Home > The Straight Bat > Adrian Considers (Evra+Suarez/Man Utd+Liverpool/NRL trials + more)

Adrian Considers (Evra+Suarez/Man Utd+Liverpool/NRL trials + more)

No holding back for the Manchester United captain.

 

As the fallout from Old Trafford continues, I thought I’d give my own take on the events of the game, as well as a few other things from around the Premier League. Also inside, all the NRL trial results from last night. Let’s go!

 

2-1

A great result for Manchester United, who are still very much a chance of capturing their 20th Premier League title.

Of course, the bigger story here was that of Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez. Suarez got his goal, but if there was ever a match Evra wanted and needed to win, it was this. Let’s break it down.

Firstly, the pre-game handshake. The FA could have nipped it in the bud much like they did in the QPR/Chelsea game, but it went ahead. Evra extended his hand, and Suarez ignored him. As we can see here, Evra didn’t take too kindly to the shunning.

 

 

I’d be really disappointed if Liverpool instructed him to do this. I’m sure they didn’t – as one of the biggest clubs in any sport around the world; they have a lot riding on their image. It looks like Suarez let them down in this regard.

It should also be noted that Rio Ferdinand didn’t shake hands with Suarez either. We can only speculate whether it was because of the incident here, or a predetermined stance (perhaps influenced by the other racism issue surrounding his brother Anton).

As the game kicked off, it looked like we were in for a big collision between the two after only 21sec. However, Ferdinand joined the party and was cleaned up by his teammate. Thankfully there was no serious injury, but it was a very nasty looking challenge. Good effort from Rio – putting his body on the line and defusing a potentially disastrous situation.

There was talk of an incident in the tunnel at half time. I’m pleased it didn’t escalate too much, as it would have ruined one of football’s showpiece events.

Following the game, Evra was obviously overjoyed, and didn’t hold back.

 

 

Now before you think this is just one big Evra love-fest, I thought his post-game celebrations were a tad too much. This might be a bit rich coming from someone who loves a good post-goal or post-game celebration (just ask my teammates), but I’m not exactly playing in the Premier League. Obviously Evra let his emotions get the better of him, and he whipped the Old Trafford crowd into a frenzy. He also found himself celebrating right next to Suarez – what a coincidence!

I’m glad this didn’t turn ugly, and I’ve got to say referee Phil Dowd did a fantastic job of making sure things didn’t get out of hand. Not just here, but throughout the match. It wouldn’t have been easy, but he did his job and ensured the game went ahead (relatively) smoothly. Well done.

Where to now? If anything, this game has inflamed the already heated rivalry between these two clubs. As long as it now moves back to being a purely sporting rivalry, I’m all for it. I can’t help but feel this personal issue will continue to hang around, and the sooner it is put to bed, the better.

 

There was a game of football?

Just on the game itself, I very much question the tactics deployed by Dalglish. It was a pretty negative looking side, with Suarez walking alone (hah) up front. They looked vastly improved in the closing stages, with Carroll, Bellamy and Adam all making an impact.

United played well, and deserved the three points. Great skill from Rooney in his two goals. Who would have thought we’d see Scholes and Giggs taking Liverpool apart in 2012? Quite amazing. Giggs has already signed on until 2013, so don’t be surprised to see Scholes persuaded into staying out of retirement for another season.

 

A big difference

Did anyone notice the first substitution Liverpool made? Jay Spearing off for Andy Carroll. Fun fact: there’s a 23cm difference in height between these two. Just thought I’d point that out.

 

Spurs win big

I tipped Tottenham to get the job done over Newcastle in Megatips, but I didn’t think it would be by this much. Adebayor had a casual four assists and goal, while Everton fans will be wondering where this was from Saha, as he scored twice and set up one. I don’t think they’ll win the league this year, but they’ll definitely push the Manchester clubs right to the end.

If Harry Redknapp does take the England job, is this where we’ll be seeing Mourinho next season? Stranger things have happened.

 

Mertesacker injures himself

If you haven’t seen this, check it out here. As if Arsenal fans didn’t already dislike Per Mertesacker enough, they probably do even more now. The poor guy has had an unfortunate start to his time with the Gunners. I don’t mind him as a player, but he hasn’t been at his best since moving to England. To be fair, there wasn’t much he could about the injury… how unlucky is that?

Good on James McLean for playing to the whistle and going on to score the goal. That’s what I expect from players in my fantasy team!

 

NRL pre-season action

Here’s something rather bizarre – Wests Tigers won a trial game! And Parramatta lost. Wait a sec, shouldn’t it be the other way around? At any rate, reports indicate the Tigers are looking good for season 2012 after knocking off the Eels 20-12.

In other matches, North Queensland defeated the Dragons 18-12 in Perth (crowd was 8,588 – fantastic for a trial game between these two sides over the other side of the country.) Penrith and Newcastle played out an 18-all draw, Gold Coast beat Brisbane 18-16, Canberra won 27-18 against Melbourne Storm (continuing their long and storied rivalry), and South Sydney remain winless under new coach Michael Maguire, going down 22-14 at the hands of the Warriors.

We’ll be previewing the 2012 NRL season in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to whosplayingwho.net.

 

That’ll do me for now. As always, I’d love to get your take on any of the topics above. Leave a comment below, or hit me up on Twitter – @adrmcm.

 

 

 

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