Monday, November 06, 2006

what a weekend of football results around Europe!

An amazing weekend in terms of results as the league leaders of Germany, Spain, France and 2 of the English big four stumbled in their respective leagues. Congratulations are in order to plucky Cottbus, who held Werder Bremen to a 1-1 draw; Deportivo, who battled out a 1-1 draw with Barcelona; Rennes, who beat Lyon 1-0 with the dismissal of their captain and star midfielder Juninho; West Ham, who upset Arsenal 1-0, and last but certainly not least Spurs who beat Chelsea 2-1, as captain John Terry was sent off.

There were also unexpected defeats to Real Madrid, who went down 2-1 at home to Celta and Milan, who lost to Atalanta, but I no longer consider the latter to be in the Serie A race at all, so that's that. Congralutions also to Sevilla who now go top of La Liga, one point clear of Barcelona off the back of their win over Osasuna - more about that in my La Liga round-up to come.

I know many of these results were born of controversial refereeing decisions - or at least the managers will say so, Wenger, Mourinho and Ancelotti alongst those who have already started complaining. Some of them are even correct to do so. But as Frank Rijkaard said before Barca-Chelsea, it's the loser who complains about the result. When the rub of the green goes against you - and it usually doesn't go against a big team, we all know that - that's sad, but ultimately you can't blame the match officials for everything.

A related question is whether Champions League fatigue is one of the reasons for this. I think there's probably a good case for it - Chelsea can be forgiven for being a bit exhausted both emotionally and physically after that epic battle against Barca, and so on. It's interesting to note that Manchester United, who rested several starters and lost their CL game against Copenhagen, went on and won their weekend Premiership game.

In conclusion, it's good to see several of the big leagues opening up a bit. There are real title races going on now in most of the big leagues - maybe not France, as Lyon's lead is far too big, but definitely Germany, Spain, Italy and even England. Good to see.

Currently working on: that 'state of affairs' post about Argentina, and one about Barca's little rabbit, Javier Saviola. And of course a La Liga round-up.


Anonymous said...

Great weekend review with focus on leaders losing in different European leagues.

Nice job!

Now...Linda...where can I send you an e-mail if I need to?

linda said...

Thanks, Seba! You can email me at blackwhiteandgrey at gmail dot com.