1. This wasn't a round of Premier League fixtures: it was the world's best attended leaving do. Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Steve Harper, Rafa Benitez and Mark Halsey were all saying goodbye. 2. Fergie won't be forgetting his final game in management for a while.
1. Old Trafford gave a great goodbye to Sir Alex Ferguson. Prawn sandwiches were pushed aside to create some serious atmosphere. 2. Quitting works. Both Manchester United and Everton got good home wins to say goodbye to departing managers. 3. It was a bittersweet weekend for Wigan. They upset the odds to win the FA [.
1. If you thought there were no winners in a draw, think again: it was Arsenal on this occasion. 2. Emmanuel Adebayor is sure to have some nasty blisters on his feet this morning. He showed finishing and mobility skills unheard of unless he's in need of a new contract. 3. The route to Champions [...]
1. David Luiz is trying to develop a tabloid persona as 'the Smirker'. 2. It's getting tight at the bottom. 3. 'Agh win it late, C!' is an appropriate anagram of Wigan Athletic after Callum McManaman's late winner against West Brom. 4. Indeed, it was a day for late lifelines at both ends of the [...]
1. QPR and Reading managed to reduce the relegation dogfight to a whimper. Both teams went down after their 0-0 draw on Sunday; neither side seemed particularly keen to do anything to avoid that fate. 2. Robin Van Persie managed to turn his return to Arsenal into a relatively successful afternoon. It wasn't looking promising [.
1. Before you demonstrate a complete lack of cultural awareness, consider that biting is actually a very common gesture to signify good defending in Uruguay. 2. He might have a taste for human flesh, but Luis Suarez made the race for Champions League football very interesting with his late, late equaliser against Chelsea.
1. Sunderland's dry cleaning bill is going to rival Danny Graham's transfer fee as the Black Cats' biggest waste of money in 2013 if Paolo Di Canio carries on like that. 2. Arsenal mounted a fightback against Norwich built on the dodgy officiating foundations of a wrongly awarded corner, a soft penalty and an offside [.
1. The battle for fourth is hotting up after Tottenham's draw with Everton. It looks like that and one relegation place is what we'll all be talking about on the last day of the season. 2. Harry Redknapp has been saying for weeks that Bobby Zamora would kickstart QPR's relegation fight. We're not sure that's [.
1. This was the perfect match to lull England into a false sense of security ahead of the Montenegro match. 2. Great to see Joe Hart back to his best after some shaky form. 3. San Marino's best performer was the stadium announcer, who undermined all the England egos by reversing their names as if [..
Fellapen by Samu21213 1. Manchester City seem determined to make the title run-in as dull as possible. It's surely all over after their defeat to Everton. 2. Toffees midfielder Marouane Fellaini benefited from a little known by-law of the game whereby a penalty cannot be awarded for handball if any part of your hair is [.
1. There's been a robbery in north London. It appears Tottenham might have stolen Arsenal's self-destruct button. 2. It wasn't all doom and gloom for Spurs. Yes, they lost to Liverpool but their old boys secured an important victory over Sunderland. 3. After his stunning strike against the Black Cats, Andros Townsend has earned the [.
1. Arsenal's daredevil game of sluggish defenders, pacy opponents and a very high line might have been a mistake. 2. Gareth Bale's in such good goalscoring form that he's even willing to help Arsenal find the net. 3. The chairmen of the rest of the Premier League's bottom six clubs are hastily arranged for their [.
1. Chelsea are definitely hanging on to third rather than hunting for second. They didn't appear to be hunting for anything against Manchester City yesterday. 2. It was sad to see Robin Van Persie go the way of David Beckham: out of favour with Sir Alex Ferguson after spending too much time in front of [.
1. Last season, a beautifully placed finish from Sergio Aguero won the title for Manchester City. It looks like a similarly well-placed finish from Gareth Barry has lost them the title this season. 2. Ryan Giggs is a machine. The man is 40 this year and he's still capable of winning Premier League matches.
1. Sergio Aguero has a protractor once... but he snapped it in half and threw it away in disgust. 2. Move over, Michu. Moussa Sissoko is making a late charge for bargain buy of the season. 3. West Brom players were under the impression that a new sin-binning punishment had been brought in for spitting [.
1. A Fergie never forgets. Make a mistake running the line once and it stays on your record for life. 2. No wonder Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea looked uncomfortable yesterday. He hates white things falling from the sky. 3. Even with Roman Abramovich's millions you can't justify throwing out a perfectly good coat.
1. Reading vs West Brom up first on Match of the Day? A clear indication that something special is afoot. 2. Jonathan Walters needs to accept that Chelsea have signed Demba Ba and don't need another striker. His live audition for the role of a Blues goalscorer was shameful. 3. Laurent Koscielny can now cross [.
1. Luis Suarez: controversy seeks him out like a ball to an outstretched hand. 2. FA Cup third weekend was a great advert for the January transfer window. With Demba Ba and Daniel Sturridge both on target on their debuts, perhaps it's not such a bad time to splash your cash. 3. Hastings striker Bradley [.
1. Aston Villa will be delighted not to have started the new year in the manner that they ended 2012. But the fragility of their defence was still there for everyone to see as they somehow managed to snatch a 2-2 draw from the jaws of victory, which they had snatched from the jaws of [...]
1. Newcastle secured a Boxing Day defeat that Kevin Keegan would have been proud to preside over. 2. Sir Alex Ferguson decided that the season of goodwill should not extend to any match official involved in awarding Newcastle's second goal. 3. The Black Cats are unlucky for Manchester City. That's twice in two seasons that [.
