One Nil To The Arsenal And Other Stories

By london_dan Last edited 165 months ago
One Nil To The Arsenal And Other Stories

There was a fantastic game of football at the weekend. Full of goals, skill, passion, deft touches, great passes, and everything else you could want from a game of football. But that's enough about the brilliant Real Madrid 4-2 Barcelona game; in the Premiership Chelsea were lucky to get a 1-1 draw against Birmingham, Arsenal won unconvincingly 1-0 against Middlesbrough, Tottenham played out the most dour of 1-0 wins against Newcastle, and the other London teams all lost.

Spurs are now favourites for that 7th spot after their win, while Charlton's end-of-season run continues to get worse after their 4-2 defeat against Portsmouth. Fulham are still not out of bother yet after losing 3-1 away to Bolton Wanderers. But worst performance of the week has to go to Crystal Palace who were thrashed 4-0 at Everton.

In the Second Division, West Ham have finally managed to get some form and consistency just at the right time. After two excellent away wins against Wigan and Burnley they returned to Upton Park to thrash Coventry 3-0. Although they had to wait until the last quarter of an hour for the goals to arrive, as first Richard Shaw netted a quite superb own goal, then a Teddy Sheringham penalty and a last minute Bobby Zamora goal sealed the points for the Hammers.

However West Ham's play-off hopes were not helped by all their rivals also winning, including Sheffield United who beat QPR 3-2. With the game finely poised at 2-2 in the final minute, United's Leigh Bromby fell over in the penalty area. The ref gave a penalty, United scored the winner, and Ian Holloway wasn't happy:

"I think I'm going to cry myself to sleep tonight because I've had my heart ripped out and stamped on.

"I feel sick to the soles of my feet over what I've seen. My boys did really well and both our goals were terrific."

Against Crewe, Millwall were finding it way too easy when they went 3-0 ahead in 50 minutes. Half an hour later the score was 3-3 after a spirited come-back from the away side, but 5 minutes from the end a Ben May penalty rescued the three points for the Lions and the game finished 4-3.

Millwall can still mathematically make the play-offs, although these are the sort of maths that require Millwall to win all their games and every other team to lose all theirs. And by this token, Watford can still finish 10th. They're now just one place off the relegation zone due to a better goal-difference than Brighton. It's three defeats from three games for Watford's new manager Betty Boothroyd after a 2-1 home defeat against Leeds United. Watford can point to the outrageous sending off of Jay Demerit and a string of fine saves from United's Neil Sullivan to thank for the defeat, but with just four games to go, it's points rather than hard-luck stories that they need to keep them up.

In Division Three, Brentford got an essential 1-0 win against Bristol City to keep up with the play-off pack. The Bees are still just outside the play-off places but only on goal difference, and they also have two games in hand over their rivals. And in the Fourth, Leyton Orient lost again. This time it was 2-0 away against Rochdale.

Finally a mention for Barnet, who after weeks of being almost certainly there are now very definitely actually there. After a 3-1 win at home to Halifax the Bees have won promotion back to the Football League. Hurrah for Barnet!

Last Updated 11 April 2005