In the second installment of the Badger’s very own weekly blog Twitter raises its chirpy voice once again, swine flu infects Lancashire, and Becks squeezes his way into discussion for the second week running…

Some say Liverpool throughly outplayed the Mancs; others claim that United thought that they would stroll to victory in Anfield. However, there is no doubt that Liverpool were more psyched up for the occasion.

Normality was restored to Anfield, due to Pepe Reina performing his mid-week exorcism on the infamous beach ball. Refusing to release details on how he went about exorcising the inanimate object, we can only speculate that he used a standard kitchen knife to carefully release all the air. Of course, during the whole procedure he used a face mask, being extra careful not to inhale the toxic fumes inside the ball.

On the topic of face masks, it is a sight that will be a lot more common around the Blackburn training ground from now on. Now that David Dunn, the invincible Chris Samba, and two other staff have been diagnosed with the serious A H1N1 virus, the Premier League should be on high alert. It was announced that three players contracted the virus, but, Blackburn refused to comment as to who the other player might be, because it might “dis ‘is street cred”. The Badger advises steering clear of Mr Diouf for a few days.

Ita-lia no Calcio
AC Milan are having some well-deserved luck at the moment. After exhausting all their striking possibilities at Chievo over the weekend, it was left to the ageless Alessandro Nesta to dig the Milanese out of their Ronaldinho-shaped hole, though it would be unwise of Milan head honcho Leonardo to rely on the not-so-prolific Nesta.

The Badger is not much of a statistician, but by his count that would be Nesta’s first goal since he was four years old when his uncle Luigi let him score a penalty against him out of sympathy. With Milan in mind, it would be hard to ignore the story that David Beckham already has one foot on his plane, scheduled for December 31st. It now appears “very probable”, according to Hillary Clinton’s Milanese equivalent, that the deal will be done.

They spent the budget of a moderately-sized Caribbean country on players over the summer, but still Real Madrid have managed to become a one-man team. Spain’s most illustrious club failed to even score against the flying donkeys, otherwise known as Sporting Gijon, at the weekend as life without Ronaldo looked grim.

They have looked poor since their marquee signing was struck down with injury, and are probably sick to the teeth that life appears to be getting easier for their rivals from the Basque country. Messi & Co had an average weekend, routing Real Zaragoza 6-1. Some have put the victory down to good team play, but maybe having cultured Englishman Jermaine Pennant as your star winger didn’t help against the European Champions.

Buenos Aires
The first clash of the year between the Buenos Aires’ top dogs took place over the weekend as River Plate tackled Boca Juniors at Estadio Monumental. Thought of as one of the greatest derbies in the world, the Superclassico usually possesses all the exciting assests of the game we love and this season’s engagement did not disappoint.

Two sending-offs on either side did not take any prestige out of the game as this lived up to all expectations. With both sides carrying huge pressure into the match on the back of bad starts to their season’s, River and Boca showpieced an excellent match which included goals from Marcelo Gallardo and Martin Palermo, while prolific drunkard Ariel Ortega also missed a penalty. The match finished 1-1 and reiterated that Argentina football can still swagger.

Final Formalities

On a final note, the Badger would like to commend Phil Brown for being on the ball, for once. The Hull manager fined young American striker Jozy Altidore for his comments on Twitter after last weekend’s game against Portsmouth. Altidore tweeted of how disappointed he was at being dropped for turning up late to the KC stadium before the match. This obviously did not tweet too well in Brownie’s mind, as he has fined Altidore “a lot of money” for his trouble. Brown’s actions clearly show that he is one of the few hip Premier League managers who skate the interweb.