Champions League action, the return of two scoring heroes and unfortunately some more violence from Argentinian football all feature in this week’s the good, the bad and the ugly. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.
Good for Spanish giants, Real Madrid, who go top of the La Liga after a 1-0 victory over Racing Santander. In the Champions League they also beat FC Zurich, who famously beat AC Milan earlier in the competition, again 1-0. But more importantly for Real, their star Christiano Ronaldo made a return in that game, and could be available for el clasico this weekend against arch rivals, Barcelona. Elsewhere in the Champions League there were good results for Besiktas, who ended Manchester United’s undeafeated run at home in the Champions League, Bordeaux, who beat Juventus 2-0, and Chelsea who secured top spot in their group after beating Porto away.
It’s not often my team Spurs feature in the good section of our football review but I think they deserve to be after last week’s nine-goal demolition of Wigan in the Premier League. This was the first time a team had scored that many goals in a top-flight game since Manchester United beat Ipswich 9-0 in 1995. England striker Jermaine Defoe marked his return from suspension with a five-goal haul – the first time this feat has been accomplished since Alan Shearer did so for Newcastle in 1999. Spurs move up to 4th place in the league and Defoe looks to have sealed his place in the England World Cup squad.
It’s been a bad month for Everton as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat against lowly Hull City in the Premier League this week – this coming after a 0-3 loss against Manchester United at the weekend. The club lie in 14th place in the division and have now only won once in their past 8 games. Furthermore, they have been thrashed twice by Portuguese side Benfica in the Europa League, suffered a huge amount of injuries to some of their major players and today their application to build a new stadium has been turned down. Tough times for the Blue half of Liverpool before the big city derby with the reds this weekend.
Bad news for Paul Hart as his club, the south coast team Portsmouth, decide to show him the door after another loss – this time to relegation rivals Stoke 1-0. Despite some positive performances results haven’t gone the Blues way – they have won only two out of the last ten games in the league and are rooted firmly at the bottom of the Premier League. Mind you, Liverpool aren’t that much better in the League with one win in five, but more worrying for the team from Merseyside is that they have crashed out of the Champions League, which has been their bread and butter for several years now. Still there’s always a silver lining – if they win the Europa League, the new name for the UEFA Cup, they will set a new record of four titles.
We haven’t mentioned it for a while but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there – yes, violence in Argentina. A match between Huracan and San Lorenzo saw fighting in the stands between rival fans after the Huracan fans displayed a flag with San Lorenzo’s colours – this might seem a bit strange, surely that would be supporting the other team – but in Argentina that is a very provocative gesture. Passions often run high in this Buenos Aires derby match called the clásico del Barrio. Police ended up using tear gas, the players had to retreat from the pitch, all in all not a very beautiful sight.
el clasico: Spanish, meaning the classic, the big match
secure: make safe, (in this report – clinch, get)
demolition: thrashing; heavy defeat
a top-flight game: A match played in the top division (Premier League for example)
a five-goal haul: To score 5 goals in a game
to have sealed his place: To be assured (certain) of being in the squad
show (someone) the door: sack, invite to leave
crash out: fail to progress in a competition, often lose badly
bread and butter: money, livelihood, support, important thing for living
provocative: an action that causes anger, annoyance,and maybe violence