Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

Man United starts strong in Champions League semis

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Manchester United defeated Schalke 2-0 Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on goals by Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs.

Ryan Giggs and the outstanding Wayne Rooney scored United’s goals in a
three-minute second-half spell in the semi-final first leg at the
Rooney set up one goal and scored another two minutes later Tuesday,
putting United in strong position to reach the May 28 final at Wembley
against Real Madrid or Barcelona. The second leg is next week at Old
Giggs scored in the 67th minute off Rooney’s pass. Rooney then
struck in 69th minute after United had wasted a dozen chances against
the unheralded German club.
“We have to say without envy that we never had a grip on the game except for the first 15 minutes,” Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder said. “We were clearly outplayed.”
Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a string of fine saves to keep
his team in the match for more than an hour despite strong pressure.
Manchester United maintained possession nearly two-thirds of the game.
Rooney’s performance came on the same field where he was infamously
sent off during the 2006 World Cup in England’s quarterfinal loss to
Neuer’s excellent play kept United from scoring for more than a
half, but in the 67th he was finally beaten. Rooney held off three
defenders and slipped a perfect pass to Giggs, who put the ball between
Neuer’s legs.
Two minutes later, Javier Hernandez ran unchallenged to the edge of
the penalty area. He passed to Rooney, who drove past Neuer inside the
near post with a low shot.
“I think we showed too much respect from the start,” said Neuer,
whose team had knocked out defending champion Inter Milan in the
quarterfinals. “We had trouble winning the ball and did not defend
United is seeking its fourth title in the competition; Schalke is in
its first semifinal. Schalke had been unbeaten at home until the
semifinal, while United still has yet to concede a goal away from home.
The Red Devils previously were eliminated four times against German
opposition — in the semifinals against Borussia Dortmund (1997) and
Bayer Leverkusen (2002), and twice against Bayern Munich in the
quarterfinals (2001, 2010).
Categories: Soccer, Sport News

Bolton Wanderers Vs. Arsenal: 2-1 Full Time, Gunners’ hopes brought to an end

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Arsenal’s title bid was surely ended at the Reebok Stadium today as Tamir Cohen netted an emotional late winner for Bolton.
Arsenal’s dream of lifting the title appears to be over for another
year after Tamir Cohen’s 90th-minute header gave Bolton a 2-1 win. The
Gunners remain nine points behind Manchester United with four games
Wenger: Title chances minimal
The Israeli powered a 90th-minute header past Wojciech Szczesny and
then removed his shirt to reveal a picture of his late father Avi, who
died in December following a motorcycle accident, before breaking down
in tears.
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge had opened the scoring in the 38th
minute while Kevin Davies also missed a penalty for Bolton at the start
of the second half before Robin van Persie netted a 48th-minute
The result leaves Arsenal nine points behind Manchester United and three behind Chelsea with only four games remaining.
first half was a familiar story for Arsenal fans, with the Gunners
bossing possession but struggling to create clear-cut opportunities,
while Bolton’s more direct approach paid dividends.
Probably the Gunners’ clearest opening came inside four minutes when Cesc Fabregas played in Theo Walcott on the right.
England man’s strike was parried by Jussi Jaaskelainen and Samir Nasri
saw his follow-up effort blocked by a combination of Gary Cahill and
Zat Knight.
Arsenal’s pace looked to be the greatest threat to
the hosts and from a quick break Fabregas forced Jaaskelainen to tip
his 25-yard effort round the post before a Robin van Persie volley was
well blocked by Cahill.
Bolton were giving as good as they got,
though, and they probably should have been ahead in the 24th minute
when Sturridge caught the Arsenal defence napping with a superb through
ball for Lee Chung-yong, but the Korean chose to try to pick out Kevin
Davies and the chance was lost.
Lee had another golden chance in
the 37th minute, with Sturridge again the architect courtesy of a
lovely chip into the centre of the box. The winger made good contact
eight yards out but Szczesny was off his line quickly and blocked the
There was no denying Bolton from the resulting corner,
though, as Sturridge made the breakthrough. Lee’s cross was headed
powerfully towards goal by the impressive Cahill and, although Nasri
cleared off the line, Sturridge was on hand to head in the ball.
Fabregas almost squared things before half-time but his 20-yard shot cannoned off the post with Jaaskelainen well beaten.
Things got worse for Arsenal in the opening minute of the second half and again it was Sturridge causing the problems.
striker’s neat turn took him past Johan Djourou and, when Sturridge
fell in the box under pressure from the Gunners defender, referee Mike
Jones pointed to the penalty spot.
Captain Davies stepped up but his effort was tame and straight at Szczesny, who easily blocked the shot.
seemed inevitable Arsenal would capitalise on their second chance and
little over a minute after the penalty, Van Persie picked up the ball
on the right and played a one-two with Fabregas before placing the ball
just inside the post.
It was the seventh successive away game in which the Dutchman had found the net – a new Premier League record.
responded well but they were indebted to their goalkeeper for keeping
them level when Nasri ran on to Van Persie’s through ball in the 65th
The Frenchman was in space but Jaaskelainen made himself
big to block the initial shot and, although the ball rebounded to
Nasri, the angle was too tight and Cahill was able to block his
The Gunners pressed but Bolton defended superbly and
it was they who created the clear-cut chance Arsenal craved when Johan
Elmander took advantage of a defensive slip to run into the box and
fire in a shot at Szczesny, who did well to palm it behind.
was no stopping Bolton from the corner, though, as Taylor’s cross
picked out the head of Cohen, who had replaced Sturridge six minutes
With the game in the 90th minute, the Israeli powered a head into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
broke down in tears as he was mobbed by his team-mates but it was
Arsenal who were left distraught moments later as Jones blew the final
Categories: Soccer, Sport News

