Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zenith overcome the Red Devils

Zenith beat Manchester United 2-1 in the 2008 Super Cup.

Sir Alex claimed throughout the week they would take this game “very seriously” and he had been very disappointed to have lost out in 1999 to Lazio when he didn’t give this game much of an importance.

When it got to the game, it was a different thing altogether. Manchester United were rugged and not their usual best. They probably took their competition to be a fragile one and only woke up after they were two goals down to Russian UEFA Cup champions, Zenith St Petersburg.

Sir Alex didn’t have a good night from the beginning when he tripped over television wires on the way to the dugout and looked set to take his embarrassment out on the poor chap who was reeling them in.

On the pitch, the things for Manchester United weren’t going well either. The attacks were slow and they lacked ideas to penetrate the Russian sides’ defence.

Zenith St. Petersburg’s first goal came on the verge of half time when Pogrebnyak’s header at the far post made it 1-0 to Zenith.

Second goal came courtesy Zenith’s newly acquired Portuguese midfielder, Danny from Dynamo Kiev who slid the ball past Van der Sar after Rio Ferdinand was caught ball watching, an uncharacteristic mistake by the English defender.

Manchester United suddenly realised the need for goals and got one back when somehow Vidic scrambled the ball in the back of the net to make it an interesting last few minutes.

However, things turned worse for Champions League winners when Scholes was sent off for deliberately handling the ball inside the Zenith box and earn his side the equaliser. Although the hand was seen by the referee and gave him the second yellow card and the marching orders. He will miss the first game of the Champions League campaign against Villareal.

The match hinted at two things. A flared tendinitis forced English midfielder Owen Hargreaves to miss the game at the last minute. This poses a big challenge for both Sir Alex and Capello who was in attendance to assess the player after Steven Gerrard is set to go under the knife and would be out for the first two qualifiers for England. The problem has been troubling the big player who moved from Bayern Munich last season for the past 16months and the duration for recovery is still unknown.

Another problem for Sir Alex is the need for a striker. Rooney and Tevez have a good rhythm together but there is a requirement of a complete striker because neither Tevez or Rooney are firing enough to trouble the defenders. Berbatov has been highly linked throughout the summer and with just two days to go transfer deadline, Glazer Family and Manchester United board need to act fast.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Transfer News : Toffees to try for Saha,Arshavin misses flight to London and more..

Toffees to try for Louis Saha

Louis Saha looks set to leave Old Trafford for Everton only if he succeeds in his medical to be conducted by the Merseyside doctors.
Saha who has had injury plagued past two seasons and has been overshadowed by Rooney and now probably by Berbatov.(if transfer goes through that is!)
This would be Everton's third signing this week after a dull summer of no signings and the Frenchman would join for an undisclosed fee and the contract is for a span of two years.

Arshavin would not be a Spurs player

Andrei Arshavin's move to White Hart Lane looks highly in doubt says the player himself.
Arshavin who had a fabulous Euro 2008 and caught the eye of many clubs especially Spurs boss Juande Ramos who was interested in signing the player.The deal now looks dead and buried after both clubs couldn't decide on the transfer fee after the Russian club,Zenith St Petersburg asked 24million pounds for the player which Spurs weren't interested in paying.
On the other hand,Spurs are expected to announce the signing of Arshavin's national team mate,Pavlyuchenko in the next 48 hours.
Arshavin looks set to another season in Russia and has a big game coming up against Manchester United in Monaco on Friday as part of the Super Cup.

Robinho move to Chelsea in doubt

Robinho's "dream" move to Chelsea looks set to have hit a road block after Real Madrid claimed he is under contract with them for two years.

Brazilian midfielder who was to travel to London and complete the move for 30million pounds now looks doubtful.

The reason stated however sounds ridiculous coming from Real Madrid who have been known for signing players with some years left in their contract but the real reason however is that they haven't found a suitable replacement for the winger.

Robinho's agent claimed the deal would be done before Chelsea play Spurs on Sunday but that doesn't look possible now.

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Champions League draw

Champions League draw was concluded last night in Monaco.

2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage
Group A:
AS Roma
CFR 1907 Cluj

Group B:
Inter Milan
Werder Bremen

Group c:
Sporting Club de Portugal
FC Basel
Shakhtar Donetsk

Group D:
PSV Eindhoven
Atletico Madrid

Group E:
Manchester United
Aalborg BK

Group F:
Bayern Munich
Steaua Bucharest

Group G:
Dynamo Kiev

Group H:
Real Madrid
Zenith St. Petersburg
FC Bate Borisov

Not a spectacular draw with 3 teams being contenders for progressing from the group stages except for probably Group D with Liverpool,Marseille and Atletico Madrid all capable of progressing to the next level.
The first round of matches take place on the 16th&17th September.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Champions League qualifying roundup

Champions League qualifiers came to an end last night which saw Liverpool scamper through,comfortable win for Arsenal and Atletico Madrid reaching Champions league after 11years.

