Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ancelotti leaves Milan,heading to Chelsea?

Chelsea target, Carlo Ancelotti has announced that his contract with AC Milan has been mutually terminated.

Ancelotti had been at the helm of the San Siro giants since 2001 where he won 1 league title,2 champions league titles,2 UEFA super cups and 2 domestic titles.

He had been linked with Chelsea for quite some time as Gus Hiddink was to exit The Blues at the end of the season to retake full control of Russia's national team.

He's had quite an underachieving season with no real progress in the UEFA Cup and finishing 3rd in the league.

There has also been confirmation that he had meetings with Chelsea executives end of last season but no deal could be achieved.

Despite the end to his AC Milan contract he still hasn't signed a contract with Chelsea but that seems to be inevitable and an official announcement from Chelsea would be expected soon.

Do the Chelsea fans think Ancelotti and his tactics would be a hit at Stamford Bridge?


Friday, May 29, 2009

Torres improves deal with Liverpool

Liverpool have extended the contract with their star striker, Fernando Torres which would keep him with the Merseysiders till at least 2013.

"El Nino" has had emphatic two years since his arrival from Atletico Madrid as he completed 50 goals in the last game of the season against Spurs.

The contract also offers the option to extend the contract for one more season until 2014.

Recently,Gerrard extended contract,so did Kuyt and Daniel Agger along with the boss,Rafa Benitez himself.

Rafa Benitez was expectantly delighted with the news and had this to say :

Fernando is one of the best strikers in the game today and, at his age, can only get better.

Every major side would want him in their team, but he has shown how much he wants to achieve success at Liverpool by committing his future to the club.

He's a special talent but still has the hunger to improve his game.

Great news for Liverpool fans.Only if he has lesser injury problems now, the club would definitely be in for some awards in the years to come.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barcelona are the Champions of Europe!

Stadio Olimpico at the onset

We break the usual track of Premiership games only and head to Rome for the "dream final" at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The Champions of England go head to head with Champions of Spain.It would be a spectacle with both teams being attacking forces.Manchester United go into the game with the motive of defending their Champions League title and the only team in the Champions League era to do so(earlier it was called the European Cup). Barcelona on the other hand would try to make it a treble winning season after La Liga and Spanish Kings Cup titles.

Rio Ferdinand is back for Manchester United after he shook off his injury.Darren Fletcher is missing due to suspension after picking up a yellow card against Arsenal in the semi finals.

For Barcelona they have defensive problems. Dani Alvez and Eric Abidal are missing due to suspension while, Rafael Marquez is out till the end of the season due to injury.Pep Guardiola also has Theiry Henry and Iniesta at his disposal after they were doubtful earlier for the final.

Manchester United and Barcelona have met once in a European final with the men from Old Trafford emerging 2-1 victorious in 1991.

Watch Sky Sports Gladiators theme for the Champions League here.

Valdes, Puyol (c), Toure, Pique, Sylvinho, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Henry, Eto’o.
Subs: Pinto, Caceres, Gudjohnsen, Krkic, Keita, Rodriguez, Muniesa.

Manchester United:
Van der Sar, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Anderson, Carrick, Giggs (c), Park, Ronaldo, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Berbatov, Nani, Evans, Rafael, Scholes, Tevez.

Game started off with scrappy play from both sides as they failed to maintain control of the ball and lost possession on many occasions.

Ronaldo was the first person to have a shot on goal with his trademark freekick which Valdez wasn't able to get hold and fell into Park's path who could only earn a corner with Barcelona players getting back to keep the South Korean from scoring.

However Eto'o proved the difference with the first goal in as early as the 10th minute. Iniesta passed the ball to Samuel Eto'o in the box who easily escaped past Vidic and then toed the ball into the back of the net despite a sliding tackle from Michael Carrick. 1-0 to Barcelona. [VIDEO]

As the game progressed Manchester United found it extremely difficult to build an attack as ball barely fell to Anderson and Giggs.This also made it difficult for the attack to build for Ronaldo,Park and Rooney and create chances for Red Devils.

On the other hand, Barcelona grew in confidence and passed the ball in their usual manner. Messi,Xavi and Iniesta passed the ball around beautifully as did Henry and Eto'o who kept Manchester United's defense on their toes.

At half time, Manchester United 0 - 1 Barcelona (Eto'o 10')

Sir Alex made one substitution at half time with Tevez coming on for Anderson.

Thiery Henry continued the dominance for Barcelona as his great piece of trickery and movement ensured he had a free shot inside the box after a slip from Ferdinand but only for Van der Sar to make a good save.

Xavi earned his side a free kick in the 52nd minute and stepped up to take it.His curler hit the left post and went out of play.Dangerous times continued for the English champions.

Messi vs Ronaldo was put a little to rest with the second from Barcelona as Messi leaped the highest courtesy a Xavi ball into the box. The Argentine, one of the smallest on the pitch headed the ball into the back of the net as he lay unmarked with no chance for Van der Sar.Manchester United 0-2 Barcelona. [VIDEO]

Unlike 10years ago,there was not going to be a fabulous comeback.There was no fairy tale ending.Manchester United's efforts were going in vain as Barcelona toyed with them in the box.

