Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wayne Rooney came off the bench to head Manchester United's winner in the Carling Cup.

ASTON VILLA 1
- Milner (pen) 5

MANCHESTER UNITED 2
- Owen 13,
- Rooney 74

**Manchester United successfully defend Carling Cup title. In the final, Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa bow after first miss.

MU behind quickly after James Milner makes Villa led directly to the 5th minute of the match in Wembley, Sunday (28.2.2010). Michael Owen returned quickly to equalize even at the end of the first half he had to be pulled out.

Wayne Rooney is in place then a hero Owen MU victory. His beautiful header ensure 'Red Devils' fourth success in the Carling Cup after a champion in 1992, 2006 and 2009.

In the fourth minute penalty after Villa had Nemanja Vidic dropped Gabriel Agbonlahor in the box forbidden. James Milner who became executor of the perfect finish to make Villa winning 1-0 at minute 5.

MU quickly returned. Error from Richard Dunne made Dimitar Berbatov had handed the ball to Michael Owen who then successfully send a round through the skin of Brad Friedel. New action to walk 13 minutes and had two goals are created!

Milner's goal threatened MU three minutes later. Penetration ending with a hard kick from the edge of the penalty box and forced Tomasz Kuszczak saves a stretch goal.

In the 27th minute Emile Heskey's turn to test Kuszczak. He controlled the ball before then fired and forced Kuszczak to the rescue.

Owen seems to have problems. Sure enough, he had to be pulled out three minutes before the interval and replaced by Wayne Rooney.

Chelsea gained a golden opportunity in the first half injury time. Park Ji Sung had fired the ball into the net despite hitting only the pole.



MU immediately slapped in the early second round. Four minutes of the game goes, Michael Carrick fired a shot which Friedel had to rescue neat.

At the 64 minute turn-looking Rafael injury. The result also revealed Gary Neville to replace him in the 66th minute. It's been two changes made the MU while Villa have not at all.

Six minutes later, Villa had a soccer corner and Berbatov's effort to banish the head instead to make the ball fall in front of Ashley Young. He then went on to kick volleyball is still spreading despite the direction of the goal.

MU finally turned 74-minute lead on. Rooney is making the MU lead after welcoming Antonio Valencia cross into the Villa net.

Four minutes later Rooney heads back to "talk". Again, starting from Valencia cross, this time Rooney header hit the goalpost.

Villa's first turnover to occur at minute 80 with John Carew replacing Carlos Cuellar; attacker to defender. Sign that Villa would be more offensive to catch up on the rest of the time.

Villa nearly equalized on 82 minutes. James Collins ball and cross the ball looks a bit about Vidic before sliding to the MU goalkeeper Kuszczak though the ball can still be dismissed.

Teams:

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar (Carrew '80), Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Heskey, Agbonlahor.

Manchester United: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva (Neville '66), Vidic, J Evans, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Park (Gibson '85), Owen (Rooney '42), Berbatov.

Bolton Wanderers grabbed three vital points through Knight scored

BOLTON WANDERERS 1
- Knight 45

WOLVERHAMPTON 0


**Bolton Wanderers grabbed three vital points in their fight for survival over fellow strugglers Wolverhampton, courtesy of a first half Zat Knight goal.

Both sides played out a very entertaining end-to-end match that presented a number of chances for both bottom half Premier League clubs.

A thoroughly impressive first half between two struggling Premier League sides saw the hosts take the lead through former Aston Villa defender Zat Knight. The two teams battled tremendously in an entertaining 90 minutes in which the score line could have been very different, had it not been for some great goalkeeping and some lackluster finishing.

The home side started the brightest as Chung-Yong Lee made his way down the right hand side from the kick off and whipped a dangerous ball into the box. Great goalkeeping from Marcus Hahnemann prevented any Bolton player getting on the end of it.

The South Korean was at the center of the action just minutes later as Bolton went on the counter attack from a Wolves corner. Kevin Davies cleared with a fantastic defensive header and the ball fell to on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere who sent Lee down the right hand side. Bolton players drove forward to support Lee but his center was poor and only found Craddock who cleared with ease.

After the bright start, the hosts began to lose possession as they were put under a lot of pressure by the Wolves players. The visitors then began to enjoy a good spell of possession themselves but their final ball lacked the quality required to beat the Large Bolton defense.

Again, Bolton went on the counter attack from a Wolves corner after 17 minutes. Great link up play between Davies and Lee who traded a number of neat passes before the lively Lee fed in Johan Elmander. However, the Swedish striker’s shot failed to trouble Hahnemann.

End-to-end football then saw Wolves go straight up the other end and nearly take the lead. David Jones sent through Kevin Doyle with a great pass and his drilled shot was well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Just two minutes later Bolton nearly found themselves ahead after a great free-kick from Holden evaded everyone in the box. Wolves’ American keeper had to be on his toes as he was forced into making a wonderful reaction save to tip the ball around his far post.

A change in momentum then saw Bolton get back on top and they took the lead on the stroke of half time. The troublesome Lee’s fancy footwork on the right flank helped him turn Adlene Guedioura inside out before picking out Zat Knight. The burly defender converted from close range to put side in the lead against his former rivals.

Wolves’ poor goal return of 21 goals in 26 league games doesn’t show for pleasant reading and they came out in the second half looking to get an unlikely away goal.



However, it was Bolton that could have had a penalty and a goal in the space of three second half minutes. Davies received the ball in the opponents’ penalty area and waited for support. Wilshere was the first to offer help and Davies attempted to find him and in doing so the ball appeared to clip the hand of Zubar but referee Andre Marriner waved play on.

Davies was again involved a minute later as he went through one-on-one. He surged into Wolves’ area and with the advancing Hahnehmann closing down the angle, Davies attempted to curl the ball around the American but shot straight at the ‘keeper.

Wolves steadied the ship after the opening 15 minutes of the second half where Bolton could have doubled their lead. The visitors were awarded a free-kick just outside the box after Paul Robinson brought down Jones. Jones decided to take it himself and exquisitely curled the ball over the wall and beat Jaaskelainen, only to see his ball crash off the inside of the left hand post and roll across the line to safety.

The West Midlands side found themselves just inches from grabbing a vital equalizer on 70 minutes as they again struck the post. Kevin Foley ventured into the hosts’ box and found the ball bouncing in front of him. Having to wait for the ball to settle, he teed up his shot and struck a sweet half-volley that rattled Jaaskelainen’s post.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Bolton began to get hold of the ball and tried to slow the game down, counter attacking whenever possible.

Bolton could have sealed the game just minutes from time as Hahnemann ventured out of his goal to clear but found the head of substitute Ivan Klasnic. The Croatian headed straight at goal from 40 yards only to see the ball bounced narrowly wide.

Wolves battled to the last minute to grab an important point but typical of Wolves’ season so far, their goal scoring form let them down.


Teams:


Bolton:
Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Ricketts, Knight, Robinson, Muamba, Lee, Wilshere, Holden, Elmander, Kevin Davies. Subs: Al Habsi, Taylor, Riga, Klasnic, Cohen, Andrew O'Brien, Weiss

Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Henry, Guedioura, Foley, David Jones, Jarvis, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh, Vokes, Milijas, Mancienne


Source : http://goal.com

Bendtner brilliant header, terrible injury sustained by Aaron Ramsey

STOKE CITY 1
- Pugh 8

ARSENAL 3
- Bendtner 32,
- Vermaelen 90,
- Fabregas (pen) 90

**A late penalty from Cesc Fabregas helped Arsenal defeat Stoke 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium in a game overshadowed by a horror injury to Aaron Ramsey.

The host lead after seven minutes when he nodded home a long throw Rory Delap first throw-in brings a goal knocked down by Danny Pugh ran in to crouch and head into the net from a couple of yards, it was perfect for Pugh.

That allowed Arsenal to settle and they finally began to win some possession in a congested midfield. They equalised after 31 minutes with a clever throw-in routine of their own. Fabregas had too much room on the right to receive a short throw, take a touch and swing an accurate, dipping cross to the far post. It found Bendtner, this is a brilliant header.

The game will be remembered for a terrible injury sustained by Aaron Ramsey midway through the second half after a tackle from Ryan Shawcross. The Stoke defender was sent off for his lunge on the Welshman, Ramsey looks like he will be out for a long time with a suspected broken leg.

