Ding dong

This weekend was so packed with red-hot football action that it’s almost an insult that it all has to be packed into one measly little article, but it does, so there. But in the face of so much dramatic ding-dong derby action, where to start? How about in Manchester, where United grabbed a dramatic last-last-last ditch 1-0 win against City, thanks to Paul ‘Grandad’ Scholes, a win that brought the Reds to within one point of Chelsea at the top of league, who promptly lost to Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

That bad defeat for Chelsea, in which John Terry was also sent off, gave Arsenal a chance to move to within three points of their London rivals, but despite being 2-0 at Wigan after only three minutes of the second half, managed to concede three goals in the last ten minutes, including one in injury time, to sink their title challenge once and for all.

‘At top-level competition you have to be focused for 90 minutes or you will lose games,’ said Arsene Wenger. ‘I believe the goals we conceded were very poor. Unlucky, but poor. In football you have to keep focused for 90 minutes, especially against a team that has nothing to lose and is fighting to stay up like Wigan were today. We did not stay concentrated and we were punished for that in the end.’

But it wasn’t only derby time in England – oh no. It was also a massive weekend in Italy as well, with the Derby d’Italia – AKA Inter v Juventus – followed by the Rome derby, two games which would have a huge bearing on the destination of the Scudetto. Inter gave Juve a sound 2-0 beating at the San Siro, thanks to goals from Maicon and Samuel Eto’o to put them top of the league on Friday night, but last night Roma beat Lazio 2-1 to retake the lead at the top of Serie A.

The Giallorosso were 1-0 down at half-time and playing poorly, but turned it around in the second half, with two goals from Mirko Vucinic: one from the penalty spot and the other a crunching free-kick. The win sees Roma past the trickiest part of the league season, and puts them within touching distance of their first title since 2001 and the first in the career of former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri.

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