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On this week’s review section we congratulate Messi, Dortmund and Celtic, while we report on Arjen Robben’s nightmare game and sympathise with English referees. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
It seems that Leo Messi is always in our good section but we have to include him yet again after his brace against Zaragoza and one more against Getafe in midweek means that he has now scored a remarkable 61 goals this season for Barcelona. He is the first player to score 60 goals in a top European league since Bayern Munich’s Gerd Müeller managed 67 in 1972-73. We also have to congratulate Scottish side Celtic who won their first title in four years in style after defeating Kilmarnock 6-0 to claim their 42nd league championship overall, while we also say well done to German side Dortmund after they defeated rivals Bayern Munich 1-0 to move 6 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with only four games remaining.
It was good for Dortmund but it proved to be a nightmare evening for Bayern star Arjen Robben who managed to give away the winning goal, miss a penalty and then miss a sitter for his side in the closing moments. It looks like the Bavarian fans have found a scapegoat in Robben.
We all know that referees have a tough job but recently it seems that it has become even tougher as they have faced a barrage of complaints from Premier league owners and managers. Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish recently suggested that there may be a conspiracy against his side after he claimed that referees had made “inexcusable” and “unexplainable” decisions. QPR boss Mark Hughes felt that he and some of his colleagues had lost respect for the referees in the top flight.Wigan manager Roberto Martinez described the decisions in his team’s defeat against Chelsea ‘disgusting’, while Sir Alex Ferguson criticised the man in black, Phil Dowd, after his performance against Wigan. On top of all this, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan felt smaller sides were not getting the rub of the green and Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has written to the Premier League so that it might explain its choice of referees. It is no coincidence that these claims often occur after poor refereeing decisions go against a side which makes the comments sound like sour grapes. Decisions may not even themselves out over the season and yes, referees may get decisions wrong – just like the players who play and the managers who pick the team. To put referees under so much pressure, particularly when they receive nowhere near the same amount of money as players and managers, is unfair. Maybe football should learn from other sports with regards to respecting officials before things get even uglier.
brace: Two – to score twice
to claim: To win, to capture
miss a sitter: To miss an easy chance
a scapegoat: Someone to blame
a barrage of complaints: Many, many complaints
a conspiracy against : When others gang up on you, when others ecretly plot against
top flight: The top division, the Premier League
sour grapes: Bitterness, a sore loser
even themselves out over the season: The decisions balance out, become equal