Belfast Telegraph

Beacom on Monday

By Steven Beacom

Our man's unbeatable verdict on the weekend's football action. You can't afford to miss it...


Lee's stunner cheers up Rangers

With Celtic facing AC Milan in the Champions League in midweek, Rangers fans must make do with playing Queen of the South in the Challenge Cup! At least they can smile about Lee McCulloch's spectacular 30 yard strike (as part of his second successive hat-trick) in a 5-1 Scottish League One win over Arbroath. Best goal of the weekend. It was a beauty.

Awesome Aaron looking good

All eyes were on £42.5m Mesut Ozil at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. While the classy German enjoyed a fine Arsenal debut, star of the show for the Gunners in their 3-1 win over Sunderland was two-goal hero Aaron Ramsey. Having Ozil in the same team will improve the Welsh midfielder further.

Christian earns his Spurs

Christian Eriksen is just 21, but plays like a seasoned veteran, always knowing the correct pass. That's what a few years at Ajax does. Spurs have signed about 100 players recently, but this young, great Dane tops the lot. On his debut he created both goals in Tottenham's 2-0 success over Norwich City.

The other handy Andy

Andy Waterworth delivered a hat-trick on his Linfield league debut in a 4-1 win over Ballymena United on Saturday. He wasn't the Irish League's only handy Andy, though, as Ballinamallard striker Andy Crawford grabbed a double in a 2-1 victory at Coleraine with the Fermanagh men bouncing back in style from their 11-0 humiliation at Portadown.

Young dives in again

Manchester United's Ashley Young has been down this road before and on Saturday he was diving again. Disgraceful behaviour. Thankfully referee Jon Moss, who later awarded Young a penalty that never was, booked him for the dive against Crystal Palace and post-match David Moyes criticised his man. Quite right too.

Ronaldo's for Real, Gareth

Good for Gareth Bale, scoring on his Real Madrid debut, but in a sign of things to come, he was overshadowed by new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who also hit the net in the 2-2 draw against Villarreal and then, to the disappointment of Manchester United fans, signed an extension to his Real contract until 2018 on £14.25m a year.

Brilliant Barry is the answer

When Gareth Barry was an England regular, there was a saying in football. "If Gareth Barry's the answer, what is the question?"

Solid rather than spectacular, the feeling was, with a midfielder like Barry playing such a crucial role, England would never win a major tournament or get past the quarter-finals!

And so it proved. Still, let's give him credit for a superb Everton debut on Saturday – after joining the club on-loan from Manchester City – when the Toffees defeated Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park. Ross Barkley, goalscorer Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas excelled, but Barry was the home side's best performer, using his experience to keep possession and snuff out danger – one block to deny Samuel Eto'o netting for Chelsea was outstanding.

He answered all the questions Jose Mourinho's men posed, that's for sure.

It's heads you win for Wayne

If David Beckham had worn the weekend headgear of Wayne Rooney (pictured), it would now be a fashion accessory!

On Wayne, the head guard, to protect an injury, looked daft, but at least he scored against Palace.

Maybe he should wear it every week!

Belfast Telegraph


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