Arsenal 2-0 West Ham – With Cesc Fabregas back in action, Arsenal went about West Ham early on in the usual sexy football fashion. So sexy it was apparently that Denilson got a little carried away and followed his opener with some kind of bizarre simulated sex act celebration. This seemed to galvanize the ‘Ammers and Franco – looking like a badass Mexican mercenary in a John Woo film – missed a good chance to equalize before the alien Thomas Vermaelen harshly conceded a penalty at the end of the first half. The hosts survived however as Manuel Almunia saved Alessandro Diamanti’s spot kick by running towards him very fast, much to the obvious obliviousness of the officials. For much of the second half Arsenal countered the problem of Nicklas Bendtner not being nearly as good in real life as he is in his own head by playing Fabregas and Eboue up front on their own – or it certainly seemed that way at any rate. They finally killed off the game with a late penalty, for which Rob Green in the West Ham goal decided to try his own method of off putting goalkeeping tactics by standing quite noticeably further towards the left hand side of his goal. This, one would assume, would be to entice Fabregas to hit it to his right – which he did – but actually seemed to be some kind of confusing double bluff as Green dived towards his left anyway and Fabregas scored quite easily in roughly the center of the goal. It rained a lot and Pat Rice looked like an old lesbian.
Pompey 3-2 Hull – Over at the Fratton Park baths Pompey continued to be resilient in the face of obliteration by conspiring to out-want this match despite having absolutely nothing to live for anymore. With Phil Brown now free to haunt the tanning salons of East Riding, Hull had to rely on the grizzled features of Ian Dowie (which was nicest way I could think of to put that) for inspiration in his new capacity as Football Management Consultant. Quite who he’s supposed to be consulting on football management we aren’t sure, but it didn’t help much as the Tigers managed to let the lead slip twice against a side reduced to playing with Jobsite on their shirts, as a poignant reminder of where their careers post season most likely lie. After a ridiculously rubbish opening goal from Caleb Forlan – which hit about 4 people on it’s way in – Pompey drew level with an even more absurd strike (which isn’t a fitting word for it really) from Tommy Smith, which was scrambled into the net with all the delicacy of four Elephants play wrestling in a swimming pool. Hull took the lead again after a slick build up move involving referee Phil Dowd was eventually scuffed into the net by Forlan. Jamie O’Hara provided some much needed quality with a stunning free kick before Kanu prodded in the winner to spark quite beautiful celebrations from the Pompey faithful who were quite simply – and quite rightly – living in the moment. Carpe Diem my brothers, Carpe Diem!
Villa 2-2 Wolves – In one of those games that looks good in a highlights package but was actually complete dirge for the most part, Wolves managed to dent arch-rivals Villa’s challenge for fourth and could’ve won this game but for the cunning awareness of John Carew and the pesky idea of giving advantage to attackers in offside situations. After Villa had taken the lead, Jody Craddock equalized by diverting in a Ronald Zubar shot that was – somehow – going backwards before a scrappy James Milner own goal put the Wanderers ahead. A second dubiously onside strike from Carew completed proceedings but not before I’d taken a sharp disliking to Stewart Downing’s bright red boots. Coloured boots should be earned I’ve decided. Possibly on some kind of Karate belt system whereby players have to reach a certain level of goodness to attain them. The better they are, the more garish the colours they’re allowed to wear. Stewart Downing should be on light brown at the moment.
Wigan 1-0 Burnley – Possibly the two least glamorous clubs in the league managed to thoroughly live up to their status’ by playing out a shocking game where the most interesting thing for the majority was someone elbowing someone else in the face (which to be fair is probably the most interesting thing that happens in either Wigan or Burnley on any given night.) After 80 minutes of balls hitting off various peoples random body parts the tie finally came to life in the last 10 where upon it suddenly became end to end stuff – all be it in a bumbling, incompetent sort of a way – and Rodallega grabbed the winner in stoppage time.
Stoke 1-2 Spurs – Tottenham continue to avoid the usual Tottenham slip-ups and continue to make it harder for me to keep mentioning that every week without anyone noticing. Eidur Gudjohnsen scored his first Spurs goal with his shin before beautifully dummying for Niko Kranjcar to net the winner. Dean Whitehead was send off for not being as good as Luka Modric and Spurs finally found a method of dealing with Rory Delap’s long throws and an effective use for Peter Crouch all in one go by getting the striker to stand in the penalty box and head them away. The best part of the whole game however came when referee Mike Dean momentarily forgot he wasn’t on Strictly Come Dancing and theatrically awarded Stoke a penalty by pointing at the spot like a wizard waving an imaginary wand. Modric looks like an evil hamster.
Sunderland 3-1 Birmingham – With the Stadium of Light doing it’s best impression of the Riverside by being half empty, the good Darren Bent showed up to give what fans were there a good day out. In a game where there was actually quite a lot of quality on display, Bent’s quick brace was pegged back by an Henry-esque goal from Cameron Jerome before Sunderland finally scored in the last minute rather than conceding in the last minute and Craig Gordon’s continued heroics were rewarded rather than thwarted as they had been against Man City last week.
Other Things I noticed;
Mikel Arteta moved the ball 7 yards forward for his free kick goal against Bolton. Chelsea and Blackburn seemed to be playing on a pitch from the 1970s. It was raining absolutely everywhere. Carlos Tevez is better than I thought he was, John Terry could start a fight with himself in an empty room – but considering most people would quite like to start a fight with John Terry, it’s not surprising he would too. El Hadji Diouf seems to have part of the touchline glued to his head and I still don’t understand that advert where Wayne Rooney is playing himself. Playing with your shirt off makes you faster? Is that it? What’s that all about?
You can follow Oscar on Twitter here; http://twitter.com/oscarpyejeary where you can ask him why he continued to try and cut his own hair despite continuing to make it worse each time.