Sunday, March 3, 2013

Real outclass Barca again as Ba sets bar

Rafa Benitez endured a rough week after his tough talk about the realities at Stanford Bridge given the rant of Chelsea fan. Short of showing them a middle finger, he stressed how ridiculously ungrateful the fans were, and that they should spend energy spurring the team forward rather than pulling them down.

While his hostile stay in London may be a fruitful one, it may be one to forget - a sour-sweet experience. No human being deserves such treatment and the team performance vindicated him with a Demba Ba strike bringing smile to his face on a day protests about his presence as Chelsea manager were supposed to be fever-high.

Harry Redknapp also had to deal with malicious reports questioning his management skills after he took the team to Dubai where they were reportedly too drunk to train the next morning after an all-night out. To prove a point, his Queens Park Rangers ran away with maximum points at Southampton with a 2-1 win, their third of the season. Redknapp was a happy man who hoped the win would work well for the confidence of the team as they fight for their top-flight life.

Shingi Kagawa's hatrick is talk of the town as Manchester United managed a 4-0 ahead of the UEFA Champions League tie with Real Madrid. It was the first Asian to score a hatrick in the Barclays Premier League. As a milestone, Ba had his - the first Africa to score 15 goals or more in successive seasons, somehow something the great Didier Drogba did not achieve.

Talking of Real Madrid, they rubber-stamped their superiority over Barcelona this season by yet another victory, a 2-1 La Liga win after their Copa Dela Rey a few days back. It may be that Madrid's dominance over bitter arch-rivals who proved to be bad losers has been made permanent. One thing for sure, it will be for Jose Mourinho to savour to seasons to come. As less significant as it was for Real since they can not expect to win the league, rubbing it in was all it was, salt, chillies and all. Winning the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League may atone for what had been turning out to be a dismal season for Mourinho.

The two giants, United and Real, will battle it out after their contrasting successful respective league confidence booster encounters, in which key players were rested.