It took no time before the final whistle beckoned and 3 added minutes were over too.
At full time,Manchester United 0 - 2 Barcelona (Eto'o 10', Messi 70')

Barcelona are the champions in Rome.Champions of Europe.The better team on the night with a mile. United just didn't have any attacks to bother Barcelona.

Barcelona are the Champions!

[Credits : Videos from Soccer Clips, Picture from UEFA]

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moyes wins LMA manager of the year

Everton boss,David Moyes has been honoured with the League Managers Associations manager of the year award.

Everton finished fifth in the league and would be vying for the FA Cup trophy when they face Chelsea on 30th May.

Moyes has won the title before in 2003 and 2005,thus making him the only manager to win the award thrice.

Many clubs have splurged cash to acquire big money signings but the biggest signing for Everton has been Fellaini worth £15million.

Along with Moyes,Sir Alex won the Special Merit award for his achievements last year.Also the Barclays manager of the year as chosen by the Barclays panel.

Wouldn't Fulham's Roy Hodgson be a better winner than Moyes? What do you think?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Burnley promoted to Premiership

Burnley have acquired the third place to get themselves in the Premiership after Wolves and Birmingham City.

Burnley went into the game as the underdogs with the pundits favouring Sheffield United to go up to the top flight in England.

A Wade Elliott stunner put the Clarets ahead and was the only goal of the game at Wembley.

This brings them into top flight football after a span of 33years and it also ended a long,long season for them which lasted 60 games.

Burnley finished fifth in the Championship, semi finalists in the Carling Cup and reached the round of 16 in the FA Cup.

However, this ends Sheffield's hopes of returning to the Premiership as well who were relegated two seasons back amid the Tevez transfer saga.

Related Reads :
Wolves win the Championship,go up to the Premiership

Birmingham City finish second,qualify automatically


Monday, May 25, 2009

Mokoena moves to Pompey

Blackburn midfielder,Aaron Mokoena has agreed to sign a three year deal with Portsmouth.

The South African wants to get some games under his belt for the World Cup next year as he has seen very few games recently.

A 3 year spell at Blackburn comes to an end with the last game being the one against Bolton when he came off the bench in a 0-0 end.

The 28 year old spoke to Rovers Radio and said :
I am going to Portsmouth, I am going there to play, it is what every player wants to do.

I have decided it is time to move on for me. As we know we have a World Cup in South Africa and I have to play, I have to play week in, week out.

So it is going to be a good challenge for me going to Portsmouth and we'll see how it goes.

Is it a good signing by Pompey? What do the fans reckon?

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Newcastle United sink to Championship

After 16 years of stay in the Premiership, Newcastle United have been relegated to the Coca Cola Championship.

Geordie fans had to see their beloved club succumb to yet another defeat in a game against Aston Villa where according to the scores elsewhere they needed a draw to stay up.

Aston Villa were lucky to get a goal after a deflection from Damien Duff's foot which sent Steve Harper the wrong side.An unlucky goal to concede when your future in the Premiership hangs in the balance.Newcastle didn't seem like they really cared much with very few attacks to speak of in the second half,if at all.

Obafemi Martins had huge chances in the first half where he could have even made a win possible for the Toons.But despite having varied attacking options upfront,Alan Shearer's men couldn't do what was required of them.

However, the team to be relegated isn't dependent on one game or one goal.Its based upon 38 games throughout the year,on which Newcastle deserved to go down. Arguably one of the most followed team in England to go down to the Championship.

Relegated in 1989 and then back up in 1993 where they finished 3rd under Kevin Keegan's managerial reign. Also called as "The Entertainers" Newcastle qualified for Europe and also had the top scorer of the season in the form of Andy Cole.

This season was a disaster throughout for them.Two managerial changes,Kevin Keegan resigned in September.His replacement,Joe Kinnear had to go out due to an illness which paved way for owner,Mike Ashley to bring on the "Messiah",Alan Shearer. A great goal scorer, a big servant for the club but no managerial experience made it an audacious target to save the club from slipping into relegation.

Mike Ashley was looking for buyers to sell the club but no agreed deal value could be reached for thus highlighting his non interest in the footballing aspect of being the owner but only as a businessman. Kevin Keegan's resignation was mainly due to his clashes with Executive Director(football) Dennis Wise who wanted active participation in the transfers.

Some very important players were transfered out.Namely,Emre,James Milner,Shay Given,Charles N'zogbia who would have otherwise been an indispensable part of Newcastle's setup in their bid for survival. Xisco proved to be a nothing signing as he barely played any games to be worth his 5.7million pound tag.

Its said attack is the best form of defense. Goals were hard to come by as well. Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins were the top scorers of the season with 8 goals in the League and a total of 40 goals scored in the entire season.

