Posts Tagged ‘Rottengambol’

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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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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

Arsenal played a goal less draw against Stoke City whereas Liverpool were unlucky not to walk away with three points against Manchester city at Anfield on sunday,August 26, 2012.

Stoke City 0-0 Arsenal

Disappointed Arsenal players after draw against Stoke City.

Arsenal haven’t scored neither conceded a league goal this season.On Sunday it was  a second draw for both the clubs this season. Arsenal failed to take their chances once again as Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski all missed glorious chances to open goal account for the Gunners.Throughout the match Arsenal looked a stronger side penetrating the Stoke defense but failing to convert.Stoke had a goal and a penalty rightly denied by the referee as Peter Crouch headed one to Jermaine Pennant who put it in the back of the net.For Stoke city it was a positive result to manage a draw against last years top four side whereas Arsenal needs to win if they have to remain in hunt of title run.
Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City

Carlos Tevez celebrating after scoring the equalizer against Liverpool at Anfield.

Manchester City is having a rusty and lackluster start to the season as for the second week in a row they had to work really hard to earn a points against Liverpool at Anfield.The Reds were the stronger side for most of the match and only for their defensive lapses had to concede a draw.Merseyside took a 1-0 lead with a brilliant header from defender Skrtel in the 34th minute.For rest of the half Liverpool had a very strong first half, dominating possession.Equalizer came in the 63rd minute when Yaya Toure scored from close range.Luis Suarez got the lead back with a superb curling free kick around the wall and past goalkeeper Joe Hart.An unforced error allowed City to level the match in 80th minute when Carlos Tevez easily intercepted a back pass from Skrtel and dribbled around goalkeeper Pepe Reina and scored.

 Premier League week 2 results

25/08/2012 Swansea Swansea 3-0 West Ham West Ham
25/08/2012 Southampton Southampton 0-2 Wigan Wigan
25/08/2012 Aston Villa Aston Villa 1-3 Everton Everton
25/08/2012 Norwich Norwich 1-1 QPR QPR
25/08/2012 Tottenham Tottenham 1-1 West Brom West Brom
25/08/2012 Man. United Man. United 3-2 Fulham Fulham
25/08/2012 Chelsea Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle Newcastle
26/08/2012 Stoke Stoke 0-0 Arsenal Arsenal
26/08/2012 Liverpool Liverpool 2-2 Man. City Man. City

 

 

 

A second half fightback gave Chelsea a 4-2 victory over Reading in the English Premier League on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard Chelsea’s star player with three assists against Reading.

It was a series of late goals that clinched the victory over newly promoted Reading. Chelsea scored first with a Lampard penalty in 18th minute.It was the dominating play in the early stages and a strong performance from new signing Eden Hazard who earned a penalty kick .The momentum of the play soon turned in Reading’s favor as Pavel Pogrebnyak scored a brilliant header in 24th minute followed by another one back Chelsea’s net with goalkeeper Petr Cech woefully fumbled Danny Guthrie’s meekly-struck free-kick.

Pavel Pogrebnyak levelled with a thunderous header.

Chelsea responded in the second half with three goals in the final 22 minutes.First one came from Gary Cahill who tried his luck with a long range shot which skidded by Adam Federici‘s into the net.Next goal was a well worked up one in the 80th minute with Juan Mata linking nicely with Torres and then finding Cole, whose ball to the far post left Torres with the simplest of finishes. Branislav Ivanovic finished the match with an open  goal on counterattack in the injury time with Federici out of his area after attacking a corner.

Torres scored third with an easy finish.

Chelsea took the three points in their first home game of the season keeping Chelsea’s perfect record in tact and has put them top of the table.It was a pleasing display by The Blues despite some anxious moments.Eden hazard was excellent yet again with his three assists in the match. Ivanovic who has  scored 5 goals in his last Premier League matches was at his very best with another storming performance at both ends of the pitch.