Here are the results for all the 2nd leg games:

Slavia Prague 0 - 0 Fiorentina (Agg 0-2)

Panathinaikos 1 - 0 Sparta Prague (Agg 1-3)
(R.d.C. Souza 90')

Petrzalka 1 - 1 Juventus (Agg 1-5)
(Fodrek 13',C.d.O.Amauri 25')

Wisla Krakow 1 - 0 Barcelona (Agg 1-5)
(Cleber 52')

Sparta Moscow 4 - 1 Dynamko Kiev (Agg 8-2)
(Aliyev 4',Bangoura 23',Dzuba 47',Milevsky 48',Milevsky 76')

Bate Borisov 1 - 1 Levski Sofia (Agg 2-1)
(Sosnovski 14',Gadzhev 39')

Dinamo Zagreb 1 - 3 Shakhtar Donetsk(Agg 1-5)
(Adriano 42',Balaban 58',Brandao 59',Willian 70')

Olympiakos 1 - 0 Anorthosis(Agg 1-3)
(Belluschi 53')

Kaunas 0 - 2 Aalborg BK(Agg 0-4)
(Risgård 72',Risgård 89')

Steaua Bucharest 1 - 0 Galatasaray (Agg 3-2)
(Nicolita 57')

Marseille 2 - 1 Brann Bergen (Agg 3-1)
(Niang 66',Sigurdsson 74',Niang 90')

Atletico Madrid 4 - 0 Schalke 04 (Agg 4-1)
(Aguero 19',Forlan 51',Garcia 82',Rodriguez(pen) 87')

Arsenal 4 - 0 FC Twente (Agg 6-0)
(Nasri 27',Gallas 52',Walcott 66',Bendtner 89')

Fenerbahce 2 - 1 Partizan Belgrade (Agg 4-3)
(Senturk 28',Alex 58',Tosic 76')

Liverpool 1 - 0 Standard Liege(AET) (Agg 1-0)
(Kuyt 118')

FC Basel 2 - 1 Vitoria Guimaraes (Agg 2-1)
(Stocker 11',Farjado(pen) 14',Derdiyok 54')

Summing up the teams that have qualified for the main draw:
Fiorentina (Italy)
Panathinaikos (Greece)
Juventus (Italy)
Barcelona (Spain)
Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine)
Bate Borisov (Belarus)
Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
Anorthosis (Cyprus)
Aalborg BK (Denmark)
Steaua Bucharest (Romania)
Marseille (France)
Atletico Madrid (Spain)
Arsenal (England)
Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Liverpool (England)
FC Basel (Switzerland)

Draw for the group stages will take place at 1800 CET in Monaco.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Premiership : Sunday/Monday(25/26-08)

Premiership round-up for the games played on Sunday and Monday.

The games that took place were :

Wigan Athletic vs Chelsea
Manchester City vs West Ham United
Portsmouth vs Manchester United(Monday)

Wigan 0 - 1 Chelsea
(Deco 4')

JJB's pitch was expected to be the worst as there was a rugby game played during the week there.Although it didn't seem to be that bad as is expected of a JJB pitch in the winters.
Chelsea got off to a flier with a spectacular free kick from Portuguese midfielder,Deco.
Other than that Chelsea were lucky enough to get 3 points from their trip north.One man who again stood out for Chelsea was,Peter Cech.Fabulous saves one after another saw Chelsea hang on to the lead and scamper through to the finish line.

Manchester City 3 - 0 West Ham United
(Sturridge 65',Elano 70',Elano 76')

Manchester City bounced back from their disappointing start last week when they lost to Villa.
Vincent Kompany made his debut for City. While for West Ham,Dean Ashton who scored a brace last week and has been touted to be part of England national team started up front.
First half was an interesting affair where we saw the first red card of the new season.Mark Noble had been booked in the 33rd minute for a deliberate hand ball.He got another yellow four minutes later when he slid in and didn't catch any of the ball.West Ham were down to 10 men.
Second half was better than the first.Sturridge who had been lively throughout the game and had loads of skills to offer and West Ham were finding it hard to cope up with his pace.Petrov was his usual best and so was Ireland from the right.

Micah Richards had a clash of heads with Ben Haim and was stretchered off and taken to the hospital.Big blow to City and its defense.

