Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Popping Off: Round 25 in the BPL

photo by jurvetsonvia PhotoRee

o We thoroughly enjoyed it, but we wonder how Chelsea and Newcastle felt when they saw referee Howard Webb wearing his red and black home kit to officiate their game on Saturday.

o And what a game it turned out to be. The match had it all: big goals, a dramatic finish, newcomers bursting onto the scene -- Bonjour, Player of the Week Moussa Sissoko -- and a very nasty edge to a contest played in front of a raucous Geordie crowd.

o After foolishly admitting to Magpie officials that he wanted to quit and to return home to Italy to continue his career, Newcastle Captain Fabricio Coloccini attempted to repair the damage on Saturday -- this time by inserting his foot in someone else's mouth. Namely Demba Ba's. With former teammates like that, the ex-Toon striker turned new Blue menace is probably wondering who needs enemies.

o Over at Anfield, the early uproar was all about a goal scored by Daniel Sturridge while Eden Dzeko lay flopped on the ground. Dzeko was obviously milking the situation  -- he was "absolutely motionless" in the words of the commentator, but popped right up after Liverpool scored.  Apparently, the Big Bosnian was upset by Referee Anthony Taylor's decision to let play continue while he lay prostrate on the pitch.  We, on the other hand, had no problem with Taylor's decision -- as no part of Dzeko's injury involved his head.  It was only the striker's pride that ended up being hurt.

o Meanwhile, the player who looked like he sustained a head injury -- and a traumatic one at that -- was Liverpool's Pepe Reina. The Scouse 'keeper lost his head, as well as his team's hard-earned lead at Eastlands on Sunday, when he chased down a ball which was clearly better suited for the team's left back. Only Sergio Aguero's cheeky finish saved Reina from bearing the brunt of media criticism he surely deserved. Anyone want to guess at the tabloid reaction if Reina was spelled "De Gea"...?

o And speaking of losing things, Goran Popov briefly lost his mind as well as a mouthful of warm spit when he confronted Spurs' Kyle Walker after a goal line collision at the Hawthornes. Which makes us wonder....  Has there ever been a more appropriate surname for headline writers struggling with how to describe a red card inducing act?

o Also popping off was Stoke's Michael Owen, who threw a pint-sized punch at Arsenal's Mikel Arteta. Of all the potential fights that this weekend's nasty grudge matches held, this one had to rank at the very bottom of things paying fans wanted to see.

o And speaking of destruction, we loved seeing Everton's Victor Anichebe play the role of one-man-wrecking-crew on Aston Villa's back line in their 3-3 draw on Saturday.  The man is an absolute beast -- and is turning into quite a handful as a striker.  

This is farlieonfootie for February 5.

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