The game looked destined to end 1-1, Bendtner tried to flick a return pass to Song, but it hit the outstretched arm of Pugh. In Pugh's defence he was trying to pull his arm out of the way, and he was only a few yards away from Bendtner.

Position Stoke 1-2 Arsenal Fabregas penalty scores. Sorensen, who saved a penalty from Fabregas in the return fixture, dived to his left and got a hand on it, but it was sidefooted close to the corner with good power by Fabregas and just sneaked in.

Arsenal weren't finished yet though and make score again, and Vermaelen bundled in a Bendtner ball across goal, to seal the three points and put Arsenal have taken a really important stride towards the title today.



Teams :

Stoke City: Thomas Sorensen, Abdoulaye Faye (Danny Collins 60), Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth, Andy Wilkinson, Dean Whitehead (Liam Lawrence 78), Glenn Whelan, Danny Pugh, Rory Delap, Mamady Sidibe, Ricardo Fuller (Tuncay Sanli 80) .

Arsenal: Manuel Almunia, Thomas Vermaelen, Sol Campbell, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Aaron Ramsey (Tomas Rosicky 71), Alexandre Song, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri (Eduardo 84), Emmnuel Eboue (Theo Walcott 75), Nicklas Bendtner.

Two goals each from Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy helped Man City to a stunning 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge.

CHELSEA 2
- Lampard 42,
- Lampard (pen) 90

MANCHESTER CITY 4
- Tevez 45,
- Bellamy 51,
- Tevez (pen) 76,
- Bellamy 87

**Two goals each from Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy helped Man City to a stunning 4-2 win over nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea dominated the early exchanges but failed to create a real chance until the opening goal on 42 minutes.

It was perhaps the most predictable part of a truly astonishing afternoon that exploded into life once Chelsea's patience pays off with a fine goal from the marvellous Frank Lampard.

Came as little surprise when the hosts finally went ahead following a slick through ball from Joe Cole that slid between Kompany and Richards, leaving Frank Lampard to strike the ball passed Given, 1-0 the host lead.

Carlos Tevez to snatch the ball ahead of Terry in the Chelsea half. The Argentine dribbled beyond the Englishman to the edge of the area, bamboozling Ricardo Carvalho as he did so, before scuffing a shot that somehow that allows Tevez to get his head down and charge towards goal, 1-1 leveled position.

Things got even worse for Chelsea five minutes into the second half. City again broke rapidly and Craig Bellamy went on a mazy run before firing low left-footed into the corner.

A wonderful goal from Craig Bellamy, that still a really good goal and classy, 2-1 the visitor lead.

Belletti misjudged a header and that allowed Barry to get goalside of him in the area. Belletti had no way of getting the ball and brought him down; the touch was minimal but enough to knock Barry over. A clear penalty, and a red card for Belletti as well.

A fine penalty from Tevez, smacked low to Hilario's right and into the corner. Hilario went the right way but he wasn't getting near that, 3-1 position for City. Tevez has been really brilliant today.

And the drama did not finish there as Michael Ballack was also sent off for two yellow cards and the German had no complaints when Mike Dean produced a second yellow.

The Blues players continued to take the fight to their Mancunian rivals. A powerful Drogba effort forced a strong save from Given, who stoically guarded his goal once more when Kalou ran through from an angle.

But the effort displayed by Chelsea was matched by City, who took the home side to the sword with a swift counter attack that saw four attackers up against a depleted defence. Wright-Phillips drew Hilario off his line before squaring the ball for Craig Bellamy for flew away leaving the host.

But the drama didn't end there, with Mike Dean giving the home side a penalty following a push on Anelka by Barry, but Frank Lampard's injury-time spot-kick successful.



Team Lineups:

Chelsea: Hilario, Ivanovic, Carvalho (Kalou '70), Terry, Malouda, Ballack, Mikel (Belletti 60), Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Joe Cole (Sturridge 60).

Manchester City: Given, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Bridge, Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez (Sylvinho 90), Adam Johnson (Wright-Phillips 60)

Hassen Yebda converted to give Portsmouth all three points.

BURNLEY 1
- Paterson 31

PORTSMOUTH 2

- Piquionne 25,
- Yebda (pen) 76

**A bad week ended with some relief for Portsmouth as they beat Burnley at Turf Moor. A Hassan Yebda penalty and Piquionne strike either side of a Martin Paterson goal was enough to sink the Clarets who now find themselves only one place above Pompey and deep in the relegation mire.

Portsmouth, now all but relegated thanks to the impending nine point deduction, were looking to take their mind off financial woes and give their fans some much needed relief. As for the home side, the game offered a possible three vital points as they have a relegation battle of their own to fight.

During a quiet start, it was Portsmouth who created the first real opening on ten minutes. Owusu-Abeyie through ball was interrupted by Leon Cort, but the ball fell kindly to Danny Webber but the striker could only drag his shot wide of Brian Jensen’s goal. Webber then flicked Nadir Belhadj's cross from the left into the net but strike was ruled out for offside.

The home side then had their first attack of the afternoon, as Martin Paterson raced down the wing and his cut-back cross was cut out by the fingers of David James. Minutes later Andre Bikey had a header then went just wide.

The deadlock was broken on the twenty-five minute mark, as Portsmouth who had looked slightly brighter of the two sides took the lead. Jamie O'Hara found Webber, who caught Burnley's defence flat-footed with a low ball to the far post, which was turned in by Frederic Piquionne.

The goal conceded seemed to spark the home side into life and they hit-back almost immediately. Brian Jensen's long kick was flicked on by Steven Fletcher and Martin Paterson hooked a stunning lob over James and into the net.

Burnley were now on top and went close to going in front, first through a Robbie Blake free-kick that just sailed over the bar and Wade Elliot had a shot saved by James from the edge of the area.

Five minutes before the break, Portsmouth were forced into a change as Owusu-Abeyie is replaced by John Utaka. Jamie O'Hara then hit a left-foot curler that pinged back off the bar, and Danny Fox cleared Danny Webber's shot on the line. However the teams went in at the break all-square.

Portsmouth once again came out the better team in the second half and should have taken the lead ten minutes in when they were awarded an penalty after Clark Carlisle brought down Piquionne. O’Hara stepped up to take the spot-kick but Jensen guesses right and saved the penalty.

Burnley then had a chance of their own to go ahead through Fletcher. But the Scottish star couldn’t direct his free header on target from Paterson’s right-wing cross. Brian Laws response was to bring on Jack Cork and Chris Eagles for Bikey and Elliot.



Burnley were now firmly on top and went close again when Danny Fox’s shot long-range shot dipped just past the post.

The winner came though with twelve minutes to play with another Portsmouth penalty. Carlisle again the guilty party bringing down Utaka this time and Hassen Yebda converted to give Portsmouth all three points.

Ricardo Rocha was sent off in injury time for Pompey but they held on for the result and heaped even more pressure on Burnley and Brian Laws.
Burnley boss Brian Law brought Martin Paterson in for his first league start since September in the absence of the ineligible David Nugent, while Robbie Blake and Wade Elliott also returned to the starting XI, but there was no place for Graham Alexander who has failed to shake off a calf strain. Portsmouth made two changes at the end of a week in which they officially entered administration, Ricardo Rocha and Danny Webber were drafted in at the expense of Papa Boupa Diop and Aruna Dindane.

Team Line-ups:

Burnley : Brian Jensen, Clarke Carlisle, Tyrone Mears, Leon Cort, Andre Bikey (Jack Cork, 63), Danny Fox, Kevin McDonald, Wade Elliott (Chris Eagles, 63), Steven Fletcher, S, Martin Paterson, Robbie Blake (Steven Thompson, 79)

Portsmouth : David James, Ricardo Rocha, Hermann Hreidarsson, Steve Finnan, Nadir Belhadj, Jamie O'Hara (Michael Brown, 90), Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (John Utaka, 39), Hassan Yebda, Marc Wilson, Frederic Piquionne, Danny Webber (Papa Bouba Diop, 90)


Source : www.goal.com

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kitson, Shawcross, Tuncay scored, send Stoke into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup

STOKE CITY 3
- Kitson 79,
- Shawcross 95,
- Tuncay 99

MANCHESTER CITY 1

- Bellamy 81

**Ryan Shawcross buried an extra-time winner to send Stoke into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup following a 3-1 fifth-round replay victory over Manchester City.