Sturridge put City 1-0 up from a cross by Petrov and involvement from Elano.

It got better for the blues who piled on the pressure and a clever through ball found Ireland in the box and after a little scamper in the box,Elano was there to tuck the ball in from the back of the net.City up 2-0.

Dean Ashton looked the only player inside the City half and didn't have anyone else for support.

City were up 3-0 a few minutes later courtesy the same partnership of Corluka,Ireland and Elano who set up the 3rd for Elano to volley home.

The lengthy delay due to Richards' injury meant there was an injury time of whopping 10minutes!That although didn't prove enough for West Ham to gain a consolation goal or for Manchester City to increase their goal difference.

Portsmouth 0 - 1 Manchester United

(Fletcher 32')

Manchester United win their first three points of the season.As against what was expected of Portsmouth who have a very healthy record against Manchester United at Fraton Park they weren't even close to maintaining that record.
After two recent meetings you would expect the team to do a decent job and at least manage a goal but that wasn't seen,AGAIN.
Manchester United piled on the pressure and attacked David James' goal every now and then but Ryan Giggs was missed and so was probably another out and out striker.
Portsmouth only had two attempts which were worthy of getting a goal and both were from a good distance which didn't trouble Van der Sar.
Fletcher got the only goal of the game when his little touch got the ball over the line after Tistan tried his best to stop the effort.
Interesting game,fast and two teams eager to get points but Portsmouth gave away possession easily and neither Defoe or Crouch could make anything from the chances they got.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sheva moves to Milan,Finally!

Milan agree deal for Shevchenko.

After a miserable spell as a Chelsea player,Ukranian national,Andriy Shevchenko's deal to go back "home" has gone through.

Shevchenko returns to the club he represented between 1999 to 2006 before he joined the Blues.

Earlier this week the deal looked to be dead and buried after the two clubs couldn't reach an agreement over the player's transfer.Chelsea wanted to sell the player permanently but Milan were only looking for a loan spell.The deal however went through after Abramovich and Berlusconi talked again on Friday and agreed on a permanent signing.

Chelsea had signed the Ukranian "goal scoring machine" for 30million pounds in 2006.The player however failed to reproduce the skill and goal scoring prowess in the Blues shirt which he had done so for the Rossoneri week in,week out.

The deal however is also expected on the medical test of the player which would be conducted on Monday and if all goes well then Sheva would be under Ancelotti for the new season of Serie A.

He had this to say after the deal,

"For me, it's as if I've won a Champions League. There were some complications, but now that everything has been resolved I am truly happy.">

Scolari had already hinted that he was looking to cut down his squad which had 26 members and the next player to follow suit looks to be Shaun Wright Philips who was wanted earlier by Portsmouth and it wouldn't be surprising if other clubs bid for the English player too.

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Premiership : Saturday(23-08)

Premiership second round of games as played on 23rd August,2008.

The games taking place were :

Blackburn Rovers - Hull City
Liverpool - Middlesbrough
Newcastle United - Bolton Wanderers
Stoke City - Aston Villa
Spurs - Sunderland
West Brom - Everton
Fulham - Arsenal

All games were played simultaneously except for the London derby between Fulham and Arsenal which was a late kick off.

Blackburn Rovers 1 - 1 Hull City

(Roberts 38',Garcia 40')

Jason Roberts made most of his opportunity to start for Paul Ince's side.Rovers opened the proceedings in the 38th minute after Roberts beat the offside trap and made a cool finish to beat the keeper.
The lead however was short lived as Hull City equalized with a looping header from Garcia which was probably a header towards the centre of the goal but went over the Rovers keeper who couldn't do anything to stop it.

Liverpool 2 - 1 Middlesbrough

(Mido 70',Pogatetz(o.g.) 85',Gerrard 90+4')

The first half was as dull as you could expect from a game.Liverpool weren't slick and last week's lack luster performance wasn't getting any better.Middlesbrough were good in defence and kept Torres,Keane,Kuyt at bay.Benayoun looked lost in midfield for much of the game.
Scores however were changed for Middlesbrough as Egyptian international,Mido cancelled the dead lock with a long range strike in the 70th minute which Reina made a despairing dive to but wasn't successful.
In the 85th minute,what seemed like handball from an Alonso cross fell to Carragher who shot towards the goal which took a wicked deflection off of Pogatetz to land in the back of the net.Own goal to Pogatetz.
As the game was drawing to a close,a game which Middlesbrough would have been happy to get a point out of came the screamer from the captain,Steven Gerrard.4th minute of stoppage time and Middlesbrough's hopes were dashed.
What would otherwise have been a deserved three points or even one point for Middlesbrough came down to nothing.

