Sunday, 16 January 2011

Dull Derby Day Draws

On Sunday, Premier League fans were treated to three big derby matches. The Tyne and Wear derby between Newcastle and Sunderland, the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton and the Second City derby between Birmingham and Aston Villa. As you have probably gathered from the aptly chosen title, all three games ended in draws. It is never surprising when these matches end in draws because of a few reasons.

  1. Both sides know how much it means to win so, while the games are full of effort, emotion and energy, there is usually a loss of focus and judgement making the games physical, scrappy affairs.
  2. I would say that both teams do not want to lose more than they want to win so, naturally, the players are a little more cautious.
  3. Sometimes, when a game gets hyped up as much as these derby games do, they can be a little disappointing. Perhaps we expect too much.

In defence of the Merseyside derby, the game was pretty good. The second half in particular, after Everton's explosive comeback, set the game up for a fantastic last 30 minutes. Also, in the Tyne and Wear derby we were treated to a last gasp equalizer from Sunderland's Asamoah Gyan. So it is not as though the games were totally devoid of drama, it's just that they won't go down in history as memorable encounters.

Furthermore, in regard to League position, these games did nothing. None of the teams greatly benefited or are now disadvantaged because of the results. Along with that, none of the fans of any team go home from these particular games with bragging rights, which is arguably the point of a derby game.

I was hoping to write a fairly lengthy article discussing the red cards, penalties, hat-tricks, defensive mistakes, goalkeeping howlers or bad refereeing but there was only the Kuyt penalty in the Liverpool game that springs to mind and that was a penalty so there really are no talking points.

"But hold on!" I hear you cry, "Spurs played Man Utd today...there is still hope!" Fair enough, what about the Tottenham v Man Utd game? Surely that would have had some drama? Both teams would have benefited greatly from a win; Man Utd would have gone back to the top with games in hand over their rivals or Tottenham would have broken back into the top four. With that in mind let's check the sco...oh well, at least there was a sending off.

Maybe next week? 

My thoughts exactly.
Sundays games:

Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle United
Birmingham City 1-1 Aston Villa
Liverpool 2-2 Everton
Tottenham Hostpur 0-0 Manchester United

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