Only 7 wins and 13 draws and 18 draws and standing on 34points wouldn't get you anywhere.The highest they've been in the League is 4th when they won their first game of the season against Bolton which was also only the second game of the season.

What would be interesting now to see is if Alan Shearer stays as a manager at the club.Bye Bye Magpies!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fabregas cleared of allegations of spitting

Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas has been cleared of charges of spitting at Hull assistant manager,Brian Horton during their FA Cup meet in March.

The player who at that time was not part of the playing team as he was out due to an injury. The FA has now cleared him due to lack of concrete evidence highlighting the players' improper conduct.

He had maintained his innocence throughout whereas Hull City were sure the Spaniard was a mischief maker on that evening.

The two allegations which Fabregas was reported for were his coming down on the pitch after the final whistle and second for his spitting at Hull assistant manager.

Fabregas has been cleared of both and even the match report submitted by referee Mike Riley didn't mention anything like that taking place.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ooijer to move from Blackburn to PSV

Blackburn's Dutch defender,Andre Ooijer would return to Eredivisie next season as part of a one year deal.

The player arrived from PSV in 2006 and would bring curtains to his career with Blackburn who are safe in the Premiership.

34 year old would want to improve PSV's next season who ended this season 4th in the league which is low as per their standards and ended 4th in the group stages of Champions League.

He also would try to keep his place in the Dutch team for the world cup in 2010.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Portsmouth 3-1 Sunderland

John Utaka

Sunderland travel to Fratton Park with hopes of ensuring their safety in the Premiership.Portsmouth on the other hand are safe courtesy of the results at the bottom of the table on Saturday which saw Hull draw with Middlesbrough and climb out of the drop zone while Newcastle took their spot with a home loss to Fulham.

Sunderland are on 16th place,Hull on 17th and Newcastle on 18th as the game took off.They need a win to be secure unless their future would hang in the balance in the final game of the season where Hull or Newcastle could pip the Black Cats and send them to the Championship.

The first chance of the game came in the 3rd minute through a game of head tennis where Portsmouth's Peter Crouch's header struck the post and rolled out.Hard to understand how that didn't find the back of the net.

Sunderland's first decent chance came via a great link up play between Jones and Richardson,where the latter could not keep his shot on target.However,in his defense he was put off by a sliding challenge by Sol Campbell.

Now it was the turn of Sunderland's turn to hit the post.Cross by Steve Malbranque towards Kenwyn Jones, who rises the highest only to beat the keeper but unable to beat the side post in the 41st minute.

At half time,both the teams have had a chance apiece and have hit the woodwork on both those occasions. More chances expected in the next half. Portsmouth 0-0 Sunderland at HT.

A fabulous run by Davenport from inside his half and then a great cross into the path over Sol Campbell and a simple tap in by Kenwyn Jones earned Sunderland the lead in the 59th minute. Portsmouth 0-1 Sunderland.

Portsmouth equalised straight ahead in the very next minute through Utaka.Great strength inside the box to hold off a Sunderland defender and then to blast the ball home. Portsmouth 1-1 Sunderland.(Wasn't there a whistle before he scored?)

Portsmouth took the lead in the 68th minute after a huge blunder from Anton Ferdinand put Utaka 1 on 1 with the keeper to beat.An aerial ball towards the Sunderland goal isn't deal with by Ferdinand as Bardsley slides in to prevent the ball from going in but couldn't do so.Own goal to Bardsley. Portsmouth 2-1 Sunderland.

A sweet left footed strike from a few yards out by Kenwyn Jones could have brought the game to a balance but Begovic gathers it cleanly.

Sunderland enjoyed two glorious chances in the 84th and 86th minute.First chance came to Djibrel Cisse whose shot went agonisingly wide.The latter fell to an unmarked Jones who just had to head the ball from eight yards in the back of the net.But his tame header went straight into the hands of Begovic.

Portsmouth made the Black Cats pay for their missed chances through an 87th minute strike from Traore in the back of the net.A low left footed strike beat the keeper and saw the right corner of the net. Portsmouth 3-1 Sunderland.

Portsmouth played out the remaining few minutes as Sunderland would be blamed for their missed chances and mistakes in the back.

Sunderland would need a win to be safe when they play Chelsea on the last day of the season at home.If they fail to do so,they would be dependent on the results of other relegation battlers,Middlesbrough,Newcastle United and Hull City.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Crazy4Footie Contest!

Its been nearly a year since this blog came into existence.It started off as an all league,all internationals blog.Now its transformed into Premiership only blog with growing number of site viewers on a daily basis and from all corners of the world. Our friends at Soccer Pro are helping us organize our very first contest! They would be giving away a free FOOTBALL JERSEY! What's better?The T-shirt would be of YOUR CHOICE. Their range includes,Manchester United,Arsenal,Chelsea,Liverpool,Real Madrid,AC Milan and even International sides too! (See the entire list of options here) How cool is that?

Prizes :
  1. Free T-Shirt courtesy
  2. $20 gift coupon from WhoAreYaDesigns
  3. $15 cash via PayPal

What Needs To Be Done?