Newcastle United 1 - 0 Bolton
(Owen 71')

Newcastle United won their first game of the season at St.James' Park with a 70th minute goal from Michael Owen who returned from injury to earn Kevin Keegan's side the first three points of the new campaign.
Result however could have been very different had Kevin Nolan converted the penalty earned by Gary Megson's side in the 59th minute.His penalty was saved by Shay given to keep Bolton without a goal.
In the 70th minute though,Geremi's cross was met by Michael Owen who headed in beyond the keeper who couldn't do anything about it as the defense was to blame.

Stoke City 3 - 2 Aston Villa
(Lawrence(pen) 31',Carew 63',Fuller 80',Laursen 84',Sidibe 90+4')

Stoke City won their first game in the top flight and what a dramatic end it was indeed!
Britanni stadium witnessed their side take the lead in the 31st minute after Lawrence converted the penalty from what looked to be 3fouls in the box.
John Carew brought Villa equal with a neat finish in the 63rd minute to make the scoreline 1-1.
Fuller then again put City ahead with a superb finish after a fabulous turn to make it 2-1 to Stoke.
Stoke were again made to pay within four minutes as Laursen finished from close range.
Villa's one point however was slashed off in as late as the 94th minute when Sidibe headed in from a throw in to earn Stoke their three points.

Spurs 1 - 2 Sunderland
(Richardson 55',Jenas 73', Cisse 83')

Spurs continued their woeful run in the Premiership after a loss last week against Middlesbrough.They lost to the Black Cats at White Hart Lane.Biggest news story here was the missing Spurs striker,Berbatov who wasn't part of the squad as he "wasn't focused enough" as per manager Juande Ramos.
Spurs dominated the possession in the first half and had many chances to boast of but the scoreline didn't change.
Sunderland were a changed team after half time which was shown in the 55th minute when Richardson had a long range powerful hit in the right hand corner.
Spurs equalised however in the 73rd minute after a scrappy affair in the box with Jenas being the goal scorer.
Sunderland however got the three points they deserved when Cisse headed in Daryl Murphy's cross to get the win.The defense was absolutely woeful to let the goal in from which was possibly Cisse's first touch.

WBA 1 - 2 Everton
(Osman 65', Yakubu 76', Bednar(pen) 89')

Leon Osman and Yakubu were on hand to earn Toffee's a hard fought three points.
Osman had a snap shot after good work from Arteta to get Everton the lead in the 65th minute.
Yakubu's header in the 76th minute made it 2-0 to Everton.
Bedner's goal in the 89th minute however proved to be immaterial after he scored from the penalty spot to make the scoreline read 1-2.

Fulham 1 - 0 Arsenal
(Hangeland 21')

Fulham beat their London rivals and title contenders Arsenal through a 21st minute goal from Hangeland after a cross from Jimmy Bullard.
Arsenal who missed the presence of Fabregas in midfield had very little chances of scoring and were up against a resilient Fulham defense.
This is the second win for Fulham against Arsenal in 43 years if the commentators are to be believed.

Tomorrow's fixtures read :

Wigan Athletic vs Chelsea
Manchester City vs West Ham United
Portsmouth vs Manchester United(Monday)

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Premiership : Saturday(16-08)

Premiership football kicks in!

Football in the top flight of England got off to a flier yesterday with some cracking games(and some not so good ones too!).So without much blabbering from me let's get on to the results and to the videos which I again bring to you courtesy 101greatgoals.

Arsenal 1 (Nasri) - 0 West Brom
Arsenal got the goal count running in as little as the fourth minute with a typical Arsenal free flowing move which got the desired result with a goal from highly rated youngster,Nasri.
After that the chances were few and far between with no real push coming from West Brom's side while Arsenal piled on the pressure.
Arsenal were expected to do more but then again three points is all that matters and Arsenal got that,deservedly.


Bolton Wanderers 3 (Steinsson,Davies,Elmander) - 1 Stoke City (Fuller)

Unlike my predictions earlier,this came on to be so so wrong.Bolton gave the new boys the "whooping" start to the Premiership.


Everton 2 (Arteta,Yakubu) - 3 Blackburn Rovers (Dunn,RS Cruz,Ooijer)


Hull City 2 (Geovanni,Folan) - 1 Fulham (Seol)


Middlesbrough 2 (Wheater,Mido) - 1 Spurs (Huth(o.g.))