The big centre-half headed a Rory Delap long throw past Shay Given, just as he did in stoppage time eight days earlier in the Premier League, only this time his effort stood.

Manchester City were down to 10 men by the time Shawcross struck in the 95th minute, with Emmanuel Adebayor sent off for swinging a hand into Shawcross' face.

And Stoke sealed their place in the last eight for the first time in 38 years when substitute Sanli Tuncay collected Glenn Whelan's 99th minute pass and danced past two defenders before burying a left-foot finish.

Stoke made an unusually tentative start and Adebayor almost made them pay with a fierce 25-yard drive which forced a flying save from Thomas Sorensen.

And the visitors continued to dominate as Vincent Kompany, a powerful presence in the middle of the field, and Gareth Barry both failed to put away half-chances.

The recalled Craig Bellamy should have put Manchester City ahead in the 20th minute after Adebayor turned Dean Whitehead far too easily on the halfway line.

Adebayor then played in Bellamy, but the Wales international took too long to shoot and Sorensen dashed from goal to save.

Stoke finally started to show signs of warming to the task as a series of corners and Delap long throws ramped up some pressure.

Shawcross had a shot charged down close to goal and Delap's header was clutched under the crossbar by the previously redundant Given.

But a disappointing first half, which certainly didn't live up to expectations, fizzled out with some untidy play from both sides.

Stoke came out for the second half as if they had been given a rocket and the tempo finally began to resemble an FA Cup tie between two top tier teams.

But the visiting defence, with Joleon Lescott marshalling operations, held firm against the increasing menace of Ricardo Fuller and 55th minute substitute Tuncay.

Roberto Mancini introduced Shaun Wright-Phillips in an attempt to pep up his troops and it almost worked in the 67th minute when the winger's cross was headed over by Barry.

But it was another substitute, Stoke's forgotten man Dave Kitson, who broke the deadlock in the 78th minute.

The former Reading forward linked well with Tuncay before placing a low, left-foot shot beyond the stranded Given.

Stoke's lead lasted less than three minutes as Adebayor chested the ball into the path of Bellamy, who threaded his 12-yard shot through the eye of a needle and inside Sorensen's near post.

But Adebayor was given his marching orders a minute later and Stoke took full advantage of their extra man.



Teams:

Stoke City: Sorensen, Whitehead, Shawcross, Huth, Collins, Lawrence, Whelan, Diao, Delap, Sidibe, Fuller. Subs: Simonsen, Beattie, Kitson, Pugh, Amdy Faye, Sanli, Davies.

Manchester City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Lescott, Bridge, Zabaleta, Ireland, Kompany, Barry, Bellamy, Adebayor. Subs: Taylor, Wright-Phillips, Santa Cruz, Garrido, Sylvinho, De Jong, Boyata.

Agbonlahor scored, Carew settled the game with two successful penalties

ASTON VILLA: 3
- Agbonlahor 42,
- Carew (pen) 81,
- Carew (pen) 89

CRYSTAL PALACE: 1
- Ambrose (pen) 73

**Gabriel Agbonlahor and John Carew notched the goals to enable Aston Villa to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 2000 following a 3-1 win replay win over Crystal Palace.

High-flying Villa set themselves up for an away tie at Reading on March 7, but they made hard work of beating the battling Championship side.

Agbonlahor notched his 14th goal of the season in the 42nd minute only for Darren Ambrose to cancel out this lead with a 72nd minute penalty.

But Carew settled the game with two successful penalties in the 81st and 89th minutes.

Showing four changes from the side which hammered Burnley 5-2 in their previous game, Villa dominated long spells without being able to overwhelm the struggling Championship side until the closing stages.

Although without their skipper Stiliyan Petrov, who scored the late equaliser at Selhurst Park to earn the replay, Villa dominated the opening exchanges with his deputy Fabian Delph setting up most of the attacks.

But it wasn't until the 16th minute that Villa broke through the Palace defence.

Agbonlahor rounded Matt Lawrence only to see Julian Speroni make an easy save from the striker's weak shot.

Speroni was under fire and did well to keep out a high cross from Ashley Young and also a powerful drive from Carew as Villa strived to take the lead.

Palace had a let-off in the 30th minute when James Milner opened up the defence with a delightful throughball.

Stephen Warnock raced through unchallenged. He only had Speroni to beat but chose to square the ball into the path only to over-hit his pass to the relief of Palace.

But the London side could not survive indefinitely and three minutes before the break Villa deservedly took the lead when Agbonlahor scored with a glancing back-header from Ashley Young's left wing disputed corner.

Surprisingly Villa were forced back onto the defensive at the start of the second period with Ambrose testing Brad Guzan with a raking drive.

Villa continued to make hard work of progressing with Agbonlahor again failing in a one-on-one situation against Speroni.

The goalkeeper continued to have an inspired night with another fine save from Ashley Young to keep alive Palace's hopes of an equaliser, which arrived in the 72nd minute.

Alan Lee was brought down by Warnock as he was charging through and referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Ambrose rammed home past Guzan.

But seven minutes later, Villa settled the game with the second penalty of the game.

Carew was brought down by Lawrence and picked himself up to fire his spot kick past Speroni.

In the 88th minute, Carew was again brought down by Lawrence and once again Villa's lanky striker converted his spot-kick.



Line-up:

Aston Villa: Guzan, Luke Young, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Delph, Downing, Carew, Agbonlahor Subs: Friedel, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Davies, Heskey, Beye, Collins

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Davis, Lawrence, Butterfield, Carle, Derry, Ertl, Danns, Lee, Ambrose Subs: Manns, Hill, Scannell, Andrew, Djilali, Comley, N'Diaye


Source : http://www.astonvilla-mad.co.uk by Footymad

Mascherano, Babel and Gerrard score as Liverpool come Steaua Stadium visited

Unirea Urziceni 1
- Fernandes 19

Liverpool 3

- Mascherano 30,
- Babel 40,
- Gerrard 57

**Liverpool FC came from behind to beat FC Unirea Urziceni 3-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate to book a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Unirea grabbed the first goal of the evening when a Frunza corner found an unmarked Joao Bruno Fernandes rose unmarked about 10 yards out to send a powerful header into the net, who headed in from close-range to put the Romanian side level on aggregate.

Gerrard take across headed it back to Babel, whose reactions were sluggish and allowed Unirea to scramble it out to the edge of the box. However, Javier Mascherano from long-range surged on to it and spanked it into the net beat Unirea keeper Giedrius Arlauskis comprehensively from 30 yards.

Ryan Babel fired Liverpool in front in the 40th minute, a Gerrard free-kick only to see out-of-favor Dutch winger Ryan Babel prod it in from close range, giving the Reds a 2-1 lead. He's played well so far and that was a lovely finish from seven yards.

But the visitors effectively secured their passage to the next round with Liverpool captain Gerrard found the back of the net, firing a shot into the bottom left-hand corner from just inside the box, giving the Reds a 4-1 lead on aggregate.

Until the end of the fight no longer a goal created and Liverpool won with a score of 3-1.



Team Lineup :

Unirea Urziceni: Giedrius Arlauskis, Vasile Maftei, Joao Bruno Fernandes, George Galamaz (Ersin Mehmedovic 27), Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu, Sorin Paraschiv (Vilana Ricardo 56), Iulian Apostol, Razvan Paduretu, Sorin Frunza, Marius Onofras (Antonio Semedo 62), Marius Bilasco.

Liverpool: Jose Reina, Jamie Carragher (Martin Kelly 61), Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel (Sotirios Kyrgiakos 66), Emiliano Insua, Steven Gerrard, Yossi Benayoun (Fabio Aurelio 77), Javie Mascherano, Lucas Leiva, Ryan Babel, David Ngog.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brilliant Pavlyuchenko scored again

Tottenham Hotspur 4
- Pavlyuchenko 23,
- Jaaskelainen (og) 35,
- O'Brien, A (og) 47,
- Pavlyuchenko 87

Bolton Wanderers 0

**Roman Pavlyuchenko sent out a strong message to Harry Redknapp that he wants to stay in the Tottenham side after firing a brace to help his side ease their way into the FA Cup quarter-finals following a 4-0 victory over Bolton.

Tottenham made them pay for their missed opportunities and it was fans favourite Pavlyuchenko who scored the first goal on 23 minutes.

The home side doubled their lead on 34 minutes and it was a goal that Jaaskelainen will not be rushing to watch a replay of.

