With a scattered schedule, and frankly, with my focus on the Super Bowl and Michigan actually having a relevant basketball team this year, I've lost focus a little bit on the Premier Leauge. When you wake up at noon on Saturday, that doesn't help either...that's kind of like waking up at 7:30 p.m on a Sunday. All the games are over.
I've kept an eye on it, and I'm sure most of you know that Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for nearly $80 million at the transfer deadline. Since then, all Chelsea has done is go scoreless in 180 minutes and fallen out of the top four. At Fulham on Monday night, Torres came off the field in the 70th minute to a wonderfully loud "What a waste of money" tune as the two clubs from West London battled to a scoreless draw.
And thanks to Sportscenter, you've probably seen Wayne Rooney's instant legend-making goal against Manchester City on Saturday. A bicycle kick off of a cross from Nani to win the game? That would be like a 99-yard hook-and-lateral to win the AFC Championship game...or something crazy like Edgar Renteria getting World Series-winning hits for two separate teams in his career!
Elsewhere: Arsenal kept pace with Man United as they recovered from their collapse against Newcastle with a 2-0 win over bottom-dwelling Wolves. Spurs jumped past Chelsea into the fourth spot after more heroics from Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar in their 2-1 win at Sunderland.
Bolton claimed a big 2-0 win over Everton on the strength of goals from Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge is an interesting story. Chelsea loaned Sturridge to Bolton after signing Torres, and Sturridge has goals in both games that he has played for Bolton since the loan.
West Ham remains in the bottom three, but they earned a gigantic point, coming back from a three-goal deficit to draw West Brom 3-3. Aston Villa settled for a 1-1 draw with Blackpool, Birmingham City gained some breathing room with a 1-0 win over Stoke City, Liverpool struggled to a 1-1 draw with Wigan, Newcastle and Blackburn danced to a scoreless draw.
The top teams are putting space between themselves and the rest of the pack, while it's just a mess at the bottom of the table.
Best week since the World Cup: The classic Manchester United vs. City battle on Saturday started off the best week of soccer since the World Cup. The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 starts Tuesday and there are some juicy match-ups on the docket. Tottenham head back to the San Siro, where they faced Inter Milan in the group phase. This time they take on Alexandre Pato and AC Milan on Tuesday. Wednesday holds what could just as easily be a Champions League Final match-up when Barcelona travel to London to take on Arsenal.
Here's your Premier League table as of February 15:
|17||West Bromwich Albion||26||7||6||13||34||51||5||4||4||21||22||2||2||9||13||29||-17||27|
|19||West Ham United||27||5||10||12||30||48||3||4||6||14||20||2||6||6||16||28||-18||25|