Old Futbol Buffet–The Easter Bunny stole my football

I only saw about 15 minutes of footy last weekend, but it was the most important 15 minutes.

I didn’t get up in time on Saturday morning to watch Spurs v Sunderland, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the 90 minutes did not provide any goals.  Spooky lamented the lack of energy and tempo in his wrap up at Dear Mr Levy.  None of the 10am ET games interested me, so my wife and I packed up for a four drive to Columbus, Ohio to pick up my son, who was Spring Break, and visit my sister.

This trip meant that I missed the Palermo/Juventus and Real Zaragoza/FC Barcelona games.  During pit stops I would check scores and was thrilled to see the Old Lady and the Blaugrana win their respective matches.  Juventus now lead the Serie A table by one point and control the destiny of the scudetto.  Bonucci’s goal was all about wanting it more than anyone else and Quags scored a deserved second after all of his work coming back from injury. Barcelona came back from an early goal to cut the margin to three behind Real Madrid and keep the pressure on.  Los Merengues could only draw at home against Valencia and the margin is now four points with El Clasico two weeks away.

On Sunday, we attended the Easter Service at my sister’s church, which meant I missed Manchester United v QPR and Arsenal v Manchester City.  Now only that, I would miss the watch party at the local pub back in Lansing. But we walked into the restaurant, and, to my surprise, the TV was showing Arsenal v City in glorious HD.  I was put in a quandary.  Do I spend time with the family or watch a key moment in the English title race?  I tried to do both.  After craning to see the TV, I finally just got up and stood in front of the TV.  Arsenal were in a period of dominance but lacked the final ball.  Then all of the sudden a City turnover was pounced by Arteta who lashed a shot into the bottom corner to give the Gunners the lead.  At the moment I took the fork I was using and metaphorically stuck in the blue side of Manchester.

But the star of the weekend has to be Clint Dempsey, who scored two fantastic goals in Fulham’s win.  His free kick was pure magic and his intelligent movement made the second goal an easy header into the back of the net.  Can he possibly remain at Craven Cottage next season?

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Podcasts

The SI Soccer Roundtable panel looked ahead to the Champions League Semi Finals, with some disagreement about whether Bayern Munich are heavy underdogs or legitimate contenders.  Plus there was a quick of review of early MLS stories including KC’s unbeaten start and Galaxy’s rough opening weeks.

Jonathan Wilson was back on Off the Ball on Thursday to discuss Sunderland’s form since Martin O’Neill took over for Steve Bruce.  The stats are pretty similar but the points earned are the real difference as the Black Cats have climbed into the top half and have proved a handful for top teams.

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