© Collin Davis (Sportz Interactive), Nov 08, 2010

Peek of the Week: 11

© AP Images

Moment of the Week: Park Ji Sung proved United’s saviour in the dying minutes as they seemed destined for another draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers. After fielding a relatively weak starting 11, Ferguson’s men were struggling when Ebanks-Blake 66th minute goal made it 1-1 for the visitors. Veteran Scholes’ introduction in the 74th minute changed the game as the home side started taking control in the middle of the park and creating more chances higher up the field. However Wolves continued to defend well and looked promising to leave Old Trafford with a point. But as has happened on countless occasions, the Red Devils once again demonstrated their never die spirit when Park cut inside the penalty area and launched a left footer which found its way past a diving Hahnemann. It was a crucial three points for United as Chelsea’s loss over the weekend means that they now are just two points behind the leaders.

© AP Images

Player of the Week: One player that the Kops had prayed to come good since the start of the season was El Nino and he showed why he is an Anfield favourite with a superlative performance which helped the Reds beat the Blues convincingly. He first did brilliantly to spot Kuyt’s through ball with his first touch and the ensuing finish reminiscent of the Torres of old. However the first goal was just the trailer of the Torres magic to come. In the 45th minute of the game, the Spaniard took possession of the ball just outside the opposition box and it seemed that he would cross it to one of his team-mates but as is the sign of all great poachers, Torres noticed that the goalkeeper was slightly out of position and launched an audacious curling shot few would even have thought off. The spinning ball found its way past a stranded Cech who could do nothing but see the ball end up in the back of the net. The 2-0 scoreline proved too tough for Ancelotti’s men and though they tried hard in the second half, Liverpool’s organised defence didn’t allow the Blues a way through.

© AP Images

Story of the Week: Talk of rivalries and you will find few which arouse as much hatred as the one which exists between the Roma and Lazio fans. Both teams share the same ground and the game provides an ideal opportunity for both sets of supporters to demonstrate their superiority as the image of Rome. This time too it was no different and the game was played at a high tempo from the very beginning. Roma drew first blood when Lichsteiner apparently handled the ball in the penalty area and though Borriello’s penalty was a poor one it still found its way past Muslera. The game was sealed in the 87th minute after striker Julio Baptista was pulled down in the penalty box and Vucinic who stepped up to take the penalty sent the keeper the wrong way. The game however wasn’t without controversy with Lazio protesting that they were denied a penalty that could have led to an equaliser but in the end Roma walked off as a deserved winners of the tie.

Match of the Week: After three consecutive losses, the pressure was Mancini’s men had to come up with an answer over newly promoted side West Brom. Captain Tevez who was making his comeback provided the assist as Balotelli scored the first goal and in just under 8 minutes the Italian made it 2-0 aided by some dreadful defending from Tamas. However the attitude problems which haunted him at Inter Milan once again were displayed in the sky blue colours when after having already earned a yellow card, he stupidly kicked Mulumbu and earned a straight red. In just 63 minutes of football, Balotelli showed the good, bad and ugly side of his game and Mancini was left fuming over his hitman’s antics. The drama was not yet over as Mulumbu too received the marching orders after a dangerous tackle of Tevez. Though City dominated the fixture, Balotelli’s histrionics make it our match of the week.

Bari 2 – 3 AC Milan
Peek-o-meter: 8/10

It was a clash between the mighty and minnows but Bari have to be complemented for putting up a fight against a Milanese side laced with superstars. Milan had the first goal of the game when Ambrosini latched on to a Seedorf cross and headed it past the keeper. Despite the early setback, Bari kept on pressing with Milan waiting to pounce on the counter attack. On one such occasion, Flamini made it 2-0 but not to be deterred, Bari continued to press and got their due in the 65th minute when Abbiati conceded a penalty which was duly slotted home by Kutuzov. But their hopes of a comeback were dealt a huge blow when Pato’s brilliant turn and bullet shoot gave the keeper no chance and made it 3-1 to the Rossoneri. Milan also managed to miss two sitters courtesy Robinho and Ibrahimovic and they had some panicky moments towards the end when Barreto scored in the 90th minute but were able to hold on and came away with a very important win which took them to second position in the Serie A above fierce rivals Inter. The thrill, excitement and the free flowing football both teams displayed makes this match our top peek of the week.

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