The Premier League
Arsenal 3-1 Burnley – Terrible misses were fittingly the theme of the day as Arsenal’s players pledged their support for a player they missed terribly by promising to “Do it for Rambo” forgetting of course that all of us who watched Sylvester Stallone paraded at Goodison Park last season know Rambo is actually an Everton supporter. Nicklas Bendtner was the most sympathetic to the situation, clearly feeling empathy towards a team who’ve been crippled away from home more than once this season, by treating them to a Paul Daniels-like demonstration of prowess in the box (not a lot) by magically missing 400 chances, each more astounding than the last. Eventually Theo Walcott overcame his England blues to show Fabio Capello how devastating he’d be if Burnley were allowed to contest the World Cup, and Andrei Arshavin capped a 3-1 victory – which should have really been an 8-1 victory – by pretending he was being electrocuted….or something.
Wolves 0-1 Manchester United – Gamefully taking the theme of inefficiency in front of goal to their hearts, Manchester United and Wolves both conspired to miss “easier to score” chances in the closing stages of a rather flat game at Molineux. Shorn of their most prolific duo of Wayne Rooney and Own Goal up front, and with Dimitar Berbatov deciding being a striker was really very silly and he’d rather play 40 yards from goal instead, United had to rely on Paul Scholes to take the points, grabbing his 100th Premier League goal in the process. Wolves created more chances against the Champions than most teams manage to get (three), but still conspired to be generally woeful at executing them, an affliction that seemed to infect United as well, as substitute Mame Biram Diouf somehow missed a hat trick of chances in a mere 8 minutes, one of which was possibly the worst header ever pulled off in a top flight football match. Wolves nearly won the game in the dying minutes (and if minutes could die, they’d have been throwing themselves off bridges to get away from this one) when Sam Vokes scored an excellent 2-point conversion from a yard out, only to be reminded he was playing the wrong sport. The match could’ve ended about 3-2, but if it had, it would’ve been the biggest false impression since Jordan fell over in the sand.
West Ham 1-2 Bolton – Kevin Davies continued to be the scourge of West Ham, scoring his 8th goal in 10 games against ‘Ammers and his 423rd 1950s center forwards header. Jack Wilshere won the game as early as the 16th minute with a delightful little upright scissor kick, a moment that could’ve been as significant an a arrival announcement as Wayne Rooney’s curler against Arsenal or David Beckham’s half way hoof – if we didn’t all already know who he was and if he hadn’t been playing for Bolton. Alessandro Diamanti, sporting a teenager’s beard, pulled one back for the Claret and sort of Purple’s, and Stanislas crashed one against the bar in the last minute but Bolton prevailed. In related news, Kieron Dyer is still alive.
Everton 5-1 Hull City – More misses at Goodison where Yakubu missed a penalty and a sack full of chances, Landon Donovan said goodbye to a club who’ll miss him, and Robbie Savage made a late play to be one of Liverpool’s Spice Boys in the Match of the Day 2 studio, missing the boat by about 13 years. Hull should’ve scored in the first minute when Garcia decided to do the Can-Can rather than the “I can” before the feminine eyebrows of Mikel Arteta took complete control of the game and Everton ran riot. Landon Donovan capped his successful loan spell in the style befitting someone with a name like Landon Donovan and Jack Rodwell – progressively forgetting he’s supposed to be a defensive midfielder – added a couple more zero’s to his price tag. Of all the teams trying to better themselves on the social ladder of Premiership football, Everton look by far the best right now. It’s a crying shame for them to have gone through the season without messes Jagielka and Arteta, who, had they been available, would almost certainly have had them pushing hard for fourth, if not 3rd on recent evidence.
The FA Cup
Portsmouth 2-0 Birmingham – Provided not just another example of the romance of football, as Portsmouth earned themselves a trip to Wembley before they implode into themselves, but also a great example of it’s knack of making a point, when Liam Ridgewell’s disallowed goal managed to prove what utter Idiots FIFA are better than words ever could. Pompey shouldn’t be denied their romance though, and after possibly the stupidest goal ever scored put them ahead, Frédéric Piquionne counter balanced it with a glorious second.
Reading 2-4 Aston Villa – Villa continue to be involved in the most engrossing Cup encounters as their gentle fairy tale monster John Carew scored a hat trick to bring them back from 2-0 down. Getting Chelsea in the semi’s is better for them I feel, as it’s usually harder to beat the bigger teams in Finals than Semi’s for some bafflingly incomprehensible and possibly imaginary footballing reason.
Chelsea 2-0 Stoke – Note to commentators – Neither John Terry, Wayne Bridge or any of us exasperated mere mortals are going to be able to “get over it” or “put it in the past” if you keep mentioning it every time John “He’s still a fantastic captain despite everything don’t cha know” Terry does anything good, bad, or completely inconsequential. And mentioning how we can all stop mentioning it now 10 times in each half, surprisingly, actually constitutes mentioning it. Though I did get a giggle out of “Rory Delap taking the long route round Frank Lampard”.
Fulham 0-0 Spurs – If you have a Revlon 9129CSU 1800w Super Power Dryer (£10.99 from most good retailers) a prolonged period of application on it’s maximum heat setting – providing you apply evenly – can in fact reduce the amount of time it takes for paint to dry by about 45 minutes. Which should be enough time to catch Fulham and Tottenham contest a decently entertaining second half, but still not score, thanks mainly to Hilarious Gomes.
You can follow me on Twitter here; http://twitter.com/oscarpyejeary, or alternatively follow me around in real life, but please keep a respectable distance if you’re weird, and bring your own lunch.