2010 could well prove decisive in this season's Premier League title race after
Manchester United regained control of their own destiny, moving two points
clear of Arsenal and four above Chelsea at the top of the table.
it might not.
As the past
two days' action have again proved, anything can happen in this wildly
unpredictable season, which is proving "stranger" (in the words of
Rafa Benitez) than an Antonio Valencia tumble in the penalty box.
did Chelsea conspire to drop points at struggling Blackburn, but United actually
managed to beat Liverpool. And Nemanja Vidic stayed on the pitch for a whole 90
their last three games against their arch rivals from down the M62 - and Vidic
having been dismissed in each of those games - victory for United was mildly
surprising, especially considering the start Liverpool made at Old Trafford.
Fernando Torres was up for the fight, and not only because he opened the
scoring with a beautiful header after just five minutes. No, the fact that his normally
skull-hugging, greased-down hair got all fluffy pretty soon after kick-off spoke
volumes about the amount of energy he was expending.
one of the television pundits put it at half-time, Torres was likely to either
score the winner or get himself sent off, such was his crazed input into the
In the end,
he did neither, which said a lot for a) how United dealt with his threat after
the break and b) how redundant pundits have become this season, given it has
been easier to predict the average Chelsea defender's leisure pursuits than the
actual outcome of a game of football.
ED remains bold enough to stick its head out and predict there is a great deal
more unpredictability to come this season.
look at the remaining fixtures for the top three proves it.
United: Bolton (a), Chelsea (h), Blackburn (a), Manchester
City (a), Tottenham (h), Sunderland (a), Stoke (h)
Arsenal: Birmingham (a), Wolves (h), Tottenham (a),
Wigan (a), Manchester City (h), Blackburn (a), Fulham (h)
Chelsea: Portsmouth (a), Aston Villa (h), Manchester United
(a), Bolton (h), Tottenham (a), Stoke (h), Liverpool (a), Wigan (h)
game with Chelsea will be billed as a title decider, but there are others which
have the potential to influence the destination of the Premier League trophy
Manchester derby on April 17 presents a real banana skin for United, with
Carlos Tevez et al more than capable of providing an upset at Eastlands. And
how about the champions' trip to what can now only be described as Fortress
Arsenal, who amazingly have wormed their way into real contention despite
serious injuries, dodgy defending and Nicklas Bendtner, the North London derby
on April 10 stands out as a real point-dropper. And away games at Wigan and
Blackburn (we all know how much the Gunners love it oop North against teams who
are up for a scrap) could prove tricky.
Chelsea , who are stuttering following their referee-based Champions League
exit (see below) and the draw at Ewood, have to go to White Hart Lane and
Anfield, neither places that Carlo Ancelotti will relish visiting.
will be dropped this season, for sure. It could now just a question of who
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It was a bad performance by us but a
really bad performance from the referee. It is not good enough at this stage of
the competition. We do our best to get ourselves in this position and for two
years running we get let down by bad refereeing. I'm not going to say the word
conspiracy. I am not using that term, but I'm so frustrated by what happened."
John Terry thinks that by saying he is not saying something he is actually saying,
he will get away with slagging off the referee who officiated Chelsea's defeat
to Internazionale last week.
BIG WINNERS OF THE WEEKEND: Rangers claimed the first part of
a potential Treble with victory over St Mirren in the CIS Insurance Cup final
at Hampden, despite being reduced to nine men. Yes, the Buddies were that bad.
FOREIGN VIEW: So Wayne Rooney's the best player in the
world at the moment, is he? He's good, great even, but come on, Lionel Messi is
simply peerless at the moment. Another hat-trick for the Barcelona ace,
including one absolute stunner, saw the European champions beat Real Zaragoza
4-2 and prompt a 'Heavenly Messi' headline in AS.
COMING UP: All the usual Monday offerings, including
Paul Parker on the weekend's action, Winners and Losers and Behind Enemy Lines,
plus we'll have a podcast to spark debate later in the day. And batten down the
hatches, Millwall play Leeds in League One tonight.