Wrong guy Gibbs has Ian right cross and Leonardo bows before Rooney’s art
A dejected Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal sits on the pitch after conceding the fourth goal during the 6-0 hammering by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
The only ones as shell-shocked as Arsene Wenger on Saturday were Fantasy Football managers who had Wojciech Szczesny minding their net, themselves and the Arsenal gaffer left a bit ashen-faced after events at Stamford Bridge.
Some argue the English Premier League isn’t actually the best in the world, and they’d be right, but it’s great craic, as the weekend’s rugby-like results proved, Liverpool’s win over Cardiff the highest scoring affair, with Luis Suarez getting a hat-trick of tries.
By half-time much of the damage had been done, 0-4 to the Arsenal, leaving BT Sport pundit Ian Wright speechless. Kidding. ‘Why am I here?’ said Avram Grant’s face as Wrightie emoted his despair. At some length.
The first half’s chief talking point, of course, was the ref sending off the wrong Arsenal fella, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left a broken man when it was Kieran Gibbs who got to depart the debacle and go home early, despite it being Alex who’d given away that penalty with his diving save (of a ball that was going wide!).
Presenter Jake Humphrey was inclined to be merciful to the official. “Do we give the referee the benefit of the doubt, mistaken identity?”
“What’s he saying, they look the same?” asked a discombobulated Wrightie.
“Is he being racist?” asked Steve McManaman. ,”
“Huh,” asked Avram’s face, José Mourinho adding to the muddled identity business after the game by revealing half his bench thought Mikel Arteta was the culprit.
The only man, really, who was sure not to be wrongly accused was Szczesny, having barely laid a hand on a ball all afternoon.
On the misery went for the Arsenal people, two more conversions in the second half, by then Gibbs thanking the heavens he’d been prematurely released from duty.
Jake kind of wished he had been too when Wrightie used the “bollocking” word live on air, suggesting that’s what the Arsenal lads needed to get their house in order.
Arsene, though, doesn’t strike you as a man to dish out a bollocking, although he might have been tempted to give one to José after his “meh, easy” post-match chat.
The goals kept flowing thereafter, except up north-east where Newcastle and Crystal Palace were scoreless until the last minute, Newcastle goalie Tim Krul keeping a clean sheet despite a nasty finger injury.
“He jumped out of his skin like Tom and Jerry,” Paul Merson informed Jeff Stelling, Jeff is still scratching his head.
Next up, Cardiff v Liverpool on Setanta, the latter twice recovering from going behind to win 6-3, Cardiff supremo Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offering gushing praise after the game for the Merseyside men.
“Are they title contenders?” asked the man over on Sky Sports. “I couldn’t care less,” said Ole, cementing his God-like status in one half of Manchester.
Speaking of which. Rooney? Ah now!
“The goalkeeper’s lost all his bearings, he’s like a baby in a playpen,” said Sky pundit extraordinaire Jamie Redknapp of that rather splendiferous goal, one that led to a heated debate on
Match of the Day
about which goal was best, Rooney’s or David Beckham’s from the half-way line.
Brazilian legendary person Leonardo was making a guest MOTD appearance, Gary Lineker’s introduction of him rather poignant, in a 48 years of hurt kind of way: “We have World Cup winner Leonardo! Alongside Alan Shearer.”
So, which was better?
Leonardo: “I sink David Beckham’s goal iz more beautiful, but Rooney’s iz more difficult because it’z on the air – David has time to shot, Rooney was instinct – doof, fantastic.”
Good enough, that’ll do. Rooney it is.
But had he committed a foul before he did his thing? Hammer Russell Brand thought so.
“The East End has not seen that kind of injustice since the dark days of Jack the Ripper.”