None of the members of English soccer’s “big four” could manage better than a draw against middling opposition this weekend. The relevant results were:
Middlesbrough 1 – Arsenal 1
Liverpool 2 – Hull City 2
Tottenham 0 – Manchester United 0
Chelsea 1 – West Ham 1
This makes Aston Villa, with its 4-2 home victory over Bolton, the week’s winner. Villa sits fifth, but only 3 points behind third place Man U. Liverpool continues to hold its 1 point lead over Chelsea at the top of the table.
Villa features two of the most promising of all English attacking players — Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young. I don’t know if they will be at Villa much longer, but along with Theo Wolcott of Arsenal and Man U’s Wayne Rooney (who despite being on the world stage for more than four years is actually Young’s junior) they could mean a very bright future for the national team’s attack.
Meanwhile Everton managed a 1-0 win at Manchester City, despite the absence through injury of all four of its first team forwards. Tim Cahill moved up from midfield and, by all accounts, put in a great shift up front. True to form, he popped up to score the game winner in the final seconds. Everton is now seventh.
UPDATE: Congratulations are due the University of Maryland’s men’s soccer team. With a 1-0 victory over North Carolina, the Terps claimed their second national championship in four years.
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