Mid-week football: A quick recap

Posted: April 17, 2014 in Football

Without even setting foot on a football pitch Arsenal and Liverpool were the day’s big winners. Despite a dream start at home to Sunderland, Manchester City were ahead inside the opening three minutes, City laboured for much of the game and were fortunate to come away with a point. Had Vito Mannone, the Sunderland goalkeeper, not fumbled the ball across the line then it would have been a second consecutive loss for City. City fans may point to Nasri’s glaring miss a minute after drawing level at 2-2 to say they should have won the game but that would have been harsh on Sunderland who fought valiantly and were deserving of at least a point. Whether it will be enough to survive is another matter, they need wins badly.

Sunderland could do worse than look at Crystal Palace for inspiration. A fourth consecutive win took them to the magical 40 point mark, a mark many didn’t believe they would reach. Tony Pulis deserves special praise for the job he has done. He won’t win any manager of the year awards, they are likely to go to Rodgers or Martinez, but the job he has done since November is nothing short of remarkable. This win put a rather sizeable dent in Everton’s Champions League hopes, with Martinez acknowledging afterwards that maybe the pressure was too much for his players.

Chelsea should be added to the list of “winners” from above. Like Liverpool they now have their destiny in the own hands. Win their remaining games and they will be Champions. Arsenal has a much easier run in than Everton and it is now hard not to see them falling into fourth, as usual.

In Spain Barcelona played Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final. Gareth Bale showed strength, pace and poise to poke the winner between Pinto’s legs in the 85th minute after he had raced along the touch line from inside his own half. The game could be summed up by the contrasting fortunes of last seasons two biggest transfers. Shortly after Bale had scored Neymar was put through by a delightfully weighted Xavi ball but watched his place shot cannon back off the left goal post into the gleeful arms of Iker Casillas. It hasn’t been Neymar’s year yet. But that could all change back in Brazil in a few short months time.

While across in Germany, Bayern put some abject recent performances behind them to thump first division Kaiserslautern 5-1 and set up another final with Borussia Dortmund, who won two nil on Tuesday despite being outplayed for large portions of the game by Wolfsburg. Dortmund will enter the game full of confidence given last week’s three nil victory over Bayern. Lewandowski to score the winner before his summer switch?

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Comments
  1. jowhidd says:

    Good update love. Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:56:55 +0000 To: jo_whiddon@hotmail.com

    Like

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