A weekend to remember

Goals galore!  Football is really back with a bang now!

Let us start off with the most competitive Manchester derby that has occured since football officially began in 1992.  A lot of Red Devils out there have been begrudging the blue half of Manchester’s new endless pot of resourses, and why not?  Who are little City to try and come crash United’s parade? 

But needless to say that’s the way it is and Sunday lunchtime saw these two finally clash on a level playing field.  Sure City have beaten United before, but that never held any implications for a title challenge, at least not for the blue side. Unfortunately for City they didn’t dent their biggest rivals title hopes, it was quite possibly the other way around. 

But City can feel proud in the fact that they pushed United literally all the way, that they may feel slightly aggrieved in the time that was extended and also, that there is still a ficture at Eastland’s yet to come.  Hughes may want to work on repairing his defence though, which was fragile in conceeding all their goals. 

Rooney slalomed through several defenders to open the scoring after two minutes, Michael Owen had all the space he needed for the late dramatic winner and even Darren Fletcher scored twice with two headers, the first of which was maybe abit too easy (bad Barry). 

It wasn’t as hilarious as City’s first goal however, as Tevez’ pitbull tendencies paid off causing Foster to lose the ball, Tev pulled back to Gareth Barry and he did the easy part and made it 1-1 for a while.  Van Der Sar possibly may have been worried about getting his place back after his long lay-off, but Foster hasn’t really been covered in glory has he? 

In fact Robinho had better pull his socks up, because while he might have a marketable Brazilian gimmick and of course obvious skill, a man called Craig Bellamy is endearing himself to the fans.  For some reason the Welsh Terrier is absolutely electric under his former international boss, and yesterday was no different.  He made the game 2-2  by himself, faking a pass to distract Park and then burying a shot into the top corner from outside the box.  Magnificent!  He must have thought he secured a point when Ferdinand tried a needless dink, and Bellers used his frightening pace to advance into the box and hit his shot under the keeper. 

But as you know by now, Ferdinand was saved from possible decapitation by little Mickey Owen, who has shown he still knows what to do in a good team. 

An early contender for game of the season (standard 4-3 usually gets the plaudits), the game was mired in controversy, 6 minutes extra time instead of the alotted 4 at Old Trafford, hmm!  Gary Neville acting like a lunatic, people throwing coins at Tevez but smashing Garrido instead, and a certain Mr. Bellamy getting involved in a bout of fisticuffs.  It’ll be hard to top this game!

La Liga

Which brings me on to La Liga and the two teams in that division. Madrid may have dispatched newboys Xerex 5-0 with goals from CR9 (2), Guti, a first goal for €30m Karim Benzema and a goal from returning sub Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

When the big 4 in England play, it is usually a cagey affair, with few goals seperating the sides at the end, but Barcelona were in outrageous form as usual.

They came up against Atletico Madrid, with consecutive top 4 finishes under their belt and a second Champions League in as many years to look forward to. Atletico matches are littered with goals, no doubt about that, they are the modern day Kev’s Army, but the way Dream Team mark II went about their business was something to applaud.

The giant Ibrahimovic led the attack and the goal rush, with a classy nick from the pass past the onrushing keeper. The big man has a while to go to live up to the Eto’o comparisons, but there is no doubt he has already fit into this great team.

Goal number 2 was Xavi and Messi at their best, a defence splitting pass intercepted by Messi, who made a fool of Atletico to make it 2-0.

Dani Alves hit a free-kick scorcher for the third, and is looking more and more like the new Roberto Carlos, or as he would no doubt claim, the first Daniel Alves. He hit a sweet rocket from far out, that was low and ricocheted off the post into the back of the net. Mr Alves certainly celebrated his effort.

The making of 4-0 was the most sublime move of the night. Ibrahimovic lobbed a little ball into the path of Messi, who was at his annoying best much to the chagrin of Atletico, and slotted the ball to the feet of Seydou Keita for an easy tap-in.

Kun Aguero got one back on the stroke of half time, nicking the ball over the onrushing Valdes. Forlan hit a deadly strike on 85 to give Atletico some feint hope.

However the kings of europe created another masterpiece at the end. Typical slick, precise passing from Barca, Iniesta and Alves building up an attack before a final lay-off to Messi who hit the first effort home. To see the goals for yourself, click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAz4YuKY_s8
Real and Barca have both come flying out of the blocks, registering big wins and confident of a rewarding season ahead. Madrid may have made all the headlines during the summer, but Barcelona look as awesome as ever and are still the team to beat!

The Premier League looks like it can be won by any of the top few teams and La Liga looks so far like it could go down to the wire. 

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