Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Mudita

The Most Joyful Goal of the Week and News and Notes from the Beautiful Game

This wundergol by Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas came on the restart following Robin Van Persie's score late in the first half in the North London derby against Tottenham. Fabregas' solo slalom run came so quickly that it actually was missed by viewers (like me) on ESPN2 because they were still showing the replay of the just-scored goal. Van Persie's finish opened the scoring up, 1-0, and Fabregas effectively ended the match a moment later.

Aside from being a contest between two blood rivals, this 100-years-young league fixture pitted two teams vying for contender status in the Premiership. Both clubs entered Saturday's match on 19 points and tied for third place. After the Gunners 3-0 win they remain in third (although they have a game in hand on both Man U and Chelsea) while Tottenham drops to fifth.

-Just below the Spurs are Liverpool, who were dropped by Fulham, 3-1. American Clint Dempsey was one of three goalscorers for the home side at Craven Cottage. ESPN.com described the game as "a mauling, humiliating defeat" for Rafael Benitez's Liverpool side. His job is in jeopardy and the wheels look set to come off. Although this is usually the point when he guides the Reds deep into the Champions League to save his gig.

-Speaking of the Champions League, the Catalan title holders were caught even with Osasuna after 90 minutes in La Liga at the weekend to narrow their lead over Real Madrid to just a single point. Even worse, Barcelona was undone by a 90th minute own goal. Dios mio, man.

-While Barcelona saw their lead narrowed in Spain, Inter ballooned their own advantage in Series Ah to 7 points with a 2-0 triumph over Livorno. South Americans Milito and Maicon netted for Jose Mourinho's squad.

-Landon Donovan scored a late first half goal to put the LA Galaxy up 2-1 in the MLS' Western Conference Semifinal but Chivas USA equalized early in the second session to stay even heading into the second leg. In the East, New England topped Chicago, 2-1.

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