7 Points in 7 Days of Football
It may have been remembered by others for Valentines day and Pancake day, but the past week in football has been a rollercoaster for fans.
Here we discuss the major talking points of the week.
On Monday, West Brom announced the decision to sack their Chairman and Chief Executive following “Albion’s poor results this season”. Only 3 days later, the news broke that four senior players at the club had stole a taxi during a training trip in Barcelona. It was later revealed that the players included club captain Jonny Evans.
The Baggies currently sit bottom of the Premier League and seven points adrift of safety.
The long-standing argument over technology in football has been rumbling on for many years now. But VAR was dealt a substantial blow on Saturday evening at the John Smith’s Stadium. Juan Mata put the ball into the net for United but the video assistant referee was called in to assess whether the Spaniard was offside. The goal was eventually ruled out as Mata was deemed offside by the worst straight line in history!
Surely if we are serious about VAR, we can at least make sure straight lines are being used?
It was quite the week for the English clubs in the Champions League! Manchester City breezed to a 4-0 win in Switzerland and Liverpool put 5 past Porto. Spurs showed great spirit to come back from a 2-0 deficit to come away from the Juventus Stadium with a draw and, crucially, 2 away goals.
With United and Chelsea (albeit against Barcelona) still to come, could we be looking at an all English Champions League semi-final?
What’s your favourite celebration from a manager? Di Canio sliding down the touchline at St James’ Park? Mourinho’s galloping down the Old Trafford touchline? Well we have another to add to the collection as Mick McCarthy showed how much a ‘winner’ in a local derby means to a football manager. The Yorkshireman screamed several expletives when Luke Chambers nodded home in the 89th minute at Carrow Road.
Unfortunately for Mick, the Canaries pulled level in the 95th minute.
The 5th round of the FA Cup served up some real treats as Rochdale grabbed an unlikely draw away at Spurs, meaning they get a chance to play at Wembley in the replay.
However, that result was toppled by Wigan who overturned Manchester City in a hectic encounter at the DW Stadium. A controversial red card, a petulant half-time scuffle with Pep playing the main protagonist and a full-time fracas involving Wigan fans and Sergio Aguero all played second fiddle to Will Grigg’s winner for Wigan!
Who said the magic of the cup is gone?
For the last 6 seasons, Juventus have geld a firm grip on the Scudetto. But this season Napoli are going head to head with The Old Lady for the crown of Italian football. Juventus set the early pace on Sunday morning, picking up a 1-0 win in the Turin derby. Napoli were quick to follow suit with a 1-0 win of their own and restoring their 1 point advantage at the top of the table.
With every other major domestic league in Europe seemingly wrapped up, it’s all eyes on Italy to provide some title race drama as we enter the business end of the season.
We often like to talk about derbies producing feisty affairs in European football, but none can compare to the Vitoria-Bahia derby in Brazil this weekend. The match was abandoned in the 79th minute after an astonishing 10 players were sent off in the match!