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February 8, 2010

Drogba and Rooney? Could there be any better?

Of course Ronaldo and Messi will continue to attract their supporters but, this season at least, it is hard to argue that there could not really be any better all-out strikers anywhere in the world than the leading scorers of Chelsea and Manchester United. For almost all season, Wayne Rooney has single-handedly carried most of the Red Devils’ goal threat and, even allowing for his time away with the Ivory Coast, Drogba has already accumulated 17 league goals.

The giant centre forward’s latest two goal demolition of Arsenal carried Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League this weekend. Arsene Wenger’s side dominated possession and yet never really looked like breaking down their hosts and, indeed, only a late cross bar prevented Drogba completing his hat trick against opponents he clearly revels in playing against.

Rooney, meanwhile, had to be far less influential in Manchester United’s five goal hammering of doomed Portsmouth – he scored once, along with Berbatov, but Pompey’s cause was hardly helped by the three own goals they managed to concede.

Liverpool achieved what might have been unthinkable a month ago to most outsiders, when they regained fourth place after their one goal victory in a feisty derby against Everton. Although Kuyt continued his fine recent scoring run by heading the winner, most of the post-match discussion was about some of the tackles on display. Kyrgiakos and Pienaar were both sent off in what could have been described as an ‘old-fashioned’ derby!

Manchester City’s erratic away form remains the same under their new manager, with another disappointing performance, and result, at Hull City, where they deservedly lost 2 – 1. Goals by Altidore and Boateng meant that Adebayor’s strike was only a consolation effort for City, for whom Vierra made a second half substitute appearance.

The goalless draw at White Hart Lane between Spurs and Aston Villa was undoubtedly better received by the away supporters. This was yet another game that Tottenham completely dominated and yet failed to win; there have been a few of those at home this season.

In the remaining games, Kevin Phillips reminded everyone that he’s still around by coming off the bench to grab two late goals to win the West Midlands derby with Wolves at Birmingham. Stoke had their biggest win since their return to the Premier League by beating Blackburn 3 – 0 and Sunderland and Wigan shared two goals at the Stadium of Light. Perhaps the game between Burnley and West Ham featured the best debut of the weekend, though. Daniel Fox, recently signed from Celtic by the home side, made one and scored a fine free kick in Burnley’s 2 -1 victory.

Chelsea lead the way, then, with 58 points from 25 games; Manchester United have 56, Arsenal 49, Liverpool 44 and Spurs 43. Manchester City and Aston Villa both have 41 points, from 23 and 24 matches respectively. Portsmouth continue to be adrift at the bottom with just 15 points, with West Ham and Wolves on 21 – but the situation is far tighter at this end of the table than at the top.

La Liga

It was a weekend of red cards in La Liga – eight in all by my reckoning. Even leaders Barcelona received two – for Pique and Marquez – and yet still defeated Getafe by 2 goals to 1. Messi and Xavi scored for the Catalan side.

Real Madrid coasted to a 3 – 0 victory over Espanyol, thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos, Kaká and a fine effort from Higuaín, and Valencia cemented their third place with goals from Banega and Villa against Valladolid. If Mallorca could play at home every week, the islanders would be giving the top two a run for their money, their single goal victory over Villarreal (Nunes) making it 10 wins out of 10. Sevilla lost ground by losing against lowly Zaragoza, 2 – 1. After gambling by leaving a few regulars out of the side ready for a Copa del Rey match in midweek, Sevilla dropped down to fifth spot. Poor Negredo not only scored the ‘winning’ goal in his own net; he also got himself sent off.

Elsewhere, Athletic beat Xerez 3 – 2, Osasuna overcame Tenerife 1 – 0, Racing and Atlético drew 1 – 1, Málaga and Deportivo remained goalless, and Almería beat Sporting 3 – 1 – a game in which the away side’s Gregory was red-carded after an argument with a ball boy!

After Day 21, Barcelona remain five points clear of Real Madrid with 55 points, Valencia have 42, Mallorca 37, Sevilla 36 and Deportivo 35. After a few weeks with the same bottom three, Valladolid have replace Zaragoza now, with just 18 points, to join Tenerife (17) and Xerez (11) in the danger zone.

Posted by admin @ 2:20 pm
Category: Premier League,Spanish League

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