Upcoming Matches: Manchester United vs Fulham (Sat- 7.30 PM) , Tottenham vs West Brom (Sat- 7.30 PM), Chelsea vs Newcastle (Sat-10 PM)

 

Samir Nasri celebrating after scoring the winning goal against Southampton in their opening match of the season.

 

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The 2011/2012 witnessed a breathtaking season in the top 5 leagues in Europe. Leading the race among all for its excitement,drama and suspense was English Premier League with Manchester City staving off competition from their red neighbours Manchester United to claim the English title for the first time after 44 years defining the season as (arguably) the best in the England’s top flight 20-year history. The 2011-12 English Premier League season was the greatest ever in terms of statistics and incidents on-off the field from calls for goal line technology, inter-squad brawls, racial abuse cases, and the most contested race for Champions League spots ever. And never has the title race gone down to the dying moments of the league.

Manchester United clearly had deficiencies at the back and in midfield and a champion team which they are need to get this cleaned off before the new season starts. Losing the league title on goal difference would make it more difficult to match Man City whose financial strength is now backed by a new wave of confidence. It will come down to Fergie’s genius, team grit and expected summer buy/transfers.

As far as the noisy neighbours are concerned it was the dream outcome at the Etihad, City winning the game and title. QPR lost but still made it to next season courtesy of Bolton’s failure to win at Stoke. Man City were deserved champions and QPR deserved staying up simply because of their excellent form at home and the fact that they remained resilient and in quest even after their mid-season manager sacking, takeovers etc. Coach Manchini deserves pat on the back for holding it all together when the title was all but lost, keeping rebels like Balotelli and Tevez from tearing apart his squad, and coming on top of Sir Alex in terms of mind games. Things are only going to get better for the champions assisting them in their next step conquering European championship.

For the other London clubs competing for the champion’s league spot Arsenal’s win over West Brom guaranteed their place in the top league whereas Tottenham despite winning against Fulham and finishing fourth were denied a champions league spot courtesy Chelsea becoming the European champion .Arsenal had a remarkable comeback after a disappointing start to season with a 8-2 thrashing in the hands of Manchester united. To lead the comeback was none other than ‘The Flying Dutchman’ Robin Van Persie and tactics of Arsene Wenger. Still Gunners need to sort out on front of new players and transfers to make in next season in quest to remain in top four and flourish in Europe.

Chelsea, The Blues are very much among the top disappointing teams of the season given the amount of money spent and form they were in at the end of the last season. Zooming off to great start scoring mammoth number of goals initially ,they lost the plot mid-season caught in various controversies on-off the pitch; Leading to sacking of Andre Vilas Boas once predicted to be one capable of continuing the legacy of Jose Mourinho. It was only after appointment of interim coach Di Matteo which lead to The Blues winning the FA cup and Champions League erasing some bad memories of premier league.Toping this section has to be Merseyside Liverpool who despite with some quality wins, a Carling Cup silverware, and finishing 8th in the table, the Reds never lived up to the preseason hype and the promise they showed at the end of last season.

Talking about the most surprising team of the season without a doubt was Newcastle who showed that Alan Pardew‘s controversial appointment was worth it. His dealings in the transfer market and man management skills helped boost the club. They were very close from playing in the Champions League next season but only a hard run at the death matches stopped them – they do have Europa League football though which is not a bad consolation prize for a club like Newcastle. Norwich and Swansea also came as a surprise package despite being newbie in the league.

For the best match of the season we had some close contenders from Manchester United vs. Blackburn, Manchester Derby to Chelsea vs. Arsenal. But it has to be the last game of the season between Manchester City vs.QPR which ultimately sent the title to the blue side of Manchester. A player that had the most impact it’s got to be Papiss Cisse. No January signing has ever had such a huge impact in the transfer window era as him, and his goals nearly took Newcastle into a shock Champions League spot. Not to forget his improbable goal against Chelsea undoubtedly the best of the season,a real thing of beauty.

