. Bayern won 7-1 at home against Hoffenheim with Robben scoring 2, Gomes bagging a hat-trick and Ribery scoring once. They close the gap to 4 points. Gladbach were held as well, and are now without a win in their last 3 games. They seem to be off the pace for the title, as they trail Dortmund by 7 points. Schalke won and are back in the race for a CL spot. Podolski who denied reports linking him to Arsenal was sent off for a head butt; however, his team Koln beat relegation strugglers Herta Berlin.

England:


I wonder what Andy Gray has to say about that female assistant who disallowed Richards goal? That was a great decision! City lost at Swansea. Swansea missed a penalty during the 1st half. Perhaps Super Mario was fouled too, but Swansea definitely deserved their win. Bad day at the office for the Citizens who gave up top spot to rivals Manchester United. The Champions won at home 2-0 to WBA with Rooney scoring twice. Paul Pogba came off the bench - still no official words on him signing a new contract?

Chelsea won 1-0 at home to Stoke, Fuller got sent off for kicking Ivanovic. What was he thinking? Fernando Torres has now gone over 24 hours without scoring a goal, and refused Mata’s invitation to take a penalty during their mid-week FA cup win at Birmingham.

Spurs lost to Everton and have now lost their last 3 matches. The baby Gooners don’t seem to be worried about their upcoming GCSE exams. Solid performances in the past few games means they are in the hunt for 3rd spot. A win on Monday vs Newcastle will see them close the gap to 1 point on Spurs.

Blackburn beat Wolves 2-0 to get out of the relegation zone! Cisse scored (offside) but QPR lost 2-1 at Bolton. Wigan, Wolves, QPR, Blackburn and Bolton are all in a massive relegation battle.

Bonus:


Fergie caught yawning - 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKBgIxHhGsQ

Neymar on fire - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2btgPymqNA&feature=share

Check what happens at 1:00:35. It’s well worth it! http://fr.justin.tv/andy_cappet/b/311388228

1 comment: