I have some catching up to do.
Chelsea 1, Aston Villa 0
This is the beginning of Villa's brutal schedule. To their credit they do have quite the Nelly feat. Kelly Rowland. They need to balance the Uefa Cup this year and try to maintain a top 4 table position for the Champions League next year. If you're thinking they can do both then you're kidding yourself so throw that out the window. And while it may seem like a no-brainer to go for the Champions League qualifying spot, ask Arsenal and Chelsea what its like to go for the glory and get nothing in return. Moreover, it feels odd for a team such as Aston Villa to blow off the Uefa Cup when they've showed such patience to get here in the first place. The unfortunate fact for them is that it appears they're trying to do both and again, only those bastards at Manchester United have that kind of depth.
Aside - I just read a poorly written story on soccernet (shocking, I know) about Rooney calling for the quadruple. It made me nauseated for two reasons. The first is that I throw around "quadruple" when I'm drunk at parties and trying to instigate belligerance. The second is that United are one game (Carling), one formality (the League now that Liverpool lost again), one repeat (The Chammmmmpions) and a lucky draw (the FA cup) from actually succeeding. That sentence was very wordy but I'm trying to say that they're very, very close to making this happen. I'm talking about the quadruple here folks and I'm not drunk nor trying to instigate a fight. Sick to my stomach indeed.
Anyway, I turned on this game (Aston Villa-Chelsea if I've lost you with my ramblings) in the 60th minute and hear from the announcers that a, "superb finish" from Anelka has Chelsea on top. Ugh. I go to 101greatgoals.com just to see it and I guess it was alright. This is of course after Jim just credited Anelka and I conceded mentally to his current EPL prowess. Double sigh. 1-nil against Aston, great! Yikes, did I really think that? I did. I even talked about how bad it feels to root against Villa later that day with Jim. Whatever, when they had chances I still instinctually wanted them to level.
Chelsea holds on and I promise that an Arsenal win will justify my elitism. Segway.
Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0
The debut of my obsession, my hope, my light, Andrei Arshavin. 10 minutes in Arshavin cuts in from the corner of the box and rips a venemous shot. It was saved without too much glamour but I get goosebumps when I see the replay and imagine what could have been. Wait a second? Did Arshavin just shoot the ball? I'm sure that will be corrected by Wenger soon enough. No shooting allowed on this squad, more on this later. I continue to gush over every pass and to my credit, he does pass a really nice ball. Always well weighted. Wenger takes him out at the 61st minute - I knew Arsene wouldn't give me 90 but I'm just being emotional now - and I finally blink. On my way back down to earth I realize that hey, it's nil-nil and we kinda, wait, really need these three points. No need to fear, Nicklas Bendtner is in. That is to say, clearly this game ends 0-0. I sign on to TLOCA and see that we have a comment! I poop my pants a little when I see that someone has commented on the blog. It's Jake, he's rubbing in Arsenal's "typical" performance. The timestamp is 30 seconds after Arsenal finished nil-nil... bastard.
Manchester United 2, Blackburn 1
For not so subtle reasons whenever Arsenal fails to produce I find myself watching United. I make lunch when Rooney gets his gift, of course, United gets all the breaks. But wait, Roque Santa Cruz breaks through and ends United's stupid clean sheet streak. Finally! I was getting really tired of reading about it. Plus VanDerSar annoys me.
Cristiano stands over a free kick and I think to myself, hmm, its been awhile since he's scored a spot kick. He does just that and I text Jim angrily. It's just the goal they need and right at the time when you need it - before the 65th minute in the 2nd half of a tie game. I fully expect this game to finish 4-1 now but no, just 2-1.
Juventus 2, Palermo 0
If you're keeping count at home this has been an ideal Saturday. Arsenal at 10, United at 12:30, Juve at 2:30 with a Chelsea-Villa appetizer.
Momo Sissoko smashes home an outrageous give-and-go and this gets my blood moving. Italian soccer is easier to watch. It just is. Think Lost vs. Arrested Development. Both enjoyable shows but one a comedy and the other a drama. I can't believe I failed to mention this is Trezeguet's first start since his knee injury. An ideal Saturday indeed because Treze scores from an Amauri cross, seals the deal and I catch him joyously screaming at some fans. I like David.
Maryland 82, North Carolina 80
Bitch holler. Bring back miss Shiavo for one more go. 4-8 against RPI-top50. 2 wins against top 5 opponents. If they beat NC State and Virginia and don't get blown out at Wake, one win in the conference tourney and I have them in. And a streaky 10 seed they will be.
Liverpool 1, Manchester Citeh 1
Citeh is a dangerous team in a schizophrenic sort of way. I went to a conference on societal stigma towards mental health issues the other week and I'm sorry that I just associated schizophrenia to danger but come on.
I check the headline on soccernet for some sensationalized analysis and they don't let me down, "Liverpool title hopes crushed." Have I mentioned that I hate soccernet? Anyways, yeah, Liverpool probably can't afford to leave points on the pitch anymore. Is anyone really surprised? I know Ben isn't here to defend Liverpool but seriously, nobody actually thought they would hold off United did they? The Premiership was decided once United beat Chelsea 3-zip in January. Over, done, lets not talk about it anymore.
The Champions League is next. I go pee a little bit whenever I think about Tuesday/Wedensday. Just a little bit. Like a drop of pee squeezes out. Yay!
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.