Premier Sketch: Chickens, whispering, booze and moustaches

No prizes for guessing where we begin this week: Old Trafford and Nani’s goal to clinch Manchester United’s win against Spurs. United’s Darren Fletcher admitted to reporters that the Portuguese winger put the ball in the back of the net with a gun held to his head.

“Nani had no choice but to put the ball in the net, what else could he have done?” said Gary Neville’s replacement as spokesperson for the Old Trafford club. But is it too naive for fans of the game to think that he actually could have left the ball alone, shown some respect to his fellow footballers and walked away?

Well, after going down in instalments to win a penalty then pulling the age-old trick of grabbing the ball to force the referee to make a decision, why would anyone expect him respect to come into the equation? Paolo Di Canio would roll over in his grave if he wasn’t still alive and well.

So how about referee Mark Clattenburg and his linesman Simon Beck: can they take any of the blame for this, after their hurried whispering behind their hands like pre-teen girls in the playground? Certainly, a bit of common sense could have easily solved the situation, and maybe saved the ever-respectful Rio Ferdinand from straining his jaw.

Clattenburg: “Are you 100 percent sure the whole ball crossed the line?Linesman: "Mark, that was last time...”

Now if you still have the game on your TVs, fast-forward to the 88th minute when Nani is about to take a corner; look at the bottom of the screen and you’ll spot Spurs forward Roman Pavlyuchenko for reasons only he knows doing an impression of a chicken.

And it wasn’t just at Old Trafford where poultry impressions were occurring; in the Tyne-Wear derby, Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan took time off from babysitting Andy Carroll to bag himself a hat-trick in the Toon’s 5-1 stuffing of Sunderland. As each goal hit the net Nolan celebrated with a chicken dance of his own. Like you do.

The performance of the week undoubtedly came from Wolverhampton Wanderers, who condemned Manchester City to their second successive defeat. After going a goal down, Wolves gallantly fought back to win 2-1. A very welcome three points for Mick McCarthy’s men, and it’s safe to say this week that the City players won’t be caught on video out on the lash.

And finally, here’s your chance to emulate those wonderful Liverpool sides of the 70s and 80s. Terry McDermott, Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, Bruce Grobbelaar & Co. were almost as famous for the hair on their upper lips as they were for their skills on the pitch. MOVEMBER is here which means even a muzzie with less bum fluff than Gary Neville will still earn you respect from your fellow man; it’s for a brilliant cause.

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