Yet another action packed weekend saw major twists and turns as European football grinds steadily towards the end of the season. With competition hotting up across the continent, the pressure is proving tough for some to handle but not others.
Although virtually relegated courtesy of a nine point deduction, Herman Hreidarsson rallied his Portsmouth troops as they snatched a late 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Hull City. The never say die attitude of the players on the pitch is quite amazing, unfortunately team affairs off the pitch have affected their precarious position. While bad financial circumstances have dictated, they may still bring FA Cup success to Fratton Park.
Eidur Gudjohnsen struck his first goal for Spurs as they ran out 2-1 winners over Stoke City and in doing so justified his move to White Hart Lane “football is about being happy with what you`re doing and I feel alive again since moving back to England”. The Icelandic forward showed great strength to overpower Stoke defender Abdoulaye Faye to bag his first Premier League goal in four years. Spurs victory cements their position in fourth and Gudjohnsen feels it`s their`s to lose “everything is their for us to play for at the moment, it will be down to ourselves whether we make it into the Champions League”.
Gretar Steinsson was deservedly sent off as Bolton Wanderers battled valiantly at Goodison Park. However his sending off was the catalyst for Everton who scored two goals in the last twenty minutes to ensure a 2-0 home win. The result leaves the Trotters staring further into the relegation mire.
Championship form side Reading couldn’t find a way past Middlesbrough, drawing 1-1 at the Riverside. Gylfi Sigurdsson further outlined his talents and was a constant threat all afternoon.
Heidar Helguson also managed to get on the scoresheet but will be disappointed as his Watford side went down 3-1 at playoff candidates Cardiff City.
John Carew notched a controversial brace as Aston Villa failed to overcome local rivals Wolves at Molineux. The former Rosenborg man appeared to be offside for both goals, the second which levelled the match at 2-2. However he insists that he was on the borderline between onside and offside “that`s the trick of the trade. We are always playing on the limit and that makes a difference between scoring and not scoring” insisted the hitman, who now has 13 goals for the season.
John Arne Riise`s Roma continue to pile the pressure on Inter Milan at the top of Serie A. Roma, now four points adrift of Jose Mourinho`s men claimed a 4-2 win over Udinese ,as Inter were held to a 1-1 draw in Palermo.
Thorstein Helstad thought his last minute equaliser had ensured a point for struggling Le Mans away to Auxerre. However the former Rosenborg man knows it is not over until the final whistle is blown as seconds later Benoit Pedretti stole the win which sends Auxerre top.
Sami Hyypia`s title chasing Leverkusen side were crushed 3-0 by Borussia Dortmund. Luckily for the Finn, near rivals Bayern Munich also lost, as Eintracht Frankfurt inflicted a shock 2-1 defeat on the Champions League quarter finalists.
Swede Peter Hansson opened the scoring as Rennes thrashed Toulouse 4-1. Norwegian Daniel Braaten scored a scant consolation for the visitors.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic ensured Barcelona`s 4-2 victory over Real Zaragoza with a last minute penalty. The Catalan side raced into a 3-0 lead courtesy of a Lionel Messi but two late goals had them looking worryingly over their shoulder before the Swede slotted home from the spot. His strike atoned for a series of guilt edged misses but after the match manager Pep Guardiola was full of praise for the former Inter Milan star “he is nearing his best form. He gives us good movement and his lack of goals is not worrying. When you are in the game ,the goals will come, and Zlatan knows more than most how to find the back of the net”.
Dennis Rommedahl scored Ajax`s fifth and final goal as they inflicted a 5-1 defeat upon a struggling RKC Waalwijk. The result moves the Amsterdam side into second place and leaves them four points adrift of Eredivisie pacesetters FC Twente.