1.Follow me on Twitter here. (I will follow you back too!)

2.Tweet this message :

"Crazy4Footie is giving away a free football jersey! RT @realmadrid_rock".

3.Blog about this contest

Just spread the word by writing a small review about this contest in your blog including a link to this contest page and a link to the contest sponsors with the text "Licensed Soccer Jerseys and Gear".

4.Subscribe to the feed via E-mail(mention the e-mail address in the comments section).

5.Give my blog a thumbs up here:

or Digg here:

That's it!

The winner would be chosen via a lucky draw so everyone has an opportunity to win.The contest ends on 15th June,2009. And at the end of it you could be a lucky winner of your chosen Football jersey!

Good luck!

UPDATE : The contest hasn't gone well at all.So unfortunately there are no winners and no giveaways. Hope there are better things when we plan another contest. Thanks!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Manchester United draw,win title

Manchester United have added yet another trophy to their illustrious cabinet.The Red devils retained their Premiership crown they have won for the past two years.

Manchester United knew they would need only a single point to clinch the title when they face Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Liverpool fans hoped for something from Arsenal but the game ended 0-0 and thus earned the single point which Manchester United needed.

With this Manchester United have equaled Liverpool's record 18 league crowns and is Sir Alex Ferguson's 11th league title.

Manchester United had ended Arsenal's ambitions of reaching the Champions League finals earlier with a 4-1 aggregate win in the semi finals.And today Arsenal had the opportunity to take revenge for their loss but failed to do so.

Tevez's substitution and gesture of waving towards all four corners of the stadium seemed like his final appearance at Old Trafford for the Argentine in the colours of Manchester United's Red.

This means there is a high possibility Manchester United would field a second string side against Hull next weekend for the final game of the season as they would want their players to be fresh to face Barcelona in the Champions League final on the 27th May. Liverpool end the season without a trophy but would want to finish on a high when the play West Brom tomorrow.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Villa's Laursen calls it quits

Aston Villa's captain Martin Laursen has called it quits to his career following persistent injuries.

The former Danish international has had an injury plagued career and has not played a game since January when he injured his knee.

He had joined Aston Villa from AC Milan in 2004 where he had the knee problems as well.However those injury problems seemed a thing of the past as he became a formidable part of the Birmingham based club's defense.

He had announced retirement from international football in January after his injury and now his complete retirement has come as a shock to manager,Martin O'Neil and many Villa fans.

The Aston Villa website read :

Villa are sad to announce Martin Laursen's retirement from football," a statement on the club's website read.

The club captain made the decision after being faced with another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

He elected to hang up his boots rather than undergo another major operation - this time on his right knee.

The retirement of the lion-hearted defender will be a huge loss to the players, manager and fans.

Speaking to Sky News,Martin O'Neil paid tribute to his former captain,

It is sad news for everyone at the football club because he has been inspirational for us.

It is a particular blow for him obviously because he can no longer play and that is very hard to take.

The irony of course is the fact that the injury happened to his very good knee, which hadn't had any problems, and he is obviously devastated as we all are.

The forecast was gloomy a couple of weeks ago and he has come to the conclusion he wouldn't be able to continue.

I have obviously lost a top-quality centre-half and a top-quality leader.

Aston Villa have had a dreadful end to the season which sees them qualify for Europa Cup at the best where they could have been challenging Arsenal for the fourth place in the League,thus earning a qualifying berth in the Champions League. Martin Laursen would most definitely need to bolster his defense after his losing such a strong player,both physically and mentally.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tevez staying? Not staying?

After steering Manchester United to a 2-1 victory over Wigan with a cheeky first goal,Carlos Tevez's future is still uncertain at the club.

Tevez had come on in the second half for Anderson and brought the scores to a level as Manchester United then went on to score another through a Fletcher strike and be within touching distance of a third consecutive premiership crown.

Tevez had been quoted in the Sunday's papers about his unsure future at Old Trafford and had been linked to various clubs from the likes of Liverpool,Manchester City,Real Madrid,Barcelona,Spurs etc.

Sir Alex Ferguson had this to say after the game against Wigan at the JJB :
He is a fantastic player.

He knows I want him to stay. I had a chat with him today and (chief executive) David Gill has had meetings with him.

I'm sorry I have to keep on going on about this, it has never changed.

(The fact) we're not negotiating with a football club is the problem - we'll see.

The news report of David Gill meeting Tevez's agent,Kia Joorabchian has been confirmed by his agent. However,they have stated that Manchester United haven't categorically made any offer to make Tevez's stay permanent.

Tevez had arrived on a two year loan deal which could have then be made permanent but the transfer saga has been more of a puzzle to decipher.

If Tevez does leave it would be a blow to Manchester United who would lose a very hard working player and someone who in my personal view is much better than Dimitar Berbatov.On the other hand,if Tevez does move out then it would be hard for him too as he would have to adapt to a different kind of work culture especially if he moves out of England.Also,the idea to move out of European and World Champions would surely bother anyone.

