• Thursday, 3 May 2012

    TW3 #11

    That was the (mid)week that was. Lots of action all over the place with more champions decided and a whole host of quite outstanding goals. Oh, and a manager cuffing a player.

    Real Madrid were crowned champions of Spain after beating Athletic in Bilbao. With a couple of huge Cup finals, Athletic did rotate their squad and had Javi Martinez sent off, but it's doubtful whether it would have made a huge amount of difference. Indeed, had Real not won, it would only have been delaying matters. They've been comfortably the best side all season long. Earlier in the evening, Barcelona beat Málaga 4-1 with Lionel Messi bagging yet another hat-trick and going past Gerd Muller's goals in a season record in the process. The little feller is on 68. Valencia took advantage of Málaga's downfall by stuffing Osasuna to take a grip on third. Sporting Gijón are all but down after a loss to Villarreal, but Zaragoza won again - 1-0 over Levante - and can still save themselves.

    While Real Madrid were celebrating title number 32, Ajax made it 31 after a win over VVV. Siem de Jong got both in a 2-0 win and they're six clear of Feyenoord with a game to go. Yes, Feyenoord, whose revival this year has been the big story. They duffed up Heracles, but PSV remain on their heels after tubbing ADO. The second coming of Steve McClaren at FC Twente is turning into a bit of a nightmare and they blew a 2-0 lead - Luuk de Jong with both - before going down 4-3 at home to upwardly mobile Heerenveen. Twente slump to sixth, one place behind AZ who were held by NEC. The European places are complicated, to say the least, not helped by PSV's Cup win over Heracles. Rather than go through it here, we'll just wait for events to unfold next weekend and see where we are. Totalfootballnl.com had a look ahead of this round of fixtures and the picture hasn't become much clearer after it.

    Juventus's lead in Serie A is down to a point after a blunder by Gianluigi Buffon allowed Luis Muriel to snatch an equaliser for ten-man Lecce. His first touch on a routine back-pass was awful, showing far too much of it to the diminutive Colombian who nipped in to equalise Claudio Marchisio's early opener. Milan won 2-0 at home to Atalanta to close the gap. Lecce's point keeps them in with a shout of stopping up, but a win for Genoa and a draw for Novara consign the latter to Serie B. But the big story of Novara's game was the sideline shenanigans between Delio Rossi and Adem Ljajic. After being subbed off, Ljajic gave his manager a sarcastic round of applause. Rossi reacted the only way that can be expected - by diving in windmilling and slapping the cheeky bastard. Rossi has been sacked, so we know where the power lies at that club.

    PSG close the gap to Montpellier at the top of Ligue 1 to three points, MHSC effectively having their mulligan this week in a fiery draw at home to Evian. They had a chance to win it after winning a last-minute penalty that sparked a scuffle that ended with four players sent off. Souleymane Camara missed. PSG beat St Etienne 2-0 the following day. Lille remain in touch, two points back from PSG. Auxerre - seemingly dead and buried a couple of weeks ago - play Dijon tonight (Thursday) and a win would move them out of the bottom three. Dijon are in the worst form of anyone in Ligue 1.

    Anderlecht and Club Brugge both won - at home to Gent and Standard Liege respectively - meaning the gap between the two remains seven points. They play each other on Sunday and a draw will win the title for Anderlecht. Dynamo Kiev dropped points in a 0-0 draw at Zorya while Shakhtar won again, 2-1 away to Metalist. That means a draw will do for Shakhtar against rock bottom Oleksandria in the final round of games this weekend. Galatasaray were held by Trabzonspor in the Turkish championship play-offs which gives Fenerbahce the opportunity to go top on goal difference if they beat Besiktas tonight (Thursday).

    A range of stunning goals were scored all over the place, but the top three and this screamer from Seattle's Fredy Montero and these two from Newcastle's Papiss Demba Cissé. That's 13 in 12 for the ex-Freiburg man. And there's only one word for that: Woof!

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