Tom Huddlestone's ball picked out Wilson Palacios who fired a shot towards goal and Jaaskelainen somehow managed to turn it into his own net.

The second half was only two minutes old when Spurs took a 3-0 lead following another defensive howler from Bolton. O'Brien slid in to meet Bale's left-wing cross at the near post but succeeded only in deflecting it past the helpless Jaaskelainen.

Pavlyuchenko sealed the victory for Spurs when he made it 4-0 with just minutes remaining. The former Spartak Moscow striker was picked out by Danny Rose and he kept his composure to once again beat Jaaskelainen from close range.



Teams :

Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Bassong, Bale, Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe. Substitutes: Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Kranjcar, Rose, Dervite, Kane, M'Poku.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Knight, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Holden, Cohen, Muamba, Gardner, Taylor, Klasnic. Substitutes: Al Habsi, Robinson, Elmander, Riga, Kevin Davies, Shittu, Lee.

A fantastic Mark Gonzalez goal rescued for a draw for CSKA

CSKA Moscow 1
- Gonzalez 66

Sevilla 1
- Negredo 25

**A fantastic Mark Gonzalez goal rescued for a draw for CSKA Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium this evening however the the Army Men will be disappointed not to be taking a lead back to Andalusia for the return leg.

CSKA welcomed Spanish opposition to sub-zero Moscow this evening as both sides hoped to go halfway to securing qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The first half-chance of the match fell to former Liverpool man Mark Gonzalez but the Chile international misjudged his strike that ballooned harmlessly over the bar.

Sevilla reacted quickly and some good approach play from Renato and Adriano saw Alvaro Negredo inches away from a free header inside the CSKA box. Tomas Necid then completed an interesting opening ten minutes when he fired a warning shot in the Spaniards direction, showing good movement inside the box but his shot drifted wide.

Japanese international Keisuke Honda made his first telling contribution to the game when the midfielder showed good control to skip away from Romaric before firing in a wicked shot that shaved Andre Palop’s post.

CSKA were beginning to dominate proceedings as Milos Krasic began to dictate the play and nearly opened the scoring when he showed great pace down the right before clipping a cross to the back post, but Gonzalez’ scissor kick flew over the bar.

Despite CSKA’s early dominance, it was the Andalusians who grabbed the lead 25 minutes in. Jesus Navas showed some neat wing play before his low cross evaded the Russian defence and found Alvaro Negredo at the back post who slotted the ball into an empty net from close range.

The Russians reacted well to conceding the shock lead and immediately retook the initiative with Honda quickly taking the centre stage as the Japanese international twice went close as CSKA’s midfield runners continued to cause problems in the Sevilla backline. However the Russians couldn’t find a way through and the game went into half-time goalless.

Sevilla seemed to settle during the break and managed to keep their hosts quiet for the opening fifteen minutes of the second period, with Escude and Stankevicius looking solid at the back, before Jimenez introduced some fresh legs in Diego Perotti.

Jesus Navas was starting to get back into the game for the Spaniards, flying down the wing at every opportunity and it was Sevilla who had the first clear-cut chance of the second period. Stankevicius struck a 25-yard free-kick that stung the hands of Akinfeev and the young 'keeper was lucky that there was nobody to pick up the rebound after he spilled the forward’s effort.

CSKA’s midfield continued to press their opponents and the hosts got a deserved equaliser on 66 minutes when Mark Gonzalez hit an unstoppable long-range strike that flew just inside Palop’s far post. Gonzalez was still celebrating when Sevilla kicked off and the Russians were nearly caught cold minutes later when Perotti was inches away from converting another Jesus Navas cross.

Gonzalez’ goal and Perroti’s presence on the other flank for Sevilla seemed to open the game up as Sevilla came out of their shell and continually looked launch the counter-attack.

Romaric had really started to get into the game and it was his surging run that lead to another free-kick for Sevilla, this time Stankevicius fired his long-range effort just wide and had Akinfeev scrambling.

Necid then had the chance to win it for the Army Men five minutes before the end. The striker skipped away from Esude and found himself one-on-one with Palop, but the Sevilla 'keeper stayed big and did well to deflect his shot just wide for a corner.

Sevilla will definitely be the happier team this evening having placed one foot in the quarter-finals, leaving CSKA to rue their missed chances.



Team Lineup:

CSKA Moscow: Igor Akinfeev; Vasily Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich, Alexei Berezutsky, Georgi Shchennikov; Deividas Semberas, Yevgeny Aldonin, Keisuke Honda (Pavel Mamayev 83), Mark Gonzalez, Milos Krasic; Tomas Necid.

Sevilla:
1-Andres Palop; Marius Stankevicius, Federico Fazio, Julien Escudé, Fernando Navarro; Jesus Navas, Ndri Romaric, Didier Zokora, Adriano (Diego Perotti 59), Renato (Lautaro Acosta 89); Alvaro Negredo (Frederic Kanoute 76).


Source : http://www.goal.com

Salomon Kalou score, The Blues lost Petr Cech to injury.

Internazionale 2
- Milito 3,
- Cambiasso 55

Chelsea 1
- Kalou 51

**Its advantage Inter after Jose Mourinho defeated his old side Chelsea 2-1 in a gripping Champions League last 16 first leg at San Siro.

Milito opened the scoring early minute on cutting inside Terry and firing low inside Cech's near post from 10 yards. Eto'o, Sneijder and Motta involved in the build-up.

While Chelsea dominated possession and territory for spells, it was Inter who created the better chances and seemed more stable.

When Chelsea equalised following Salomon Kalou in the San Siro! Great finish from the Ivorian, bending home right-footed from 20 yards after Ivanovic pressed forward inside the right channel and laid off. On second sight it looks like Cesar should have saved. Chelsea can feel aggrieved over another Champions League penalty decision and lost Petr Cech to injury.

The players had notions of their own and Lampard was on the verge of a goal after build-up play by Drogba and Anelka, but his drive was saved by César. This taxing match had stimulated Chelsea and paved the way for an engrossing return.

Whatever is said about the sophistication of Mourinho and Ancelotti, this was not always a night in which a masterplan was being unfurled.



Team Lineup:

Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Walter Samuel, Lucio, Javier Zanetti, Maicon, Esteban Cambiasso, Welsey Sneijder, Thiago Motta (Mario Balotelli 58), Dejan Stankovic (Sulley Muntari 84), Diego Milito, Samuel Eto'o (Goran Pandev 68) .

Chelsea: Petr Cech (Henrique Hilario 62), John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Salomon Kalou (Daniel Sturridge 78), Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michael Ciani crucial goal for next session

Olympiakos 0

Bordeaux 1
- Michael Ciani (44)

**Bordeaux took a crucial advantage over Olympiakos in their Champions League last-16 clash after claiming a 1-0 victory at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

The visitors scored the winner on the stroke of half-time when Yoann Gourcuff whipped in a dangerous free-kick and centre-half Michaël Ciani timed his run to perfection to nod home from six yards.

In the second half, neither side was particularly dominant but for Bordeaux it was enough to defend their narrow lead and take a big step in the direction of the quarter finals.

The second leg in this Round of Sixteen clash will be played in Bordeaux on March 17.



Teams:

Olympiakos Piraeus: Antonis Nikopolidis; Vassilis Torosidis, Avraam Papadopoulos, Olof Mellberg, Raul Bravo; Enzo Maresca, Cristian Ledesma (Jaouad Zairi 63), Ieroklis Stoltidis; Lomana Lua Lua, 19-Jesus Alberto Dátolo; Kostas Mitroglou (Matt Derbyshire 76)

Girondins Bordeaux: Cedric Carrasso; Matthieu Chalme, Marc Planus, Michael Ciani, Benoit Trémoulinas; Fernando, Ludovic Sane; Jaroslav Plasil (Yoan Gouffran 82), Yoann Gourcuff, Wendel (Jussie 83); Marouane Chamakh

Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured the team

Stuttgart 1
- Cacau 25

Barcelona 1
- Ibrahimovic 52

Barcelona remain on course to retain the Champions League trophy they won nine months ago when they came from behind to draw 1-1 with last season's Bundesliga champions Stuttgart in their last-16 fist leg clash in Germany.

For 45 minutes Tuesday night, and much to its surprise, soccer's reigning Spanish, European and world champion was pinned back on its heels.

