Yossi Benayoun celebrates yesterday on the “pitch.”(Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)
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Israelis Play Big Role in Exciting EPL Final Day

Look Mother’s Day, no hands!

Marc Tracy
May 14, 2012
Yossi Benayoun celebrates yesterday on the “pitch.”(Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)

It was an eventful day in soccer (soccer!) yesterday, as the final games in the English Premier League’s regular season received ample benevolent Israeli influence, hidden and overt. (So, Israeli soccer isn’t all bad.) Yossi Benayoun, the captain of Israel’s national soccer team, scored once for Arsenal (a club from London that doesn’t actually say where it’s from) in a 3-2 win over the West Bromwich Albion (nota bene: That’s real team name). The victory clinched a third-place finish in the EPL. The good thing about third place is it means you get to play in the Champions League, which is where the real action is, apparently.

But the bigger news is that Manchester City, which is roughly the Mets to Manchester United’s Yankees (except they’re even worse), won its first EPL championship in its 44 years of existence. It did so by scoring two goals, one to tie and the other to win, in merely the five minutes of injury time, helped in part by the fact that its opponent had only 10 men on the field for the rest of the game due to an ejection, because, you know, soccer. What the article fails to note—and what I happen to know because (and only because) he is a subject in the forthcoming Jewish Jocks—is that the retired Israeli midfielder Eyal Berkovic played a crucial role in getting Man City promoted into the EPL in the early 2000s. So, without him, nothing.

Thus concludes the last soccer-related post you’ll likely see on The Scroll … until the Olympics in a few months.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.