Friday, April 30, 2010

Fulham have dramatically advanced to the Europa League final after beat Hamburg 2-1

HAMBURG 1
- Petric 22'

FULHAM 2
- Davies 70'
- Gera 76'

**Fulham have dramatically advanced to the Europa League final after coming from a goal down in the second half to beat Hamburg 2-1 on the night and on aggregate.

Mladen Petric fired the visitors in front with a critical away goal in the 22nd minute when he curled in a phenomenal free kick beyond Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from 30 yards.

Hamburg seemed totally in control until just before the hour mark, when hobbled Fulham striker Bobby Zamora was replaced by Clint Dempsey.

Eleven minutes later, Fulham pulled the score level when Simon Davies scored a fine goal on two touches - the first to elude Guy Demel and the second to slot past goalkeeper Frank Rost.

Then, in the 76th minute, Fulham completed the turnaround off a corner kick when Davies effort deflected out into the path of Zoltan Gera for a calm finish.

Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a late shot in stoppage time, but Hamburg had been completely deflated by the goals.

Fulham now advance to the Europa League final which is held this season, ironically, in Hamburg.



Team Line-Ups:

Fulham:
Schwarzer, Konchesky, Hughes, Hangeland, Pantsil (Nevland 75 '), Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Davies, Gera, Zamora (Dempsey 58')

Hamburg: Rost; Demel, Mathijsen, Boateng, Jarolím (Rozenhal 91 '), Ze Roberto, Pitroipa, Aogo, Tesche (Rincon 56') (Guerrero 79 '), Van Nistelrooy, Petric

Atletico Madrid are through to the final of the UEFA Europa League despite losing 2-1 at Liverpool

LIVERPOOL 2
- Aquilani 44,
- Benayoun 95

ATLETICO MADRID 1
- Forlan 102

**Atletico Madrid are through to the final of the UEFA Europa League despite losing 2-1 at Liverpool. Diego Forlan's extra time goal handed the Spaniards an away goal advantage.

Liverpool took the lead just before half time with Alberto Aquilani directing the ball past keeper David de Gea after a cross from Yossi Benayoun.

With the aggregate score level, extra time was needed at Anfield with Liverpool doubling their lead after five minutes as Benayoun turned in a right-winged cross from Lucas.

But the home crowd was silenced seven minutes later as poor marking allowed Jose Antonio Reyes to find Diego Forlan in the area, and the Uruguayan blasted it home for 2-1.

Atletico now had the away goal advantage, forcing Liverpool to score another in the remainder of extra time.

But the English could not create much danger near De Gea after Forlan's goal, which as it turned out was enough to lead his team to the Europa League final against Fulham.



Team Line-Ups:

Liverpool: Reina, Mascherano, Carragher, Agger, Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Benayoun, Aquilani, Babel, Kuyt. Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Degen, El Zhar, Ayala, Pacheco

Atletico Madrid: De Gea, Valera, Dominguez, Perea, Antonio Lopez, Reyes, Paulo Assuncao, Raul Garcia, Simao, Aguero, Forlan. Subs: Sergio Asenjo, Camacho, Jurado, Salvio, Juanito, Ujfalusi, Cabrera

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Champions League holders Barcelona are knocked out a 1-0 win only (Agg : 2-3)

BARCELONA 1
- Pique 84

INTERNAZIONALE 0

**Champions League holders Barcelona are knocked out by Jose Mourinho’s 10-man Inter Milan, who book their place in the final despite a 1-0 defeat at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona's efforts to become the first team to retain the Champions League trophy, meanwhile, ended in frustration in the face of a sensationally stoic defensive show from the Italians.

After Thaigo Motta's first-half sending off, Inter had their backs against the wall for long periods. Pique gave Barcelona the lead late on, but despite plenty of pressure Barca could not score the goal they needed to advance to the final as Inter won 3-2 on aggregate.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola congratulated Inter but noted that the dismissal of Thiago Motta actually worked against his team as the Blaugrana exited the UEFA Champions League at the semi-final stage.



Team Line-Ups:

Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Daniel Alves, Pique, G. Milito (Maxwell 46 '), Keita, Xavi, Toure Yaya, Busquets, Pedro (Jeffern 62'), Ibrahimovic (Krkic 62 '), Messi

Inter: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Thiago Motta, Chivu, Eto'o (Mariga 87 '), Sneijder (Muntari 66'), D. Milito (Cordoba 80 ')

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ivica Olic hat-trick to challenge Barcelona or Internazionale

OLYMPIQUE LYON 0

BAYERN MUNICH 3
- Olic 26,
- Olic 66,
- Olic 77

**An Ivica Olic hat-trick helped guide Bayern Munich into the final of the Champions League at the expense of French side Lyon.

Leading 1-0 from the first-leg Bayern dominated proceedings from the outset on Tuesday night and always looked the more likely to progress to the show piece final against either Barcelona or Inter Milan next month.