Is Tevez right to consider moving out? What do you feel?

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Wigan 1-2 Manchester United

Red Devils visited JJB with Wigan having a dismal record against Manchester United with 7 defeats to their name.Manchester United on the other hand went with the motive of all three points to ward off any possibilities of Liverpool beating them to a Premier League title and be within a point with two games remaining of a third consecutive Premiers

Manchester United's target or supposed target as per the papers,Valencia ran raging towards the Manchester United goal in as early as the 2nd minute only to chip it and claim he was challenged from behind by Vidic.Replays showed differently though.

A Berbatov cross into the penalty area for Wayne Rooney who found himself unmarked should have been the first goal of the match but unbelievably so he headed wide in the 10th minute.

Another display of breathtaking passes by the team in red only a minute later saw Fletcher's effort go agonizingly wide.

Rodallega scored the first of the evening for Wigan after a strong challenge in the box against Vidic which left the Serbian absolutely furious with the referee.Van Der Sar beaten on his near post. Wigan Athletic 1 - 0 Manchester United.

Towards the final stages of the first half,Wigan's combination of Valencia and Rodallega combined with a neat one-two to create a chance for Rodallega but his shot went wide.

Wigan being the unlikely team to be ahead as both the teams head for their dressing rooms.Surely Manchester United would come out with better attacking prowess. At half time,Wigan 1 - 0 Manchester United.

Just like Monday's events,a substitution proved vital as Carlos Tevez came on for an uneventful evening for Anderson. He showed his worth and his work ethic once again by running around for the ball.

The break through came through the Argentine as Carrick's shot from a distance fell into Tevez's path who put the ball in the back of the net with a neat skill. Wigan 1 - 1 Manchester United.

Manchester United and Ronaldo would feel they had a penalty turned down as a 73rd minute lung busting run by Ronaldo inside the box left the Portuguese on the ground after a supposed nudge by Figuero made him lose his balance.

You know as they say,its a game of 90 minutes.United proved that very well.Michael Carrick placed the ball right in the corner,beyond the reach of the keeper.A calm left footed strike with absolutely no follow through in the 86th minute.Wigan Athletic 1 - 2 Manchester United.

The night was disappointing for Ronaldo who couldn't make most of Tevez,Carrick and Ronaldo combination of passing in the 89th minute with only the keeper to beat as he blazed his effort over.

At full time,with two games to go Manchester United would just need one point from their remaining two fixtures to retain their title for a third consecutive title.The remaining fixtures being against relegation facing Hull and fourth placed Arsenal on the penultimate day.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Newcastle 3 - 1 Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough traveled to the North-East to face Newcastle. Both of them who are involved in the relegation battle. Middlesbrough,Newcastle and West Brom all sit on 31 points so any points accumulated by either of the teams would surely be a great boost to their confidence and help their cause for survival.

Middlesbrough went up as early as the 3rd minute through an unlucky own goal to concede for Habib Beye.The ball fell in his path as he ran forward after a save by Steve Harper which was shot from a close range by Tuncay. Middlesbrough 1-0.

Viduka rattled the bar after a few minutes and the rebound fell to Steve Taylor who could only blaze his shot over the goal.

However he made amends in the 9th minute courtesy a great header which wasn't well marked by the Middlesbrough defence.However Nolan has been accused of taking a Middlesbrough defender off but wasn't spotted by the referee.Newcastle 1-1 Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough's Emnes rued a decent chance to put his team ahead as he did the hard part to get past the Newcastle defence but only to see his shot go wide.

The teams entered the tunnel with the scoreline reading 1-1.

Middlesbrough were the more attacking of the sides coming into the second half.

The first real chance of the second half came Gary O'Neil's way whose shot from the edge of the area was well punched by Steve Harper.

Shearer then made a very crucial and huge change with Martins coming on for Owen.This paid dividends for the magpies as the Nigerian scored within a minute of coming on in the 71st minute.His scuffed shot saw the back of the net.However,There were appeals of fouls by Gareth Southgate and TV footage showed a Nolan offside before the ball fell to Obafemi.2-1 to Newcastle.

Newcastle ensured the win through a Nolan cross which fell to Loverkrands in the box who gave no chance to Brad Jones in the 86th minute. 3-1 to Newcastle.

The dominance for Newcastle continued in the 88th minute as Middlesbrough pressed forward and left gaps at the back.However Andy Caroll who came on for Mark Viduka couldn't capitalise as Jones came forward to block his effort.

The win puts Newcastle on 34points on equal points with Hull City and 2 points behind Sunderland.Newcastle climb out of the relegation zone only on goal difference though.On the other hand,Middlesbrough need to bring something out of their next two games against Aston Villa and West Ham.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Arsenal lose to Chelsea in the London derby

Alex and teammates celebrate the first goal
[Source : BBC]

Chelsea have confirmed their third spot in the Premier league with a 4-1 win away at the Emirates.