1. Rafa Benitez attempted to throw his weight behind the Roberto Di Matteo protests by encouraging his team to score 16 goals against Aston Villa. 2. You know you're in trouble when you've lost 8-0, your goalkeeper has saved a penalty and was your best player by a mile. 3. Puffa coat-wearing manager watches his [.
1. There were some unbelievable Bentekkers on display in the Liverpool vs Aston Villa match. Two goals and a crazy backheel assist for Villa's young Belgian striker. 2. Kolo Toure has finally come clean and told Roberto Mancini that he's a footballer, not a car salesman, and is promptly flavour of the month.
1. It's well known that Manchester City have money to throw around, but coppers aimed at Rio Ferdinand's eye is taking things a bit too far. Bound to fall foul of the Financial Fair Play regulations. 2. Fernando Torres is scoring goals and smiling. That makes at least one person at Stamford Bridge who's delighted [.
1. Rafael Benitez hardly got a warm welcome at Stamford Bridge. Roman Abramovich might like to pick up a copy of Mike Ashley's excellent pamphlet 'The Football Club Owner's Guide To Surviving Fan Mutiny'. 2. Chelsea fans were angry, booing Benitez and holding up scraps of paper bemoaning the Spaniard's appointment.
1. Perhaps pitch-length goal celebrations are an effective way for Emmanuel Adebayor to get rid of some adrenaline when he's playing against Arsenal. A relatively subdued celebration was followed by a reckless red card challenge on Santi Cazorla. 2. We're not sure if flicking through a notepad of tactics in the dugout seemingly looking for [.
1. Chelsea know how to win these trophies against the run of play. They were inferior to Benfica for huge chunks of this match, but Bayern Munich will testify that counts for little. 2. "Winners of Europe's second most prestigious club competition, we know what we are" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
1. Crowd trouble at an England match and the English supporters are nothing but bewildered spectators. How times have changed. 2. Nothing signifies an ultimately disappointing draw is on the horizon quite like an early England goal. 3. Given Joe Hart's propensity to find touch with such regularity, he might have been the man to [.
1. It's hard to see this as anything other than the end of an era for 'the' Barcelona side we all know. Minus Messi, the rest of the team either older and achier members of the great side or lesser additions are no longer up to the high standards they've set themselves. Expect [...]
1. Another Champions League side has proved that its whole is greater than the some of its parts. Well done to Borussia, who were assembled on a shoestring budget in comparison to Real. 2. The first 70 minutes was essentially watching 11 men in white shirts gradually run out of ideas against the Germans.
1. It's all about LEW4NDOWSK1. The four-goal hero delivered a sensational performance to put Borussia on the verge of making it to the Champions League final. 2. Of course, in reality it wasn't all about Lewandowski. He was the star man and focal point in what was a superb team performance. 3. Except Hummels, who [.
1. This particular Champions League Houdini act looks like it will be beyond even the seasoned escapologists of Barcelona. 2. Dante's peak was considerably higher than that of anyone in the Barca defence. Bayern dominated in the air. 3. Lionel Messi can claim to be fully fit all he likes he clearly wasn't.
1. Accidentally kicking an opponent with your eyes firmly on the ball is a straight red card. This could be the end of the overhead kick as we know it. 2. Cristiano Ronaldo has perfected the 'walking back from an offside position' goal celebration. 3. Claiming that the better team lost, skulking off without celebrating, [.
1. It looks distinctly like Arsenal's last hope of a trophy this season has just slipped away like a Bayern Munich player escaping from an Arsenal defender at a set-piece. 2. Arsenal had to resort to kicking another team off the park as they can't cope with their pace, passing & movement. Presumably even Arsene [.
1. Jose Mourinho vs Sir Alex Ferguson? It might as well have been Tony Pulis vs Joe Kinnear. Set-pieces and crosses were what this was all about. 2. Cristiano Ronaldo laughs in the face of gravity. He hung in the air to head in his goal. 3. David De Gea made one of the best [...]
Some Anglocentric lessons Learned from another bad week for English clubs in the Champions League 1. The European stock of Premier League clubs is falling faster than the BBC's. Nearly. After something of a purple patch for English clubs in Europe which saw two winners, six final appearances and numerous semi-final outings for THE BEST [.
1. A 5-0 win plus a replay between Manchester United and Chelsea: Manchester City were the undoubted winners of the weekend. 2. United can thank David De Gea's big toe for preventing them exiting two cup competitions in a week. 3. Wigan's Callum McManaman is probably no longer welcome on the Goodison Park terraces after [.
1. Blackburn have finally found a Kean capable of competing against Premier League opposition. 2. Oldham striker Matt Smith either loves the FA Cup or hates Merseyside. It's hard to tell at this stage. 3. Smith and his Latics team-mates can be grateful that goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis failed with his attempt at a blatant handball [.
1. The undoubted shock of the round came at the Madejski Stadium, where Premier League side Reading comfortably saw off lower-league opposition in the form of Sheffield United. 2. Norwich City were knocked out at the hands of Ruthless Rendell. There was nothing mysterious about Luton's progression as they became the first non-league side to [.
1. This was distinctly the Capital Swan Cup Final. The ginormous Wembley pitch and Swansea's passing game did for Bradford. 2. In the battle of the birds, the Swans were unsurprisingly more powerful than the Bantams. Perhaps Bradford will consider becoming the Ostriches ahead of any future Wembley exploits.
1. Jack Wilshere, it's good to have you back. He showed drive, commitment and technical ability so often missing in England performances. 2. On the flip side, you do find yourself constantly thinking he's about to get injured. We don't know how you cope on a weekly basis, Arsenal fans. 3. Not gutting much joy [.