The tie was effectively over when Olic got his first of the game, the crucial away goal, on 26 minutes after a smart turn in the box, meaning Lyon needed to score three times to win the tie.

The French side's chances of overcoming such a hurdle were slim and became practically impossible not long into the second half when Lyon's captain Cris was harshly sent off after receiving two quick yellow cards.

The first booking, for a foul on Olic, looked at tad unlucky but he did himself no favours by sarcastically clapping referee Massimo Busacca for his decision, earning him a second yellow and an early bath.

Not long after the game was over when Altintop played a clever reverse pass to Olic in the Lyon penalty area and the Croatian striker finished smartly past Hugo Lloris.

Ten minutes later Olic completed his hat-trick, heading home Philipp Lahm's cross, to send Lyon crashing out of the competition and Bayern into the final.



Team Line-Ups:

Olympique Lyon: Hugo Lloris, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Cris, Aly Cissokho (Bafetimbi Gomis 45), Anthony Reveillere, Jean Makoun, Maxime Gonalons, Lisandro Lopez (Ederson 79), Cesar Delgado (Miralem Pjanic 67), Michel Fernandes Bastos, Sidney Govou.

Bayern Munich: Hans Jorg Butt, Holger Badstuber, Daniel Van Buyten (Martin Demichelis 45), Contento Diego, Philipp Lahm, Mark van Bommel, Bastian Schweinsteiger (David Alaba 79), Hamit Altintop, Arjen Robben (Miroslav Klose 76), Ivica Olic , Thomas Muller.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mikel Arteta gave Everton a 2-1 victory over a second-string Fulham

EVERTON 2
- Smalling (own) (50)
- Arteta (90)

FULHAM 1
- Nevland 36

**A last-gasp penalty from Mikel Arteta gave Everton a 2-1 victory over a second-string Fulham side and kept the Toffee's slim hopes of European football alive.

With Thursday's Europa League semi-final against Hamburg in mind, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson made nine changes for the game but came within seconds of ending a run of 16 successive defeats at Goodison Park.

Although Erik Nevland capitalised on a dreadful mistake from Leighton Baines to give Fulham a 36th-minute lead against the run of play, Victor Anichebe hauled Everton level five minutes after his arrival as a half-time sub before Arteta stroked home a face-saving winner deep into injury time.



Squads:

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Smalling, Baird, Shorey, Dempsey, Dikgacoi, Greening, Riise, Okaka, Nevland

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Bilyaletdinov, Neville, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu

The captain Steven Gerrard gave inspiration with two goals to defeat a 4-0 Burnley

BURNLEY 0

LIVERPOOL 4
- Gerrard 52
- Gerrard 59
- Maxi 74
- Babel 90

**Two goals from captain Steven Gerrard, a first Liverpool strike for Maxi Rodriguez and a late effort from Ryan Babel relegated Burnley from the Barclays Premier League and kept alive the Merseysiders' distant hopes of finishing fourth.

Gerrard's first goal in the 51st minute was deflected off Burnley centre-back Leon Cort but his 25-yard strike seven minutes later was inch-perfect and Rodriguez and Babel wrapped things up.

The win, Liverpool's first in eight away league matches this year, kept Rafael Benitez's side in the hunt for next season's Champions League but only just.

Tottenham are two points ahead on 64, with a match in hand, and Liverpool must win their remaining two games and hope neither Spurs, Manchester City nor Aston Villa amass more than 68 points - and even then it could come down to goal difference.

Burnley, however, must now face up to a return to the second tier of English football, which has been on the cards ever since the departure of former manager Owen Coyle to Bolton in January.

By that time they were already on the slide but the loss of the inspirational Scot was a major blow and the decision to bring in Brian Laws failed to turn things around.

Whether anyone would have been able to save the Clarets on the shoestring budget and limited squad available is questionable.

But opting to employ Laws just a month after he had left Sheffield Wednesday having taken them to the brink of relegation from the Championship now seems, at best, a mis-judgment.

Laws has lost 14 of his 17 games in charge and the Clarets have won just seven games all season and not kept a clean sheet since Halloween.

At least the frugal nature of the sensible financial planning at Turf Moor means Burnley do not have the money worries of Hull, who are also doomed to relegation because of their dreadful goal difference.



Squads:

Burnley: Jensen; Mears, Duff, Cort, Fox; Paterson (Eagles 71), Cork, Alexander (Blake 64), Elliott, Nugent (Thompson 77); Fletcher

Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Ayala, Carragher, Agger (Lucas 78); Rodríguez, Mascherano, Gerrard (Pachecho 82), Babel, Kuyt (Benayoun 48), Aquilani

Chelsea wild, Kalou make hatrick, Lampard double

CHELSEA 7
- Kalou 24
- Kalou 31
- Lampard (pen) 44
- Kalou 68
- Lampard 81
- Sturridge 87
- Malouda 89

STOKE CITY 0

**Chelsea regained the lead at the top of the Premier League with an impressive victory at home to Stoke City. A Salomon Kalou hat-trick and a Frank Lampard double along with goals from Daniel Sturridge and Florent Malouda sealed what was a one-sided result for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

It only took an extra couple of minutes for the Blues' fans to see their side go in front. A sublime piece of skill from Drogba led to the Ivory Coast international crossing for Kalou to net his second of the season and put his side in the driving seat.