West Ham United 2(Ashton,Ashton) - 1 Wigan Athletic (Zaki)


Sunderland 0 - 1 Liverpool (Torres)


Sorry for the rushed result list but am running out of time.Have some personal issues to attend to.See you all next week.Friday to be precise.
Have a great Sunday and a great week ahead.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bundesliga : Bayern Munich vs Hamburg

Hamburg staged a remarkable comeback to earn a draw for the opening game of the season.

Schweinsteiger put the defending Bundesliga champions ahead in the 12th minute.Four minutes later,his German national team colleague Lukas Podolski converted from the penalty spot to give Bayern a 2-0 lead.

Guerrero scored in the 25th minute to give the game an interesting turn.At half time,Bayern lead 2-1.

Hamburg earned an equaliser in the 57th minute after Trochowski scored his penalty chance.

The draw earns Jurgen Klinsmann the first point as a Bayern manager and Hamburg remain unbeaten in their four visits to the Allianz Arena.


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Premiership weekend preview

After an annihilating wait to the season to start we're just less than 24hours away from the kick off for the 2008-09 season.

Although there has been a lot of football after the seasons got over in Spain and Germany with Champions League finale and the Euros which were a treat to watch (except France and Italy of course!) too. But nothing beats the Premiership and the thrill to watch high quality football week in,week out.

The new season looks more exciting than ever.As Scolari said,there are probably eight teams in contention for the title.(which I personally think its too far fetched and its again going to be a two-three horse race!)

Many clubs are again vying to snatch the European spot with clubs like Spurs,who have made some very critical signings this transfer window although they might lose their "hitman" Berbatov after losing Keane to Liverpool.

Another club which is making big strides forward is Aston Villa,after how they have been active in the transfer window.Probably for the wrong reasons too after they nearly lost their inspirational captain Barry,who I think deserves bigger opportunities than what he's getting at Villa Park.

Everton who had performed quite exceptionally last season don't seem to be having the same edge if their activity in the transfer market is to go by.Also the relationship of the club and David Moyes seems to be on the rocks after reports of his exit with just days before the Premiership start.

Blackburn Rovers have got a new manager in the form of Paul Ince who has already turned out of favor with the squad with no inspirational activity going on in the dressing room and also losing out quality players like Friedel and Bentley to Villa and Spurs,respectively.

Newly promoted clubs include Hull City,Stoke City and West Brom. I always am left wondering if any newly promoted clubs would ever finish in the top half of the premiership and Reading managed that two seasons back only to go down crashing last season.Frankly speaking,I love underdogs and would love the newly promoted teams to beat the "Top 4" and as it turns out its majority of the times Arsenal which faces the debacle of these "what have we got to lose" clubs.

Oh I hope its a good season for Sunderland,because am majorly a fan of Roy Keane and especially his on field tactics and his aggression as a player which I still cannot forget.(Arsenal vs Manchester United was a treat!).Amongst the low budget teams I think Sunderland would do a good job and have been probably the most active in the transfer window.Bolton however feel the transfer window doesn't help the lower league teams which I think isn't the case with all clubs.But then again,that's his view.

Getting to the first weekend matches and my predictions for it.

Arsenal vs WBA
Arsenal open their account with a calm and cool display of their young squad at the Emirates. The newly promoted WBA would be decent but not the class of Arsenal. 2-0 to Arsenal.

Bolton Wanderers vs Stoke City
A good game for Stoke City to start off their campaign with.It would be an even game with chances for both teams but I see a draw happening. 1-1 to share the scrap.

Everton vs Blackburn Rovers
Everton are just too difficult to be beaten at home.Blackburn Rovers would not have the same edge they had with Bentley and Hughes.Santa Cruz would still be the man to watch out for.Everton would be without many players but a notable absentee from the squad for me is Johnson who asked for a transfer to Craven Cottage(Fulham). Everton to be hard to break down but a 2-1 victory none the less for the Merseysiders.

Hull City vs Fulham

Another match up for the "equals".Fulham who were on the brink of going down last season.Hull City are the new entrants to the Premiership so they have much to prove and firstly save their skin so games like these actually can get them the much needed points.Frankly,I've never seen Hull play so can't really comment on what their style of play is and who are the players to watch out for. I expect an evenly contested game but Fulham to just have a little edge over Hull.

Middlesbrough vs Tottenham
Middlesbrough have been a middle of the table team for quite some time.Spurs under Juande Ramos have done wonders and their highly changed squad which has shown its metal in the pre season friendlies can only show its might against Middlesbrough.Man to watch out for would be Bent and not Berbatov for me.Bent has scored more goals in pre season games than what he did all throughout the previous season. Spurs to win 3-1.

