Hell of a Monday night game...

...and I'm not even talking about Patriots-Broncos, although that was good too.

If you're looking at the fixture list at the beginning of the season, and see Birmingham City vs. Charlton Athletic, let's face it...you're probably making plans to go out drinking or something. However, what a FANTASTIC match that ended up being...it's the kind of game I wish I had taped, so I could show every brain-dead soccer hater exactly what they're missing. Birmingham used essentially the same strategy that Leeds used against Arsenal...which isn't so disastrous, because while Charlton are a very tough, well-drilled team, they're not going to tear anyone to shreds with crafty passing and taking on defenders. However, it ended up as somewhat of the same result -- Charlton hit them on the break with two bundled in by their skipper, Matt Holland. However, in fairness, the result would have been much different if both goalkeepers (Maik Taylor for the Brummies, Dean Kiely for the Addicks) hadn't put on an absolute clinic. As Martin Tyler said, you could have put their saves on an instructional video...they were THAT good. At one point, Christophe Dugarry playfully smacked Kiely on the head (after the latter saved a bullet header from point-blank range) as if to say: "What the blue hell do I have to do to beat you?!". Shortly after Charlton's second, he DID find a way...with another extremely well-taken header, this time *just* out of Kiely's reach. On any other night, this would have been one of those 4-3 or 5-4 kind of matches.

I've seen enough of Charlton now to make this prediction: I say they finish between 4th and 6th place, and continue to make life hell for top sides both at The Valley, and on the road as well. As long as they keep beating teams they should beat (hell, they're doing this with half the first-choice side out injured), they can do it.

Oh, and I'll close with my Arsenal predictions for this week:

Champions' League @ home vs. Dynamo Kiev: 0-1 (prove me wrong, boys)
Premier League @ home vs. Another North London Team 2-0


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