MIDWEEK fixtures have a habit of throwing up some unusual results and that was certainly the case for Chelsea, both Manchester clubs and Liverpool.

After worrying about Gonzalo Higuain last week and the striker curse at Stamford Bridge the Argentine had a debut to forget as the Blues were bafflingly battered 4-0 by Bournemouth on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old looked slow and not in the best of shape – let’s just say warm in winter, shady in summer. But three days later in a turn-around anyone on Dancing on Ice would be proud of he scored a brace as Chelsea crushed Huddersfield 5-0.

Liverpool fans love Rafa Benitez for winning them the Champions League and their collective man crush was strengthened this week as the Spaniard’s Newcastle side shocked champions City by coming from behind to win 2-1.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were then in the unusual situation of being disappointed to EXTEND their lead at the top as the Reds could only draw with a Leicester side that seem to turn it on for the big boys – having already beaten Chelsea and City this term.

City cruised past Arsenal 3-1 in their next game thanks to a Sergio Aguero hat-trick, while Klopp’s boys froze at West Ham who saw Sadio Mane benefit from a dreadful offside decision to score before Michail Antonio levelled.

Liverpool’s defensive woes are starting to take their toll and the news that Joe Gomez needs an operation on his leg that he broke in December is the worst possible news for Kop lovers.

Still, the ebb and flow of this title race is going to be fascinating for neutrals, while the supporters of the two clubs will feel sicker than Hillary Clinton at a Trump rally until the outcome is known.

But being nervous isn’t bad. It just means something important is happening.

Also feeling rather uneasy this season – although much better since King Ole rocked up to sit on the Old Trafford throne – are Manchester United fans facing the prospect of seeing one of their two greatest rivals adding to their title collections while they stay rooted on 20 post-Fergie.

The majority want Liverpool to fail to get over the line but surely Red Devils rooting for noisy neighbours City is like rooting for the house in blackjack? Are they trying to help turn Manchester blue?

Solskjaer, with that boyish grin and twinkle in his eye, had his first taste of adversity on Tuesday with a 2-2 draw against Burnley.

The result stopped him becoming the first manager to win their first seven Premier League games in charge of a club – so he joins Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola on a joint record sixth which is not bad company to be in.

So he’s not the Messiah – just a man that looks like a naughty little boy.

On the plus side, his team mirrored those of old with late drama and desire to claw their way back from two down. On the negative side it was the struggling Clarets who strolled ahead and looked set for a first win at Old Trafford since 1962 until Victor Lindelof scramble in on 92 minutes.

A drab 1-0 victory over Leicester, courtesy of a defensive brain-fart from Ricardo Pereira who gifted the ball to Paul Pogba and led to Marcus Rashford’s winner – taken superbly by the young England star – means United have now cut the gap to the top four to just three points.

But I can’t shake the feeling that all the plaudits heading the Norwegian’s way are a bit misguided. This group of players would have got the same results under a panda – it’s just getting rid of Jose Mourinho that’s led to this run.

IT was Super Bowl LIII on Sunday and I, for one, like Roman numerals.

But this was a hard Super Bowl to like – a dour defensive show which the New England Patriots took 13-3 over the Los Angeles Rams.

It will be remembered as the day Pats quarter-back Tom Brady, 41, won too many rings to fit on one hand.

If any sports star deserves the title ‘legend’ it is this guy. He was already the first QB with five championships, now he has six.

Good looking, record holder, married to a super-model, rich . . . us mere mortals will have to comfort ourselves with the fact Mr Perfect is virtually vegan and then go and tuck into a nice juicy steak!

AND finally it was a case of no rest for the wicket as England’s struggles continued in the Caribbean.

Joe Root’s terrible team contrived to lose the three-Test series after collapsing from 35-0 to 132 all out as West Indies took the Second Test by 10 wickets in Antigua.

They all look like they’re playing with one oar in the water and this shambles has seen them drop from third to fifth in the world rankings.

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