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In this week’s review of the footballing action, we congratulate Manchester United, wonder about Luis Suarez and look on in shock at the Dutch Cup. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
Since being thrashed by rivals Manchester City, Man Utd have gone on an amazing nine-match unbeaten run – eight of those games were wins – that has seen the Red Devils move joint top of the Premier League table. Over Christmas they won both of their matches 5-0 (against Fulham and Wigan) and with a home game against bottom side Blackburn at New Year they could finish the year looking down on their city rivals.
A bad end of the year for Liverpool striker Luis Suárez both on and off the pitch as the fall out from his racism case continues. The Uruguayan was banned for eight games for racially abusing Frenchman Patrice Evra and fined £40.000. Luis Suárez was then found guilty of a misconduct charge after making an improper gesture towards the Fulham fans after they had been barracking him in their recent match, which means he will miss one game and have to pay a further £20.000. The Uruguayan international has only scored five times in the league this season so it appears that the off-the-field-issues may be affecting his performances. Tough times for the Uruguayan striker.
One of the ugliest stories over the festive period was the extraordinary scenes from the Dutch Cup match between Ajax and Alkmaar when Alkmaar goalkeepeer Esteban was sent off for kicking a fan who had come on to the pitch and attacked him. The Alkmaar players were incensed and citing safety reasons left the pitch. The game was abandoned and the Dutch FA has subsequently ruled that it will be replayed behind closed doors – no fans will be allowed to see it. An ugly end to 2011 in Holland.
thrashed: heavily beaten
looking down on: They will be on top; ahead of their rivals Man City
the fall out: the aftermath
guilty of a misconduct charge: He did something wrong, broke the rules
an improper gesture: He used a rude gesture
they had been barracking him: They were shouting bad things at him, criticising him
were incensed: Very angry