Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Thriller at Anfield as Arshavin hits four
I've talked about it before on the show. I am not the biggest fan of Andrei Arshavin, I didn't think he would be a good fit with Arsenal, but he is proving me wrong and Arshavin impressed me today after scoring all four goals for Arsenal in the 4-4 draw with Liverpool. It was nice to see the rest of the Gunners scoring today... oh wait, nevermind. His 4th goal should have sealed the game but Yossi Benayoun scored in injury time to equalise for Liverpool. More on him later.
Arsenal are in no-mans land right now in the Premier League standings. They sit 4th and are trying desperately to catch Chelsea, which is unlikely and Aston Villa and Everton chasing one another, so the Gunners probably won't drop out of those Champions League slot. I think they've been able to secure 4th spot.
Benayoun meanwhile seems to score when he needs to. A late game winner today, a late game winner against Fulham at Craven Cottage a few weeks back. Benayoun seems to be the perfect super sub. He reminds me of Ole Gunnar Solsjaer (Liverpool and Manchester United fans will just love me for suggesting that) because he always seemed to score those big goals. Who could forget the game winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Benayoun reminds me of that. Ofcourse Benayoun hasn't scored a goal as big as Solsjaer, but he has chipped in with very important game winners or game levellers throughout the season. If I was putting together a team in this day an age, finding a guy like Benayoun is an absolute must.
Liverpool meanwhile pick up the point to draw them level with Manchester United for top spot. Manchester United has two-games in hand on Liverpool, one of them coming tomorrow, and it would seem unlikely that they would drop six-points and allow Liverpool to get back into the race. Liverpool down the stretch have a better schedule, facing three of the bottom five teams in their last five games. United face a tougher test. Two bottom dwellers aside, they face Arsenal, have a Manchester Derby and a returning to glory Tottenham squad. It will be interesting, but Manchester United should hold on for the title this season. Liverpool meanwhile may have to worry about Chelsea, who after tomorrow, could be 1 point back of Liverpool. The race for 1st is coming down to the final few weeks and it should be an interesting ride.
The top of the table is interesting, but the story line at the basement is just as interesting. Eight different teams have the potential of being dropped in the relegation battle. It is that tight. A couple wins can get you out of the drop zone, a couple losses can put you right back in. West Brom is really the only sure bet in going down. The others that are in the relegation zone and on the cusp include Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Hull City, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Bolton. The ride at the top is going to be entertaining, but the ones at the bottom with be just an intriguing. It's going to be a very fun May in the Barclays Premier League.
In Spain, Real Madrid have made things interesting, sitting just three points back of Barcelona. Barca do have a game in hand though and don't look as though they will slip up at all.
Over in Italy, Inter Milan have the Serie A all but wrapped out. Two separate battles in Italy, one for second and also a battle for 4th.
The Bundesliga in Germany looks tight also, 2 wins and 2 losses will move you from 1st to 5th. 1 win and 1 loss will take you from 2nd to 5th, it's that tight.
Some very entertaining battles in the month of May in Europe.