Yalla’s Sunderland fan finds football interesting again, Neville’s Valencia finally register La Liga victory
In Spain, Valencia finally won a league match under the stewardship of Gary Neville, beating Espanyol. Real Madrid’s 4-2 victory over Athletic Bilbao keeps them in third place, and Villarreal appear to have cemented at least fourth, beating Málaga.
Deportivo de La Coruña drew 2-2 with Real Betis. Leaders Barcelona are steamrollering their way to the title, running riot6-1 at the Camp Nou, trampling Celta de Vigo. They sit three points above Atlético Madrid who kept their cool for a sixth win in eight league games, winning by the odd goal at Getafe. Eibar continue to delight, with a two nil victory over bottom of the table Levante. Fellow strugglers Las Palmas and Granada CF both lost on their travels, at Sevilla and Real Sociedad respectively.
The battle for the Premier League title was reinvigorated over the weekend, as Arsenal’s last gasp winner provoked a disbelieving “GOOOOAAAALLLLLL!” in the Yalla office and relief and respect from manager Arsene Wenger, “It was a big mental hurdle for us because we were in shock at being behind at half-time [to Leicester].” Spurs also registered a late win against title rivals, running out 2-1 winners over Manchester City. The north London teams are both now just two points behind leaders Leicester. In Sunday’s final fixture, Aston Villa folded at home to Liverpool, losing 6-0. Without deviating from his blistering logic, Yalla’s Liverpool fan simply said, “See? You need to score goals to win games.”
Saturday’s games in the English top flight focused on the fight to avoid the drop, with the top four playing a day later. Shock of the day came at the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland deservedly beat Manchester United, with Sam Allardyce’s January signings chipping in with the goals. Sunderland fans, including the Yalla representative, were doubly cheered to see Newcastle beaten 5-1 by Chelsea – both teams have two weeks off, but the mood in the Sunderland training camp will be one of confidence, whereas Newcastle must be feeling nervous.
Norwich failed to hold on to a 2 goal lead at home, with visitors West Ham equalising 15 minutes before the final whistle. Swansea lost by one goal to Southampton, and West Brom similarly won by the odd goal, away to Everton. Watford’s admirable season continues with a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace, but other new boys Bournemouth will be wary of getting sucked into the relegation zone after a 3-1 loss to visiting Stoke.