Before Champions League madness takes over.
1) I was ahead of the curve! Finally! Usually, I'm wrong about my match predictions or late to jump on a particular player's bandwagon. So when I'm right, I get to gloat. Here's today's Phil Ball article on ESPN SoccerNet hailing Atletico's Sergio Aguero as "the new Messi," which, by the transitive property, makes him the new next Maradona. I've been a big fan of this kid since he scored in the first minute of the first game of the season at the Bernabeu. Talk about ambition. Of course, now that he's had his breakout game against Barca (reminiscent of Messi's hat trick against Real Madrid last season), the whole world can appreciate his greatness and look forward to the day Argentina starts three under-5'8" strikers in a match just to see what happens. (I for one think it could work; all three have shown they can score with their heads, and it doesn't really matter how big you are if you can just run around tacklers with the ball glued to your foot.)
2) Let's not forget about Chelsea. Juan recently put up a post comparing the schedules of Arsenal and Man U for the remainder of the season. I myself have fallen into the trap of thinking the season a two-horse race. But I think both teams neglect Chelsea at their own peril - the Blues are only seven points back with a game in hand. Additionally, one notices that both United and Arsenal have yet to travel to Fortress Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea have not lost since 2004 (76 matches!). It amazes me that this hasn't garnered half the attention of Arsenal's unbeaten season. I mean, sure, they're boring as hell, but unbeaten at home in a period now spanning four seasons? That's complete dominance. Also, until they lost the Carling Cup Final, they were still in the running for the Quadruple. Even Man U couldn't say that. So I wouldn't rule them out yet.