The hosts were dominant in the first half and lead through Cacau's header before a defensive lapse after the break allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to net a vital away goal for the visitors.

Cacau should have been a known quantity to Barcelona. He scored four goals as recently as Saturday, when Stuttgart beat Cologne, 5-1, in a Bundesliga game.

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored Barca's equaliser at the start of the second half after his first shot had been brilliantly saved by Stuttgart's veteran former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.



Team Lineup:

Stuttgart: Lehmann, Celozzi, Tasci, Delpierre, Molinaro; Gebhart (Rudy 84'), Trösch (Kuzmanovic 58'), Khedira, Hleb, and Pogrebnyak Cacau (Marica 63').

Barcelona: Valdés; Puyol, Márquez (Milito 58'), Piqué, Maxwell; Touré (Henry 53'), Busquets, Xavi; Messi, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta.

Wayne Rooney double, Berbatov and Valencia great

Manchester United 3
- Rooney 38,
- Rooney 55,
- Owen 80

West Ham United 0


**Wayne Rooney took his goal tally to 27 for the season as Manchester United saw off West Ham to move to within a point of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Dimitar Berbatov was a central figure in his team's stylish build-up play and whilst Valencia also caught the eye with a lively winger's performance, it was United's talisman Rooney who represented the gulf in class between the teams.

United take the lead through Rooney in sensational style. Berbatov lofts the ball to Valencia, who crosses first-time on the volley for the England striker his diving header into the corner of Robert Green's goal.

It would be churlish to exclude Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia from praise given the Bulgarian's excellent crossfield pass and an even better volleyed cross to get behind Spector.

In the 54th minute the host doubled their lead thanks to a second goal for Rooney, Berbatov released Valencia into the West Ham penalty area. Valencia's role cannot be overstated for both goals. It was another of his inviting crosses from which Rooney, has plenty of space and time to head in his 23rd league goal in 27 games.

A double change for United. Berbatov and Rooney are replaced by Michael Owen and Mame Biram Diouf.

That didn't take long, Scholes plays in Owen and he clips the ball past Green and in off the far post. Noble looks to be injured and was lying on the right touchline while that move developed.

It was Owen's eighth of the season, only one short of Berbatov's tally. A long way behind Rooney though. And the gap is going to get wider yet.


It was Owen's first Premier League goal since his dramatic late winner in September's Manchester derby, and yet again Capello was not there to witness it.



Team Lineup :

Manchester United: Foster; Vidic, Brown, Evra, Neville; Scholes, Anderson (Ji-Sung Park 19), Gibson, Valencia; Rooney (Diouf 78), Berbatov (Owen 78)

West Ham United: Green; Upson, Tomkins, Spector, Faubert; Noble, Kovac, Diamanti (Dyer 75), Behrami (Collison 63); Cole, Franco (Mido 46)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Roman Pavlyuchenko grabs double send to the big four

WIGAN ATHLETIC 0

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3

* Defoe 27,
* Pavlyuchenko 84,
* Pavlyuchenko 90

**A controversial Jermain Defoe goal and two late Roman Pavlyuchenko strikes gave Tottenham a 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic and moved back into fourth place in the Premier League on goal difference.

The match began slightly later than planned after Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland noticed a hole in the netting of his goal, once the game was underway the state of the pitch made it difficult for both sides to play free flowing football.

The first chance of the match fell to David Bentley in the 15th minute, after a patient Tottenham build-up Wilson Palacios found Bentley. The midfielder flicked the ball up and volleyed at goal but his effort went straight at Chris Kirkland.

Spurs controversially took the lead in the 26th minute thanks to England striker Defoe. Referee Alan Wiley played an excellent advantage after Bentley was fouled in the center of the pitch by Hendry Thomas; the ball came to Niko Kranjcar who laid the ball into the path of Gareth Bale. The overlapping full-back delivered a low cross which was tapped home by Defoe from what looked like an offside position. Television replays confirmed the striker was at least two yards offside but the assistant referee’s flag remained down and Defoe grabbed his 22nd goal of the season.

The remainder of the half continued to be a scrappy affair with neither side testing the opposition goalkeeper. Bale and Defoe were both lucky to get away unpunished for what appeared to be dangerous two footed lunges at Mario Melchiot and Gary Caldwell respectively, however both teams went into half time with eleven men and Spurs with a one goal advantage.

In the 55th minute Roberto Martinez introduced substitute Victor Moses for Hendry Thomas and three minutes later the new signing tested Heurelho Gomes, the young midfielder got the ball out of his feet but could only shoot straight at the Tottenham goalkeeper.

On the hour mark Defoe nearly scored his 7th goal against Wigan this season. A neat pass from Kranjcar found Defoe in the right hand side of the penalty area, he skipped past Scharner and fired a powerful strike straight at Kirkland who made a comfortable save.

Wigan continued to go in search of an equalizer and in the 65th minute created another half chance, Marcelo Moreno found Charles N’Zogbia on the left side of the penalty area, however the Frenchman’s curling left foot shot sailed over the bar without testing Gomes.

With 18 minutes to play Defoe broke away inside the Wigan half, he cut in off the left wing before sliding a through ball for Peter Crouch but the his strike partner was unable to get on the end of the pass and the ball rolled into the arms of Kirkland. That was the final action of the match for Defoe who was replaced by Pavlyuchenko.

A mazy run by Modric in the 77th minute through the center of the pitch created an excellent chance for Crouch. The England striker took the ball into the penalty area but his shot was well saved by Kirkland who was keeping his side in the match.

With ten minutes to play Mistake by Gomes goes unpunished, shot by McCArthy was fumbled by the Brazilian goalkeeper but substitute Scott Sinclair was unable to turn the loose ball into the back of the net.

In the 82nd minute Tottenham were denied a second goal by the Wigan woodwork. Modric found David Bentley inside the penalty area, he took his time before returning the ball to the Croatian who’s right foot shot struck the post before rebounding into the arms of Kirkland.

A minute later Tottenham did double their lead thanks to Pavlyuchenko. The impressive Modric jinked through two Wigan tackles and found Pavlyuchenko who controlled the ball with his right foot before stroking it past Kirkland with his left.

Two minutes into injury time Pavlyuchenko grabbed his second goal and Spurs’ third, Kirkland spilt a free kick into the Russian’s path and he managed to turn the ball into the back of the net and secure the point for Spurs.



Teams Lineup:

Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Melchiot, Caldwell, Scharner, Figueroa, Thomas, Diame, McCarthy, N'Zogbia, Moreno, Rodallega. Subs: Stojkovic, Watson, Scotland, Moses, Gomez, Sinclair, Boyce

Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Bale, Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe. Subs: Alnwick, Kaboul, Pavlyuchenko, Modric, Gudjohnsen, Bassong, Rose

Source : http://www.goal.com

Brilliant Zamora's at last minute goals, sending a victory for Fulham

FULHAM 2
* Duff 59,
* Zamora 90

BIRMINGHAM CITY 1
* Baird (og) 3

**Fulham put together some pretty decent approach work. When we weren’t dropping long balls into the inside right channel – clearly a pre-determined plan, and quite a succesful one – we were switching play quite well, and Duff, Baird, Shorey and Davies all saw plenty of the ball in wide areas. Shots were rarer, though, Birmingham’s famed organisation limiting us to opportunist efforts that didn’t unduly worry Joe Hart.

Just like against the Ukrainians, a Fulham player got on the scoresheet in the third minute. Unfortunately for Chris Baird, his bullet header into the top corner from a Lee Bowyer cross was past a bemused Mark Schwarzer, 1-0 scored to Birmingham.

Midfielder Damien Duff scored a beautifully crafted 1-1 equaliser, just like they did in the first half and they were ultimately rewarded for their play when a scintillating move featuring Damien Duff.

Bobby Zamora impresses in front of watching Capello, with three efforts in the next 15 minutes which should have had the Craven Cottage side on level terms with their mid table rivals. Zamora completed his performance by curling brilliant past Hart at last minute. That is the goal of 15 seasons, sending a victory for Fulham his highest tally in the top flight.

The three points meaning Fulham leapfrogged Birmingham into ninth place in the league.



