Everton vs Chelsea – What Man United would give to still have Louis Saha playing along side Wayne Rooney. Slightly less than £30.75m probably. Oh well, the next best thing would be to have their former front man do a right number on their nearest and dearest title challengers. And so it transpired as Saha, with a bizarre glowing hair-do that looked like someone had exploded a Terry’s Chocolate Orange on his head, struck twice against Chelsea. Watched over by Frank Lampard Snr, who joins Roy Hodgson and Arsene Wenger in the ranks of football luminaries who now look like comedy cartoon birds from a Cosgrove Hall series, Chelsea couldn’t deal with Everton who put in a stonking performance and could’ve beaten the league leaders by a greater margin. Another great performance by Landon Donovan, who twice set up Saha in the first half and won a penalty which the Frenchmen missed, should give John Terry more things to worry about before the World Cup rolls round.
Aston Villa vs Man United – O. Goal continues his blistering run of form for the reds (cunningly disguised as the blacks on this occasion) as United missed the opportunity to go top after Villa all but lay down for them in the second half. Presumably cautious after last seasons second half collapse in the race for fourth, Villa seemed far more concerned with protecting a point despite facing 10 men, a home crowd and a referee almost purposefully trying to get every single decision completely wrong. Antonio Valencia continued to show how wonderfully adept he is at not using his left foot on any occasion, no matter how useful it could prove to be, and Martin O’Neill’s penchant for wearing football boots continues to baffle me. You aren’t going to bring yourself on are you Martin? Are you?
Arsenal vs Liverpool – Two giants of English football somehow conspired to produce one of the least attractive games of the season as Arsenal and Liverpool attempted to out play badly each other at the Emirates Stadium. A neat microcosm of the encounter was provided midway through the second half when David N’Gog then Tomas Rosicky were both put through on goal in quick succession only to be seemingly playing a game of ‘who can control the ball most like a Sunday league player’ and fluff their lines completely. For the record, Rosicky won. He did however provide the one class act of the match, putting across a pinpoint ball for Diaby to score the winner. Fuss will no doubt be made of Cesc Fabregas handling the ball on the box line whilst scratching his head in the last minute, but since neither of the possible fouls that lead to the free kick were actually fouls to begin with, it doesn’t really matter.
Spurs vs Wolves – On a pitch comprised equally of snow, mud and grass, Tottenham once again remembered they were Tottenham and lost a winnable match at a crucial time of the season. Harry Redknapp, inexplicably looking like man in heavy prosthetics disguised as Harry Redknapp, said he was disappointed, and well he might be, as these are the games Champions League placed teams win, and Tottenham seem to always loose when close to attaining that status. Former Spurs striker Paul Walsh, punditing on Sky Sports, decided the reason for this was they had “too many footballers in the team.” I think they could have about 4 more and still lose because, unfortunately, they’d still be Tottenham.
West ‘Am vs Birmingham – Gianfranco Zola, currently challenging Alan Shearer for the “no one can tell I’m bald if I keep the tufts at the front” man of the year, finally caught, a break as his West Ham team overcame Birmingham. The ‘Ammers have played some good football this year under the missing link but, like Portsmouth, just seem to have rubbed someone ‘up there’ the wrong way this season. The sight of Alessandro Diamanti leading the team to a group hug with Zola after breaking the deadlock with an inch perfect free kick was a lovely sight for ‘Ammers fans and anyone who thought the PG Tips monkeys where cruelly treated.
Other Things I Noticed this Week:
Blackburn could hit a barn door with a banjo, as long as the barn door was standing right in the middle of the goal. Carloz Tevez obviously studied at the Julian Dicks “try and knock the keeper the f*** out” school of penalty taking. Wolves’ David Jones’ features are all far too big for his face, and Burnley’s club emblem looks like a West Ham emblem designed from a bad memory on an Atari 800.