Ronaldo heads Real past Barca for Spanish Cup win

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Real Madrid defeated archrivals Barcelona 1-0 after extra time in a
dramatic finale to win the Spanish Cup for the first time since 1993,
setting off an all-night party.
Real Madrid players toss their coach Jose Mourinho into the air after winning the Spanish Cup
A header from Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the championship Wednesday
night, delivering coach Jose Mourinho’s first trophy since joining the
club last May.
As the final whistle blew in Valencia, fans in
Madrid honked car horns and descended into the streets wrapped in the
Real Madrid and Spanish flags or waving them in joy.
In central
Cibeles Square, traditional home of Real Madrid victory celebrations,
thumping music blared into the early hours, lights beamed the team logo
across the city hall facade, and fans chanted: “Champions, Champions.”
weekend Real ended a run of five straight defeats against Barca with a
1-1 draw in the league but at the Mestalla Stadium they went one better
with their first trophy since 2008.
There still remain two more mouth-watering matches between the rivals in the Champions League on April 27 and May 3.
victory was for the fans as things haven’t gone well at the club over
the last few years. Mourinho is phenomenal,” said Real goalkeeper Iker
Mourinho admitted that there was little to choose between the teams.
“I thought it was a great game where players worked hard, were concentrated and did what they had to do,” he said.
are a side which is used to winning and when they didn’t score they
became frustrated. I was told recently that I was a great coach for
titles but not for football – I am happy to remain that way. I have won
four cups now in four countries.”
But Mourinho does not believe this victory will have any bearing on the upcoming Champions League clashes.
have now won one each and drawn a game this season, so who knows what
will happen in the next. I don’t think what happened in one game
influences another.”
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hopes his players will bounce back quickly.
“We didn’t play well and control the game like we wanted to do and lost the ball a lot,” he said.
need to lift ourselves for the next games. Madrid played very well in
the first half but they performed as I thought they would. It was a
similar system as at the Bernabeu but perhaps with some different
As expected Carles Puyol was not fit to start for
Barcelona after picking up a hamstring strain in his return at the
weekend which followed three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Instead Javier Mascherano was preferred to link up alongside Gerard Pique at the back.
surprise in the Real formation was that Mourinho chose to play without
a typical centre forward and instead lined up Mesut Ozil with Ronaldo
and Angel Di Maria in a three-pronged attack.
Xavi had a shot
from distance but Barca were unable to play their usual quick-passing
game and both sides looked close to losing their composure in the
frenetic atmosphere.
It was Real who were posing the greater threat.
Ronaldo took the ball too wide and his shot across the goal was cleared off the line by Mascherano.
Ozil fired wide from the edge of the area and then Ronaldo again from a tight angle saw his shot saved by keeper Jose Pinto.
combative Pepe deployed in midfield was doing an excellent job to
break-up Barca’s play although he had to be cautious after picking up a
yellow card.
In an all-action display he went within inches of scoring with a fine diving header which came back off the post.
it appeared as though Real had run out of steam after the break as
Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez took control of the midfield.
Rodriguez and Messi both shot wide while Real brought on Emmanuel
Adebayor as they tried to change the direction of the game.
kept Real in the match with several vital interceptions against Messi
and Pedro before an excellent save to deny Iniesta.
Di Maria just had time to see a shot tipped over by Pinto before the referee signaled 30 minutes of extra-time.
Ronaldo seemed to find another gear as he first fired narrowly wide and then went on to score the winner.
Maria and Marcelo combined well down the left wing before the Argentine
crossed for Ronaldo to head home at the back post in the 103rd minute.
Categories: Soccer, Sport News