Team :

Fulham: Mark Schwarzer, Chris Baird, Aaron Hughes, Brede Hangeland, Nicky Shorey, Simon Davies (Bjorn Helge Riise 83), Danny Murphy (C), Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff, Zoltan Gera, Bobby Zamora. Unused subs: Pascal Zuberbuhler, Stephen Kelly, Stefano Okaka, Chris Smalling, Jonathan Greening, David Elm.

Birmingham: Joe Hart, Stephen Carr (C), Roger Johnson, Scott Dann, Liam Ridgewell, Seb Larsson (Craig Gardner 68), Barry Ferguson (Michel 90), Lee Bowyer, Keith Fahey, James McFadden, Cameron Jerome (Kevin Phillips 77). Unused subs: Maik Taylor, Stuart Parnaby, Chucho, Gregory Vignal.

Pepe Reina great performance when yellow card day

MANCHESTER CITY 0

LIVERPOOL 0

**Manchester City and Liverpool played out a miserable stalemate at Eastlands as they battled for fourth place in the Premier League.

Roberto Mancini and Rafael Benitez have their sights set on a place in next season's Champions League - but this was a wretched advert for their lofty ambitions in an encounter that plumbed the depths for long periods.

Emmanuel Adebayor had City's best opportunities with a shot that was well saved by Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina and a header just off target.

Martin Skrtel headed wide from Liverpool's clearest opening late in the first half, but both teams were so poor that it would have been a travesty had either claimed all three points.

Liverpool could at least point to the return of Fernando Torres, who made a 15-minute appearance as a substitute after knee surgery, but there was little else to provide any cheer amid an Eastlands downpour.

Yossi Benayoun, also back after injury, may have had a penalty had he gone down late on and Liverpool are likely to be the happier with a point.

But a DVD of this desperate encounter should be required viewing for the clubs chasing City and Liverpool for a top-four spot - because it would provide ample encouragement that they can be overhauled.

Liverpool were lifted by Torres' comeback on the bench, while City boss Mancini kept Craig Bellamy as a substitute after a difference of opinion between the pair during the week.

There was not much on offer to excite the pair as the opening 45 minutes produced a wretched spectacle, the lack of quality reflected in the increasingly frustrated mood of the Eastlands gallery.

Liverpool were marginally the better side in the opening exchanges, although keeper Reina offered City rare hope when he hesitated over a clearance, but they were unable to take advantage.

Skrtel wasted the game's best chance on the stroke of half-time when he headed Steven Gerrard's corner wide from six yards. City would have been infuriated to fall behind in such fashion as referee Peter Walton missed a deflection off Skrtel to award the corner to Liverpool.

s a heavy downpour rained down on Eastlands, City opened the second half with greater purpose and Liverpool's Ryan Babel was forced to take a lengthy count after he was struck on the head by a vicious cross from Adam Johnson.

Emmanuel Adebayor almost lifted the gloom on and off the pitch with a long-range effort that Reina did well to save low down by his post.

Benitez made a change after 62 minutes, introducing fit-again Benayoun for the disappointing Maxi Rodriguez as Liverpool pushed for the crucial breakthrough.

Mancini swiftly followed suit, introducing Bellamy for Shaun Wright-Phillips to a huge ovation from City's fans delighted to see the Welshman enter the action.

The mediocrity continued unabated and Liverpool supporters were able to finally greet the return of Torres with 15 minutes left when he came on for Babel, while City took the opportunity to send on Abdisalam Ibrahim for Stephen Ireland.

Adebayor was in position to break the deadlock with 11 minutes left, but he was halted by Skrtel's vital interception - and then headed narrowly over from the resulting corner as a dreadful game drifted to its predictable conclusion.



Time Lineup :

Manchester City : Given, Bridge, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Ireland (Ibrahim 75), Wright-Phillips (Bellamy 68), A Johnson, Barry, De Jong, Adebayor

Liverpool : Reina, Agger, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrardy, Maxi (Benayoun 63), Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt(Aquilani 86), Babel (Torres 75 yellow card)

Source : http://news.bbc.co.uk

Nikola Kalinic scored again

BLACKBURN ROVERS 3
- Kalinic 41,
- Roberts 73,
- Givet 84

BOLTON WANDERERS 0

**ROVERS hit their first league double of the season with a comfortable 3-0 victory over local rivals Bolton.

Blackburn enjoyed the better of the first half and deservedly led at the break. Morten Gamst Pedersen, Ryan Nelson and Nikola Kalinic all had chances, before the latter gave the home side the advantage.

Following a good opening for Matt Taylor, one ball down-field out did the visitors and offered an insight into why they are in the bottom three. Finding themselves in a two on one, Junior Hoilett headed down to Kalinic, whose shot deflected off Zat Knight and past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Right after the restart both sides had good chances. Bolton nearly levelled after Taylor's ball through was chased by Ricardo Gardner, but Paul Robinson was on hand to deny the midfielder.

As in the first half though, Rovers went right down the other end and carved out a chance of their own. Pedersen's cross was inch perfect to Hoilett, whose header looked destined for the net but for the outstretched hand of Jaaskelainen.

Robinson was again called into action in the 58th minute. Kevin Davies' neat pass found Chung-Yong Lee, but his shot was well dealt with by the Rovers keeper.

Rovers nearly found added to their lead from a Pedersen corner with 20 minutes left. However Steven Nzonzi's header was turned round the post by Jaakelainen. From the second though Bolton weren't so lucky, Jason Roberts sprung the offside trap to put his side in a commanding position at 2-0.

Gael Givet found the third with only six minutes left. From Pedersen's quickly taken free kick, El-Hadji Diouf crossed and the defender stole in to head past a helpless Jaaskelainen.

Rovers' fourth straight home win moves them 11 points clear of Owen Coyle's men, who remain in the bottom three.



Temas :

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson, Andrews, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Pedersen, Diouf, Kalinic. Subs: Brown, Dunn, Roberts, Grella, Reid, Di Santo, Chimbonda.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Ricketts, Knight, Robinson, Lee, Muamba, Gardner, Taylor, Elmander, Kevin Davies. Subs: Al Habsi, Mark Davies, Klasnic, Cohen, Andrew O'Brien, Wilshere, Weiss.

Source : http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk

Terrific Downing, Aston Villa destroyed Burnley

ASTON VILLA 5
- Young, A 32,
- Downing 56,
- Downing 58,
- Heskey 61,
- Agbonlahor 68

BURNLEY 2
- Fletcher, S 10,
- Paterson 90

**The visitors took the lead through Steven Fletcher inside the opening ten minutes after a well worked move but Ashley Young leveled for Aston Villa on the half hour mark with a low right footed drive.

A crazy fifteen minute spell in the second half saw Villa hit four goals through two Stewart Downing efforts, Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor putting the result in doubt. Martin Paterson added a late consolation in stoppage time.

Burnley traveled to Villa Park with the worst away record in the Premier League looking to catch Aston Villa dreaming of next weekends Carling Cup final.

Just moments later Burnley took the lead when on loan Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork slid in David Nugent who raced into the box before squaring the ball to Steven Fletcher who tapped in at the back post unmarked, score 1-0 to Burnley

Villa leveled the scores 1-1 just after the half hour mark when Burnley failed to react quick enough to a short Ashley Young corner who played the ball to Milner before receiving the ball back and hitting a low drive through a crowded box leaving Jensen no chance.

Burnley started the second period in the same vein as the opening half but failed to carve out and clear chances in the first ten minutes as they had done previously.

Instead it was Villa who look the lead, a long ball forward was flicked onto Young who raced clear but was eventually crowded out by the recovering Burnley defense. The winger played the ball square into the open space and Stewart Downing raced on to the ball and struck his shot low into the left hand corner, 2-1 Villa leading.

Gabriel Agbonlahor should have doubled the lead moments later after breaking clear but Jensen saved well one on one with the Villa striker. However, the saved effort came out to Milner who played the ball to Downing, the former Middlesbrough man turned well and his strike took a deflection leaving Jensen helpless as it rolled into the net, 3-1 position.

Downing may have had a sensational five minute hat trick when Young played a corner straight out to the 25-year-old who volleyed first time but Jensen saved well.

Emile Heskey did compounded further misery on Burley minutes later after great work by Agbonlahor down the left hand side, the striker crossed the ball low into the area and Heskey finished from close range, hosts leading 4-1 score.

Gabriel Agbonlhaor got on the score sheet himself five minutes later after flowing move by Villa saw Milner cross for the 23-year-old to bundle home from close range, 5-1 away position.

