A week literally full of action! Two fantastic derbies in the Serie A and La Liga, and then a wonderful match between Liverpool and Chelsea. Funnily enough, all three of the matches ended 2-0, and all three of them were entertaining.
Liverpool - Chelsea
While some people think that Chelsea will just run away with the title (I think that it'll be Manchester United who wins it this year), the blues have been halted, by Liverpool! Carlo Ancelotti's team travelled to Anfield to face Roy Hodgson's side which had just defeated Napoli 3-1 in the Europa League in the midweek.
The first half wasn't dominated by any of the two sides, it was more just Chelsea being surprised by Liverpool's intensity and work-rate. These two factors, along with the home crowd spurred the reds to score within the first eleven minutes. Kuyt lifting a good ball for Fernando Torres who controls, stays standing with Cole and Ivanovic on his back, and promptly does the business in front of Cech, giving Liverpool the lead.
There were a couple of okay chances for both sides, but nothing notable as Liverpool played with heart, spirit, and intensity not letting Chelsea get into their stride. And when Fernando Torres scored for a second time for Liverpool, right before halftime, Anfield exploded with joy. The Spaniard received the ball out on the left wing, he cuts in, and then curls a delightful shot onto the far post, unsavable for Cech.
But the second half had Chelsea display more conviction, and Liverpool suffer from the Blues's constant attacks. Reina was forced to make a great save from Zhirkov's close range shot towards the near post, and then Reina pulled off a mind-blowing parry against Malouda who thought he'd tapped in a goal from about a yard from the goal-line.
And so Liverpool pull off a fantastic result with the team playing with an intensity unseen before this season. Torres is a player reborn as well, a fantastic performance by him is what truly helped Liverpool gather these three important points which raise them up to 9th in the table. Is this the rebirth of Liverpool? And where will Chelsea go from here? The Blues are still top of the table, but Manchester United are just two points away from them. Comment your thoughts regarding this game below!
And now onto a derby, the Madrid derby! First of all, a quick link to my good friends over at Madrid Atleticos, my favorite Atletico Madrid blog, and certainly one of the best La Liga blogs there is. So if you're looking for an Atleti point of view, go visit them there.
But now onto the game which ended 2-0 for Jose Mourinho's team. They started with a goal in the 13th minute, with Ricardo Carvalho played through into the box and the center-back finishing like a veteran striker past David De Gea. The second goal arrived about six minutes later with Mesut Ozil drilling in a puzzling free kick from the right of the penalty area.
But Aletico Madrid created opportunities as well, first Forlan sent an tap-in wide, and then Casillas had to produce a fantastic save from a corner. After that the Real goalkeeper had to save a curling shot from Reyes which seemed destined for the back of the net.
In the second half Higuain hit the post with a rocket volley, and the Atletico goalkeeper David De Gea was rooted to the spot, only able to watch the ball smash his far post. But minutes later Forlan hit the post as well with a volley from the top of the box, and although Casillas dove to save it, he was about half a meter from the ball when it hit the post.
While there were more opportunities for both sides, in the end Real Madrid created many more dangerous moments for the Atelti faithful. A fantastic win for Jose Mourinho's side, and with El Clasico against Barcelona coming up in a couple of weeks, Real Madrid are looking very powerful at the top of the La Liga table.
Lazio - Roma
There was another derby this weekend, the very exciting Rome derby! And it was all the more exciting with Lazio top of the table, and Roma being on a winning streak. But the match was slightly disappointing, while there were plenty of chances created by both sides, the 2-0 scoreline was marked by two penalties for the giallorossi.
The first was at the beginning of the second half, and Marco Borriello stepped up to take it. Lazio's goalkeeper guessed the direction, and even got to the ball, but unluckily for him, it slipped underneath his body and trickled over the goal-line. The second penalty was awarded in the 87th minute, and this time Mirko Vucinic took it. Muslera didn't get it right this time, and Vucinic scored the penalty easily sending the young Uruguayan keeper the wrong way.
But Lazio fans will be severely disappointed, they had a chance where a player was blatantly brought down in front of goal, but no penalty was awarded. If the two penalties for Roma were penalties, then this chance for Lazio should've been awarded with a penalty.
What are your thoughts regarding all these derbies? Did you expect Liverpool to beat Chelsea? Share your thoughts by commenting below!