1. Hull moved further away from the drop zone after Michael Dawson got the solitary goal in their 1-0 win over Liverpool at The KC Stadium. Hull have now won there last two games and with a run in which looks incredibly difficult, these 3 points could be huge come the end of the season. Liverpool on the other hand who haven’t won in their last 3 matches in League and Cup and also have drawn 2 blanks in their last two league matches will surely now feel that any hopes of getting in the top 4 would have evaporated last night. The gap to Manchester United now stands at 7 points with 4 games to play, this means Manchester United must only win 1 of their last 4 games and Liverpool have to win all of their last 4. I like many others can’t see this happening so it seems as if the Europa League awaits but with the form they are in even 5th could be snatched away from by Spurs, Southampton or even both. Add to that a possible Aston Villa F.A. Cup win and the Reds could face the prospect of no European Football next season (although faced with a Europa League campaign, some Liverpool fans may not think this is the end of the world. More importantly the win for Hull last night brings Newcastle slowly but surely into a relegation fight, if they lose to Leicester on Saturday then there’s going to be a nervy last 3 games ahead of them.
2. Barcelona destroyed Getafe 6-0 last night, it could and should have been into the double figures. From the start they showed absolutely no mercy in a game that was pretty much reduced to a training exercise after 25 minutes. The score was 5-0 at half time and you may have reason to think that they would slow down after that but no 2 minutes after the break Lionel Messi made it 6-0. Once Xavi was subbed off soon after, the pace of the game subsided and Getafe defended for their lives with as many as 4 players swarming round Lionel Messi to stop him adding to the goal tally. In the last 20 minutes or so the game fizzled out as Luis Suarez was looking to complete a hat-trick unfortunately for him it wasn’t to be but a brace for him and Messi while Xavi and Neymar chipped in with a goal each to put Barcelona back 5 points clear (at least for tonight) and put the pressure back on Real Madrid to close the gap. In a run in in which Barcelona can’t afford any slips ups, Madrid will be hoping it’s a case of “anything you can do, we can do better”.
3. Honours were even in the Basque Derby as Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad drew 1-1 at San Mames. Neither team could find the net in a pretty uneventful first half but things livened up after the break. Athletic went 1-0 up through a 52nd Minute penalty from Aduriz in which Sociedad’s Mikel Gonzalez was sent off for the challenge leading to spot kick. 10 Men Sociedad showed a lot of character and Moyesque steel to stay in the game and they were rewarded on the hour when left back De la Bella looped in a shot into the top corner from Ruben Pardo’s through ball to equalise. So the bragging rights were shared this time around in a game which was pretty symptomatic of both teams season’s and their mid table positions.
4. A win for Rotherham last night consigned Millwall and Wigan to the drop and they will both be playing League 1 Football next season. Goals from Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington in a 2-1 win over Reading were enough to see them safe last night. The win made all the more sweeter after their recent points deduction pulled them into a nervy relegation battle but all 3 points last night allayed any concerns. As for Millwall they end their five season stint in The Championship in what has been a pretty miserable season, worse still for Wigan who have gone through three managers this season and won the F.A. Cup only 2 years ago. They must be worried of the times ahead of them now that Dave Whelan has stepped down and put his young experienced Grandson in charge of the club, this is someone who has already had a failed Fish and Chip Business in his embryonic business career. Now if you can’t sell Fish, Chips and Gravy to the North then you must have a worrying level of business acumen.
5. Amazing scenes in Munich where the German Cup Semi-Final between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund went to spot kicks after 120 minutes of Football couldn’t split the two sides at 1-1. Firstly Robert Lewandowski put the home team infront and they were pretty comfortable but once Thiago Alcantara was replaced by Arjen Robben the tide started to turn and Dortmund deservedly managed to level through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Extra time saw no other goals and then the game moved onto penalties. Firstly trusted Bayern Captain Philippe Lahm slipped in front of his home fans and ballooned the ball over bar, this was followed up Sebastian Kehl slotting home, Xabi Alonso then stepped up to take Bayern’s 2nd spot kick and amazingly he did exactly the same. Ilkay Gundogan then put Dortmund 2-0 ahead and a clear advantage, it was then the turn of former Dortmund player Mario Gotze to step up but much to the delight of the Dortmund fans his timid kick was easily saved. Dortmund then had a chance to win the game but the 3rd spot kick was well saved by Manual Neuer, he then was elected to take the 4th spot kick and try to get Bayern back in the game…..amazingly his effort hit the bar and Bayern were dumped out of the Cup being defeated 2-0 on Penalties. All stereotypes of German ruthless efficiency with spot kicks had gone out of the window last night and with that Bayern’s dream of a treble this season. On the other hand the fairytale ending for Jurgen Klopp is still very much alive and Dortmund will surely be the favourites to overcome either Wolfsburg or Third Division Arminia Bielefeld who face each other tonight. Klopp’s men will not only be the favourites with the bookmakers, I’m sure they’ll be favourites with a lot of neutral across and Germany and the Footballing World.