Thursday, March 25, 2010

Midweek Matches: Recap & Review

Some big games this midweek in the Prem! First and foremost, title challengers Chelsea met Portsmouth, a club whose fate as relegation fodder has been sealed for some time. On paper, this fixture is a snoozefest, but Chelsea’s worrying dip in form lately meant that 3 pts from this match were absolutely vital. Beyond that, it’s always interesting to see a manager take on his former club, as Avram “the Grump” Grant did on Wednesday. But this one had no surprises, as the Blues ran out with a confidence boosting 5-0 victory. Drogba and Malouda each had braces, as Lamps rounded out the scoring with his head in the final minutes.

The ever-intriguing race for 4th had some big matches on Wednesday too, as Man City hosted the Toffees. A well-organized Everton finished 2-0 up, but the most interesting bit of this match was Mancini’s touch line bust-up with David Moyes. Moyes took just a little too long giving the ball back to a City player late in the game, and Mancini barged into the Everton gaffer, before the altercation got both managers sent off. Personally, I wouldn’t fancy Mancini in that one, nor would I like to go toe to toe with the gruff Scot.

Villa had a chance to boost their Champions League hopes as Sunderland came to visit, but Steve Bruce’s impressive side held on to come away with a point after Frazier Campbell’s earlier effort was cancelled out by the on-form Carew. On a side-note, no goals for DBent in this one, who is one of the most under-rated players in the Prem—at least in my humble opinion.

Blackburn Rovers also continued their remarkable run of form at home against Birmingham City, winning 2-1. In the FA Cup, ‘Arry’s Spurs sent Fulham crashing out with three 2nd half goals, but they still have Europa League aspirations after last week’s incredible triumph over Juventus.

As mentioned on Monday, Zola’s problems continued with a horrible loss at home to Wolves, 3-1. The Hammers only goal came in stoppage time, and the Upton Park faithful were calling for the manager’s head long before then. David Gold has asked for patience and support for Zola from the fans, but this problem isn’t going away.

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