Listen to the World Soccer Talk Podcast review of the Premier League weekend (gameweek 17) »

MON, 12PM ET
JUV
NAP
MON, 3PM ET
STO
CHE
FRI, 7:45AM ET
CHE
WHU
FRI, 10AM ET
MUFC
NUFC
FRI, 10AM ET
BUR
LIV
FRI, 10AM ET
WBA
MCFC

Premier League Odds and Sods 25 Feb 2008

20080224 sp 12 Premier League Odds and Sods 25 Feb 2008

Arsenal 2- Birmingham 2 Eduardo’s injury – a horrific broken leg – stole the headlines.   But, it did not decisively affect the outcome.  Luck controlled much of it.  Birmingham capitalized upon one free kick – a questionable call – and one penalty – a blatantly wrong call.  Fabregas had two goal-worthy efforts, one stopped by Taylor and the other by the post.

Adebayor’s performance was as shocking as  his short hair.  He fluffed an open breakaway.  He also failed to square a ball to testy teammate Nicklas Bendtner.  Both would likely have clinched victory for Arsenal.

Walcott’s effort encourages, however.  His talent is elite without question, but his confidence and decision-making ability has been sub-par.  However, he put in a fine effort for a brace, his first two goals in the Premier League.  He adeptly slotted in the first goal, and his second, a few minutes later, was magnificent.

The draw drops Arsenal to three points above Manchester United.  The Gunners will hope their bad weak was a blip, not a sign of weakness.

Newcastle 1 – Manchester United 5  In case anyone was unaware, Rooney and Ronaldo are pretty good.  It was an exhaustingly easy effort from the Red Devils.  Newcastle played in a cloud, with neither coherence nor discipline in tactics.  The back four could not fall apart, because it never came together initially.  Even the one Titus Bramble’s part-time competence would have been preferred.

Newcastle’s question is not how long before Keegan gets canned, but how long before he suffers a nervous breakdown and quits.  They reside only six points clear of relegation, with eleven matches remaining.

Liverpool 3 – Middlesbrough 2 Individual brilliance once again saved Liverpool, as Torres took control with a marvelous hat-trick.  Carragher’s cards cost the team at the back, but exonerates none for the poor performance.  Southgate’s side showed themselves excellently.  With some luck and a consistent striker, that club could be challenging for a European place.