Pitch Inspection – Premier League, new F1 season and Six Nations finale

Another week in sport, another week of social media sentiment. As the RBS Six Nations came to end in Paris and the 2014 Formula 1 season got under way in Melbourne, we were there to analyse the social media highs and lows. Check out this week’s Pitch Inspection.

We start at The Stadium of Light as Sunderland hosted Crystal Palace in a Premier League relegation clash. Despite an average positive sentiment analysis of 84.5% over the weekend, there were lows of 46.4% positive sentiment during the 0-0 draw as disheartened fans took to Twitter to air their concerns. One of the most influential observers was Daily Mirror football journalist Simon Bird who summed the game up with this Tweet:

Three pivotal, back-to-back Six Nation clashes took place on Saturday, starting with Italy vs England in the lunchtime kick-off. Despite England securing an impressive 52-11 victory, positive sentiment dropped to a weekend low of 55.2% at 7pm as hopes of an England tournament victory slipped away. However, an overall sentiment of +75.6% for England with “bright” and “future” featuring amongst the most heavily mentioned phrases, suggest a moral victory for the Red Rose.

As a new look F1 kicked off Down Under, all eyes were on Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team. Following qualifying on Saturday, positive sentiment for the British driver peaked at 59.1% as he bagged pole position.

Less than 24 hours later, positive sentiment was down at 23.8% after the 2008 World Champion was forced to retire to preserve his car’s struggling engine. As a result, “retire” and “engine” featured strongly amongst Sunday’s top phrases, as did “Nicole” amid reports that Hamilton has become engaged to girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.

A Premier League double-header took place on Sunday afternoon starting with Manchester Utd vs Liverpool at Old Trafford, with all eyes again on United manager, David Moyes. Positive sentiment for the Scot was at 72.6% on Sunday morning, but by 4pm following a convincing 3-0 Liverpool victory this had dropped to 46.1%.

With regards to the tactical battle between Moyes and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, top phrases included “outclassed” and “outwitted” as well as “genius” – a reference to a sarcastic banner that has gone viral across social media:

Premier League action closed the weekend with a vital North London derby at White Hart Lane. With such precedent on the game, pre-match conversation revolved around phrases such as “epic” and “pressure”, but following a 1-0 win to keep Arsenal’s season alive, “title” had again become a talking point.

Arsenal duo @Alex_OxChambo and @Podolski10 were two of the day’s most prominent users as they used Twitter to thank the fans for their support, as well as posting this selfie to Facebook, which had received more than 60k Likes by Monday:

Further Reading