Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona’

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PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN V CHELSEA

PSG vs Chelsea is really going to be intriguing with all the others having clear favorites but this one can go either way.Certainly the most open quarter final tie this season in my opinion .

MANCHESTER UNITED V BAYERN MUNICH

Manchester United have a tough test in Bayern Munich. With Van Persie out for six weeks with knee injury its nothing less than a nightmare. But they only need to remember how Liverpool FC (2005) and Chelsea FC (2012) stole the Champions league after difficult Premier League campaigns.

BARCELONA V ATLETICO MADRID

An all-Spanish clash between Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid , first time in the history of champions league. They didn’t beat each other in any of the 3 matches between them this season. Perfect recipe for an El Classico level bonanza .

REAL MADRID V BORUSSIA DORTMUND

This game might already be all settled with Robert Lewandowski suspended for the first leg and Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale operating in full capacity.

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March 2014 - Super Football Bonanaza

Football Crazy Month. Big teams , Big matches.

2013/14 UEFA Champions Legue : Round of 16 draws

The match-ups for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League round of 16.

 

The group stage draws for the UEFA Champions League 2013/14 commencing on September 16, came out on Thursday at the draw event held in Monaco. Not disappointing  the Football world the draw presented few tough groups.

Group F can easily be tagged as ‘Group of death’ comprising of Borussia Dortmund (last year’s finalist) Arsenal, Marseille and Napoli. Group H is another tough group in the form of  Barcelona, Ajax, AC Milan and Celtics FC comprising the group.

Chelsea FC have been drawn with Schalke, FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest in Group E. Familiar names FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest were both beaten en route to Amsterdam in last season’s Europa League. Manchester United faces a competitive group whereas the last English team Manchester City face tough competition from European champions Bayerm Munich and CSKA Moscow.

Complete Fixture list:

Group A                                                                       Group B
Manchester United                                                      Real Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk                                                        Juventus
Bayer Leverkusen                                                       Galatasaray
Real Sociedad                                                             FC Copenhagen



Group C                                                                            Group D
Benfica                                                                            Bayern Munich
Paris St-Germain                                                         CSKA Moscow
Olympiacos                                                                  Manchester City
Anderlecht                                                                   Viktoria Plzen

Group E                                                                           Group F
CHELSEA                                                                        Arsenal
Schalke                                                                         Marseille
FC Basel                                                                       Borussia Dortmund
Steaua Bucharest                                                         Napoli



Group G                                                                          Group H
Porto                                                                                Barcelona
Atletico Madrid                                                              AC Milan
Zenit St Petersburg                                                       Ajax
Austria Vienna                                                                Celtic

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As we head towards couple of German-Spanish club semi finals where Bayern Munich (Last year’s finalist), which recently mantled a 23rd German title face favorites Barcelona and recently forced out Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund take on Real Madrid, the first leg matches to be played on April 23 and 24, with the return games on April 30 and May 1, Lets carve out some time to explore the prospect of an all-German European Champions League final next month on May 25 at Wembley stadium in London .

Some facts to start with:

*The four semi finalists feature a total of 18 titles between them.

* Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are allotted the home second leg (generally considered advantageous)

*Barcelona is seeking a third title in five years and Bayern their successive final.

* Borussia Dortmund track for their first European Championship since 1997.

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Barcelona’s hard-fought quarter-final victory over Paris Saint Germain showed just how dependent they are on world footballer of the year Messi whilst Bayern’s every player on the roll, looks like is out to prove something every time he steps onto the pitch. German side Bayern Munich’s last year final appearance experience and desire to grab the slipped silverware makes them a top prospect for the finals. If they are to reach their third final in four years, Bayern will have to do so without the services of leading scorer Mandzukic, who is suspended for the first leg.

Real Madrid the other Spanish opponent is doubtful to enjoy the thought of another trip to Dortmund in this season’s champion’s league. In the group stages German side topped the group demolishing Real 2-1 and later earned a 2-2 draw in Madrid. Real Madrid’s 3-2 away loss to Galatasary in the quarters is enough to set the alarm bells ringing. Not to forget Borussia Dortmund happen to be the only unbeaten side left in the competition.Real Madrid will need some all round performance from its squad apart from their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to dispatch biter memory of last year’s semi final loss to yet another German side Bayern and get hold of European champion crown after almost a decade.

An all German final would certainly point to a shift as to the top league in Europe dethroning Spain and England which has held the title for best leagues and teams. The mouth-watering prospect of a Bundesliga clash at Wembley keeps its hope high and lives on. Regardless of the final fixture, these are two tempting matches and will certainly, provide for absolute entertainment and offer exciting football.

