20 March, 2008

Gameweek 30.5 - A Tale of Two Coles

Happy Thursday to the faithful and welcome to a first for STT - a midweek Premiership roundup. As of today, all teams have played the same number of game and some predictions and wild genralisations can be drawn from the table. Firstly, let's have a look at last night's matches.

Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the table from nil points to 3 with a professional dismemberment of a fairly lacklustre Bolton side, who have now slipped out of Europe and are in serious danger of playing in the Real League next year. Stand-in captain Cristiano Ronaldo made sure the game was over a s acontest after 20 minutes, with a scambled goal from insode the box and another beautiful free-kick from 25 yards, which Al Habsi had no chance of saving. These strikes equalled and then broke George Best's scoring record for a United winger in a season, taking Ronaldo's tally to 33 for the season.

The other encounter of the night was an absolute goalfest and can be seen here. In the end, 8 goals were scored as the teams ended level in a game where Spurs were never a head, but deserved to be. Drogba opened the scoring in the third minute, only for Chelsea's Carling Cup tormentor Johnathan Woodgate to pull one back with his own coiffured barnet. Essien grabbed one back and Chelsea led as the players had their oranges, a lead which was increased by Joe Cole after the break, as he slipped the shackles of Chimbonda and put the ball underneath Paul Robinson. Cole's display was up there with his best in a blue shirt and proved tonic to the dour and methodical football that Chelsea have been accused of playing this season. Berbatov then beat John Terry to a header from a corner, before Tom 'Big Gut' Huddlestone fired a great left footed equaliser. Cole added his second in then 80th minute, making Chimbonda once again look like a klutz, before Robbie Keane scored the goal of the game with a banana shot around Cudicini from outside the box. Phew.

The score would have been higher if it had not been for two fantastic saves from Carlo Cudicini, which saved a point for the Blues. However, the most controversial incident occured just before half-time, when Ashley Cole ploughed into Alan Hutton at pace and very high. After the customary Chelsea referee intimidation party, led by head bully John Terry, Cole was only given a yellow for what was a pretty nasty challenge. Even when he was getting booked, he was being a dickhead, as he turned his back on Mike Riley. For his troubles, the normally relaxed Gus Poyet got all up in his grill as the teams entered the tunnel at halftime.

Cole has today apologised for his twattishness, both to Hutton and to Riley, but this is most likely thanks to the popular clamour for further action against him. Yet again, the FA has refused to change a ruling on the field, as it has always done. Can't it just make an exeption for Ashley? Please?