West Ham United vs Wigan Athletic
West Ham have been highly unlucky as a team and there has been array of words being exchanged at the helm over Ljunberg's exit with reportedly the manager and the management putting the blame on each other for their money going "waste".Their also has been speculation of him facing a sack over a possible bad start to the season so the pressure is on him to get the Hammers going.Wigan however have been relegation battlers for the past few seasons.Emile Heskey would be the man to watch out for after there are reports of Anton Ferdinand not being available for West Ham and them also lacking the servies of Bellamy and Dyer. I predict a 1-1 draw none the less.

Sunderland vs Liverpool
Sunderland have made some very impressive signings this transfer window with El Hadji Diouf who was a Liverpool player earlier and is a very hard working player.Steed Malbraunqe from Spurs would be a creative addition to the midfield.Liverpool had a horrendous midweek with a draw at Standard Liege in the Champions League qualifier.Liverpool would be without Babel and Mascherano who are both out on Olympic duty with Netherlands and Argentina respectively.Keane would be looking forward to the minnows side and get his accounting running as a Liverpool player.Torres would still be the man to watch out for. I see Liverpool winning 3-1.

That's it for Saturday's games.Come back tomorrow for Sunday's games' predictions and results from Saturdays games.Let the games begin!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Pizarro joins Bremen on loan

Claudio Pizarro joins Bremen on loan.

Chelsea's out of form and out of favour striker,Claudio Pizarro has agreed to return to Germany on a loan deal to Werder Bremen.

Pizarro had also been linked to newly promoted Hull but opted for Bremen who he quit in 2001 for Bayern Munich.

Its a good decision for the player as well as for the club to reduce their ever increasing squad.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baptista a Roma player : Reports

Reports : AS Roma have signed Julio Baptista.

Reports in the Spanish dailies AS and Marca the deal has been finalised.

Roma had been highly linked with "The Beast" after they failed to bring Mutu to the capital club.

Reportedly,Roma directorss were in Madrid last night to complete the transfer and sign the Brazilian.

The fee is speculated to be around 13million Euros and Baptista is expected to fly to Rome tomorrow to complete the signing and would be officially unveiled as a Roma player by the weekend.

If the reports were true then Madrid need to step up their gear in signing a forward after they are left with Raul and Van Nistelrooy as the only two recognized strikers with Saviola as a make do striker.

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Champions League Qualifiers : 13/08

UEFA Champions League qualifiers held on 12th\13th August 2008.

Fiorentina 2 (Mutu,Gilardino) - 0 Slavia Prague

Spartak Moscow 1
(Bazhenov) - 4 Dynamo Kiev (Bangoura,Milevsky,Bangoura,Milevsky)

Galatasaray 2 (Nonda,Nonda) - 2 Steaua Bucharest (Moreno,Nicolita)

Brann Bergen 0 - 1 Marseille (Cheyrou)

FC Twente 0 - 2 Arsenal (Gallas,Adebayor)

Juventus 4 (Camoranesi,Del Piero,Chiellini,Legrottaglie) - 0 Petrzalka

Schalke 1 (Pander) - 0 Atletico Madrid

Sparta Prague 1 (Kulic) - 2 Panathinaikos (Kucera(o.g.),Simao)

Standard Liege 0 - 0 Liverpool

Barcelona 4 (Eto'o,Xavi,Henry,Eto'o) - 0 Wisla Krakow


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

India win AFC Cup

India win the AFC Cup 2008 in New Delhi.

I know I don't cover Asian football scene but this is too hard to miss and ignore considering am Indian so call me ignorant or biased but yeah well.

India won the game 4-1 against Tajikistan after Sunil Chettri scored a hat-trick to get India the glorious victory.The fourth was scored by the invincible Baichung Bhutia.

India now qualify for 2011 Asian Games automatically,a feat they only managed in 1984.

Game had been shifted to Delhi after Hyderabad the original venue was not able to be prepared with a horrible pitch after a downpour left the final postponed and also on the verge of being shifted to Malaysia.

Great achievement for India.GO INDIAN FOOTBALL!


Trapattoni recalls Finnan

Finnan comes back from retirement.

Liverpool's aging defender Steve Finnan has decided to come out of retirement and help his national side qualify for the World Cup in 2010.

Another Premiership player,Andy O'Brien has rejected the call up.

Finnan is amongst six players who have returned for Republic of Ireland after missing friendlies in May against Serbia and Colombia.

Trapattoni had this to say,
"I am happy that Steve Finnan has agreed to return to international football. He is an experienced player and he still has a lot to give to the team."