Third spot means the Blues won't have to enter the qualifying rounds for the Champions League and can enjoy their pre-season or give those legs some rest before the heat of the next season begins.

Arsenal despite their constant pressure and most of the possession failed to capitalise as Chelsea scored first through Alex who leaped highest to put them a goal ahead.

Anelka's thunderbolt from 25yards increased the gap for the gunners to reduce as Fabianski could only leap for it but to no avail.

Things went from bad to worse then for Arsenal as Toure could only slide the ball into his own net from an Ashley Cole cross.

Substitute Bendtner headed in from a Sagna cross to keep hopes of a comeback alive with 20minutes to go.

However those hopes were dashed when Malouda scored as Anelka's strike hit the bar and reached the Frenchman's feet who looked offside.

This ends Arsenal's 21 match unbeaten run in the league and might force them to play a German,Spanish or Italian side to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

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Manchester United win derby

[Source : ITV]

Manchester United go three points clear at the top after an impressive 2-0 performance against city rivals City.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a free kick which got deflected into Shay Given's goal.

However,this goal was overshadowed by Tevez's fabulous goal at the stroke of halftime which left the defence as well as the keeper helpless as it was an unstoppable strike.The Argentine sending a strong message to Manchester United hierarchy to permanently acquire the services of the player who works his socks off and in his own words might exit at the end of the season when his loan deal expires.

2-0 advantage for the Red Devils at half time didn't subside into further goals as City weren't able to score either.

Controversial moment of the game came at the time when Ronaldo was substituted which wasn't taken keenly by the Portuguese winger as he grasped his jacket in frustration and sat mumbling and shaking his head in what can only be summed up as disbelief over the change.[Video]

Win puts Manchester United within four points of defending their league title.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Premiership Roundup

Liverpool move on to the top of the league before Manchester United face local rivals City in the derby.At the bottom of the table,West Brom continued their hopes to stay in the Premiership next season.As did,Blackburn Rovers who look to be secure now.The same cannot be said for Hull City who lost to Stoke City who would stay in the top flight next season.

The results read :

Blackburn Rovers (Pedersen,McCarthey) 2 - 0 Portsmouth

Bolton Wanderers 0 - 0 Sunderland

Everton 0 - 0 Spurs

Fulham (Murphy,Kamara,Kamara) 3 - 1 (Young) Aston Villa

Hull City (Dawson) 1 - 2 (Fuller,Lawrence) Stoke City

West Brom (Fortune,Brunt,Fortune) 3 - 1 (Martinez) Wigan Athletic

West Ham 0 - 3 (Gerrard,Gerrard,Babel) Liverpool

Blackburn Rovers after their impressive 2-0 victory over Portsmouth aren't mathematically safe but look secure as Pedersen scored after what seemed like an eternity and another from McCarthey from the spot put Rovers on 40 points.Portsmouth drop below Rovers to 15th place.

Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland played out a goalless draw.Ricky Sbragia's men could have come out with 3 points had they taken the chances that they created.Bolton reached the coveted 40 point mark to ensure their safety.

Everton and Spurs played out a dull goalless draw at the Goodison Park.The only exciting moment being Everton's Gosling's effort which hit the sidebar.

Fulham went back into European contention spot with a 3-1 win over struggling Aston Villa.Kamara was a constant threat for the Cottagers as he scored two and was involved in the third after he won his side a penalty which Danny Murphy coolly slotted in past Friedel to give the London based club a dream start.Aston Villa equalised through a Milner cross which was converted by Ashley Young.

Hull City lost 2-1 at home to Stoke City who are assured of their security in the Premiership.Fuller reacted quickest courtesy a Lawrence corner as he had the time and composure to turn and shoot past a woeful Hull defence. Lawrence scored a spectacular in the 73rd minute with the keeper left stranded. Hull tried to make a late comeback when they scored through a delightful Dawson free kick.

West Brom entered the weekend knowing they could be relegated if they lost but a great performance by Fortune sees West Brom still in contention to avoid the drop.Wigan on the other hand,have let their Europa Cup dream all but vanish.

A brace by Fortune and winning his team a penalty helps West Brom be equal in points with Newcastle and Middlesbrough on 31points.

Liverpool maintained their tight grip on the top of the Premiership with a 3-0 win over West Ham.Gerrard broke the deadlock in as little as 76 seconds with a through ball provided by Torres to go around the goalkeeper and make Zola's men switch to Plan B.Gerrard scored another after his penalty was saved by Green.Liverpool completed the rampant performance to finish the ball home.

Upcoming fixtures:

Manchester United vs Manchester City (10 May)
Arsenal vs Chelsea (10 May)
Newcastle United vs Middlesbrough (11 May)


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Manager and Player of the month of April

Sir Alex Ferguson has been named by the manager of the month for the month of April.

The Scots side picked up four wins in four games and scored 12 goals in the process and maintained their lead on the top against second placed Liverpool.

This is Ferguson's second manager of the month accolade after picking up the same award in January.