Burnley continued to threaten from long distance but Friedel was rarely tested. Martin Paterson tapped in in stoppage time 5-2 score but Villa strolled home for a comfortable win.



Teams :

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor, Heskey. Subs: Guzan, Luke Young, Sidwell, Carew, Delfouneso, Delph, Beye

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox, Eagles, Cork, Bikey, McDonald, Nugent, Fletcher. Subs: Weaver, Duff, Paterson, Elliott, Blake, Nimani N'galou, Thompson


Source : www.goal.com

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Drogba at the double to sink Wolves

Wolverhampton 0

Chelsea 2
- Didier Drogba (40)
- Didier Drogba (67)

**Didier Drogba's double enabled Chelsea to move four points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League as they overcame Wolves 2-0 at Molineux.

Drogba ensured the Blues took advantage of United's 3-1 lunchtime reversal against Everton at Goodison Park with a goal in each half.

It took his tally for the campaign to 25 in all competitions and earned Carlo Ancelotti's side only their second away win in their last seven league games.

Chelsea barely moved out of second gear for long periods ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Inter Milan.

But the quality finishing of Drogba was the difference between the sides and means the Blues are now favourites to take the Premier League crown with only 11 games remaining.

Petr Cech was the busier of the two keepers and made two crucial saves early in the second half when Chelsea held only a single-goal advantage.

But Wolves' problem all season has been failure to take their chances, as demonstrated by their meagre goal tally of 21 - although Kevin Doyle again impressed as a lone striker.

Chelsea were quickly in the ascendancy and the first half-chance fell to Michael Ballack.

Yuri Zhirkov sent over a threatening cross from the left flank and Ballack got up well in the danger area but directed his header wide.

Doyle produced the first save of the game out of Cech after 15 minutes, making space for himself after a diagonal run and forcing Cech to go down to his right to save his 20-yard drive.

Doyle then flicked the ball into the path of the overlapping Kevin Foley but his shot from a narrow angle flew into the side netting.

Doyle was causing problems for Chelsea and he was alert to a quick throw from Foley and forced Cech to parry his shot around the post.

Ballack was only just too high with a rasping volley after a corner from Florent Malouda was only half-cleared.

Jones, who had scored the winner against Tottenham ten days ago, curled a free-kick just wide as Wolves started to grow in confidence.

But five minutes before the interval, Chelsea took the lead through Drogba. Zhirkov played a one-two with Ballack before squaring a low ball across the six-yard box and Drogba had the easiest of tap-ins.

Cech produced a superb reflex save to protect Chelsea's lead after 55 minutes. Adlene Guedioura timed his run perfectly to connect with a far-post cross from Jarvis but his fierce volley was somehow kept out by the Chelsea keeper.

Ancelotti made his first change a minute later with Zhirkov replaced by Jeffrey Bruma.

The home side tried to get a foothold in the game and Cech produced another splendid stop to deny Foley an equaliser.

Terry miskicked when attempting to clear and Foley found himself with only Cech to beat but he managed to block his fierce shot.

Ballack became the first player to be yellow-carded for dissent as the Blues looked rattled, but then Drogba doubled Chelsea's lead as Wolves were caught napping by a long clearance from Cech.

Drogba was the first to react and took the ball away from Christophe Berra before clipping the ball wide of Marcus Hahnemann.

McCarthy made a triple substitution with Jarvis, Foley and Jones making way for Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, Greg Halford and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

Doyle was only just off target for Wolves with a shot on the turn after some typical aggression, but it then needed a good tackle from Ronald Zubar to deny Anelka a third goal as he bore down on the Wolves goal.

Terry cleared the ball off the line in a late Wolves rally after Cech had failed to gather a long throw from Halford.



Teams:


Wolves:
Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Foley (Halford 77), Guedioura, Henry, David Jones (blake 77), Jarvis (Bia 77), Doyle;

Chelsea:
Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Zhirkov (Bruma '56), Joe Cole, Mikel, Ballack, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda


Source : http://soccernet.espn.go.com

The Hammer got their second successive league win

West Ham United 3
- Behrami 3,
- Cole 59,
- Faubert 90

Hull City 0

**Phil Brown's side travelled to Upton Park searching for their first away win of the season and suffered a setback after just two minutes when Valon Behrami opened the scoring for the hosts. The Swiss midfielder played a neat one-two with Luis Guillermo Franco inside the box before poking a close range shot past Boaz Myhill.

It took the Hammers only three minutes to take the lead. Mexican Guillermo Franco was playing in his first game for over two months following an injury, and he announced his return by providing the pass for Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami who slotted the ball past the Hull goalkeeper for his second goal of the season.

Having taken a third-minute lead, the Hammers pressed forward and Scott Parker, Kovac plus Cole threatened before Diamanti almost decapitated one of his own fans with a wayward far post volley.

Then in 59 minutes, Carlton Cole doubled the scoreline his put the game out of sight for the visitors. Julien Faubert played a fantastic ball through the shaky-looking Hull defence, and the big striker was on hand to slot home his ninth goal of the season.

The Tigers had to see out the last ten minutes with nine men as Anthony Gardner left the field on a stretcher following an aerial challenge with Matthew Upson. The two-man disadvantage proved too much for the visitors as Hammers full-back Faubert moved forward with ease and emphatically opened his account for the side, smashing an 18-yard effort into the top left corner of the goal.

Hull will now however have to deal with more pressing problems as they try to improve their precarious position near the bottom of the table.



Teams :

West Ham :Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector, James Tomkins, Scott Parker, Radoslav Kovac, Julien Faubert, Valon Behrami, Luis Guillermo Franco (Araujo Dall'lgna Ilan, 63), Carlton Cole (Ahmed Hossam Mido, 79),Alessandro Diamanti (Jack Collison, 85)

Hull City :Boaz Myhill, Andy Dawson, Anthony Gardner, Paul McShane, Steven Mouyokolo, Stephen Hunt (Nicky Barmby, 65), George Boateng, Tom Cairney (Jozy Altidore, 64), Craig Fagan, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Amr Zaki (Seyi Olofinjana, 65)

Bendtner goal make it up the Champions League defeat

Arsenal 2
- Bendtner 27,
- Fabregas (pen) 90

Sunderland 0

**THEO Walcott may not yet have secured his seat on England's World Cup plane to South Africa, but he could hardly have turned in a better audition than the performance he produced in front of England manager Fabio Capello yesterday.
Nicklas Bendtner scored the first-half goal and Cesc Fabregas the injury-time penalty which defeated a sterile Sunderland side but it was Walcott who produced the pace and the menace.

If he was Arsenal's most lethal attacker, though, the otherman who made the difference was Manuel Almunia.

Arsene Wenger had been anxious to stress his support for Lukasz Fabianski after the young Polish goalkeeper's two howlers had sunk the Gunners in their Champions League defeat against Porto in midweek, but it did not stretch to keeping him in the side.

He went for the experience of 34-year-old Almunia, who was back after passing a fitness test on an injured finger. Sol Campbell, whose backpass also contributed to the Gunners' downfall, started on the bench.

The opening goal came courtesy of a precision pass from Emmanuel Eboue which found Bendtner loitering in cavernous space at the far post.

Steve Bruce's side were out-thought, out-manoeuvred and out-played by opponents who wasted several chances.

In injury time Fabregas was brought down by Campbell and the Spaniard got up to rap home Arsenal's second from the spot.



Teams :

Arsenal:
Almunia, Eboue (Denilson 89 '), Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Walcott (Sagna 78'), Fabregas, Ramsey, Nasri (Rosicky 71 '), Bendtner

Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Mensah, Turner, McCartney (Bardsley 85 '), Campbell, Cana, Ferdinand, Richardson (Zenden 75), Bent, Jones (Benjani 78')

Goals Diniyar Bilyaletdinov inspiration for victory

**EVERTON boosted their top six credentials with a rare and magnificent victory over Manchester United at Goodison.

The Blues beat Alex Ferguson’s title contenders 3-1 in the early kick-off thanks to a display of effort and endeavour every bit as impressive as the performance which saw Chelsea leave Walton defeated.

Valencia works himself some space down the right in a dangerous low ball. An Everton boot tries to slide it clear, but can only poke it to Berbatov, standing just in front of the spot. He cushions the ball with one touch, then unleashes shot into the top-right corner, one of those that rushes right round the frame inside the net. That's some strike, Barbatov score of 1-0 to leave the host.