Two minutes later, the lead could have been extended for Chelsea, when Ferreira found Lampard with a cross, but the England international could not divert the ball home to give his side an extra cushion.

However, he needn’t have worried, as on the half hour mark the Stamford Bridge side doubled their advantage, when a touch from Drogba landed at the feet of Lampard, he then struck the ball powerfully towards the Stoke net, but Sorensen could not keep hold of the ball and Kalou dived in, feet first, putting the ball in the net, but also hitting the Danish keeper.

That allowed Lampard to step up and put the home side into a comfortable lead going into the break as he sent Begovic the wrong way as the ball nestled nicely in the back of the Stoke City goal.

Kalou finally sealed his hat-trick, when he broke the visitors' offside trap, darting down the right hand side and firing the ball towards the Stoke net, Begovic managed to get in front of the ball, but could not help out as the Ivorian wrapped up a fine performance. He was then taken off to a rapturous round of applause from the home fans, as all three points were sealed.That was to be rectified with 10 minutes remaining, when substitute Sam Hutchinson fired a ball across the Stoke box for Lampard to put home from close in and grab his 20th goal of the season.



Ancelotti’s side then completed the half dozen, when substitute Daniel Sturridge rounded Begovic in the visitors' goal to send a clear marker to rivals Manchester United with their rampant play.

Malouda then made up for his previous mistake as he scored from close range, to complete the rout with Chelsea's seventh of the afternoon.

Squads:

Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Alex, Ashley Cole, Paulo Ferreira (Sam Hutchinson 73), Michael Ballack, Florent Malouda, Frank Lampard, Nicolas Anelka (Daniel Sturridge 79), Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (Joe Cole 71).

Stoke City: Thomas Sorensen (Asmir Begovic 36), Danny Higginbotham, Abdoulaye Faye (Ryan Shawcross 9), Danny Collins, Robert Huth, Glenn Whelan, Rory Delap, Matthew Etherington, Dean Whitehead, Dave Kitson (Tuncay Sanli 59), Ricardo Fuller .

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The controversial penalty, Villa a 1-0 win against Birmingham

ASTON VILLA 1
- Milner (pen) 83

BIRMINGHAM CITY 0

**Aston Villa overcame Birmingham City at Villa Park with a 1-0 victory over their local rivals. James Milner converted a penalty in the dying stages to secure both the three points and the local bragging rights.

Birmingham had the first chance of the game, breaking through on goal in the ninth minute. Sebastian Larsson exchanged passes in the centre with Lee Bowyer after Cameron Jermone had laid the ball off to the Englishman and Larsson burst through and rounded Brad Friedel, but the angle was too acute and the Swedish midfielder sliced his shot, skewing well wide of the target.

Villa then worked a decent opportunity in the 17th minute. Attacking down the left, they played the ball into John Carew who shifted it inside to Milner who had taken up a position on the edge of the penalty area. The English international struck his shot with venom but it was blocked excellently by Roger Johnson.

The major talking point of the game came when Villa were awarded a penalty in the 82nd minute. Agbonlahor burst into the left-hand side of the area and Johnson dived in with a last-ditch tackle. He looked to get a slight nick on the ball before bringing the English striker down but referee Martin Atkinson didn’t hesitate and pointed straight to the spot.

Birmingham were furious, and surrounded the referee to protest with Stephen Carr collecting a yellow card for his dissent. However, it made no difference as Milner stepped to take the penalty and hammered it straight down the middle to give Villa the lead.

McLeish made his final change immediately, throwing on Kevin Phillips in place of Gardner but Villa held out to deny the Blues an opportunity to grab an equaliser. The result sees Villa leapfrog Manchester City into fifth place, level on points with Spurs in the race for fourth, having played a game extra.



Squads:

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, Stephen Warnock, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Carlos Jimenez Cuellar, Stewart Downing, Stiliyan Petrov, 8-James Milner, Ashley Young's seven-, John Carew (Emile Heskey 70), Gabriel Agbonlahor

Birmingham:
Joe Hart, Gregory Vignal (Stuart Parnaby 76), Liam Ridgewell, Roger Johnson, Stephen Carr, James McFadden, four-Lee Bowyer, Barry Ferguson, Craig Gardner (Kevin Phillips 85), Sebastian Larsson (Keith Fahey 76)

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's late header gave Wolves a crucial point

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 1
- Ebanks-Blake 81

BLACKBURN ROVERS 1
- Nelsen 28

**Wolves virtually guaranteed Premier League safety after Sylvan Ebanks-Blake's late header gave Wolves a point at home to Blackburn.
Mick McCarthy's Wolves side moved tantalisingly close to Premier League safety after substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake came off the bench to score a late equaliser against Blackburn.