April saw Manchester United engulf themselves in a fabulous game against Villa at Old Trafford where out of nowhere Macheda scored a beauty to give the Reds all three points.

The following week Macheda scored another with a 2-1 win over Sunderland.The domination continued with a comfortable win over Portsmouth.

The month was rounded off with a splendid second half performance at home against Spurs after being 2-0 down at half time and winning the game 5-2 with a brace apiece from Ronaldo and Rooney.

And Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin picked up the player of the month award.

The Russian cemented Arsenal's fourth place in the league with outstanding goals and showed his worth to Wenger and Arsenal fans with his huge price tag.

The striker scored 5 goals this season including the rampant performance against Liverpool at Anfield by scoring 4 goals in a 4-4 draw.

This was followed up by a goal and an assist at Europa Cup hopeful Wigan.This was followed by a strong display and the ability to stretch defenders with the 2-0 win over Manchester City.

In another providing role,he created a chance for captain Fabregas who duely obliged by netting the ball in a 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough.


Jamie O'Hara to get surgery

Spurs' midfielder Jamie O'Hara is set to go under the knife for a knee injury.

The England U-21 international has been out for many games this season due to the injury and surgery seems to be the best solution.

The player made only 28 appearances for Spurs this season and scored 4 goals.

He came on late in his last appearance on 21st March against Chelsea when Spurs won 1-0.

This means he would miss Spurs' games against Everton,Manchester City and Liverpool and would race against time to recover and regain his place in Stuart Pearce's side for the U-21 European Championships.


Bendtner fined by Arsenal

Nicklas Bendtner has been fined by Arsenal after his antics in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Arsenal were beaten 3-1 on the night at the Emirates and lost 4-1 on aggregate to Manchester United in the Champions league semi finals.

The Dane was then pictured leaving a London bar in a highly awkward situation,with his pants falling down.

This has certainly not gone down well with the manager,Wenger who has fined the player and has labeled his acts as "unacceptable" and is disappointed with the player.

On the other hand,Wenger asked his players to concentrate on their on pitch performance and not voice their opinions about the off field scenario.

Adebayor and Almunia had asked for more experience in their squad after a fourth consecutive season without any silverware.

Arsenal face Chelsea on Sunday and look to cover ground on the fellow Londoners after Chelsea were criticised heavily for their behaviour after the end of their Champions league semi final with Barcelona which ended in a 1-1 draw as Barcelona went through on away goals.Chelsea would most likely be fined and Drogba/Ballack would face some dire repercussions after he swore on the camera.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Wes Brown to miss remainder season

Manchester United defender Wes Brown has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injury.

Brown has missed majority of the season due to a foot injury and would now miss Manchester United's meet with Barcelona in Rome on the 27th of May.

Along with this he would not form part of the defence for The Red Devils to retain their Premier League crown.

The player last featured against Everton in January and even then struggled with the injury.

He made some appearances for the reserve side to make a return to the senior games but setback in training has sidelined him for the remaining games.

Sir Alex confirmed the reports by saying :

Wes has had a bit of a setback during the week and that's knocked him back a bit.

It is not major but the fact the season is coming to an end makes it difficult for him.

We have Gary [Neville] back fit so we are not too bad. But it is disappointing for Wes.


Walcott signs new deal

English attacking midfielder Theo Walcott has extended his contract with the Gunners for a long period of time.

The length of the new deal has not been revealed but both Theo and manager,Arsene Wenger have publicly announced the progress for the club.

Walcott has made 103 appearances for the Gunners scoring 14goals in the process.He also has a place in the England lineup on the coveted right wing which was earlier the permanent position for David Beckham.

Lightning speed and also the ability to score as well as create goals is what sets him apart.

Speaking to the official website,he said :

I am so happy here and just want to say thanks to everyone who has helped me get to this point in my career.

Together with the belief of my team-mates, the boss and everyone on the staff, everyone has got behind me here at Arsenal which is brilliant.

It is fantastic to work with the best manager in the world and play at Emirates Stadium, which is an unbelievable place to play in.

I just want to continue playing my football at this club and look forward to many successful seasons ahead.

Wenger was all praise for the youngster by saying :

Theo is an intelligent player with amazing ability and speed, and has developed extremely well this season.

At still only 20 years of age, Theo has huge potential for the forthcoming years and we are all looking forward to see him grow even more in an Arsenal shirt.

Arsenal have bundled out of the Champions league going down 4-1 on aggregate against Manchester United,lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi finals and most definitely would end the season in the fourth place in the league.They face Chelsea on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium.


Clichy out for the season

Arsenal's Gael Clichy has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a back injury.

The Frenchman sustained the injury during Arsenal's away trip to Villareal in the Champions League.

This has made him miss crucial games especially the semi finals of Champions league against Manchester United where Arsenal lost 4-1 on aggregate.

Wenger claims he would have rushed the youngster back had they progressed to the champions league final but since that didn't take place,they would allow the player to heal completely before making a comeback in the pre season in July.

