Saturday, May 03, 2014

I Turned My Head for Just a Moment

And this happened:

1)  Sunderland drew with Man City at the Etihad and then drove down the road to London and defeated Chelsea at Stamford bridge. I relished watching Mourinho suffer his first ever defeat at home --- to a team at the bottom of the league!

2) David Moyes got sacked with just four games remaining in United's season. Apparently there was all kinds of dissatisfaction at Old Trafford, and by all accounts, Moyes was the wrong man for the job. To be fair, though, who would be the right man for the job? Anyone coming in after Sir Alex Ferguson would have a tough time of it.

3) Bayern Munich got its teutonic ass kicked hard by Real Madrid in the 2nd leg of their Champions League semi-final --- and I loved it. In what seemed like a role-reversal, RM played an attacking-style, while BM settled into tiki-taka courtesy of former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola. It was such a devastating loss, Guardiola has challenged the club to keep him on as manager.
So Real Madrid goes on to play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon, on May 24, after Chelsea gave it up at Stamford Bridge. Atletico was just too stylish and skilled for Mourinho's bus-parking tactics. The Special One, as the The Guardian's The Fiver refers to him, blames Eden Hazard and David Luiz is sad.

4) Everton crept ever closer to 4th place Arsenal (whose terrible form put their 17th straight Champions League qualification in jeopardy), but managed to lose to Southampton on April 26th. That gave Arsenal a bit of breathing room as they prepared to face Newcastle at Home. The return of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey (and Lukas Podolski) resulted in a 3-0 win and a 4-point cushion.

5) Liverpool visited Stamford Bridge, Mourinho parked the bus, and now Man City is in control of the Premier League title-race. The Reds' 2-0 loss to the Blues now forces the Citizens to win their remaining games to claim that title.

6) Around an hour ago Sunderland beat United at Old Trafford, Cardiff lost to Stoke, and Fulham lost to Newcastle. So, Sunderland, who looked to be on it's way down to the Championship League, is safe from relegation, and both Cardiff and Fulham are officially sunk. There is one more team to be relegated, and that will likely be Norwich.

So all of this sets up a very interesting scenario. Everton is playing Man City today. If it wins or draws, it moves to within one point of Arsenal and, essentially, hands the title to Liverpool, who has two games at hand. Everton doesn't relish handing the title to its main, local rival, but I doubt it would deliberately tank the game; its hunger for the Champions League is too strong.
However, Arsenal has two games at hand --- it plays West Brom tomorrow --- and it only has to win one to qualify, mathematically, for the last Champions League spot. Poor, poor Everton is in a tight spot.

All in all, it's an exciting penultimate week in the Premier League. I like neither City nor Everton, but I'm going with Everton on this day because I would love to see Liverpool win the League. Scouser for a day, I am.

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