What a seven days – it’s been great football-wise. After the Monday Arsenic score bore the Man City Monaco game on Tuesday was a classic. I humbly apologise for previously calling Radamel Falcao a busted flush while at Man U and Chelsea, he certainly rammed that one down my throat. With me sniffily disbelieving the pre-match stats the cool Colombian had already scored 20 this season, Mr In Form promptly scored two more, and that despite missing a pen. The second, an exquisite chip that somehow beat the excellent Caballero was – simply fabulous – and yet the man found himself on the losing side. City, for once looked awesome themselves – even Sterling scored. As for the Sergio saga – any club that can think of starting with a fit Aguero on the bench doesn’t deserve anything. But hey, playing like Tuesday the Blues could go all the way in t’ Champions league, especially given weird results like Barca conceding four against PSG.
Wednesday – did you see the Seville Leicester game? Enough (maybe, see below) has been written about Caesar Claudio’s assassination, but those Andalucians looked as slick and deadly as had been predicted (La Liga tables don’t lie). If Schmeichel hadn’t saved the pen (not as good as his dad, too flashy) it would have been 3 – 0. But with a sudden nostalgic pang of ‘Hey, hang on, I remember…’, a combination of Drinkwater and Vardy suddenly reversed the hearse, to put the Foxes back in with a shout at that ‘King Stadium next week. Hey, you don’t think – nah, but wait – this is football, folks. Champions…dreams… Ranieri… wake up, John, this is February 2017, and Leicester are seriously around the DDD.
Thursday… the Alli-gator snapped spitefully to show that although the young man from Milton Keynes has come far, he still has a long way to go to become the full shilling. To me Dele Alli cost Spurs that game and their place in the Europa quarter finals. A top quality team like Tottenham currently competing again for the Prem title should not go out of a European competition to a side like Gent. The ten men left had a real go, showing great spirit, but needed their best midfielder – and he wasn’t there, guilty of an appalling lapse of control that could have ended another young man’s career. Shame – and karma…(see Sunday*)
The weekend was more predictable with Chelsea snaring the Swans on Saturday to look unassailable oop top – but down ‘dere in the Dreaded Drop Department big Sam at last reverted to type, having at last seemingly taught the Eagles to fly again (with the help of the wayward sinner Sakho). Down by t’ Riverside nothing’s going right, the Karankies can’t even buy a goal. Defoe down – well almost if he doesn’t score – are Sunderland after too many nearly-down campaigns…
Sunday* Stoke copped the Europa backlash 4 – 0 with a Kane hat trick – and guess who redeemed himself with a fourth? Only sinner Dele – good boy, no nasty stuff, eh? Yeah, OK, sigh… that ‘King Ibrahamovic proved you can amble around for 88 minutes, run, kick and head for two while around the ruler his young lightweight underlings strained to compete at Wembley. The hulking Swede duly kept the flak off miserable Mou’s back to win the Awful Cup and remind the Red hordes what they are supposed to enjoy. But I still can’t work those Saints out, can you? Those two key centre backs out, one sold, the other injured proved crucial, but then that gifted Gabbo stunned the Red Army for a good while before big Noddy cruelly rang the bell that’s football.
Monday Night Homework: Leicester City 3 Liverpool 1: explain, using the word Shakespeare. Here’s a view: most of the Leicester players who won the Prem are actually very ordinary players, unlike say the Chelsea team of Champions who imploded under Mourinho. But the feisty Foxes all came together last season and peaked wonderfully – and played out of their skins for one season only under a ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man-manager’ basis. It all clicked, everything went right to stun the establishment of the football world. But now, finally and embarrassingly the Foxes have crashed back to Planet Earth in the piranha-polluted Prem, a long and hard way to fall in such a short time. BTW Liverpool were awful. It’s a funny old game (thanks for that, Jimbo, hope you’re hanging on OK, Mate))