January 5, 2013
Check it, this is the ‘to-be-updated-I’m-sick-as-a-dog-got-to-get-sleep’ version of a post that’s going to be quick and dirty. Again, come back tomorrow for a bit more elegance and possibly more detail.
Lee Chung-Yong nets his 5th of the season overall for Bolton in their FA Cup tie with Sunderland. It came early in the 12th minute, a huge Sunderland defensive error led to Lee making the best of a golden opportunity. I’ll let ESPN FC describe the setup:
“With the ball moved to the left of Sunderland’s defence, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had shuffled across to offer an outlet, but when Carlos Cuellar inexplicably squared the ball across the edge of the penalty area straight to Lee, the Belgian was out of position.
The Blue Dragon, while he didn’t get credited for the assist with Bolton’s next goal, he started the sequence by delivering a well timed cross to Keith Andrews, who headed the ball over to Marvin Sordell – a strategically placed header into the corner of the net in 48th minute a moment later and they were up 2-0. Sunderland would eventually equalize to stay alive and move the whole affair to the Stadium of Light.
Kim Bo-Kyung didn’t play for Cardiff in their 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Macclesfield Town. Shocking loss -well, yes…and no. Context: though Macclesfield is playing in a deeply lower tiered division, Cardiff manager Malkaye took a gamble, gave his entire starting squad some rotational rest, and lost with essentially his reserve squad, including 7 teenagers on the pitch. Good experience for the lads I suppose. Though I suspect Malkaye and his merry Bluebird supporters aren’t going cry in their beer over this one. Despite it being merely the halfway point in the season, Cardiff appears well on their way to promotion, what with a formidable 7 point lead at the top of the Npower Championship table. Rotational rest, gamble on what eventually was a FA Cup loss, but the bigger objective will be at hand, if they can shake the demons of their past and actually hold steady to win promotion.
Meanwhile, Park Ji-Sung is completely back from his knee injury and donned the Captain’s armband to start his first game since October. The newly confident QPR, after their incredible victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, proceeded to barely draw with West Bromich Albion, getting a last minute goal from Kieron Dyer to equalize, his first in the Premiership since 2007. For his part, Park returned to his usual form. Again back to ESPN FC: “QPR huffed and puffed and Park’s work ethic caught the eye in midfield.” Despite that, goals were in short supply for QPR. Park played the full 90 minutes, considering months of not being on the pitch, pretty remarkable.
Looking over to Sunday’s games, Park Chu-Young is expected to get the start for Celta Vigo in their clash against Real Valladolid. Game is early for those on the US East Coast: 6 am. SportalKorea correspondent Santiago Perez has been watching Park: reading his description of Park’s lone winter break training sessions reminds me of all the Saturday kung-fu films I watched as a youngster, where the protagonist gets beat up but doesn’t give up. He trains, develops and returns with a vengence to kick ass. His newest post on his Rainmaker18.com blog site is entitled encouragingly: Park is Back. Sounds like a hit song title to me.
Then it’s Swansea and Arsenal in their FA Cup tie at 8:30am [Fox Soccer TV]. Conventional wisdom says Swansea is going to sacrifice this game to pool all resources towards the Wednesday semifinal of the Capital Cup vs Chelsea. But who knows how it’ll all play out. Swansea can be unpredictably brilliant or middling. Regardless, we may get to see Ki Sung-Yeung in either this game or on Wednesday –or if you’ve been extra good, maybe both!