Wolves were the Premier League's lowest scorers coming into this match and once Ryan Nelsen had given Blackburn a first half lead it looked an uphill struggle for them to find a way back into the game.

However, with just nine minutes remaining Ebanks-Blake came off the bench to score within minutes of coming on to earn his side a point and leave them sitting comfortably on 35 points with just two games remaining.

Hull's defeat at home to Sunderland means that only Burnley can now condemn them to relegation from the top flight, but they will confirm their relegation if they fail to defeat Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

The home side started the game brightly, keen to follow up on their manager's statement that they were likely to need all three points from the game and they were the first to create a chance at goal.

The ball was played into the area for David Edwards. It looked as though he may have had a chance to head at goal himself, but he opted instead to head back across the goal towards Kevin Doyle, but the ball went just behind the Irishman and Blackburn survived the danger.

Blackburn then started to find their feet in the game and started to edge the action. Nikola Kalinic had the best chance for the visitors just a minute later and he came within inches of opening the scoring. Martin Olsson crossed for Kalinic who rose with a fantastic header, but with Marcus Hahnemann beaten the ball went wide off the outside of the post.

Blackburn got themselves in front after 28 minutes and it was from the unlikely source of Ryan Nelsen. Rovers won a corner which was taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Hahnemann couldn't get to the cross and Nelsen shook off the attentions of Jody Craddock at the far post to divert home from close range.



The goal seemed to spark Wolves into life as they pressed immediately for an equaliser. Blackburn, however, seemed content to sit on their lead in the hope that the league's lowest scorers were unable to break them down.

Wolves did exert some pressure on the Blackburn goal, but for the most part it looked as though Sam Allardyce's men were going to comfortably hold onto their lead and take the points.

David Jones had a free-kick which was scrambled wide by Paul Robinson. Just after the interval. Minutes later and Phil Jones was forced to clear after another scramble in the Blackburn goalmouth and substitute Chris Iwelumo just failed to connect cleanly on a strike after Robinson fumbled a long throw-in.

Clear-cut chances for the hosts were still at a premium, however. That was until the introduction of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake with 11 minutes remaining.

With 9 minutes left on the clock the ball was played into the Blackburn area and up jumped Ebanks-Blake to head home wonderfully into the bottom corner off the inside of the post, to send the Molineux fans wild.

All that was now missing from the game was a winning goal and all of a sudden both sides looked to break into attack to claim all three points.

The best chance in the dying minutes fell to Blackburn, but they were denied by the upright again. Two of the Rovers substitutes Keith Andrews and Franco di Santo combined in the final minute. Andrews fired a volley at goal, only to see it bounce away off the outside of the post.

The Wolves fans streamed onto the pitch in jubilation at the end of a match which should see Wolves maintain their top flight status.

Source : Clubcall

Squads :

Blackburn: Robinson, Givet, Nelsen, Olsson, Salgado, Jones, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Basturk, Roberts, Kalinic. Subs: Brown, Jacobsen, Dunn. Linganzi, Andrews, Hoilett, Di Santo

Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Elokobi, Craddock, Ward, Berra, Zubar, Mancienne, Foley, Edwards, Jones, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Halford, Milijas, Guedioura, Ebanks-Blake, Iwelumo

lan, Kovac and Parker scored bring West Ham trying to stay in the Premier League

WEST HAM UNITED 3
- lan 31
- Kovac 45
- Parker 77

WIGAN ATHLETIC 2
- Spector (og) 4
- Rodallega 52

**West Ham took a giant stride towards Premier League survival with a dramatic win over fellow strugglers Wigan.

The Hammers made a nightmare start when Jonathan Spector headed Ben Watson's corner into his own net.

Ilan levelled from Carlton Cole's cross and Radoslav Kovac put West Ham ahead from the rebound after Chris Kirkland had parried Mark Noble's free-kick.

Hugo Rodallega made it 2-2 from another Watson corner but Scott Parker won it with a sensational 25-yard strike.

Hull's defeat by Sunderland means that, with two games left, they are six points behind the Hammers but with a vastly inferior goal difference.

Defeat for Burnley against Liverpool on Sunday would all but confirm that West Ham are safe and ensure that Wigan will be in the top flight next season.

It was a tense afternoon for all concerned at Upton Park, with Gianfranco Zola's side looking to bounce back from Monday's capitulation against Liverpool at Anfield and the Latics looking for the three points that they knew would keep them up.

The nerves of the home fans were not helped by Wigan's opening goal after just four minutes, with Watson's corner coming off Spector's head and bouncing past the helpless Green.



Replays showed the ball was outside the corner quadrant when Watson delivered his cross but the goal was allowed to stand.

Cole should have levelled soon afterwards when he ran clear and rounded Kirkland but he did not look up before firing goalwards, and failed to see that Gary Caldwell had got back to brilliantly block the ball on the line.

