Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More Bale Magic, Do Or Die For Real Madrid, Tim Cahill in New Jersey, Slides at St. James' Park, Pitiful Racist Fines

Oi! Loads to get through today. We'll begin with yesterday's fantastic edition of Monday Night Football...

Holy Moses! Gareth Bale is en fuego. He pretty much took care of West Ham on his own yesterday, leading his Spurs to a 2-3 win at Upton Park. His free kicks weren't up to their usual standards but The Hammers allowed the new Welsh Wizard plenty of time on his left foot to knock in two glorious strikes. Scott Parker reckons Bale has "deflated" Arsenal ahead of Sunday's mega-clash. Some of the SSN staffers who are Arsenal fans were certainly deflated. Jonathan Wilson says André Villas-Boas has changed Spurs' shape and the system has allowed the winger to take flight with startling results. Startling results, indeed. Here's a match report. And here's the winner:

Now that all of this round's action is complete, let's take a look at the table. As noted in the reports above, Spurs jumped above Chelsea into third. United remain comfortable at the top, while a gap has now opened between fifth and sixth after Everton's loss. QPR looked doomed, which means 'Arry will leave to ruin yet another club, and Villa have work to do to get out of trouble.

On to Spain. We're graced with two (count 'em) two columns from Sid Lowe today. The first is his usual weekend round-up, whilst the second is a closer look at the upcoming grind for Real Madrid. The Special One's boys face Barcelona away in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg at Camp Nou this evening, having drawn 1-1 in the first; on Saturday they play Barcelona again in La Liga at home and next Tuesday they travel to Manchester United in the Champions League, again having drawn 1-1 at home in the first leg. Yikes!

Speaking of Barcelona, Phil Ball was down there at the weekend and filed this report.

Honigstein? Yeah, we got him. Bayern Munich are running away with the Bundesliga but their rivalry with Borussia Dortmund remains completely compelling. The two sides clash in the German Cup morgen.

The Houston Dynamo have new jerseys. Didn't expect that jump, did you? Anyway, this writer is rather upset about it. We've done an informal poll around SSN HQ and we like them. So there.

Sticking with the USA, Tim Cahill is here. Yes, the boxing midfielder left lovely Liverpool for Harrison, New Jersey. New Jersey! Tom Dart had a chat with the former Everton star. Speaking of Everton, they've got a tricky Cup tie tonight against Oldham. Preview, please.
Governor Patterson was shocked by Cahill's move...
Granted, it's Tuesday, but we enjoy Marcotti's Monday Musings, so we're willing to back it up a bit. This week Gabby is talking Milan Derby, Beckham's PSG debut, and Mancini's mentality.

This headline from the Daily Mail sums it up: The price of racism? Inter fined just £43,000 after fans subject Balotelli to monkey chants and wave inflatable bananas... and Mario is charged £8,500 for reacting! 

Slides at St. James' Park? What a novel idea. We like it. "Travel Accelerators." Very cool.

Right. That's your lot. Off you go.



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