One of a sudden goal three minutes later, Moyes' men delivered the perfect response to their opponents, when Bilyaletdinov latched onto a loose ball and sent it into the bottom right corner of the goal from 20-yards out, build score 1-1. Dutch shot-stopper Van der Sar could do nothing about it as he remained rooted to his position.

The former Preston North End boss certainly earned his money with the substitution, as the youngster managed to hit the back of the net and give his side the all-important lead. Pienaar sent in a cross from that Saha missed, but Gosling was on hand to send the ball into the bottom right corner, 2-1 position to Everton.

Rodwell takes the ball up in the centre, just outside the centre circle. He races straight towards goal, sending Brown then Evans backpedalling out of control. Rodwell nudges the ball right once, twice, and then a third time, entering the area then sliding the calmest of shots into the bottom-left corner. That really is a wonderful goal. He's booked for taking his shirt off in celebration. The final goal in this session to make a good result for Everton 3-1



Teams Lineup:


Everton: Tim Howard, Sylvain Distin, Johnny Heitinga, Leighton Baines, Phil Neville, Leon Osman, Mikel Arteta, Steven Pienaar (Jack Rodwell '88), Landon Donovan, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Dan Gosling, '70), Louis Saha

Manchester United: Edwin van der Sar, Jonathan Evans, Wes Brown, Patrice Evra, Gary Neville, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Ji-Sung Park (Gabriel Obertan '66), Antonio Valencia (Michael Owen '81), Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov (Paul Scholes '66)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Liverpool 1 - 0 Unirea Urziceni: David Ngog leaves it late as Liverpool finally break down Unirea

Liverpool 1
- N'Gog 81

Unirea Urziceni 0

**STRIKER David Ngog's goal nine minutes from time eventually broke the resistance of a determined Unirea Urziceni at Anfield in the Europa League.
With the visitors intent on soaking up plenty of pressure, Rafael Benitez's side struggled to find the creativity to get past the massed Romanian ranks. However, the Frenchman's close-range header meant the Reds have some breathing space as they head to last-32 second leg.

The victory was only Liverpool's third in nine European fixtures since they hammered Real Madrid 4-0 in the last 16 of the Champions League 11 months ago – a disappointing run which contributed to their exit from Europe's elite-level competition in December.

Their job would have been easier had Steven Gerrard converted their first chance after just 25 seconds when Unirea lost possession straight from the kick-off. Albert Riera and Dirk Kuyt linked up for the Dutchman to put the midfielder through but his side-foot shot was tipped over by goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis, who then punched away the Liverpool captain's corner.

Unirea's 4-5-1 formation meant they were happy to keep ten men behind the ball and when Liverpool gained possession they all immediately retreated to the halfway line – meaning the hosts had to work hard for their openings.

However, Kuyt enjoyed some luck in the tenth minute when his heavy touch in the penalty area was not cleared and he followed up to flash a shot across goal which Arlauskis tipped past the post.

Gerrard was next to miss a chance, planting a 12-yard header from Riera's cross well wide.

Riera tried his luck from distance in the 26th minute but his left-foot drive was deflected wide by George Galamaz.

The game had taken on an attack versus defence training exercise with Unirea rarely venturing forward.

When they did, with a counter-attack just after the half-hour, Marius Onofras attempted an audacious lob over Jose Reina from the halfway line wide on the right but the Spain goalkeeper comfortably claimed.

Javier Mascherano's 30-yard drive was deflected wide by Razvan Paduretu while Ngog's shot on the turn from just inside the penalty area was also diverted wide.

Five minutes before half-time Bruno Fernandes was booked for bringing down Gerrard as he looked to burst clear but Daniel Agger drilled the 35-yard free-kick straight into the wall.

Heartened by their first-half performance Unirea looked more inclined to go forward after the break but it was Liverpool who had the first chance with Gerrard heading wide again from Jamie Carragher's 52nd-minute cross.

Pablo Brandan was booked for tripping Gerrard in the centre-circle, ruling him out of next week's second leg through suspension.

Had Paduretu shown more composure on the edge of the area Liverpool could have been in trouble but the midfielder hacked wildly over. Fabio Aurelio then unleashed a low drive on target but he was denied by a good low save from Arlauskis.

The ineffective Riera was replaced by Ryan Babel for the last 28 minutes and he began with two decisive runs, the latter resulting in a cross to Gerrard at the far post which the England international could not keep in.

Mascherano was booked for a foul on Iulian Apostol as Liverpool continued to labour.

Martin Skrtel should have put the home side ahead in the 71st minute but he headed over Aurelio's inswinging corner from five yards. Benitez sent on reserve team striker Daniel Pacheco, making only his second appearance in Europe, for Alberto Aquilani with quarter of an hour remaining.

Mascherano was caught in possession by Apostol, who charged forward 20 yards before curling a shot woefully wide.

With nine minutes to go the breakthrough finally came, with Pacheco playing an important part.

The diminutive Spaniard, possibly the smallest player on the pitch, out-jumped his marker at the far post to head back across goal for Ngog to nod in from five yards.

Gerrard fired just wide in the closing stages as Liverpool pushed for the second which would give them a cushion ahead of the second leg.



Teams :

Liverpool:
Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Aquilani (Pacheco 75), Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera (Babel 63), Ngog (Lucas 89). Subs not used: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Insua, Degen. Booked: Mascherano.

Unirea Urziceni: Arlauskis, Maftei, Galamaz, Bruno Fernandes, Brandan, Paraschiv (Vilana 86), Onofras (Marinescu 75), Paduretu (Rusescu 90), Apostol, Frunza, Bilasco. Subs not used: Tudor, Mehmedovic, Nicu, Bordeanu. Booked: Bruno Fernandes, Brandan.


Source : http://sport.scotsman.com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bayern overcome Fiorentina with controversial

BAYERN MUNICH 2
- Robben (pen) 45,
- Klose 89

FIORENTINA 1

- Kroldrup 50

**MUNICH - Substitute striker Miroslav Klose scored a contested goal in the 89th minute to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over 10-man Fiorentina in the Champions League.

Klose appeared offside when he headed in the ball but Fiorentina protested in vain.

"I haven't seen the replays, but I have a feeling I was offside," Klose said after the match.

Wednesday's victory in the last 16, first-leg match stretched Bayern's winning streak in all competitions to 13 games.

Earlier, Arjen Robben converted a penalty in the final seconds of first-half stoppage time, driving the ball low into the left corner while sending Fiorentina's goalkeeper Sebastien Frey the wrong way to give Bayern the lead after defender Per Kroldrup fouled Franck Ribery.

Kroldrup made up for his error by scoring the equalizer five minutes into the second half. A corner by Marco Marchionni bounced off Stevan Jovetic's shin to Kroldrup, who knocked the ball in at the far post to give the Italian side what could be a crucial away goal.

"Everyone expected us to win easily, but they are a very dangerous team," Robben said. "We had to be very concentrated until the end. They used their chance. We won but it wasn't easy."

"Maybe it will be easier in Florence, they will have to create more and we can counterattack," Robben added.

Fiorentina midfielder Massimo Gobbi was sent off in the 73rd minute by referee Tom Henning Ovebro of Norway for a bodycheck on Robben in what looked like a harsh decision.

Klose's winner came after Frey had blocked a powerful shot by Robben from the edge of the penalty area. Ivica Olic, another substitute striker, lunged forward between two Fiorentina defenders to head over to the unmarked Klose, who stooped to head home.

Fiorentina players argued in vain with the linesman and the referee for the goal to be ruled out.

"We are lucky to have won," midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. "We are in a good position, we can always score away."

"They played very good defense," Bayern defender Philipp Lahm said. "Tactically, they were very good, they made it very difficult for us."

The Italian club has now lost five of its six last matches, with one draw. Fiorentina had shown good form earlier in the competition, winning its Champions League group ahead of Lyon and Liverpool.



Teams :

Bayern Munich:
Butt; Lahm, Van Buyten (Contento 46), Demichelis, Badstuber; Robben, Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger, Ribery; Gomez (Klose 65), Muller (Olic 65)

Fiorentina:
Frey; De Silvestri, Kroldrup, Natali (Pasqual 85), Gobbi; Montolivo (Donadel 83), Bolatti; Marchionni, Jovetic (Felipe 75), Vargas; Gilardino