When it rains, it pours for Fernando Torres as the Spaniard bags his first Chelsea hat-trick, while Blackburn's attempt to 'park the bus' make Spurs' Sandro sick
Harry Redknapp (Tottenham)
You’d think the Spurs boss would be over the moon on Sunday evening with his side reclaiming their place in the top four with a win over Blackburn. But no, Redknapp was probably being consoled in the arms of wife Sandra after it emerged the Football Association had approached Roy Hodgson over the vacant England job.
To be fair, it wasn’t just ‘Arry who was convinced he was the sole successor to the Three Lions’ throne, with England chiefs insisting the West Brom manager was the only candidate approached, and it wasn’t some elaborate negotiating tactic, or kink in the road of the 65-year-old’s fairytale appointment.
Maybe they didn’t want a manager who can barely scribble and never misses an opportunity for a soundbite, maybe the Baggies boss’ international experience and ability to speak five languages appealed to them?
It almost serves the former West Ham boss right, after he spent the last week having to deal with a player revolt before suggesting that Luka Modric may well pack his bags at the end of the season.
“Why not?” he must have thought. “I’m off too in May. Me and Luka - hitting the big time!”
Trying to be the new Chelsea, but failing massively
It seems Steve Kean was just as inspired as us all by Chelsea’s ultimate display of ‘park the bus’ football against Barcelona at Camp Nou on Tuesday evening.
While the Blues' tactics may have sealed their progression to the Champions League final, for Blackburn, it handed them a 2-0 slap in the face away to Tottenham, leaving just about everyone bemused by their pathetic display.
Rovers managed not one shot on goal, never mind on target, throughout the whole game, with their attacking intent limited to a corner. Absolutely pathetic, especially for side who can score goals even if they can’t stop them going in the other end.
It wasn’t just the travelling Blackburn fans who were left repulsed by their side, but Spurs’ midfielder Sandro was actually physically sick on the pitch due to the state of the opposition’s performance.
Kean must be worried by such a bad omen. The last time the Brazilian was ill at White Hart Lane? Against West Ham last season, and we all know what happened to them.
And for Brad Friedel it was probably the easiest game of his 301 consecutive Premier League appearances, which was lucky, as the 40-year-old was able to celebrate by taking his usual Sunday afternoon snooze.
World's second happiest man | Torres almost enjoyed his hat-trick as much as Roman Abramovich
WOW. The Uruguayan capped off a hat-trick against Norwich with a goal worthy of the 20 Premier League season’s awards, and whilst the efforts of Fernando Torres may receive greater attention, the former Ajax man’s treble was certainly the best of the weekend.
Antonio Conte’s men continued their quest for an unbeaten Serie A season, with a 4-0 victory over Novara maintaining the Bianconeri’s three-point lead over Milan in the race for the Scudetto.
Better late than never, with Wolves’ players seemingly realising at half time, 4-1 in down in their first game since relegation, to finally give it a right proper go and secure only their third point under the 41-year-old.
They may have got the better of their Glasgow rivals last month, but Celtic firmly avenged the 3-2 defeat at Ibrox with a 3-0 victory in front of their home crowd on Sunday, in a week which Rangers have been slapped with a 12-month transfer embargo from the SFA.
Roma midfielder Fabio Simplicio celebrated his goal in Roma’s 2-2 draw with Napoli on Saturday in style by running into the stands and kissing his wife and child, only to be booked when he returned to the field.
The QPR man either scores or gets himself sent off, and he stayed on the field for the full 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, but MTW couldn’t help notice his celebration when scoring his side’s only goal of the game after they had already conceded six.
Quote of the weekend part I
“Even Wigan would beat Barcelona”
– Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville may well be right at the moment, with Roberto Martinez’s side’s 4-0 win spoiling the Champions League party for 4,500 travelling Newcastle fans
On top of the world
Roman Abramovich/Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
MTW bets Fernando Torres can’t believe what is happening. After more than a year of jibes, torment and criticism, the Spaniard capped off a week he couldn’t have wished to have been any better by scoring his first hat-trick in a Chelsea shirt in the 6-1 mauling of QPR.
Russian owner Roman Abramovich may have whipped out the chequebook again earlier this week to secure the services of Werder Bremen’s Marko Marin, but he was left punching the air by his £50 million signing’s treble, high-fiving his pals with a massive grin across his face. Heart-warming stuff.
Jose Bosingwa's inclusion at centre-back may have raised an eyebrow, but all Fernando cared about was the rain, and the return of his favourite playing surface – a bog.
It chucked it down in west London throughout Sunday, much like it did back in April 2011 when the ex-Liverpool man finally bagged his first Blues goal, with the ball again slowed down to the perfect pace for Torres to thrive.
Luckily for Mark Hughes there were no handshakes before the game, and there is nothing Sparky hates more than an insincere meeting of palms, but it may have at least fired his side up a bit, who just fell to pieces in the opening 20 minutes.
Not that the visiting support were left too disheartened, instead taking the opportunity to abuse Frank Lampard, even suggesting his fiancée Christine Bleakley resembles a horse.
Quote of the weekend part II
“Southampton are back in the Premier League and I'm a happy man - I'm proud and honoured”
– Saints boss Nigel Adkins reacts to his side’s second successive promotion, after a 4-0 win over Coventry City sealed their return to the top-flight for the first time in seven years.Stoke’s most hated man
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
Aaron Ramsey has had his fair share of stick from Arsenal fans of late, with moans and groans often greeting his every touch on the ball at the Emirates, but the Welshman probably didn’t expect the Stoke fans to join the bandwagon on Saturday.
How dare the 21-year-old return to play football after he broke his leg at the Britannia Stadium two years’ ago. He got Ryan Shawcross sent off he did!
Potters’ boss Tony Pulis defended the home crowd after the game, suggesting they were merely fighting fire with fire after the Arsenal contingent once again incessantly booed their captain, but Arsene Wenger was having none of it.
"I think one day football will have to tackle that. It's easy to sit in the stand and insult people. It's the easiest sport in the world,” the Frenchman said after the game.
Tweet of the weekend
“Fair play to Roy Hodgson. Great manager and would be a great appointment for the FA! #classact”
– Twitter turned to a wasteland amongst Premier League footballers last night, with the England contingent carefully plotting their next message to the world after the FA approached Roy Hodgson, not Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic though.
Quote of the weekend part III
“The Spanish league has existed without Guardiola and will now continue without Guardiola … he is history now, while the league will continue forever”
– Fair to say Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka isn’t quite as fussed as the likes of Lionel Messi at the Barcelona manager's decision to leave the club at the end of the season
The third tier French outfit showed remarkable pluck to reach the final of this season’s Coupe de France, but their luck was to run out against Lyon, with a Lisandro strike securing their first win in the competition since 2008.
Mamadou Sahko (PSG)
The 22-year-old chopped down Lille’s Nolan Roux to allow Eden Hazard the chance to score from spot in front of Manchester City man Patrick Vieira, as PSG’s title hopes were dealt a significant blow with a 2-1 defeat.