That was the only clear-cut chance created by the Hammers in the first half-hour, though, and their fans were not slow to show their displeasure, greeting every misplaced pass with loud groans and jeers.

Wigan, in contrast, were looking composed on the ball and came close to scoring a second goal when James McCarthy's fierce strike from the edge of the area was superbly tipped on to the bar by Green.

Instead of being 2-0 down, West Ham were quickly level; with a swift counter-attack seconds later ending with Cole's cross being slid home by Ilan.

The turnaround was completed on the stroke of half-time when Noble's curling free-kick was parried by Kirkland, only for Kovac to run in and nod the rebound into the empty net.

Wigan were not done yet, however, and Rodallega made it 2-2 from close range on 52 minutes after Victor Moses flicked on Watson's corner.

West Ham's players protested that the Colombian had bundled the ball home with his hand at the far post but, after consulting his linesman, referee Alan Wiley allowed the goal to stand.

Suddenly it was the Latics who were back on top and it took a good save from Green to keep out Charles N'Zogbia's free-kick.

At the other end, the Hammers threatened when Kovac's looping header bounced off the top of the bar from Noble's corner.

The game looked set for a frantic finale until, with 13 minutes left, Parker latched on to a knockdown by substitute Guillermo Franco and let fly with a low shot that fizzed past Kirkland and into the bottom corner of the net.

Wigan pressed forward but the closest they came to another equaliser was when Titus Bramble's hopeful long-range lob sailed over the top of Green's crossbar.

Source : news.bbc.co.uk

Line-Ups:

West Ham: Green, Faubert, da Costa, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Parker, Kovac, Noble, Ilan, Cole. Subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Franco, McCarthy, Diamanti, Daprela, Stanislas.

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

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Brilliant Dindane equate to positions at second-half, a good Nigerian’s performance

BOLTON WANDERERS 2
- Klasnic 26,
- Davies, K 28

PORTSMOUTH 2
- Dindane 54,
- Dindane 68

**Portsmouth dealt an unwelcomed blow to Bolton Wanderers’s Premier League survival hopes, as two second half strikes from Aruna Dindane won a point for Avram Grant’s side after the home side led 2-0 at the interval.

Ivan Klasnic and Kevin Davies had given the home side a seemingly comfortable first-half lead, but Bolton were unable to suppress the attacking exploits of John Utaka and Dindane, as the South Coast club battled back well to secure a point.

The home side looked to assert the pressure early on, and went close to opening the scoring after a fumble from David James saw the ball land at the feet of Gary Cahill, but his effort struck the post and went out for a goal kick.

With twenty minutes on the clock, Jack Wilshere looked to ease the flow of Portsmouth growing dominance. The on-loan Arsenal midfielder began to orchestrate Bolton’s play, controlling the middle of the park with a series of delightful touches and simple passes.

And the Arsenal man made a telling impact less than five minutes later. Picking up the ball on the left-hand-side of the Portsmouth penalty area, he whipped a cross back towards goal, and his delivery was met by the head of Ivan Klasnic. 1-0 Bolton.

The home side were spurred on by their goal, and quickly doubled their lead on 28 minutes after some delightful wing play from Vladimir Weiss. The Slovakian, another loan signing [from Manchester City] powered down Bolton’s right flank, before pulling a cross back for his captain, and Kevin Davies slotted home easily for 2-0, although there were strong claims for off-side.

The match continued to impress, and the visitors came close to striking back after a flowing counter attack saw Tommy Smith fire a low effort at goal. His attempt had Jaaskelainen beaten, but it thumped the foot of the post.

Bolton’s stronghold over the contest noticeably increased as the match wore on, with Avram Grant’s side seemingly unable to suppress the home side’s exuberance down the flanks.

And the home side should have scored again just before the interval, but Fabrice Muamba’s driven effort flew embarrassingly over James’ crossbar after what was possibly the best attacking move of the match, and Coyle’s took a two goal lead into half time.

Grant reshuffled his pack at half-time, replacing the ineffective Hassan Yebda with French striker Frederic Piqionne making an entrance.

And Pompey’s three-pronged attack of Piquionne, Dindane and Utaka almost bagged a goal for the visitors. A driven ball from the substitute found Dindane on the edge of the box, and after his initial advances were suppressed, some trickery from Utaka freed the Ivorian forward 12 yards out, but his effort flew over the bar.

But it was Bolton who came closest to scoring. And powerful run from Muamba saw the former Manchester City man split the Portsmouth defence with a pass which put Taylor through on goal once more. Looking odds-on to score, a last ditch tackle from Aaron Mokoena diverted the ball out to safety, an exceptional challenge from the South African.

Nonetheless, Pompey’s persistence finally paid off on 54 minutes. Another explosive counter attack saw Piquionne speed down the right-flank once more, and the Frenchman did superbly to cut the ball back for the onrushing Dindane, who despite scuffing his effort, the ball slipped past Jaaskelainen.