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Champions League 2013 ◆ Semi Final | Promo

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Just to Put things in perspective –Not been contravened this time, Chelsea are in the final of the UEFA Champions League 2012. Blues survived John Terry’s red card and many such heart breaking moments to seal a truly remarkable victory over Barcelona.

At the final blow of the whistle at Camp Nou , 95000 football crazy fans in the stadium and billions around the globe witnessed Chelsea eliminating Barcelona and making their way into Final on May 19th after almost 4 years. Last time Chelsea marched to the Champions League final under the guidance of caretaker manager Avram Grant in 2008. Last night, it was a combination of guts, determination and spirit which aided Chelsea overcome the maze comprising the brilliance of Barcelona, referee, ghost goal, penalty shoot and woodwork. This time, there were no complaints, no conspiracy theories.

The Blues were in serious trouble after goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta put Barcelona ahead either side of Terry’s red card for violent conduct and Cahill lost to injury .It was a one way traffic similar to the 1st leg (78%-22%), but Ramires chipped one over valdes to get away side back in the game. There were heroes in white Imageeverywhere, with Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic throwing their bodies in the way of everything. Ashley Cole eclipsed Daniel Alves while Ramires, Raul Merieles and Lampard stifled Barcelona in midfield.

Early in the second half Barcelona were given the chance to take hold of the tie again when Didier Drogba tripped Cesc Fabregas in the box. Spot kick to be taken by the one who has scored 14 goals in the Champions League this season – one more would have given him the record for a single campaign – but he beamed his spot-kick against the bar. A let-off for Blues which they didn’t failed to capitalize upon. Chelsea’s rearguard action in the remainder of the second half was stupefying. They were compact, disciplined. They sat on the edge of their box, restraining themselves from chasing the ball.

Barcelona had their chances, with Cuenca’s effort saved by Cech and Messi striking the post from 22 yards, but the Blues held on to their luck and defense. Somehow they rose to find hope, and with it, power and effectiveness to turn a lost match around. In the dying minutes of the classic encounter Torres provided the perfect finish for his team scoring a one on one proving his 50 million pound worth at a critical stage of the league.

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For the final showdown in Munich on 19th May, Chelsea must work out how to win a Champions League final against either the team of Chelsea’s former boss Jose Mourinho or the side whose home ground hosts the final, without suspended quartet Terry, Ramires, Meireles and Ivanovic. Chelsea would be hoping of Cahill and David Luiz overcoming hamstring injuries to have some sort of recognized centre back pairing.

Bottom-line is, nothing can be taken away from English club who beat Barcelona on their own home ground, with 10 men and without their centre backs on the field. They might have played ugly but they won. The final on 19th may in Munich will surely transpire into a BoomBox , expect nothing less than a perfect showdown sparkle.

Yes its true,Barcelona are playing in their fifth consecutive Champions League semi-final, the longest run in the history of the competition.Barcelona travel to London to face Chelsea this Wednesday evening in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final matchup on the same hallowed ground which played host to what has become a defining moment for both clubs.

Barcelona and Chelsea have each reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League six times in the last nine seasons (since 2003/04), the best tallies over that period.Chelsea have earned a much deserved semi final spot in a hard way whereas it has been a nothing less than a cake walk for catalan giants.

It’s been three years since Barca has last met Chelsea in the Champions League.Chelsea usually keeps it narrow at the back in Stamford Bridge and the attacking startegy mostly involve a big centre forward, in this case Drogba winning aerial balls and releasing wide players.the biggest advantage for Barca is the fact that the second leg is going to be held at Camp Nou, a very wide pitch compared to Stamford Bridge.

Prediction for this nothing less than a classic would be a shot in the dark.Barcelona enter the match with the tide of past accomplishment rushing out before them, blustering the services of arguably the best player in the history of the game, and motivated by recent memories. Chelsea also find themselves motivated by these same memories, albeit in quite a different light with a 1-5 win over Tottenhum Hotspur in FA cup semis.As a true Chelsea fan supported by some previous facts ,I won’t be surprised by blues winning by a 2-0 margin.

FC Barcelona Lineup (Predicted): Valdés, Dani Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Fàbregas, Iniesta, Messi, Alexis Sánchez

Chelsea FC Lineup (Predicted): Peter Cech, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Jose Bosingwa, Frank Lampard, Raul Meireles, Ramires, Juan Mata, Salomon Kalou, Dider Drogba