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Who ate all the pies

Dip in to scour the latest Deadline Day titbits...

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Yesterday’s crunch game at the Emirates was absorbing, if only to watch Chelsea’s grip on the Premiership title finally relax – they’ve been bravely hanging on with one hand to the edge of a cliff for several months now. A team with a lesser manager than Jose Mourinho would have capitulated long ago, so I give the Blues my respect for pushing Man Utd almost all the way.

1 Mark Noble, West Ham v Bolton
Cock the hammer, pull the trigger, bosh…

3-0 Noble vs Bolton
Uploaded by wwwARSENALCLIPStk

And so, after a mighty slog of a season, we now know the champions in each of English football’s top four divisions:

Vieri turns, he shoots, the ball goes in the back of the net. Except that doesn’t really tell the whole story.

Vieri vs Sienne
Uploaded by REM-Y

In the blue corner, we have Michael Ball, who seemed hell-bent on inflicting some kind of Zorro Zed on Cristiano Ronaldo’s chest during the Manc derby on Saturday…

Ball (MC) Stamp On Ronaldo (MU)
Uploaded by FootballHeaven

Kenwyne Jones of Southampton celebrates scoring a goal during the Championship match between Southampton and Southend United at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday. Southampton’s 4-1 victory ensured that they finished the season in sixth position. They now face Derby County in the play-offs.
[Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images]

West Ham’s players touch their noses – as you do – during a training session yesterday, prior to today’s crucial Premiership clash with Bolton at Upton Park. [Photo: Getty Images]

Can Arsenal stop Chelsea today? Not if Jose has anything to do with it…

Something for the Chelsea fans to have nightmares over tonight!

Villa’s new crest (on the left) actually looks older than the one it replaces (shown on the right). Brand new retro, you might say. EPL Talk has the lowdown on the new crest:
‘The star signifies the one European Cup that Villa won. ‘Prepared’ is the club’s motto. The use of ‘AVFC’ to signify Aston Villa Football Club also is very retro as more and more clubs these days avoid putting the words ‘FC’ into their crest (the best example is Manchester United).’

74016235.jpgLeeds United have been relegated to League One after being deducted 10 points for going into administration. The 10-point deduction means Leeds will finish the season bottom of the Championship, below Southend and Luton, the other two relegated clubs.
On the positive side, Leeds will not lose any points for the start of their first season in League One. Administrator KPMG has already agreed to sell the club to a newly-formed company led by chairman Ken Bates.

Moss.jpgPlymouth boss (and the only Football League manager to tell us to go swivel - so far!) Ian Holloway has been having a good moan about women in shorts in his latest BBC column. Ollie was responding to a question about the new Kate Moss range at Topshop.

More pain for your football brain. Answers revealed after the click.
1 Hellas Verona, Parma, AC Milan, Aston Villa (current). Whose career path?
2 Which Premiership club was originally called St. Domingos FC?
3 Picture round:

1530992.jpgPies might have to give up this predicting lark, cause we’re frankly not very good at it. Oh well, let’s have another go at the Lawro…
Man City v Man Utd
Lawro: 0-2
Pies: 1-3
Everton v Portsmouth
Lawro: 1-0
Pies: 0-0

I’ve been reading a lot about Bojan Krkic in the last couple of weeks. He’s a 16-year-old striker on the books of Barcelona and there’s every chance he’ll break into Barca’s first-team squad next season. He made his debut for Barcelona’s first team in a friendly against Al-Ahly in Cairo last week, and scored, prompting head coach Frank Rijkaard to praise Krkic’s ‘great talent, coolness and class’. His scoring record at Barca is incredible – he has scored 889 goals in seven years. This clip hints at his supreme finishing prowess:

74047622.gifTo all Liverpool fans who have argued that they’d rather win the Champions League than the Premiership (and I’ve read more than a few such arguments in the last couple of days), that’s fair enough if you genuinely believe that, but don’t for a minute think that you’re suddenly a better side than Man Utd or Chelsea: you’re not. No way.

Sevilla 2-0 Osasuna
Sevilla, conquerors of Spurs in the quarter finals and current UEFA Cup holders, deservedly reached the final with a comfortable win against Osasuna at home. Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, they should have won by more than a two-goal margin, but Freddie Kanoute left his shooting boots at home for once.

Seville en finale
Uploaded by boules13010

Highlights of Werder Bremen v Espanyol after the jump…

Kevin Wolze and Konstantin Rausch of Germany compete for the ball with Dmytro Yeremenko of Ukraine during the 2007 UEFA European Under 17 Championship Group A match between Germany and Ukraine in Eupen, Belgium. Ah, the exuberance of youth.
[Photo: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images]

An overreaction to back-to-back defeats (in the most recent they were 2-0 up against Man Utd) has seen Everton’s price become extremely attractive considering they are playing a Portsmouth team that is hopeless away from Fratton Park (nine without a win including defeats at Watford and Wigan).

16857-gattuso.jpgAhead of this month’s Champions League final, Milan dynamo Rino Gattuso has taken a pop at Liverpool’s long-ball dinosaurs: ‘All Liverpool try to do is defend together, with everybody behind the ball and just one striker… All they do is play long balls — every ball is a long ball. It is very different to Manchester, who are a real footballing team.’

Nigh.jpgThe end is nigh, folks. Welcome to the penultimate Fantasy Friday review of the season. It’s all happening in the Pies Fantasy League! Long-term champion elect Tommy has unwittingly maxed out his transfers for the season and Matt M is closing the gap. But is there enough time to catch him?

We continue on a theme of YouTube videos featuring Italian footballers, specifically Rino Gattuso. I assume this is a video taken from a flight around the time of the last summer’s World Cup. Anyway, Italy’s captain Fabio Cannavaro gives Gattuso and Daniele De Rossi a close shave mid-flight. As you do.

Cudicini.jpgIt’s a week since we unearthed a clip of the Chelsea squad looking very sheepish when asked to name their best-looking team-mate. In that week every man and his blog has covered the video, culminating in an appearance on Radio One the other day (they overlooked the fact that they are perhaps not best-placed to share videos with their audience!).