That Was The Week That Was

From the outside looking in, you would envisage a bit of a crisis down at Cardiff. From a fans perspective, we know that we are almost certainly going to be heading straight back down at the end of the season. On Super Sunday, Sky Sports made it abundantly clear that they only wanted to maximise the viewership of the final day of the Ryder Cup, by televising Cardiff against Burnley.

And what a pile of rubbish it was. According to Bill Edgar, 8 minutes and 15 seconds of the game was taken up by waiting for Sean Morrison’s long throws. Considering the Bluebirds (undeservedly) lost 2-1, they could have mixed things up a little bit.

Asked how he plans to solve the defensive crisis his side are currently enduring, Neil Warnock’s response was  “I haven’t a clue if I’m honest.” Just what we want to hear, Neil.

Spurs were in celebratory mood this week, as they proudly tweeted the first image of their pitch being laid. Rumours are that Daniel Levy has already been to the shop and engraved “We’ve got turf” on a trophy. Judging by the state of the pitch at Wembley for their Champions League game against Barcelona, they could have used a few of this ‘new’ turf during their gritty 4-2 defeat on Wednesday night.

Supporters were naturally in buoyant mood ahead of kick-off, eager to witness the class endowed in one particular Argentinian. And after he got his name on the scoresheet, he did not let them down. But that’s enough about Eric Lamela. Could we all just once again appreciate Lionel Messi? His performance on the night has been branded the greatest ever performance at Wembley Stadium, and who could argue with that. Let’s not forget he also made a huge contribution in the build-up to that incredible volley from Ivan Rakitic.

What a player.

You know things are not quite right at Manchester United when Jose Mourinho (Have I mentioned his name before?) starts the trio of sloths that are Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, and Marouane Fellaini for their encounter at West Ham. And they still shift three goals. Branded a disgrace by Jamie Carragher, you’d have expected them to then take a look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves, “Why didn’t I sign for Liverpool?” and “Am I giving my all?”.

Offered the chance to redeem themselves at the sparse Old Trafford against Valencia, they failed to do so. United effectively played like Gary Neville’s Valencia, except they avoided defeat this time. Will their fortunes change? Maybe. Because Jose has only gone and got that classic, about to be sacked haircut.

Unequivocally, the match of the weekend was Chelsea against Liverpool. You don’t say? And it lived up to its billing. It was a match filled with individual and collective quality. None more so than Eden Hazard, who has been forced to abandon sliding onto his knees during his goal celebrations.

He scored a fine goal here and remained on his feet when he celebrated with his teammates. With this information, I’m sure you can all sleep better knowing this. Destined to be the only goal of the game following an endless amount of fantastic last-ditch defending, ex-Blue Daniel Sturridge came off the bench and immediately struck the ball into the net from around 30-35 yards. Wowzers.

Both sides were in European action in midweek and saw contrasting results. Chelsea saw off Videoton by the one goal. I can assure you that Videoton are an actual football team and not some gaming convention. Besides the cool name of Chelsea’s opponents, the greatest thing that happened amidst all this drama is the fact Alvaro Morata scored.

Yes, Alvaro Morata. Sure, Nuneaton Borough led 7-2 in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday with 30 minutes left and Halesowen came back and won 9-8. That’s nothing compared to Morata’s heroics.

Free-scoring Watford had yet to play out a single Premier League game without scoring until that run ended with a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. It was yet another unconvincing performance by the Gunners, however, that negative aspect can be transformed into a positive for a club who have played some beautiful football over the years while succumbing to defeats to just about everybody, but Everton at home.

The much-loved Toon owner Mike Ashley spent his Saturday afternoon watching his Newcastle side get beat 2-0 by Leicester, and getting peppered with chants of “Stand up if you hate Mike Ashley” for the majority of the game. The cameras that beamed the gluttonous billionaire showed he couldn’t give a jot about what the supporters, or anybody else, thinks about him.

Manchester City go into tomorrow’s heavyweight clash at Anfield in fine spirits, following a dominant 2-0 win over Fulham and a strong test of character to come from behind and win 2-1 at Hoffenheim in the Champions League. Sergio Aguero appears to have found a new lease of life this season, and he grabbed himself a goal in both games.

If it is your final game in charge of a club, at least hope it’s a memorable one. And it certainly was the case for Steve Bruce. Villa fans had become increasingly impatient with the manager. And one fan decided the only way to relieve Steve Bruce of his managerial duties was to chuck a cabbage at him before the match had even begun.

Ten-man Aston Villa were a spot-kick away from a thrilling 4-3 victory over Preston when they were awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of the game, then Glenn Whelan stepped up. He is 34 years old now, and I am still waiting for him to develop into a decent footballer. So why was he allowed to assume responsibility? Suppose the cabbage must have planted a seed of doubt in his head.

Have a great weekend everyone.