Premier League | The Manchester squads continued to pull away from the competition this weekend, with City winning 3-0 over Blackburn and United 2-1 over Norwich. Despite the recent return of Carlos Tevez, City dominated without him, as forwards Balotelli, Dzeko and Aguero, each put in a goal. With an impressive 28 shots and nine on-goal, Man. City continues to sit comfortably at the top of the league.
Manchester United is not far behind, though with slightly less breathing room. Veteran Paul Scholes put United up with an early goal in the seventh minute. The match would stay that way until Norwich’s Grant Holt equalized in the 83rd minute. If it weren’t for United’s other veteran Ryan Giggs’ goal in stoppage time, the Red Devils should have tied.
Tottenham v. Arsenal was an exciting game. Both teams vying for 3rd place, though far off the Manchester clubs. The Spurs scored early: first in the 4th minute (Louis Saha), and later on a penalty from Emmanuel Adebayor in the 34th. Arsenal found a streak of brilliance though, equalized before halftime, with goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie. The second half saw three more unanswered goals from the Gunners, with a Rosicky goal (51′) and two goals by Theo Walcott (65′ & 68′).
With Spurs coach Harry Redknapp named the top choice for England’s run of the Euro 2012 Championships, the decision becomes all the more difficult as Tottenham falls off the pace set by the Manchester squads. Redknapp has expressed his desire to finish the season with Tottenham, forcing the FA to draft a shortlist of contenders should Redknapp not take the job.
La Liga | Some of the best highlights from the weekend came from La Liga superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. Real Madrid maintains their 10 point lead over Barcelona, with both teams winning close matches. Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admitted his club was lucky to come away with a victory, as his team did not play to their potential. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal on a deflected ball from a corner by Mesut Ozil. As Ronaldo dribbled away from the goal to set up another attack, he kicked it backwards, with his heel, zooming right past a stunned goalkeeper and defenders. (see video below)
Messi’s efforts were a little more tactical. First to take the lead, Messi received a pass up the middle, drawing Atletico Madrid’s entire defense onto him, leaving Cesc Fabregas wide open on the left to lead Dani Alves a cross to the right for the easy goal. Atletico Madrid would equalize early in the second half, but Messi held on. He drilled a free kick from the corner of the 18m box to the top shelf, far post (see 2nd video below). Barca coach Pep Guardiola only has 11 games to surmount a comeback and win La Liga title. Though he admits this is not a lot of time, he will fight to the end.