In Serie A, a weekend of mind-numbingly boring football was given some spice by a game that never took place. In the latest chapter in a long-running saga involving their new stadium in Quartu Sant'Elena, Cagliari president Massimo Cellino used the club'e website to invite fans with tickets to turn up for yesterday's game with Roma. This was despite the fact that the authorities had ordered it to be played behind closed doors because, in their view, the stadium is not yet ready to host spectators. On Saturday evening an emergency meeting involving the local police chief and the prefect reacted by refusing to allow the game to go ahead on safety grounds. Roma have now been awarded a 3-0 win.
Yet another own goal for Italian football. Cellino, who was in Miami when he wrote the offending lines, is the sort of arrogant president who gives the game a bad name, and he could now be in trouble with the law. But the league have also acted pusillanimously in all this. When Cagliari enrolled for the 2012-2013 season, they stated that their first four home games would be played in Trieste. All the leage had to do was hold them to this on pain of losing points if they didn't turn up. It was very easy, but they bottled out in the face of Cellino's belligerence.
Yesterday's game would have followed the path of the game against Atalanta on September 2nd if Cellino had not intervened.
In comparison with all this, the double defeat of the Milan giants as they stumble from one disaster to another was small beer. But,for the record, eight official games played by them in the Giuseppe Meazza Satdium have now produced three draws and five defeats, and all four Serie A games have seen away wins. Unprecedented.
"Newcastle got only their second win of the season as they beat Norwich City 1-0 at St James' Park."
There's "only" been five games during which time NUFC have "only" been beaten once. "Only" five teams have won more than two games. For reference Spurs and Arsenal have also "only" won two. Liverpool have "only" two points.
Newcastle are "only" two points off the top four.
Newcastle played three games in the space of "only" seven days last week. "Only" getting two draws and a win. Not bad for a club that spent "only" a balance of £4m in the transfer window but currently competing in three competitions.