And the Bolton keeper’s reflexes were tested immediately after the restart. Vanden Borre whipped a cross in, once more from the right flank, and Piquionne meet the delivery with force, but Jaaskelainen was there, as he’s so often during his Bolton tenure, to tip the ball wide.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, Portsmouth found their equaliser. Once more Bolton failed to handle the onslaught from the visitors' expansive attack line. Cahill was robbed of the ball again, as the young defender continued to falter, and the impressive Utaka split the Bolton backline once again with a low delivery, and Dindane was on hand to tap-home his second of the match.

The equaliser seemed to ignite Pompey’s touch paper, as the visitors looked to commit more players forward in search of the winner. The match became increasingly open, and Grant’s side could have found a third had Utaka squared the ball instead of shooting – although the Nigerian’s performance deserved a goal.

But Portsmouth’s gung-ho approach almost cost them, as Bolton went close to scoring as Wilshere hit a powerful drive which James did well to collect.

The home side thought they’d grabbed the winner, but Davies’ header cannoned off of the post in stoppage time, and Bolton will have to wait another week to all-but confirm their Premier League survival.

Source : Goal

Squads:

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Weiss, Muamba, Wilshere, Taylor, Klasnic, Kevin Davies

Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, Rocha, Sowah, Yebda, Utaka, Brown, Hughes, Smith, Dindane

Darren Bent grabs a goal for the drown Hull City

HULL CITY 0

SUNDERLAND 1
- Bent 7'

**HULL'S two-year stay in the Barclays Premier League is effectively over after they were beaten at home by Sunderland yesterday thanks to Darren Bent's seventh-minute goal.

It could have been different had Jimmy Bullard scored a 41st-minute penalty rather than hit a post, while both sides were reduced to ten men in first-half injury-time after an off-the-ball clash between Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton.

Hull could have had no complaints when the visitors took the lead in the seventh minute when Bent tapped in from a tight angle.

The Tigers should have drawn level in the 41st minute. Caleb Folan got away with a tug on Hutton, but the ball fell to Geovanni and he was sent tumbling in the area by Hull's Michael Turner.

Bullard is usually a confident penalty taker but the ball rebounded off Craig Gordon's post.

With the referee about to blow for half-time, both sides were reduced to ten men. Altidore and Hutton challenged for the ball near the byline, with the Sunderland defender then foolishly throwing the ball at the head of his opponent.

Altidore responded by headbutting Hutton, earning an immediate red card. Referee Lee Probert waited for Hutton to receive treatment before, somewhat harshly, also showing the Scot a red card.

The Tigers came close to levelling in the 72nd minute. Andy Dawson's shot did not look like it would trouble Gordon but bounced up, forcing the keeper to punch away.

The Hull fans gave a hearty cheer when Steve Bruce was sent to the stands for one comment too many to the officials, but they knew their fate and the final whistle brought resignation as a number of home players slumped to the turf.



Squads:

Hull City: Duke, Mendy, Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson, Barmby, Boateng, Bullard, Geovanni, Folan, Altidore. Subs: Myhill, Fagan, Cullen, Kilbane, Sonko, Olofinjana, Cairney

Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Turner, Kilgallon, Richardson, Campbell, Henderson, Meyler, Malbranque, Bent, Jones. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Da Silva, Zenden, Mwaruwari, Cana, Ferdinand

Giggs two penalty and Nani scored to bring the MU tight accompany Chelsea

MANCHESTER UNITED 3
- Giggs (pen) 58
- Nani 81
- Giggs (pen) 86

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1
- King 70

**Two Ryan Giggs penalties and a peach of a goal by Nani put the Premier League title ball firmly back in Chelsea's court as Manchester United went back to the top of the table following a 3-1 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.

In a game littered with errors which fell well short of the classic many had predicted, the Red Devils called on all their experience to keep their nerve and win.

The first half had been so bad that the game had all the ingredients of an end-of-season affair with nothing at stake.

Both teams seemed to wake up to the fact that there is a league title to be won and a Champions League place at stake in the second period.

United broke the deadlock in the 58th minute. Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, who had replaced Wayne Rooney - out with a groin strain - produced a mazy run into the Tottenham box.

His clever flick to his left found full-back Patrice Evra and he was tripped as he skipped past Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and although goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes guessed right, Giggs' left-foot penalty carried too much power and accuracy as it flew past him and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Spurs bounced back to equalise in the 70th minute.

Gareth Bale's corner into the centre of the United box saw Tottenham skipper Ledley King rise above Jonny Evans to place his firm header into the bottom left corner of the net from seven yards.

United looked flat but they were reinvigorated with nine minutes to go thanks to the best goal of the game.

Darren Fletcher found Federico Macheda 25 yards out and he slipped the ball forward to Nani, who skipped past King before scoring with a superb right-foot chip over Gomes and into the corner of the net from 12 yards.

