It has been an action packed week in Serie A with 20 games taking place since your last Gazzetta. Where to begin? The top met last night. Inter Milan and Roma shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Francesco Totti opened the scoring but Javier Zanetti equalised. Inter had previously dropped points at Sampdoria in a 1-1 draw, while Roma beat Fiorentina 1-0 courtesy of a Cicinho goal. All of this meant that Inter’s lead over Roma was reduced to a meagre nine points.
Barcelona managed to salvage a draw with a last minute euqaliser from Xavi in the first leg of Spain’s FA Cup equivalent – the Copa Del Rey. Despite dominating the game, Valencia scored on the break through David Villa â€“ but Xavi’s goal extends their unbeaten run in all competitions to 15.
This week’s Guardian Gallery is poking fun at Giovanni Trapattoni’s appointment as manager of the Republic of Ireland. This entry shows Trap realising the, erm, size of the task ahead as he picks up Andy Reid’s XXXXL shirt, while Stephen Ireland’s two dead grannies sneak past in their hearses. Click here to see the other entries.
You are a Championship goalkeeper. You have kept the multi-million pound strikers of a Premier League side at bay for the best part of 200 minutes during which time you have been the standout player having made a string of decent saves. Then six minutes before you get the opportunity to become a hero in a penalty shootout, this happens. Take it away, Paddy Kenny.
There are still a few games left but enough of the season has been played to establish which players have been the biggest hits in the Premier League and a short list has probably already been penciled in for the end of season awards.
Pies analyses possible reasons why Arsenal captain William Gallas chose to hold a sit down protest in the centre circle after the draw with Birmingham at the weekend. 1 Laziness
It could just be that he was worn out after the match 2 World peace
An old favourite. Lennon may play for Spurs, but Willie Gallas can still do his bit. 3 Campaign for comfier football pitches
Gallas raises awareness that Premier League football pitches are not very comfortable to sit on. Maybe more players would enjoy a nice sit down at full-time if the pitches were more cushioned.
Becks is no stranger to unusual hair cuts but he can’t have seen anything like the attention-seeking barnet sported by his LA galaxy team mate Abel Xavier.
Beckham seems to be pondering something while sat next to the blonde Teenwolf on the club’s tour of Asia â€“ let us know what he’s thinking…
The race for fourth place is on between the two Merseyside clubs with Everton three points clear of Liverpool, although they have a game in hand.
While Rafa Benitez has been enduring his worst season at the club, David Moyes has been working miracles down the road â€“ would he do the same if he was with the reds instead of the blues?
Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven came from a goal behind to beat De Graafschap 4-1. A Danko LazoviÄ‡ brace bookended a goal from Ottman Bakkal and a Timmy Simons penalty as PSV continued to dominate the league.
The Argentinian league might have its fair share of problems but it is producing some sexy goals at the moment. This strike from Miguel Mea Vitali is up there with Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort against Porstmouth in the Oscar nominations for Crispest Free Kick of the Season.
In the blue corner is Chelseaâ€™s Captain Indestructible, John Terry â€“ a fearsome leader with a body carved from granite. While, in the (erm) other blue corner is Henk Ten Cate â€“ a hard-nosed disciplinarian with a previous record of violence.
Sir Alex Ferguson rarely makes any comment without an ulterior motive. So, when he recently claimed that the Premier League title could be decided by goal difference, it was probably a barbed comment relating to Arsenalâ€™s striker shortage.
On this evidence it is probably just as well that Jonathan Woodgate doesn’t find himself on the scoresheet too often. Just look at the face it makes him pull! As if by magic Tottenham’s housing expert is transformed into droopy-cheeked wheeler dealer Harry ‘Arry’ Redknapp.
In a week of low scores and red cards in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich moved four points clear at the top of table after their 1-1 draw with Hamburg. Ze Roberto cancelled out Ivica Olic’s opener to secure a point for Bayern. But the Bavarians missed their chance to open up a six-point gap after Werder Bremen’s defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Remember the so-called Calciopoli scandal in Italy that exposed several leading Serie A teams for influencing the outcome of games?
Juventus were hit hardest and relegated to the Italian second division while other teams including AC Milan were deducted points. Since then, Juventus have returned to Serie A but there is plenty of fuss being made that they are still paying the price for previous indiscretionsâ€¦
Kevin Keeganâ€™s second coming at Newcastle hasnâ€™t quite gone according to the prophecy â€“ he has managed only two draws from his first ten games and all attention has now turned to staving off relegation this season.
1. Go fourth and prosper
Both teams were still chasing the final Champions League position but Everton have now broken clear by going three points clear of local rivals Liverpool â€“ which half of Merseyside will finish fourth?
With Eduardo now beginning his long road to recovery from the broken leg he sustained against Birmingham at the weekend, Pies gives you 10 of the nastiest broken legs to have been seen on the football field (or at least to have been seen on YouTube!).
Could it be? It is so hard to tell with all that Aldi sparkling wine flying everywhere. It does seem that former Tottenham manager Martin Jol just couldn’t quite let go and move on. In fact, he seems to have invaded Spurs’ post-match celebrations at the Carling Cup final!
Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett has become the victim of a prank phone call in which he was recorded expressing an interest in becoming assistant manager at Scunthorpe United. Harry was told current manager Nigel Adkins was about to be sacked and was asked to work alongside his unnamed replacement.
Martin Taylorâ€™s tackle on Eduardo that led to the Arsenal strikerâ€™s gut wrenching injury wasnâ€™t born from malice â€“ despite what Arsene Wenger may retract at a later date. But, we have seen a few horror tackles down the years that obviously had more intention of taking the player than the ball â€“ and thereâ€™s no prizes for guessing who tops that listâ€¦ 1. Roy Keane on Alfe-Inge Haaland
Keanoâ€™s â€˜take that you c*ntâ€™ retribution on Alfe-Inge Halland was a grudge he had been harbouring for four years
It doesnâ€™t matter which team you support, any true football fan who saw the images of Eduardoâ€™s sickening injury against Birmingham will feel for the Arsenal striker.
So, please take your time to leave a message of goodwill for Eduardo ad weâ€™ll make sure they are printed out and sent to him with a card next week.
We know that it must have been difficult for Arsenalâ€™s players to witness Eduardoâ€™s horrific injury â€“ but is that an excuse for their behaviour at dropping points to Birmingham on Saturday?
William Gallas had a mini-meltdown while Arsene Wenger likened Taylor to a murderer (although he did later apologise). Weâ€™ve seen it all before when things havenâ€™t gone Arsenalâ€™s way â€“ missed â€˜incidentsâ€™, moaning about â€˜violent playâ€™
and never praising the team that has beaten them â€“ which leads us to askâ€¦
The Spurs faithful werenâ€™t too pleased when the club decided to replace Martin Jol with Juande Ramos this season â€“ although it was more to do with the clubâ€™s handling of the situation than the new manager himself.
It reminds us of another Iberian manager who came, saw and conquered the English game in his first season…
A few weeks back Barcelona’s title challenge seemed dead in the water, but after this weekend’s La Liga action the Catalan giants are just two points behind league leader Real Madrid. Barcelona thrashed table-propping Levante 5-1 to but Real’s hope of winning back-to-back titles in doubt.