The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Week 16

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The champions being crowned in MLS, great results for Barca and Spurs, a dismal run for the Italian champions, headbutts and biting all make it to our review of the football news around the world. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.

The Good

A great week for Colorado as they win the MLS Cup after beating Dallas last weekend, a good week too for Barcelona as they first hit 8 goals against a hapless Almeria side and then 3 more in an away victory at Panathanaikos in the Champions League. But time for a bit of favouritism on languagecaster as my team Tottenham finally beat their arch-rivals Arsenal at The Emirates – the first time in 17 years we have won away – and we did it in style after coming from two goals down at half-time. Spurs followed this up with a 3-0 defeat of Werder Bremen in the Champions League to progress to the knockout stages with a game to spare. Very good indeed.

The Bad

Things are looking bleak for Inter and their boss Benitez as the Italian Champions lose again – this time to mid-table Chievo 2-1. That’s their second loss on the trot following two draws and has left the nerazzuri in sixth place and losing touch with the top teams fast. Pressure is building on the Manager Rafa, who has a lot to live up to after replacing Mourinho this season, although he has received backing from the owner Massimo Moratti. To make matters worse the pressure is also apparent on the pitch – Eto’o’s Zidane-style headbutt on Cesar in the game against Chievo will be investigated by the Italian FA and a lengthy ban could mean that Inter will be without their most potent attacker during this tough spell.

The Ugly

But losing streaks and headbutts to the chest pale in comparison to biting another player. And that’s what’s in our ugly section this week. Luis Suarez of Ajax bit PSV’s Otman Bakkal on his shoulder in an Eredevisie game. The referee didn’t see the incident, but his club has suspended him and surely the Dutch FA will punish him too. Was Suarez repentant? No. He said “No, I do not regret what happened. Normally I always keep calm but I didn’t … I’m a little tired. This week I had to travel a lot.” His team drew 0-0 but the Uruguayan forward is surely the loser in this one for his ugly assault on a fellow professional! Biting? In football? Ugly.

Vocabulary

a hapless Almeria side: A very weak team; a team with no organisation or heart

arch-rivals: Deadly rivals

with a game to spare: The team have qualified with one game remaining

bleak: bad, not positive, grim

on the trot: in a row, consecutively, one after another

nerazzuri: Inter’s nickname – the ‘black and blues’

have a lot to live up to: when you replace someone and have a difficult job doing as well as them, (in this context) Rafa Benitez replaced Jose Mourinho who won the treble with Inter last season. To repeat that will be very difficult

Zidane-style headbutt: Zidane infamously headbutted Materazzi in the chest in the World Cup finals in 2006 and was red carded

a losing streak: when you lose games on the trot, in a row, one after another

suspend: officially prohibit, ban from playing

be repentant: be (feel) sorry for something bad you have done

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grell

I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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