Weekend Football Wrap

The past weekend belonged to champions.  In South Africa they were crowned, in England they saw their league performance being rejuvenated while in Spain they continued their winning form.  Some of the weekend’s results shocked the entire football fraternity, but in any case you win some and loose some.  It is the beautiful game after
all and here’s the breakdown of it all.

At home only Orlando Pirates and Mpumalanga Black Aces battled for three points.  The match was played on Friday and ended in a 1-1 draw after former Bucs talisman Collins Mbesuma cancelled Mpho Makola’s wonder strike.  On Saturday, Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town met at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for MTN8 honours.  Despite being evenly contested the Glamour Boys failed to stop the Urban Warriors from having their day in the sun.  Nathan Paulse’s penalty kick gave the Ikamva outfit the R8 million and the prestigious trophy.

Abroad, Chelsea and Arsenal headlined the weekend.  The Blues ended up winning the match 2-0, however the Gunners will feel hard done as they finished the match with nine men and didn’t get much of the referee’s decisions going their way.  Manchester City were handed their first defeat of the campaign when they fell 2-1 at home to West Ham, their second consecutive loss as they also lost by the same scoreline in the Champions League in midweek.

Newcastle were beaten by Watford 2-1, West Bromwich Albion also had their 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.  Bournemouth bagged maximum points at home beating Sunderland 2-0.  Swansea and Everton played to a 0-0 draw, in a match where either side could have taken it.  Stoke City and Leicester played to a 2-2 draw to sum up Saturday’s action.

On Sunday, Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Norwich at Anfield.  A draw might be a positive result, however for a club like Liverpool it always feel like a loss as they are drift further from the league leaders.  Tottenham Hotspur beat Crystal Palace 1-0.  Manchester United had a good day at the office as Anthony Martial continued to mark his
arrival with a brace.  The ‘New Thierry Henry’ equalised for the Red Devils and put his side in front in their 3-2 win at St. Mary’s.  No changes at the summit of the log though as the Citizens are holding on followed by the Red Devils.  West Ham and Leicester completes the top four.

The usual perpetrators in La Liga were at it again.  On Saturday, Karim Benzema scored the match’s only goal as Real Madrid beat Granada 1-0.  Their crosstown rivals, Atletico Madrid scooped a comfortable 2-0 victory at Eibar.  Espanyol won 3-2 over Real Sociedad as Valencia and Real Betis played to a goalless draw.  In a match between two sides yet to lose on Sunday one walked out victorious.  That was the encounter between Las Palmas and Rayo Vallecano, with Rayo won 1-0.  Barcelona had a commanding 4-1 victory over Levante with Lionel Messi scoring a brace.  Celta Vigo stunned Sevilla, beating them 2-1 at home.  Sporting Gijon continued on their good run as they won 3-2 at Deportivo.  Villarreal saw their solid performance being rewarded with a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.  

As things stand, Barca are on top followed by Real Madrid.  Villarreal and Celta Vigo completes the top four.

Photo by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images