Happy Monday then faithful readership, and with just the two games left of the season, things continue to twist and turn both at the top of the pile and also down at the bottom.
With the abyss of relegation on the horizon for plenty of teams, many have started to find some form late in the season, and now it is looking like any two from Fulham,
Finally, the mini-league for fifth place seems to have been all but settled now with Everton safe by three points, but just below them, Villa, Pompey, Blackburn and
Premier League Team of the Week (based on OPTA stats, Fantasypremierleague.com ratings and my own expert eye):
Keeper – Marcus Hahemann (several fantastic saves, including a superhuman change of direction to keep out a Michael Brown shot that was deflected)
Defence – Ryan Taylor (solid tackling and couple of vital blocks), Joseph Yobo (great positioning), Ashley Cole (credit where credit’s due), Brett Emerton (decent covering work)
Midfield – Michael Ballack (match-winner), James McFadden (tricky), Jermaine Pennant (excellent again), Steed Malbranque (consistent attacking threat)Up Top – Diomansy Kamara (saviour), Obafemi Martins (pacey and always dangerous), Michael Chopra (alert and sharp)
Goal of the Week – Sebastien Larsson’s cracking free-kick at
Nutmeg of the Week – Diomansy Kamara bags Fulham’s first comeback goal via a rather large gap between Joe Hart’s legs.
Save of the Week – Hart restored some credibility not long after though, miraculously clawing a point-blank David Healy header over the bar.
Skill of the Week – James McFadden’s sweet juggling over Martin Skrtl’s head (see it at the start of the above Larsson video).
Miss of the Week – The normally lethal Dimitar Berbatov wastes a glorious chance to beat
Attempt of the Week – Jimmy Bullard nearly moves his total for the year on another tick with a cracking long range effort that just dipped too late and grazed the cross-bar.
Gaffe of the Week – After a great season overall Ricardo Carvalho was the villain of the piece for a while at
UFC Move of the Week – Steven Taylor clearly doesn’t like Freddie Ljundberg’s ambiguous sexuality very much so decided to stamp on his neck and chest for it.
ASBO of the Week – Didier Drogba with a text-book rising knee straight out of Street Fighter into Nemanja Vidic’s face. The Serbian hardman had a mouth-full of blood, and a tooth through his lip, but he still could’ve killed you with a spade if you cussed him.
Broken Jinx of the Week – Fulham gave themselves a further boost for survival by winning back-to-back away games for the first time in four and a half years.
Playground Theatrics of the Week – Drogba and Ballack had a little tiff about who was taking a free-kick that made the former especially look like a teenage girl crying because someone else was wearing the same cardigan as them. Or something equally gay.
Poach of the Week – Greek star Stelios bags a tap-in from about a yard out that even Gary Linekar would be proud of with his first touch on Saturday.
Statistic of the Week – David James missed his first Premier League for more than four years, breaking a chain of 166 consecutive appearances.
Karma of the Week – Radhi Jaidi receives some justice from the universe for his goalkeeper-distracting antics by deflecting a tame Benayoun header into his own net.
Controversy of the Week – Michael Carrick’s handball at
Whinge of the Week – Carlos Queiroz takes his turn to see what it’s like being Arsene Wenger with this quote talking about Ballack’s man-handling of Cristiano Ronaldo in the second-half: “It must be necessary for a player to bring a gun and shoot one of our men in the box for us to get a penalty!” He went on to raise previous ghosts: “We are not in the FA Cup final because of a bad decision when we should have had a penalty against
Hero of the Week – Diomansy Kamara just about pips Michael Ballack this week by somehow inspiring Fulham to another crucial win after the Cottagers were 2 – 0 down early on at the City of Manchester stadium.
Zero of the Week – With no win in three games, this is as close as Man United get to a ‘crisis,’ so I guess it has to be Alex Ferguson. After one frustrating draw against Blackburn, and two games in the last week where they barely had a kick, this week’s Champions League second leg, hosting
Personal Highlight of the Week – A fantastic Old Firm clash which saw Celtic take the plaudits and beat arch-rivals Rangers in a riveting game with end-to-end attacks and a large proportion of local Scottish lads impressing.