Football Ticket Packages news

January 25, 2010

FA Cup Day – but Rooney grabs the headlines!

There was only one Premier League fixture this weekend because of the Fourth Round of the FA Cup but Wayne Rooney’s four goal haul for Manchester United against Hull at Old Trafford ensured that it was the game most people were talking about. Amazingly, the victory – which looked less emphatic until Rooney suddenly scored three goals in the final ten minutes – meant that the league has now had three different leaders in the past week. That’s something you won’t see happening in Spain for a few years, I would guess! So, for all their sketchy form and missing defenders, Manchester United sit at the top of the table. And, with Rio Ferdinand making his comeback from injury, they should get stronger between now and the end of the season.

The biggest cup game on Saturday was at White Hart Lane where Leeds carried on where they left off against Manchester United and earned themselves a fine 2 – 2 draw against Spurs. Despite Crouch and Pavlyuchenko twice giving the home side the lead, Jermaine Beckford scored two more goals to earn the Yorkshire side a deserved replay – including a coolly taken injury time penalty.

Holders Chelsea eased to a comfortable 2 – 0 victory away at Championship side Preston North End – Anelka and Sturridge netting. Aston Villa, fresh from their Carling Cup semi-final success in midweek, made substantial changes to the team but still saw off Brighton 3 – 2 and Reading, conquerors of Liverpool in Round Three, beat Burnley by a single goal. Fulham battled through the mud and slopes of an Accrington Stanley pitch to earn a 3 – 2 victory over the lowest ranking team left in the competition.

Perhaps the best performance of the day belonged to Birmingham, who just seem to get better and better. Away to Everton, in such good form themselves for the past two weeks, Birmingham scored two first half goals (Chucho Benitez and a fine team goal finished by Barry Ferguson) before Everton pulled one back through Osman. Perhaps the only good news for the Goodison side was that Mikel Arteta was able to come on for the final 15 minutes for his first appearance for over 11 months.

Sunday’s first fixture saw an Arsenal side with only Fabregas part of their midweek starting line-up go down 3 – 1 at Stoke City. Sol Campbell made an impressive return for Arsenal, despite Ricardo Fuller’s two goals for the home side. Manchester City overcame Scunthorpe United 4 – 2 in a very watchable match, including some fine goals – especially stunning strikes from Petrov and Silvinho.

Things are looking good, then, for Chelsea – the only one of the top three teams left in the competition with a home draw against Cardiff in the next round to look forward to. Unless you’re a very optimistic Villa or Manchester City fan, Chelsea are now the only team left capable of winning the traditional League and FA Cup ‘double’.

La Liga

In Spain on Saturday evening, Barcelona eased to a 3 – 0 victory in Valladolid, despite Valdés having to make some good early saves. Man of the match for the champions was Daniel Alves who caused havoc down the right hand side of the pitch – although his goal might have been a touch fortunate. He played a large part in those of Xavi and Messi, however.

Deportivo’s 3 – 1 home victory against Athletic was marred by a nasty broken ankle suffered by Filipe when he bravely scored the first goal and Sevilla’s welcome single goal victory against Almería came courtesy of a back pass that stuck in a puddle on the waterlogged pitch; Negredo was the grateful beneficiary.

Real Madrid, with Guti restored to the starting eleven, produced a mixed first half performance against a weakened Málaga side until Cristiano Ronaldo scored two excellent late goals to put the home side well in command. The second half, however, saw the other side of the Portugese player when he was given a straight red card for throwing an arm into the face of Mtilga and Real finished the game with ten men and the scoreline stayed at 2 – 0.

Villarreal and Zaragoza provided the most competitive match of the weekend, with the home side winning 4 – 2. Otherwise, the remaining games were much closer – Osasuna winning by the odd goal in three in Jerez, Racing by a single goal at Sporting (a goal, what is more, that had nothing at all to do with Sergio Canales) and the games between Getafe and Atlético, Tenerife and Valencia and Espanyol against Mallorca finished all square.

Barcelona finish the first half of the season with 49 points from their 19 games. The other teams in the top six are Real Madrid (44), Valencia (39), Mallorca and Deportivo (34) and Seville (33).

Posted by admin @ 11:24 am
Category: Premier League,Spanish League


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