Monday, November 15, 2010
Weekend of the Unpredictable
By Bagga Wilks
Chelsea was clobbered by lowly placed Sunderland which again demonstrates that the so-called weaker teams in the English Premier League are playing an excellent brand of football. Chelsea was a wounded giant on Sunday as they took the field without their central defenders, Alex and Terry and without their formidable mid-field player, Essien who is serving suspension for a red card.
Sunderland exploited the weakened Chelsea defense and was able to breach that make-shift defense three times to boost their standings and to tighten the race at the top of the tables.
Arsenal has closed on Chelsea as they eked out a 2-1 victory over Everton. Everton started well and outplayed Arsenal in mid-field. Arsenal at the 35th minute got a terrific goal from the improving Sagna. Fabregas scored in the early segments of the second half.
Arsenal moved the ball more creatively in the second half. Wenger replaced
Wilshire with Denilson who was more energetic in mid-field. Ashavin was also substituted as he has not contributed much since the season began.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United recovered from a 2-0 deficit and managed to draw the game against Aston Villa. Manchester United has not lost for the season but they have fallen into the trap of drawing games. Ferguson showed his genius as a manager when he took off Berbatov and Park and replaced them with Obertan and Macheda. The substitution paid dividends as Macheda scored with a marvelous strike and later on from Manchester United’s relentless attacks. Vidic scored with a header.
Mancini is having difficulty at Manchester City. Manchester City was held to a goalless draw against Birmingham. The Italian coach has put together a formidable offense but the team lacks creativity and depends excessively on Tevez. Mancini’s team has no pace on the flanks and despite Yaya Toure’s tour de force in the middle in attack, the team lacks imagination. His substitutes are as bewildering as Ancelotti’s at Chelsea.
The Milan Derby
Rafael Benitez’s Inter Milan deserved a better outcome than the 1-0 loss to A.C. Milan. Inter has lost their central defender, Sammel, for the season and Maicon is also hurt. A.C. Milan looked dangerous in the opening minutes and was rewarded with a penalty which Ibrahimovic converted
A.C. Milan’s right back showed his stupidity when he lost his cool after a fierce tackle from Materazzi and left his team to play with a man down. Inter seized the advantage but Thiago Silva, just back from an injury and Nesta kept the Inter Milan attackers from getting clear shots on goal. Robinho was a factor in the first half but faded in the second half. Ronaldinho “warmed” the bench and the reckless tackling Gattuso was replaced at half time by Pirlo.
Inter Milan falls further behind in the tables but last year’s champions will be contenders in the final stages of the Servie.
This week the players get a break from league ball as next week is set aside for international friendlies. The game of the week is Brazil vs Argentina. Both teams have new coaches and are undergoing a rejuvenation period. Ronaldinho has been called back to the national team and it will be interesting to see if he is in the starting line-up. The clash should live up to expectation as Argentina vs Brazil brings out the best in their respective world class players.