In the third installation of “Weekend Moments”, Oliver Keohane looks at a 0-0 draw, powerful Blues pack and a piece of individual brilliance in the North London Derby.
POWERFUL PACK HURTS HIGHLANDERS
Blues flyhalf Otere Black scored 19 points in his side’s 39-17 home thrashing of the Highlanders. It’s not often a flyhalf enjoys a points haul like this when his forwards aren’t firing, and the brilliance of the Blues pack was evident. One ponders the offence taken by the Blues setup, in their comparison to a “South African pack”, because their “South African” style on Saturday certainly got them the result they would have been hoping for. Perhaps a bit more respect is needed for the manner in which South Africa steamrolled through an England side that did the same to the All Blacks?
ERIK LAMELA’S RABONA
Spurs were disappointing in throwing a 1-0 lead to go down 2-1 to their London rivals Arsenal. What was quite the opposite of the team’s performance as a whole was the unbelievable goal from Erik Lamela in the 33rd minute, after coming on 15 minutes previously to replace an injured Son. Lamela fielded a pass in the box, with three defenders between him and the goal, and instead of hitting the ball with his wrong foot, flicked his left around the back of his leg and knocked a screamer of a Rabona through the legs of Thomas and into the bottom right. The goal came entirely against a game lacking in momentum, and though his side – and him, in later getting red carded – wasn’t able to do justice to the goal with a better result, the individual brilliance deserves mention.
LEEDS DRAW TO CHELSEA
Chelsea, described as “toothless” by IOL Sport, remain undefeated since Tuchel took over (12 games ago), yet were not able to take three points from Leeds this past weekend. The men from Elland road have continued, amidst what has been a crisis of a season for many, to punch above their weight, score some fantastic goals and pox some surprising wins and draws. Currently sitting 12th on the Premier League table, the conversation this year has been more about the potential threat of Leeds to bigger sides, week in and week out, than of relegation – the conversation most thought would characterise Leeds’ first season back in the top flight in 16 years.