The title is decided in Brazil and Japan, red cards and fighting, Champions League news and trouble in The Europa League all feature in this week’s the good, the bad and the ugly section of the podcast. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.
A third championship on the trot for Kashima in Japan. The team from Ibaraki, just north of Tokyo, sealed the crown with a one-nil victory over big rivals Urawa, which must have made the victory very sweet indeed. Kashima, despite a few wobbles towards the end of the season always looked the strongest team in the J-League and they reinforce their position as the most successful side since the J-League started in 1993. They now have won the title seven times and the Emperor’s Cup three times. Congratulations Kashima.
Congratulations also to Flamengo who won one of the tightest Brazilian championship races ever last weekend after beating Gremio 2-1 before 80.000 fans in the Maracana Stadium. This was the first time that the most popular club in Brazil had won the championship in 17 years and was the team’s 5th success overall and much of this success was down to a return to form of Brazilian striker Adriano who finished the season joint-top scorer with 19 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo receives a red card after picking up two needless yellow cards in Real Madrid’s game against Almeria. The Madrid side won 4-2 and Cristiano played well and scored but spoilt the performance by: not celebrating a goal scored by his team-mate, Benzema, after the Portuguese striker had missed a penalty; getting a yellow card for taking his shirt off; and getting another yellow – and therefore a red – for a series of petulant tackles. Great player, bad temperament.
Juventus, The Old Lady, one of Italy’s powerhouse clubs joins Liverpool in the Europa League after being dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich, who have hit a rich vein of form, 1-4. Despite taking the lead at home, Juve were crushed by a superb second half display by the Germans. Very bad for the Italians and also for Wolsburg who could have gone through with a victory over a depleted Manchester United team, but who were thumped 1-3 at home by the English side. – all three goals coming from the boot of Michael Owen.
Very ugly scenes at last week’s Europa League game between Vienna and Athletic Bilbao. Home fans taunted the Spanish team, which is from the Basque region of Spain, with banners saying ‘Viva Franco’ – Franco of course was the military dictator of Spain from 1939~1973 and was responsible for repressing the Basque people, even banning their language. Flares and other objects were also thrown onto the pitch. Despite the game being suspended for long periods of time, the Basque side won 3-0 and let’s hope we won’t be seeing Vienna again anytime soon.
Some ugly scenes in the tunnel after the Premier League match between Hearts and Hamilton. The game itself had been a tense affair with two players sent off but this tension spilled over into the tunnel after the game, resulting in the local police having to step in to prevent any more trouble. Another 3 players received red cards as well as the Hearts masseur making it an ugly afternoon for Scotish football.
You can see the brawl here if you are in the UK.
on the trot : Consecutively; one after the other
sealed the crown: Won the title
a few wobbles: Not always perfect, some weaknesses
tight (race/game): close, competitive
petulant: childish, bad-tempered
be dumped out of: be beaten and knocked out of a competition – usually losing badly
hit a rich vein of form: start a good run of winning games / scoring lots of goals / playing very well
depleted: weakened, have many players out injured
be taunted: be provoked, be insulted, be goaded
in the tunnel: The place where the players enetr onto the pitch and return to the dressing room.
spilled over: To continue on (after the whistle)