Everton shocks Manchester United as big four clash in Premier League

In a late-season UK Premier League freak fixture marvel, the top four
teams went head-to-head overnight and Everton maintained its Cinderella
season by beating Manchester United 1-0 at Goodison Park, and also keep
its Champions League dream right on track. It was Everton’s first
win over United in 21 games dating back to 1995.

At Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea v Arsenal derby ended in a goalless
draw, and while the Blues maintained their 11-point lead on the table
over Arsenal, Chelsea can now forget about uncorking the champagne by
clinching the championship with a weekend victory. But only the
maths now stands in the way of their first title win in 50 years, given
there are only 15 points left to play for. Surely Chelsea couldn’t lose
their last 5 straight.

Will A League become dumping ground for high priced Premier League has-beens?

Perhaps the only thing dodgier than Australian soccer’s A League player
cringe – that deems signing an over-paid fading 33-year-old Premier
League one-time bad boy as some sort of adulatory recruiting triumph –
is the prospect he won’t be alone in raiding our shores.

Sydney FC’s signing of its “franchise” player Dwight Yorke, with
tellingly his current Premier League club Birmingham City glad to be
shot of him, has alerted other veteran or over-the-hill UK soccer stars
to the possibility of sticking their snouts in the local A League
trough. The eight national league clubs are each able to sign one
franchise player unencumbered by the league’s modest $1.5 million
salary cap. So keen was Sydney to acquire the ageing services of Yorke
as its initial marquee player when the A League kicks off in August,
it’s being suggested he could earn up to six times more than the next
best paid player in Sydney’s squad.

Sydney FC owners include Frank Lowy and Anthony LaPaglia. Let’s hope they haven’t made a rare bad investment.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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