european leagues.jpg

european leagues

All over, bar the shouting

WITH OVER a month of football yet to be played, Europe’s league champions in waiting, are as good as home and hosed. In Scotland, Celtic led the way, a 1-0 midweek win over closest pursuers Hearts handing the “Bhoys” the title with six games to spare.

In Portugal, too, the race looks to be over. Last Saturday, Sporting received leaders Porto, two points separating the two teams. In a rough and tumble encounter, which saw a flood of bookings as well as two red cards, the “Dragons” came out on top by virtue of a single goal, which now sees them five points clear at the top of the table. PSV Eindhoven wrapped up the Dutch league, Olympiakos the Greek equivalent, and in Spain, France and Italy, Barcelona, Lyon and Juventus only afford their rivals a mathematical chance of overhauling their extensive advantages. Bayern Munich led the German Bundesliga by seven points prior to the latest set of encounters, but suffered a 3-0 reversal in Bremen, giving chasing Hamburg, now only four points adrift, a glimmer of hope.

In the Premiership, Chelsea got off to the worst possible start against West Ham, conceding an early goal and then having Maniche red-carded shortly afterwards. Ten inspired Blues still proved too strong for the Hammers however, Drogba and Crespo making sure of a 2-1 half time lead. Terry and Gallas even managed to double the advantage in the second 45 minutes, leaving Manchester United trailing by seven points, despite a convincing 2-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford.