The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Levante Shock, Italian Bore Draws, Evra and Suárez in Racism Row

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In this week’s review section, we look back at stories from Serie A, La Liga and the Liverpool-Manchester United game. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below, or highlighted in blue.

Good

In our recent La Liga preview we featured the usual suspects – Barcelona and Real to battle for the title; Valencia and Sevilla to qualify for the Champions League, while Rayo and Granada would do well to escape relegation. Yet there was one side that we failed to mention at all – east coast side Levante. However, after seven matches Los granotes (the frogs) find themselves joint top of La Liga along with Barcelona with 17 points after their five wins and two draws. Their last win was against big-spending Malaga but they have also won away at former leaders Betis and remarkably defeated Real Madrid 1-0. It cannot surely last but for now Levante can dream on.

Bad

Italian football fans suffered last weekend as there were only a total of 14 goals scored in the Serie A programme, with half of the ten games ending in nil-nil draws. The scoreless draws occurred in the games between Cesena and Fiorentina, Genoa versus Lecce, Cagliari against Siena, Udinese away at Atalanta and leaders Juventus against Chievo. An anomaly or has Italian football regressed to its bad old days of defensive football?

Ugly

Although there is never a good time for racist allegations to emerge, the fact that Manchester United and French player Patrice Evra has accused an opponent, Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suárez, of racial abuse on the weekend that Kick It Out’s One Game, One Community campaign began has ensured that this story will run. Suárez denies the claims and his club Liverpool have asked for Evra to be sanctioned if his allegations are proven false. Evra is now insisting that his claims are right and will ‘pursue the matter‘ according to his manager Sir Alex Ferguson. This is one story that could get even uglier.

Vocabulary

featured the usual suspects: We looked at / focused on the same old teams

nil-nil draws: 0-0

An anomaly: A one off, a deviation from the rule, something different

regressed: Returned to; gone back to

has ensured: Has meant

to be sanctioned: To be punished

allegations : Accusations

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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 195