Real Madrid, Schalke advance to Champions League semis

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

-Schalke Vs Inter Milan
Tottenham Hotspur Vs Real Madrid

Sports Network – Real Madrid and Schalke joined Manchester United
and Barcelona – which advanced on Tuesday – in the UEFA Champions
League final four after gaining results on Wednesday in the second legs
of their respective quarterfinal series.

Real Madrid’s Brazilian
player Kaka (C) runs with the ball challenged by Tottenham Hotspur’s
Michael Dawson (L) during a UEFA Champions League Quarter Final, 2nd
leg football match at White Hart Lane, London on April 13, 2011.
Photograph by: Javier Soriano, AFP/Getty Images

Both clubs built
multi-goal leads after their first-leg matches last week, with German
Bundesliga side Schalke hosting defending title holders Inter Milan
after a 5-2 first-leg victory.
Thanks to a 2-1 win at
Veltins Arena in Germany, Schalke advanced past Inter Milan on
aggregate, 7-3, going through to host English Premier League power
Manchester United in the first leg of the semifinal series on Tuesday,
April 26.
Schalke scored the game’s first goal just before
the first-half break when a Jose Jurado through-ball found Raul on
right side of the six-yard box. Raul blasted home from close range.
club Inter got the equalizer in the game on a 49th minute Thiago Motta
goal, cutting Schalke’s aggregate lead to three goals. Schalke went
back up four in the series nine minutes from time, however, when
Benedikt Howedes’ goal put the final nail in the defending champion’s
Spanish giants Real Madrid took a 4-0 advantage
into the second leg after dominating EPL side Tottenham in the first
leg in Spain, and added a goal to leave White Hart Lane with a decisive
5-0 aggregate victory.
Real Madrid will now host La Liga rival Barcelona in the first leg of the other semifinal series on Wednesday, April 27.
came out like gangbusters in the opening minutes in an effort to close
the gap, but seemed demoralized when Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Roman
Pavlyuchenko were taken down in the area without penalty calls in the
first half.
The most noteworthy thing to happen in the
first half was a yellow card earned by Real Madrid’s Ricardo Carvalho
after a wild tackle just before the break. he will now miss the
first-leg match vs. Barca.
Any hope the EPL side had at
erasing the huge deficit went through the hands of Brazilian goalkeeper
Gomes five minutes after the break.
Real Madrid superstar
Cristian Ronaldo fired a long-range blast at the center of the
Tottenham goal that hit Gomes right in the hands and dribbled behind
him into the net to push the deficit to five.
It was Ronaldo’s sixth goal of the tournament.
Categories: Soccer, Sport News

Manchester United open 10-point lead

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Manchester United moved to within touching distance of a record 19th league title after a 2-0 win over Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring in the 12th minute with his 22nd goal of the season before Antonio Valencia made it 2-0 as United opened up a 10-point lead at the top of the table after an eighth win in 11 league games.