Check out the EPL season 2012 in numbers:

Results

Goals

Games Home wins Away Wins Draws Home Away Difference Total
380 171 116 93 604 462 +142 1066
45% 31% 24% 1.59 1.22 +0.37 2.81

2011-12 Premier League Season: Greatest epic season ever.

 

Manchester City playmaker David Silva who turned 26 this January have taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival from Valencia eighteen months ago. David Silva has received praise from all quarters this season for his performances and rightly so. He has illuminated up the English Premier League with his passing ability which has left many defences flabbergasted.

Such has been his cult status with the premier league leaders at the Ethiad stadium that it comes hardly as a surprise to discover that a t-shirt bearing the slogan that simply reads “Keep calm and give it to Silva” is a best seller. For Manchester City fans as long as David Silva is on the pitch, its impossible to put the ‘The noisy neighbours’ on the back foot.

David Silva has definitely been a better passer as compared any other player in the league. For the sake of stats David Silva has completed a staggering 939 passes with an accuracy of 85%.Shooting accuracy for Silva has been 58%.Tackle success of 65% making astounding number of interceptions so far this season.

He has been a inverted forward who is more of a wing playmaker. He looks to cut inside and thread passes, but is also prone to hitting the by-line to deliver a cross. Lately has transformed himself into increasingly prone to moving into central positions from out wide.Not to forget that this is only his second season in England, a tempting thought for Man City fans must be that there is more to come.

But despite his scintillating performances for his club so far, he has been a victim of his national team’s almost unenviable layout of talent .Lack of a regular starting berth has frustrated him a lot. It is this confusion which looms in the minds of every other fan at the Ethiad stadium, why their little genius isn’t receiving the recognition from his country that he undoubtedly deserves.

Considering the current standing a premier league medal is very much in the hands of David Silva, which would certainly lead to more caps for the national side on his head. As far as Premier league is concerned, he is an integral part of Roberto Manchini’s plan to build up a dynasty of immortals.

With only 2 losses and leading by 7 points against their bitter rivals Barcelona ; 2011-12 is turning out Mourinho’s breakthrough season as Los Blancos manager.The Castilian lead is now commanding and, at the rate ‘those’ clubs drop points, almost unassailable.

But along this smooth sail ,an unsuspected question has risen

What does the future hold for Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho?
If it is to be believed, answer to this is :’Jose Mourinho is done At Real Madrid’!

The news floated during the same week Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, the latest in the seemingly endless series of classicos.The cries of the fed up Real Madrid fans asking for a change from the negative tactics often deployed by Mourinho against Barcelona which most of time results in team losing to Catalans also have drastically risen ultimate pinnacle.

There is a real hypothesis that we will see Jose Mourinho pacing the touch-line and celebrating a goal by sliding on his knees in the technical area of a Premier League club next season and not the Bernabeu.So what all major options self-acclaimed ‘Special One’  Jose Mourinho have in the English premier league.

  A Chelsea return: Mourinho, It was him leading the Blues to back-to-back titles in the last decade and could be set for a second stint at Stamford Bridge.He still loves this club and is still loved by the fans.Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea boss is already under pressure at Chelsea, as the club are fourth in the Premier League ladder and 12 points behind Manchester City and United.

Rumours of Mourinho making a comeback to premier league has turned on the heat on AVB, fireball formation won’t take much time with Roman Abramovich on bridgehead.

Mourinho with Gunners : There are rumors in Madrid and London that Real Madrid want Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to replace Mourinho at the Bernabeu.That would leave an opening at the Emirates. Is this swap possible?

A Grand Old Trafford entrance :Mourinho has always shown a great desire to manage the worlds most famous club. But this is only possible if Sir Alex Ferguson chooses to step aside for the ‘Special One‘.

It would appear that the chances of Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down this summer are very limited, since the Scot announced last year that he could see himself remaining in his Old Trafford post for another three years.