I respect Andy O'Brien's decision and I thank him for letting us know. Stephen Ireland has told us he is not yet ready to make himself available but has indicated that he may do so in the future. As I have said before, my door remains open."

Ireland's qualifiers open next month but they start the campaign against Norway to get the team up and running.

Full squad: Given (Newcastle), Kiely (West Brom), Bruce (Ipswich), Delaney (QPR), Dunne (Manchester City), Finnan (Liverpool), Foley (Wolves), Kilbane (Wigan), J O'Brien (Bolton), O'Shea (Manchester United), Duff (Newcastle), Hunt (Reading), McGeady (Celtic), Miller (Sunderland), A Reid (Sunderland), S Reid (Blackburn), Whelan (Stoke), Doyle (Reading), Keane (Liverpool), Keogh (Wolves), Long (Reading), Murphy (Sunderland).


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Silva : I want to stay in Spain

Valencia's attacking midfielder David Silva wants to stay in Spain.

Silva has been highly linked to a move to the Premiership to join Liverpool or Manchester United.

The premiership giants are ready to make bids in the region of 20million pounds.

Liverpool looked to be the front runners for a possible move after their "Barry hunt" from Aston Villa failed or is still not through as we speak.

Valencia might have also sold its highly talented striker David Villa to Liverpool too after his attacking partnership with Fernando Torres during the Euro 2008.

Valencia might have let go of the two players to help their financial situations but have decided to hold on for their future season at stake.

Silva went on to say that if he does so leave Valencia then he would rather opt to stay in Spain and go for his dream destination of Barcelona.

Silva deal to Liverpool?Not really to Manchester United!

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympics : Argentina 2 - 1 Ivory Coast

Argentina got their Olympic campaign to a great start with a win over Ivory Coast.

Messi was the star of the show as he created one and scored one in the first win for the South American nation.

Messi who had earlier not been "forced" to participate in the Olympics by the Court of Arbitration's decision but only after Barcelona gave him the go ahead to stay in Beijing did he take to the field and show the class and skill he's made of.

Messi put Argentina ahead in the 43rd minute to make it 1-0 to Argentina.

Cisse put Ivory Coast on level after just eight minutes into the second half to make it 1-1.

Messi turned provider with just four minutes to full time where he squared a ball across for Acosta to tap in and earn Argentina their first victory of the tournament.

Messi show Begins!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Aston Villa confirm signing of Shorey

Villa swoop for Shorey

He will be joined by Luke Young from Middlesbrough on a three year deal as a deal which looks imminent right now.

He would be Villa's fourth signing of the season.The previous three being Steve Sidwell,Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan.

Shorey who had shone last year for Reading in the Premiership but they had been relegated after a disastrous campaign where they lost many games at the end of the season.

Martin O'Neil had this to say on the signings,
"Strengthening the squad has obviously been in our minds for quite some considerable time."

"We have agreed a fee with Reading for Nicky Shorey - a quality natural left-back who played for England 18 months ago."

Great signings for Villa?Time to say BYE BYE BARRY?

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Messi not going to Olympics

Messi would not be playing in the Olympics starting in 3days.

The ruling comes from the Court of Arbitration which represents the European clubs against FIFA's appeal to European clubs to release players under 23 for the Olympic Games.

This decision has left FIFA "disappointed" but would respect the ruling.The decision comes majorly in favour of Barcelona,Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 which had Messi,Diego and Rafinha as their squad members up for the Olympics.

The reason stated for the court's ruling is that the Olympics don't feature on FIFA's calendar.

FIFA President,Sepp Blatter had this to say following the judgement,
"FIFA is surprised and disappointed by this decision, but we respect it,"

"Nevertheless, I appeal to the clubs: 'Let your players take part in the Olympic Games! It would be an act of solidarity in perfect harmony with the Olympic spirit. It would be wonderful for the players, for the fans and for the game itself'."

Bundesliga season begins before the conclusion of Olympics and Schalke will also be playing a Champions League qualifier.
Barcelona also have a Champions League qualifier scheduled before the Olympic Games draw to a close.

The situation for the future would be review after these games so that the same embarrassing situation for FIFA can be avoided during the Olympics Games in 2012 in London.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

International Friendlies : 4th August

International Friendlies played on 4th August.

Peterberough United 0 - 2 Manchester United (Russell Martin(OG),Gibson)

West Ham 5 (D.Ashton,C.Bellamy,D.Ashton,D.Ashton,M.Noble) - 3 Ipswitch Town (Garvan,Sumulikoski,Lee)

Oxford 1 (Fisher) - 2 Portsmouth (Diop,Defoe)

Aris 1 (Javito) - 1 Bolton Wanderers (McCann)

Colorado Rapids 1 (Casey) - 2 Everton (Arteta,Osman)


Funny Video : Kovac tackles a naked fan!

