Premier League Odds and Sods 23 March 2008
Manchester United 3 – Liverpool 0: The scoreline was unfair, United should have won by more. Rooney and Ronaldo combined for five fluffed chances. Captain Stevie disappeared twice for the Reds. First, when he decided to stop running and not defend on the Wes Brown goal. Second, when he failed to get between the referee and Mascherano before the second yellow card. Javier’s post-sendoff Latin shrug produced the lasting picture for the match. He deserved the red, but Bennett would not have sent him if off at Anfield or if he was English. Being the big man is easy with a crowd behind you.
Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 1: The Gunners have dropped eleven points to United in five matches – having not won in the league since Feb. 11. Once five points clear, they reside six points behind, seven with goal difference. Chelsea passed Arsenal into second, which is likely how it will stay. Gallas’ decision-making at the back was shocking. His captaincy requires more than rash rhetoric, alpha-male displays and a stegosaurus hairdo. A decade in the team is pure Arsene, but maybe that’s not such a great thing.
Newcastle 2 – Fulham o: Newcastle finally get a win under Keegan. The same lot who heaved Allardyce for not getting to Europe are now erupting like loonies when they beat the 19th place side at home. Keegan’s last remaining gray hairs will hang on for another week. Fulham have not won away since 2006, I blame their away kits. Whatever marketing flunkie chose baby blue from head to toe should be fired.
Reading 2 – Birmingham 1: Reading came out on top in the other relegation six pointer, pushing themselves five points safe. Memo to Andre Bikey: you must meaningfully manipulate the ball on a goal before celebrating with a flip.