City vs. Arsenal. Upsetting scenes. Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.
This isn’t the first time we’ve been left tramatised and jonesing for cheese by events on Super Sunday.
But it’s without doubt the most visually arresting.
England – Premier League
Bad day at the office? Remember, there’s always someone worse off than you. Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty.
Settling in for a Super Sunday can be a nervous business, and not just because there’s always the possibility that Richard Keys & Andy Grey’s departure may have all been a gorgeous dream that could be shattered as you flick to Sky Sports and see them settled in for several hours of pontificating and frantic trouser-rubbing.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a dream, they weren’t there and the only legacy on the horizon from that nadir in sports journalism two years ago was Sian Massey correctly intervening in Andre Marriner’s decision to award a penalty during Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Stoke City. The penalty was revoked, the game continued and those of us who enjoy our game sans sexist twattery turned our attention back to more pressing matters, namely Mario Balotelli’s hair.
The possibility of the aesthetically indisciplined striker appearing on the same pitch as Bacary Sagna was worrying us, particularly since we’d heard word of ‘a new look’, but nothing could have prepared us for peroxide pandemonium that unfolded when he came on for Dzeko in the 88th minute. By that point, of course, the game was won, but the general (and rather selfless) consensus in our office is he should have started. The Arsenal backline, including Sagna, would have been so mesmerised by the unfolding horror, City could have scored ten. One of the interns was, and she’s still unconscious.
Manchester United vs. Liverpool was marginally less traumatic, even dull in parts, as momentum swung between the teams whose bitter rivalry can usually be relied upon to produce at least one fistfight. Robin van Persie & Nemanja Vidic scored the goals for United, while Sturridge’s second half strike turned out to be just a consolation. Sir Alex’s boys are now seven clear of City at the top, Arsenal are sixth and Liverpool eighth. Villa, Reading and QPR make up the bottom three, with Wigan and Newcastle sliding ever closer.
Spain – La Liga
In case you haven’t figured it out, it’s brilliant being Lionel Messi. Image: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images.
We’ve made our suspicions about Jose Mourinho perfectly clear, so Real Madrid’s 0-0 draw with Osasuna this weekend wasn’t a huge surprise to us. Iker was back, Cristiano was banned and Kaka got sent off, but Mou was too busy kicking arse, watching Manchester United play Liverpool and presumably overseeing construction of his new Death Star to care, so neither do we.
Barcelona beat Malaga 3-1 to extend their lead over Real to eighteen points, while party crashers Atletico Madrid beat Real Zaragoza 2-0 to remain comfortable in second. Real Betis are up to fourth after a 2-0 win over Levante, Rayo Vallecano are level on points with fifth placed Malaga after beating troubled Athletic Bilbao 2-1 while at the other end Mallorca are in serious danger of dropping into the relegation spots after a 2-0 defeat at Valladolid.
Italy – Serie A
“Dude, seriously. You’re going to have to shave it. You look totally ridiculous.” M’baye Niang explains the intricacies of acceptance into the Milan inner circle to an ill-equipped Bojan. Image: FABIO MUZZI/AFP/Getty Images.
It’s been a while since we visited the well-oiled environs of Serie A, but you’ll be relieved to learn that little has changed in the areas that matter. Juventus’ noses remain in front despite their 1-1 draw at Parma, but Lazio are creeping ever closer – they are now just three points behind the leaders after beating Atalanta 2-0. Napoli aren’t far behind either – Edinson Cavani’s one hundredth Serie A goal eluded him, but his side still beat Palermo comprehensively, Roma’s slump continued with a 1-0 defeat at Catania and AC Milan are also still floundering, a 1-1 draw the result of their meeting with struggling Sampdoria.
Inter, meanwhile, beat Pescara 2-0 and eased into fourth. That’ll be of great comfort to the Rossoneri, we’re sure.