It capped a bitter-sweet day for United manager Sir Alex Ferguson after his horse, What A Friend, failed to finish the Grand National, which was taking place at the same time as this game.

English Premier League results:

Blackburn 1 Birmingham 1
Bolton 3 West Ham 0
Chelsea 1 Wigan 0
Man Utd 2 Fulham 0
Sunderland 2 West Bromwich 3
Tottenham 3 Stoke 2
Wolves 0 Everton 3

With Wayne Rooney serving a two-match suspension for his expletive-laden tirade at West Ham, Berbatov started on his own in attack as Ferguson had one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea.

In total, the United manager made eight changes to the side that earned a 1-0 first leg lead at Stamford Bridge in midweek.

Rio Ferdinand was not involved in the 16 while keeper Edwin van der Sar, Javier Hernandez and Michael Carrick were among the substitutes.

Fulham has lost on all seven visits to Old Trafford since their last victory at the venue in 2003, but the mid-table visitors quickly settled as they twice tested United’s stand-in keeper Tomasz Kuszczak in the opening exchanges.

The Polish stopper kept out Gael Kakuta’s 20-yard drive in the opening minute before Kuszczak made an even smarter save to deny Moussa Dembele in the sixth minute.

United had not had an effort on goal when Bobby Zamora was presented with a great opportunity to give Fulham the lead after the ball deflected into his path inside the United penalty area.

However, the England international was unable to keep his composure and lashed the eighth minute effort high and wide when he should have at least tested the keeper.

It was to prove a costly miss. Four minutes later United were ahead as Berbatov demonstrated why he is the Premier League’s top scorer.

There was certainly a touch of good fortune as replays showed the striker may have been off side, but there was no disputing the fact that Berbatov finished well from eight-yards after collecting a pass from the lively Nani.

United failed to scale the heights of their midweek European success yet, with their noses in front, they rarely looked like allowing Fulham back in.

Indeed, Ferguson’s side doubled their advantage before half time as Fulham’s bright early opening became a distant memory.

Anderson had already spurned a 19th minute opportunity to make it 2-0 when the Brazilian screwed a 16-yard attempt hopelessly wide after the visitors defence had been sliced wide open.

Fortunately for United, fellow South American Valencia was not so wasteful in the 32nd minute.

The 25-year-old, who has recently returned to action after recovering from a broken ankle, was presented with the simplest of headers two yards from goal after Nani’s attempted finish from an acute angle was deflected by Fulham defender Aaron Hughes.

Categories: Soccer, Sport News

Chelsea 0-1 Man United, Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment
Chelsea 0-1 Man United 
Wayne Rooney made headlines for the right reasons on
Wednesday after giving Manchester United a UEFA Champions League win
over Chelsea.

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Barcelona all but secured their spot in the UEFA Champions League
semi-finals after building a huge first-leg lead over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Categories: Soccer, Sport News

Real Madrid 4-0 Tottenham, Inter Milan 2-5 Schalke [ High Light]

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Inter Milan 2-5 Schalke

Inter Milan’s UEFA Champions League hopes are all but dead after
Schalke twice came from behind to claim a commanding first-leg
Real Madrid 4-0 Tottenham

Real Madrid have hammered 10-man Tottenham in their
UEFA Champions League quarter-final to all but seal their place in the
last four.
Inter Milan Vs Schalke 04
Categories: Soccer, Sport News