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Day: December 12, 2011

Match Of The Week: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

What price genius? It has been suggested more than once this season that Mario Balotelli may be more trouble than he is worth. The firework-igniting, errant child-correcting, trampoline-buying Manchester City forward carries a very unique kind of baggage around with him, but the evidence of this season – brought very firmly into focus this season – has demonstrated that every piece of baggage that he carries (including the suitcase that contains a talking toucan wearing a bow tie that he bought when his mother sent him out to buy a can of sardines) is worth the occasional bouts of petulance, the occasional show-boating that will probably cost his club a major trophy of some description at some stage and his perpetually aggrieved facial expression. Genius, though, has its limits. Balotelli couldn’t carry Manchester City on his own this evening and, after a bright start at Stamford Bridge, his team was beaten by a Chelsea side with a fresh spring in its step after last week’s Champions League narrow escape.  This evening, of course, is a battle of the Premier League’s nouveau riche, and it is perhaps a sign of the times that both clubs have experienced the feeling of having a metaphorical yet unmistakeably large neon sign with “CRISIS!” hanging over the gates to their grounds over the last couple of weeks. Andres Villa Boas survived his date with...

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“Foy” Not “Hoy”

Yesterday hadn’t, if we are completely honest, been Chris Foy’s greatest afternoon as a Premier League referee. His performance during the match between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur left a little to be desired and will have left those in North London of a blue and white persuasion rather scratching their heads. After the match, the Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was predictably incandescent in his press interviews, inducing the now almost traditional conspiracy theories that managers raise when their teams have a couple of refereeing decisions go against them and they lose (rule one of this particular trope: it is a sign of male weakness to admit that there were two teams on the pitch and that the other team were also being refereed by the same man). So far, then, so depressingly, grindingly normal for a Premier League weekend. Spurs’ outrage, however, continued into today, though, with heaps of abuse being hurled at Chris Hoy via the realm of the the swivel-eyed, Twitter. There is, as the more eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed, a small problem with this – whilst Chris Foy is a Premier League referee who is, apparently, biased in favour of Stoke City and against Tottenham Hotspur, Chris Hoy is an Olympic cyclist and has never, as far as we know, refereed a Premier League football match. Hoy reacted to the completely unwarranted abuse...

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