October 28, 2014

Red Devils steal a point from Chelsea

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

It was a point not necessarily earned – it was more lucked into than anything.

After a dominant second half in which it should have scored more than the one goal it managed, Chelsea gave up an injury time goal at Old Trafford to settle for a draw.

When you consider Chelsea was playing without it’s top two strikers and was starting ancient Didier Drogba, perhaps it’s not that surprising this was the final outcome.

The same can be said for Manchester United, which was without Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney, starting Robin van Persie up front.

Fitting it was Drogba and RvP that potted the match’s two goals.

And while some could say that Branislav Ivanovic’s sending off contributed to the final outcome, that would be false. An extra man wouldn’t have been able to stop RvP’s rocket off the rebound that bounced perfectly to him.

And Ivanovic won’t even miss a match of any importance either, serving his suspension during a midweek Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town.

So far this season, the league-leading Blues have dropped points just twice and both occasions came in Manchester. If that’s the quality that this Chelsea squad is capable of under Jose Mourinho, this could be a very short title race.

As for United, it is actually doing worse than it did last year during that harrowing season under David Moyes. With 13 points from nine games, it is, however still in the thick of it when it comes to Champions League places. But it should be noted that perhaps Moyes wasn’t as bad as we thought, considering he had a much worse team than what Louis van Gaal is working with currently.


It just wasn’t Manchester City’s day visiting West Ham on Saturday.

How else could you explain it nailing the woodwork twice while leaking at least one goal that should’ve been stopped on its own end.

Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure both had terrific chances that were denied by the bar before David Silva put one home after a sweet, slaloming run through a couple of defenders.

But a loss is a loss and this result surely doesn’t help the defending champs in the race against Chelsea. These are the types of games that Chelsea lost last year and ended up falling short. That’s looking like what could be Man City’s fate this campaign.

Not to take anything away from West Ham either, as the East London club are on fire right now.

The Hammers have found some brilliant attacking players with Diafra Sakho and Enner Valenica leading the charge. Once Andy Carroll can return from injury, it’ll be interesting to see if he fits into this side.

The scene of the day also came from this contest, when post-game Russell Brand burst in on Big Sam Allardyce and gave the usually curmudgeonly manager a big kiss on the cheek. I’m sure that’s just what the birthday boy wanted.


Mario Balotelli can’t buy a goal. Another game, some more misses on decent chances in front of goal. I can only imagine Liverpool fans are growing impatient with the talented forward and can’t wait for Daniel Sturridge to return … At least the Reds got a clean sheet! That doesn’t happen very often … Alexis Sanchez is having the same type of impact that Mesut Ozil provided the Gunner last season. Arsenal can only hope this story doesn’t have the same ending … Another game, another injury for Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs has been added to the lengthy injury report and I’m not sure how much longer the Gunners can go before calling up youth squad players … Those two Sanchez goals were aided greatly be Sunderland mistakes. If not for those two terrible passes, this might’ve actually been a scoreless draw … Newcastle’s on a winning streak?! All hail Alan Pardew! We never wanted him gone! … Sammy Ameobi scored his first career EPL goal on what can only be described as the FIFA 15 kickoff glitch in real life … Doesn’t it look odd to see a forward like Samuel Eto’o wearing No. 5 for Everton? Did they not have any other numbers available? Burnley is now firmly at the bottom of the table with QPR beating Aston Villa. I don’t see how the Clarets are getting out, either … Esteban Cambiasso has the miss of the year from two feet hitting the post then watching the keeper swat it away … Aston Villa somehow has three wins, but have scored just four goals all season. It has also been more than eight hours of gametime since it has found the back of the net now.


If you haven’t seen Erik Lamela’s ‘Rabona’ goal from Tottenham’s Europa League match against Asteras Tripoli, you’re in for a treat.

It was a remarkable amount of precision, power and guts to pull off a goal of that calibre. But what got me about it was how unnecessary it was.

Lamela could’ve very easily pounded that rolling ball home with a normal shot. The keeper wouldn’t have had a chance with any sort of precision and power on the ball.

This also came when the game was still young (just a half hour in) and Spurs were only up 1-0 against the Greek side. Europa League is a competition that could come down to goal differential and, if Lamela had messed up that audacious attempt, his team could’ve suffered by playing a tougher team in the next stage.

If he had pulled this sort of stunt under a manager like Mourinho, we may never have heard from the Argentine again.

But, thankfully, this time we got a moment of pure joy – something that doesn’t happen often enough in sports any more.

It’s a shame that we might never see something like it again.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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