On the other side of the pitch ,maybe Mourinho is the man to manage the club(Los Blancos) over an extended period and it would only make sense considering his track record and the amount of money that they invested in the current squad that he wanted tacked together.Time will tell regarding the fate of Real Madrid’s much malefic coach, yet one thing is for certain – Mourinho vs. the world is far from over. This “Special” experiment may show results this summer.

Here’s a recap: Manchester united needed a draw against Swiss team FC Basel (easy task*) .Manchester City needed to beat Bayern Munich to have any chance of advancing out of Group A.

But what emerged from the final round group stage matches in many ways was truly remarkable . Shocking rather disappointing was the exit of both Manchester clubs.Though City exit might have been expected, given they had a tough group and some disappointing results,but Man Utd falling to FC Basel was a real shocker. City will be thwarted, but it may be better for the club in the long run. They can now focus on domestic matters, and to be believed they can win the league.On the other hand Manchester United join their neighbors in the Europa League.It was a fate that didn’t please United manager Alex Ferguson one bit. There were more than a few fans and pundits who were happy to see United fall. Former United star Roy Keane, now a TV commentator, said that United had “got what they deserved.”

Then we had this remarkable game between Lyon and Dynamo Zagreb. Lyon entered the game needing a win and to turn around a goal difference 9 goals against them in order to qualify ahead of Ajax.Ajax lost 3-0 to Real Madrid, leaving Lyon needing a six goal winning margin in Zagreb, which they duly managed, with six second half goals, to win 7-1.

Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen were already through in Group E. Same with Arsenal and Marseille in group F , Barcelona and AC Milan in group H, Real Madrid and Inter Milan from group D&B respectively.There were some twists and turns, but no surprises best teams went on to next round.

Very soon knockout draws will give us a good idea of who might be a surprise entrant to the last eight, and who might have their European venture ended untimely.

Final standings group stage: http://www.espnstar.com/football/champions-league/standings/

Gunners striker Robin Van Persie was the paladin one more time as his brace gave them a crucial 2-1 win over Dortmund to put them in the knockout stage of ChampionsLeague .Yet another match, yet another win for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger must be one joyful man as this season seems to be back on track for the Gunners. No matter which club you support, you have to love Van Persie and the Gunners owe their resurgence to this man. The sacred Dutch dynamite seems to be going through an extended purple patch this season.This season he seems to be a major contender on taking the Golden Boot home.

To say that the prolific Dutchman is in a rich vein of form would be an understatement of scriptural proportions.13 league goals in 12 matches, a plethora of magnificent displays and a series of inspiring words as Gunners captain proves that ‘RVP’ has become the most important player at the Emirates Stadium RVP certainly seem to be a one man army with the captain playing the anchor role and steering the Gunners to a victory in almost every match. With the departure of Cesc and Nasri, the baton fell in his hands to lead the team and he seems to be relishing this role, for his stinging left foot seems to have quenchless thirst for goals.

With a superbl hat-trick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and a brace against Norwich which brought up Arsene Wenger’s 200th away win with the club in all competitions, Van Persie seems to be unstoppable. Also he has scored 30 goals in a calendar year which is a huge achievement and it puts him in an elite list of legends. In his current form, Van Persie seems to be the answer to all of Arsenal’s problems,after the intial hiccups at the start of the season.

The Gunners man seems to have toasted his bond to Arsenal and it is really hoped the club hang on to him and keep him away from the clutches of cash rich clubs. As long as he manages to remain fit and scoring his left footer bullets it seems to be paradise for the Gunners. RVP slowly growing into what Henry was for the club.

One question that still keeps hitting the bulls eye: Have Arsenal become over dependent on Van Persie ? What if he suffers an injury? Should Arsene spend big and bring in a support striker for Van Persie? Judging by his current form I don’t think any sort of support for him is required at all! We all lovers of the great game of football can hope to see many more goals from the marvel man of Arsenal.