1. Smokin’ Hot Reds
Well, of course the main talking point from saturday’s fixtures is Liverpool’s walloping of United, and you have to admit, they look good. Really good. Which as an Everton fan, is bad. They’re performance against Madrid in midweek wasrightly doused in superlatives and though today’s was less extravagantly dominant, it was against better opposition and at Old Trafford. I must admit I didn’t think they’d be able to repeat the trick, but how very wrong I turned out to be. Fortunately for me, I think Liverpool have left it too late to explode into life, as United still have a four point lead and a game in hand. If they play as they did today though, you never know.
2. Wake Up Call
Following on from 1. I think we may safely say that Alex Ferguson will have been throwing tea-cups aplenty in the United dressing room after their performance. I imagine that the United players are absolutely dreading next weeks training, and rightly so. However, after a somewhat cumbersome performance in midweek, I think this defeat is exactly what the doctor ordered for United. Nothing gets you out of your complacent slumber like a home thrashing by your biggest rivals and it will remind them that the Premier League trophy hasn’t already been secured into the five-plinthed display in their trophy room. Course, I’ve been wrong before.
3. Fulham Win Away At Last; Are 9th
Is it just me that finds it hard to believe that with their 1-3 reverse of Bolton, Fulham finally secured their first away win of the season and yet despite that, they still sit 9th in the table. Yes, I know their home form has been rather good, but to have not won a single away match and still be 9th is, to my mind, the stuff of anomoly. However, I think all it really does is sum up what a frickin’ crazy season this has been. More than half of the teams in the competition can still be relegated and it makes me wonder – have the traditional relegation battlers got better or have the traditional mid-tablers got worse? I can’t decide, because there has been times this season where it seems everyone has beaten everyone. Keeps it exciting though I guess. Although I reckon I wouldn’t be saying that if my club weren’t part of the non-threatened minority.
4. Ugly Footballers May Survive
Stoke play ugly football, that can’t really be denied. They also have some pretty gruesome looking fella’s in their side (I don’t win any beauty contests so feel qualified to make that remark). However, despite the lack of aesthetic qualities that they posses, I have got a horrible feeling that they might actually survive the drop. Yes, they lost away again, and after Fulham’s away day heroics now have the dubious honour of not having won an away match purely for themselves, but they showed some real fight against Everton. They have improved slightly as a football team. When we played them earlier in the season they couldn’t get near our goal unless Delap was harranging the ball in from the sideline. Today though, they actually managed to pass it a bit (in the second half at least). More than that though, they’ve got a lot of scrap, and they made Everton, who showed in the first half that they do belong in a different eague to Stoke, sweat a bit. Don’t bet against them pulling off some results against less assured opposition. Bad news for fans of the beautiful game.
5. Andrei “Still Adjusting” Arshavin Steals the Show
The expensive little russian finally got his move away from Zenit in January, and he is really starting to show what a class act he is for Arsenal. Scoring a pretty special solo effort and having a fairly large supporting role in two of Arsenal’s other goals against Blackburn, he deserves a lot of accolades for his performance. After the match though he had the audacity to suggest that he is still finding the adaption to English football difficult, speaking in rather good English, considering he hasn’t been speaking that for long either. Considering how easy he made English football look at the Emirates today, you could perhaps question his English teacher, but if he really hasn’t found top form here yet, bloody watch out when he does.