Arsenal face Chelsea on Saturday and both the champions league knocked out semi finalists have nothing to play for in the Premiership.However Chelsea has a shot at silverware when they face Everton in the FA Cup on 30th May.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fans player of the year : Gerrard

After Giggs was named PFA Player of the year, Steven Gerrard has been the PFA fans' choice for the award for a spectacular season.

England international picked up three monthly player of the month titles this season and can add the season's accolade to his personal awards collection.

Gerrard was the first ever annual fans' player of the year title in 2001.

Gordon Taylor,PFA chief executive,showed utmost happiness with Gerrard getting the award and expressed he is a huge fan of the Liverpool captain.

Some might question the award as many pundits believe Xabi Alonso has had a better season for Liverpool than Gerrard who has had great moments but they have been patchy rather than a fine display week in,week out by the Spaniard.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Barton's Newcastle career seems to be over

Magpies have suspended the "bad boy" Joey Barton until further notice.

Joey Barton made his comeback on Sunday against Liverpool but all went horribly wrong for Alan Shearer's side and for the player himself when he saw red after a reckless challenge on Xavi Alonso which resulted in the Spaniard being taken out on a stretcher.

The red card and a 3 match ban means Barton's season is over.

Newcastle's website read :
Newcastle United can confirm that Joey Barton has been suspended from the club until further notice.

"The club will be making no further comment on the matter at this time."

It is also reported that the suspension of the player has nothing to do with the challenge but with the bust up in the dressing room with manager,Alan Shearer.

Shearer who had earlier in the week claimed Joey could be the player they need to salvage points for them at a very crucial juncture in the season where Newcastle are desperate to get three points to avoid the drop.

Shearer has also vowed to fine Barton two weeks of wages around 120,000 pounds.

Newcastle's remaining games are against Middlesbrough,Fulham and Aston Villa.


Aston Villa 1 - 0 Hull City

Aston Villa confirmed their place in Europe next season while Hull City's task of avoiding the drop continues.

John Carew scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute after getting a very close offside decision in his favour courtesy an Ashley Young cross.

The deftest of touches by the Norwegian proved decisive for the Villans who claimed their first win in 13 games.

The result means Villa would definitely end in the top six and are for now above Everton.

On the other hand,Hull are three points above the drop zone and have only one win in the last 19 games.

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Hyypia heading to Leverkusen

Liverpool's veteran defender,Sami Hyypia is moving to Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the season.

Reds purchased the Finn for a meager 2.5million pounds from Dutch side Willem II in 1999.

The player has won every medal possible.He helped Liverpool to a treble in 2001 with FA Cup,League Cup and UEFA Cup.He also was part of the team which won the Champions League in Istanbul in 2005.

The deal with the German club is for two years.

Liverpool's official website read :

Hyypia underwent a medical with the German outfit this morning and will link up with his new team-mates in the summer for the start of pre-season training.

The Finnish international has earned legendary status at Anfield for the part he has played in the club's many successes over the past decade - and he will leave Merseyside with the best wishes of every Liverpool supporter.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Birmingham promoted to Premiership

[via AFP]

Birmingham City are back in the Premiership after being down in the Championship for one season.

The blues went down on the last day of the season in agonising fashion as they despite winning went down due to Fulham's last ditch win on the final day.

A 2-1 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Reading at the Madjeski stadium sees Birmingham automatically promote themselves to the Premiership.

Wolves had been promoted last week as they won the Championship too.

Keith Fahey and Kevin Philips were the scorers for Birmingham and Matejovsky brought a lifeline for Reading.

The four play off places went to Sheffield United,Preston,Burnley and Reading.The playoff games would take place on 8th-9th and 11th-12th May.


Tugay to retire at the end of the season

Veteran Blackburn Rovers' player Tugay would retire cum the end of the season.

The news has been confirmed by manager Sam Allardyce.

This brings curtains to the playmaker and one of the cleanest strikers' career to an end which lasted 8 years at Ewood Park after his move from Rangers.Also known for fabulous tackling and defensive capabilities, the turk would leave a huge gap to be filled in the Rovers' lineup.

Sam Allardyce had this to say :
We will say farewell at the end of the season and thank you very much for what you have done for Blackburn.

"Certainly if we remain in the Premier League, Tugay can bow out gracefully after playing at the top level most of the time.

"He has had a fantastic career. But at 38 and the ever-increasing demands of the Premier League, certainly in a physical sense, it means you cannot go on forever."

Here are two amazing Tugay goals to enjoy.

[v Spurs]

[v Fulham]


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Agger signs new deal

Liverpool's Daniel Agger has ended speculation regarding his future at Anfield by signing a deal to keep him until 2014.

The center back was in the news with a possible oust at the end of the season but positive reports emerged when he held talks with the club's management to extend contract by four years.

Agger with his thunderous left foot hits is comparable to former Liverpool player,John Arne Risse.

Rafa had this to say on the news while announcing the extension to Liverpool's website :
"This is extremely good news for Liverpool moving forward and demonstrates our intention to build on the progress we have already made this season,"