We are late with this week’s BPFL post—check MLSSoccer.com in the coming days to see why.
But the new BPFL Gameweek began with yesterday’s games (Wolves 2, Norwich 2; Blackburn 1, Bolton 2) and includes today’s full slate (Fulham 0, Man U 5 [!]) and tomorrow’s Tottenham–Chelsea’s clash.
Did you set your lineup? Yeah … we didn’t. But here is Our Man at the Valley with a belated (entirely due to us) recap of last week’s action:
In the BPFL this week it was a question of bench strength, as roster favorites Ryan Taylor and Gareth Bale both missed games through injury. If you were hiding a Swansea defender on the bench due to his heretofore poor away form you probably got lucky.
The big match at the top of the table pitted our unbeaten leader Coloradokeeper against 4th placed Bryan 04 Leverkusen. Including Week 1 results, the two teams were separated by only a single point heading into the week (887-886 for Bryan).
As of Saturday evening it was a blowout, with the ‘keeper up 38-18 if one factored in the automatic Michel Vorm for Asimir Begovic substitution. Four backline clean sheets and a big day on Sunday from Clint Dempsey were enough for the ‘keeper to remain unbeaten, 68-54.
Elsewhere, my erstwhile work colleague and multisport teammate thissiteblows@PMike (it was about this time of year that he dived after another of my errant American football passes and shattered his collarbone on some frozen tundra in the Bronx) faced his fellow Cahill Towne alum, Old27M.
Prison Mike took a 15-11 lead in that one after the first day’s play. On Sunday, a David Silva goal and his 3 subsequent Bonus Points put an end to any hopes of a comeback for my co-commissioner. Prison Mike prevailed, 61-52.
Performer of the Week: This week’s honor goes to The Xerez’s Team, one of the few of us that didn’t need any automatic substitutions. He rode solid performances from seven different players to a 72-point week.
Unlucky Loser: Team Fortress 4 is this week’s hard-luck case. His 58 points would have been enough to beat 32 others, but they weren’t enough in the face of Tango’s 70 point onslaught.
In the Premier League itself, Chelsea’s run of good form ended at Wigan, as they were held to a 1-1 draw when the increasingly poor Petr Cech gifted Jordi Gomez his fourth goal in five games two minutes from time. Once again, Chelsea let a clean sheet disappear in the last few minutes of a match and some statistician somewhere is doing a study showing a correlation between the amount of protective gear on Cech’s head and the number of weak goals he gives up.
ClintDempsey had a goal and an assist as Fulham beat Bolton 2-0. Tony Pulis looked like a genius as he yanked Jonathan Woodgate off after 19 minutes of waving Matt Jarvis through the Stoke defense. The Potters held steady after that and came back for a 2-1 win at Wolves.
And it was nearly a case of the early birds catching the Vorm in Newcastle, as the Magpies were held at home in a scoreless draw with Swansea, despite peppering 12 first-half shots at Swansea’s Dutch keeper in a scoreless draw.
On Sunday, the two Manchester teams remained top of the table after 1-0 victories over two London clubs.
Thanks, OMATV. Next up, the weekend matches, followed by our personal favorite stage of the season, Boxing Day.