Radoslav Kovac tackles an intruder naked fan on the pitch and weirdly so gets a yellow card!! LOL.
Weren't yellow and red cards only for challenges on opponent team players?? Am confused.Lol.

Thanks to Aravind for sharing.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Van Der Vaart move to Real Madrid is confirmed

Tomorrow Rafael Van Der Vaart will officially be pronounced as a Real Madrid player.

Dutch international confirmed the news on his personal website after Madrid and Hamburg officials met in London where both the clubs were playing in the Emirates Cup.

His official website read these words :
"Last night (Sunday) everything came together, and I am now moving to Real Madrid,"

"As everybody might know I have always wanted to move to Spain, because I have a strong bond with that country. Now I'm going to play for Real Madrid... it's a dream come true!

"Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) I will be presented at Real Madrid. This will be the start of a new chapter in my life. I will do everything to help the team and the club to win trophies!"

The news comes as a positive for the Real Madrid fans who had seen Van Der Vaart's dutch team mate Wesley Senijder being taken off on a stretcher after a strong challenge from Abo Diaby in the game against Arsenal.This has put Sneijder out for at least 6months.

There have also been reports of Real Madrid upping their pursuits for Cristiano Ronaldo,who has been their target throughout the summer.

Good move for Madridistas??

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Newcastle United gets an Indian bid!

Newcastle United gets two bids from far east!

Newcastle United has received takeover bids from two companies based in Asia.

The first is Indian company,Reliance Communications which is owned by Anil Ambani.
The quoted price is around 260million pounds and complete takeover is seeked.

Although,these reports have been rubbished by Newcastle United and their current owner Mike Ashley who admitted he was sitting on a a very expensive chair.

The second bid has been received by Singapore based,Profitable Group which has former Liverpool player Steve Mcmahon on its board.

Analysts say the only problem for the bids being accepted is Newcastle's reluctance to sell the club for less than 300million pounds.

Anil Ambani has been understood to opt for a different club if they are asked to pay more for the Toons.He is also expected to invest 100million pounds in new players.

As an Indian,it would really make me proud that an Indian company acquires a club in the Premiership.I mean how much preference do we give to football over cricket anyway?Hope the things change now.

What does everyone think about this prospective buyout?


Sunday, August 03, 2008

International Friendlies : 3rd August

International Friendlies played on 3rd August.

Chelsea 5 (Lampard,Anelka,Anelka,Anelka,Anelka) - 0 AC Milan

Lokomotiv Moscow 0 - 3 Sevilla (Romaric,Kone,Chevanton)

Juventus 0 - 3 Hamburg (Guerrero,Olic,Olic)

Sunderland 0 - 1 Ajax (Huntelaar)

Arsenal 1 (Adebayor) - 0 Real Madrid

Tottenham Spurs 3 (D.Bent,Santos,O'Hara) - 0 Borussia Dortmund

Real Mallorca 1 (Suarez) - 0 Newcastle United

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International Friendlies : 02 August

Stockport County 2(Pilkingston,Thompson) - 2 Manchester City(Bojinov,Evans)

Real Madrid 2(Van Nistelrooy,Parejo) - 1 Hamburg(Zidan)

Birmingham City 1(Larsson) - 1 Fulham(S.Davies)

Hibernian 2(Fletcher,Fletcher) - 3 Middlesborough(Alves,Wheater,Alves)

Manchester United 1(F.Campbell) - 0 Espanyol

Rangers 0 - 4 Liverpool(Torres,Gog,Benayoun,Alonso)

Sheffield Wednesday 2(Johnson,Burton) - 3 Wigan Athletic(Heskey,Bramble,Zaki)

Arsenal 0 - 1 Juventus(Trezeguet)

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Thuram announces retirement

Lillian Thuram announces retirement.

French defender Thuram has announced his retirement from the game.

This announcement comes after he was discovered to be suffering from a cardiac malformation during the month of June ahead of a prospective move to PSG.

Thuram had this to say in Parc des Princes,
"There are family reasons which have also been taken into account.

"I wanted to be the (Paolo) Maldini of PSG but that has not been possible. It's sad to end a career like this."

Thuram had been a player of Barcelona last season and was on the verge of signing for Paris Saint Germain but this decision would highly sadden the PSG fans and football fans all over as we see a great defender bowing out on a sad note.

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