Sunday, March 23, 2008

Grand Sham Sunday - Premcorrespondent

PremCorr hated Easter when it was four Sundays in a row, you had to eat fish and express gratitude for having been saved two millenia or so ago. Thankfully, the Conservative Party belied their name (again) and swiftly transformed Easter to four days of commerce and entertainment (and kept the choccy-chugging). So it is with a heavy heart (all the heavier after the cholesterol was cranked up a notch or two thanks to Cadbury's) that I must report a paucity of Easter entertainment provided by the Premier League millionaires - at least until the last creme egg of the weekend.

Grand Slam Sunday got off to a slow start with the sham that Liverpool deserve to be counted among the Big Four. Outplayed from beginning to end by a hungrier, technically more gifted, Manchester United, they were lucky not to lose Carragher early on (well done Rooney for standing up, but let's not do that in a World Cup Final son), but goal-machine Mascherano soon saw that justice was done by charging across the field to engage the referee in a discussion about his competence. His second yellow was issued and, after a hissy fit last seen in a few years ago when a my three-year-old was denied a third Easter egg of the day, he left the field carrying Liverpool's hopes with him. Liverpool were lucky to score nil, United unlucky not to score six.

The other half of Grand Sl/ham Sunday saw the end of Arsenal's pretentions to the title, as they surrendered a single goal lead to Chelsea in general and Drogba in particular, who appeared to have bet his shirt on scoring. This was a big win for the Roman's (or is that Avram's) boys, with some courage being displayed by the players in protecting their 1250 game unbeaten run at home. Of course, the real beneficiary of Drogba's goals was sitting at Old Trafford, chewing away, wondering whether it would be cheeky to offer Rafa a glass of Argentinian Red Wine.

The supporting cast turned out on Saturday in a series of largely forgettable games. Everton slipped in their pursuit of Liverpool with a home draw to 4-0 experts West Ham, courtesy of a goal chalked out for offside despite the ball deflecting off a Hammer to an onside Yakubu. Everton's fifth place looks secure, as nearest pursuers Portsmouth and Aston Villa lost to Tottenham and Sunderland predictably and unpredictably, respectively. Blackburn's Bentley and Santa Cruz double act suddenly woke up again to see off Wigan - Mark Hughes boys aren't quite up to challenging for a European slot and Steve Bruce's boys aren't quite bad enough to go down. Rounding out the mid-table, Man City's anonymous second half of the season continued with an anonymous 0-0 against doomed Bolton.

Down amongst the scrappers, Middlesborough pulled themselves away from the trap-door with a 1-0 win over record-chasing Derby County in front of a lot of empty seats. Newcastle brought an Easter smile to Little Kev's gloomy face with a 2-0 victory over probably doomed Fulham with goals from yesterday's men Viduka and Owen. Finally, grim Steve Coppell conjured another win for his Reading team over grim Scot Alex McLeish's Birmingham City.

PremCorr's off to spend the next hour brushing his teeth.


andrewm said...

Congratulations to Chelsea.

MotM said...

No comment on LFC's implosion AndrewM?

I'm really interested in LFC fans' views as I would be absolutely outraged if Everton had delivered that performance: I couldn't see a redeeming feature at all.

Next Sunday is the Derby and I fear a backlash as Liverpool will surely be better.

mimi said...

Mouth: there were no redeeming features in LFC's performance. There were rather a plethora of condemning features. It was miserable and depressing, and shaming.

andrewm said...

Mouth, it was largely what I expected. As my brother said to me yesterday (he sometimes reads this so I have to give him credit), we're nowhere near their level and it's as well to have that made clear to us.

Confident for this weekend?

andrewm said...

Ahem ... perhaps I should have read your entire comment.

Good luck anyway. No, I mean it.

MotM said...

Cheers Andrew.

If we had a full squad to choose from (not that any manager has that luxury very often), I might fancy us to sneak it, but Cahill looks unlikely to play and Johnson and Vaughan are out, so I see a draw as an excellent result.

Anonymous said...

AndrewM, Motm

Judging by the strong pessimism reflected by both of you, in relation with the forthcoming merseyside derby, I must say the 80's never looked so distant...
On another note, check out Zarate who scored his first prem goal for b'gham city last saturday. He's, in my opinion, one of the best fowards to have come out of Argentina in the last 5-6 years.
Have a look

pipita said...

Sorry, that was supposed to be me, pipita

bluedaddy said...

Whoa there you glum Pool fans! Games like this happen, and it's possible to learn a great deal from them. But I reckon Liverpool aren't as far away from Man Utd as you might think.

The rather lengthy hoodoo that Man U have over Liverpool, and especially Rafa's Liverpool, will have to be resolved at some point, but it's stupid draws that are costing Liverpool, and now Arsenal, not defeats to rivals.

If anything has been learned by Rafa from this season, it is that one very high quality player will make so much more difference than swapping one set of mediocre bit part players for another.

bluedaddy said...

PS We rocked! Don't you just love Uncle Avi?

andrewm said...

BD, I agree to an extent, but there's an edge that champions have and Liverpool clearly don't have it domestically. It's most obvious against a side like United, but it's the same thing that costs us against weaker sides.

I would think that a 14 point gap to United flatters us over the course of the season, and as you know by their standards they've been mediocre.

PS. You did well. Very well.

bluedaddy said...

Maybe so Andrew, but just think how much better a side Liverpool would be just by adding Evra.

guitougoal said...

it was justice Sunday.

munni said...

Guitou, rough justice

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