April 2, 2008

English Premier League Weekend Report – 30th March

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:14 am by RJ

Well folks another round of fixtures have passed in the EPL and we sure have a title race thats most likely to go down to the wire and our first relegation casualty from the EPL being Derby County.

Manchester United consolidated their position at the top of the table with a crushing 4-0 demolition of the hapless Aston Villa. Cristiano Ronaldo got the ball rolling with his customary goal in the 18th minute of play with a stunning back flick that surely has to go down as one of the most audacious efforts on goal. What more can this precocious Portuguese magician come up with? 35 goals from 35 starts! And that too for a midfield player. Looks like we will all run out of superlatives fairly soon if he continues to maintain this sort of devastating form. Ronaldo then turned provider in the 33rd minute with peach of a cross from the right wing that Carlos Tevez made no mistake in burying in the back of the net. At this point it was vintage Manchester United who were threatening each time they came forward. Aston Villa to their credit had a few forays at the Manchester United defence but by far and large were absolutely over run by the red machine.

The second half carried on the same vein as Man Utd powered forward in search of the 3rd killer goal and duly got in the 53rd minuted when another piece exquisite skill created the opening for Wayne Rooney to round the goal and score his first goal in six games. The relief of getting over this mini scoring drought in his face was there for all to see. All Man Utd fans will now be hoping that this is the beginning of an avalanche of goals from the England striker to fire the red devils to glory in both the EPL and the champions league. However it was Cristiano Ronaldo with an audacious flick that split 2 Aston Villa defenders paving the way for Rooney.
Rooney again got into the scoresheet in the 70th with a simple tap in after great work again from Ronaldo from the flanks.

At this point it was just damage limitation for Aston Villa and how they were grateful that the score ended just 4-0 where it could have been much worse.

Manchester United now sit comfortably on 76 points 5 clear of Chelsea who again maintained their challenge with a dull 1-0 win against an unlucky Middlesborough side who hit the woodwork 3 times in the second half. Ricardo Carvalho scored a rare goal in the 6th minute and that was all a lacklustre chelsea could muster. However yet again Avram Grant’s team have proved that despite not playing well, they are effective enough to get a result when it matters.

Arsenal arguably produced the performance of the weekend to stay in the title race with an astonishing come from behind victory against a shell shocked Bolton who let slip a 2-0 half time lead to lose 3-2. The way that Arsenal pulled this result was all the more exciting as they were down to 10 men, Alou Diaby sent off for dangerous challenge on El Hadj Diouf. William Gallas Robin Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas in the last minute of play got the goals as Arsene Wenger’s exciting young team proved that they were no pushovers. It was truly a wonderful performance coupled with grit and determination in adverse conditions. So Kudos to Arsenal!!!!!!!!
For Bolton, it sends them deeper into relegation trouble and boss Gary Megson might be well advised to start preparing for life outside the top flight next season.

Liverpool strengthen their grip on 4th place with 1-0 win over merseyside neighbours Everton in a highly charged merseyside derby. Fernando Torres scoring early in the 7th minute to give beliguered boss Rafa Benitez a much needed respite after the debacle against Manchester United a week earlier. One needs to just wonder where this Liverpool side would be if not for the goals of Torres and midfield genius of Steve Gerrad. With a team full of international quality, how they have not put up a challenge for the title is a mind blowing mystery.In any case the result was much needed as they are now strong favourites to land the final champions league position.

At the bottom of the table, Derby County became the first side to get relegated from EPL when they could only muster a 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Fulham. The draw meant that it was mathematically impossible for Derby to escape the drop with 4th from bottom Birmingham also winning. With just 11 points all season they are 19 points behind Birmingham City with just 18 points to play for from the remaining 6 matches.

Newcastle eased their relegation fears considerbly with a thumping 4-1 win away at Tottenham Hotspurs for whom the wheels have come off of late after their Carling Cup Win. Darrent Bent gave Spurs an early lead but right on half time Nicky Butt equalised for the magpies. Newcastle came out during the 2nd half like men possessed and scored early when Geremi curled in a sublime free kick from the edge of the box. Further goals from Michael Owen and Obefemi Martins provided Kevin Keegan with hos first back to back win since taking charge in January. King Kev’s attacking philosophy seems like its beginning to reap dividends as Newcastle are 9 points of clear of 17th places Birmingham City. Is Kevin Keegan on his way to creating another team similar to the 90s when the magpies were easily the toast of the premiership with their all action style attacking football? For entertainment sake, lets hope so.

Well, another week of thrills and spills have gone by in the EPL. Hope you enjoyed this bulletin and Watch out for this space for reports on the coming weekends’ matches.

Ciao for now
Sporty Shank

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1 Comment »

  1. RJ said,

    Miss your soccer updates, roomie!


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