Another touch of Nani magic set up United's third goal four minutes later.

The Portuguese winger's superb run into the Spurs box ended when he was brought down by Wilson Palacios.

Mr Marriner again pointed to the spot and Giggs changed his routine when he fired his left-foot shot into the bottom left corner of the net beyond the diving Gomes' despairing dive.

Source : Football.co.uk



Team Line-up:

Manchester United: Edwin Van der Sar, Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra (John O'Shea 67), Rafael da Silva (Federico Macheda 80), Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs, Nani, Antonio Valencia (Michael Carrick 60 ), Dimitar Berbatov.

Tottenham Hotspur: Heurelho Gomes, Ledley King, Michael Dawson, Gareth Bale, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Wilson Palacios, Tom Huddlestone, Luka Modric, David Bentley (Aaron Lennon 66), Jermain Defoe (Eidur Gudjohnsen 55), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Peter Crouch 76).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aston Villa continue to a victory, beat Hull City 2-0

HULL CITY 0

ASTON VILLA 2
- Agbonlahor 13,
- Milner (pen) 76

**Hull were thrust deeper into the relegation mire after goals from Gabby Agbonlahor and James Milner secured a 2-0 win for Aston Villa.
The visitors showed greater energy and desire in the opening stages, with Hull keeper Matt Duke forced into early action by James Milner and Stiliyan Petrov before the Tigers could even muster an attack. Indeed, it took Villa just 13 minutes to open the scoring as John Carew flicked on for Gabby Agbonlahor to race away from the defenders and slide the ball beyond Duke.

However, Hull's response belied their poor form and league position as they pinned Villa back and should have been level on no fewer than three occasions as first Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and then Kevin Kilbane were denied before superb double save from Brad Friedel stopped Tom Cairney and Kilbane's rebound.

Hull interim boss Dowie would have been worried as his side continued to let chances slip through their grasp at the start of the second period and they were made to pay as Villa upped the tempo after an hour. Their increased pressure was rewarded fifteen minutes from time when James Milner's marauding run was stopped illegally in the box by George Boateng and the referee pointed to the spot. Milner dusted himself down to slot the penalty beyond the dive of Duke to double the Villains lead and settle any lingering doubts.

The result sees Villa climb above Liverpool and keep their hopes of a Champions League place alive, but it is another blow to Hull's survival hopes who stay three points adrift of safety.

Source : Clubcall



Line-Ups:

Hull City: Duke; Mouyokolo, Sonko, Dawson, McShane; Cairney (Geovanni 70), Boateng, Fagan; Jan Vennegoor (Altidore 55)

Aston Villa: Friedel; Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Cuellar; Petrov (Sidwell 84), Milner, Downing, Young; Agbonlahor, Carew (Heskey 90)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito scored for Inter

INTER MILAN 3
- Sneijder 30
- Maicon 48
- Milito 61

BARCELONA 2

- Pedrito 19

*Barcelona’s attempt to becoming European soccer’s first repeat champion in two decades was jeopardized with a 3-1 loss to Inter Milan on Tuesday night in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Barcelona appeared fatigued as the game went on, perhaps from a 450-mile bus trip the team was forced to take. Flights were grounded across Europe following the volcanic eruption in Iceland, and Inter may have to take a similar trip for the second leg of the total-goals series in Barcelona next Wednesday.

“I’m not a doctor so I couldn’t say if the journey affected us,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “The result wasn’t good and we lost the ball too often. Today wasn’t our best game.”

Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito scored for Inter, seeking to become Europe’s champion for the first time since consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965. Inter frustrated FIFA player of the year Lionel Messi, whose four goals in the second leg of the quarterfinals eliminated Arsenal.

“It isn’t a dream. It is real,” Inter coach Jose Mourinho said. “When I came here I found a team that was small in Champions League terms and a team that struggled to qualify for the elimination rounds. Now we have beaten the best team in the world.”

Pedro Rodriguez scored on a low shot in the 19th minute for Barcelona, but Sneijder tied the score off a pass from Milito in the 30th minute and Maicon put Inter ahead in the 48th on an overlapping run, again from a Milito pass.

Milito scored the final goal on a header in the 61st after Samuel Eto’o broke down a wing and crossed to Sneijder, who nodded the ball back.

AC Milan was the last repeat champion, winning when the competition was known as the Champions Cup in 1989 and 1990.

“We tried but we couldn’t find the spaces we wanted. That happens sometimes when you play against a great team like Inter,” Guardiola said. “We started to attack with a high tempo at the end of the game and gave Inter’s defense doubts, but it didn’t change how the match finished.”

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol will be suspended for the second leg because of a yellow card for a foul on Milito.

In the other semifinal, Bayern Munich hosts Lyon on Wednesday night.



Team Line-Ups :

Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Walter Samuel, Lucio, Javier Zanetti, Maicon (Cristian Chivu 73), Esteban Cambiasso, Thiago Motta, Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito (Mario Balotelli 75), Samuel Eto'o, Goran Pandev (Dejan Stankovic 56) .

Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Maxwell, Dani Alves, Sergio Busquets, Seydou Keita, Xavi Hernandez and Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Eric Abidal 62).

Robben hit a brilliant drive when Bayern Munich beaten Olympique Lyon 2-1

BAYERN MUNICH 1
- A. Robben 69'

OLYMPIQUE LYON 0

**Bayern Munich took it to Lyon on Wednesday and came away with a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Allianz-Arena.

Early on, Bastian Schweinsteiger saw a couple of chances go agonizingly widde as the Germans controlled the tempo early.

Arjen Robben was then guilty of a horrible miss on 20 minutes when Hugo Lloris likely well beaten.

Matters started going downhill, however, as Bayern midfielder Danijel Pranjic picked up a booking in the 27th minute that will keep him out of the second leg.

Then, in the 37th minute, Franck Ribéry was sent off for a horrendous studs-up tackle on Lisandro López.

Lyon, however, failed to take advantage and they actually gave back the extra man in the 54th minute when Jérémy Toulalan picked up his second booking of the match.

With all matters again even, Bayern took the lead in the 69th minute when Robben hit a brilliant drive from outside the area to elude the helpless Lloris.

Lyon never found a way back, and they will take the narrow deficit into the second leg at Stade Gerland.



Line-Ups:

Bayern: Jorg Butt; Diego Contento, Martin Gaston Demichelis, Daniel van Buyten, Philipp Lahm; Danijel Pranjic (Mario Gomez 61), Bastian Schweinsteiger; Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben (Hamit Altintop 84); Ivica Olic (Anatoliy Tymoschuk 45)

Lyon: Hugo Lloris; Aly Cissokho, Jeremy Toulalan, Cris, Anthony Reveillere; Kim Kallstrom, Kim Kallstrom; Cesar Delgado (Sidney Govou 79), Miralem Pjanic (Jean Makoun 55), Honorato Campos Ederson (Michel Fernandes Bastos 70); Lisandro Lopez

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Liverpool 3-0 Westham United: Benayoun, N'Gog scores

LIVERPOOL 3
- Benayoun 19,
- N'Gog 29,
- Green (og) 59

WEST HAM UNITED 0

**Match report from tonight's home win in the encounter versus West Ham United

Robert Green's second-half own-goal capped a miserable night for struggling West Ham as Liverpool strolled to a 3-0 win at Anfield and kept alive their hopes of a top-four finish.

Yossi Benayoun and David N'gog got the ball rolling with goals inside the first-half hour and the Reds continued to completely dominate in front of their lowest crowd of the season and just before the hour Green was left helpless when Sotirios Kyrgiakos' header hit a post and bounced in off him.

The Reds flew out of the blocks with Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez forcing Green into action at his near post in the opening five minutes.

Soon after N'gog tamely headed straight at Green after being sent clear but the Reds grabbed the lead in the 19th minute.

Steven Gerrard's free-kick found former West Ham star Benayoun, who neatly chested the ball down and watched the ball go in off the far post.

The Hammers finally came to life a minute later as Carlton Cole's shot was palmed behind by Pepe Reina.

But the game was all over as a contest in the 29th minute. Benayoun and Rodriguez combined to find N'gog and the young striker fired a fierce shot beyond Green.

Kyrgiakos and N'gog then wasted further chances to add to the lead and the busy Green turned behind a Dirk Kuyt shot just before the break as the Merseysiders continued to press.

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola introduced Mexican striker Guillermo Franco for Junior Stanislas but it was still one-way traffic.

Gerrard thought he should have had a penalty on 55 when his free-kick smashed into Mark Noble's hand in the wall.

But they had to wait just four minutes for another goal when Kyrgiakos poked a Gerrard free-kick onto a post and the ball went in off Green's leg.

Rodriguez was denied a fourth by a Green save as West Ham waved the white flag to stay just one place above the drop zone.



Squads:

Liverpool: Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson, Yossi Benayoun (Philipp Degen 78), 21-Lucas, 8-Steven Gerrard (20-Javier Mascherano 72), 17-Maxi Rodriguez; 24-David Ngog (Ryan babel 82), Dirk Kuyt

West Ham: Robert Green; Jonathan Spector (Fabio Daprela 80), Matthew Upson, Manuel Da Costa, 20-Julien Faubert; Valon Behrami, Mark Noble, Radoslav Kovac, Junior Stanislas (Guillermo Luis Farcuason Franco 45); Aruajo Ilan, Carlton Cole (Benedict McCarthy 72)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Impressive Charles N'Zogbia goal to claim a vital three points for Wigan to avoid relegation

WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
- Watson 80,
- Bramble 89,
- N'Zogbia 90

ARSENAL 2
- Walcott 41,
- Silvestre 48

**We’ve been waiting for the potential of Wigan Athletic to show itself this season. It has in fits and starts, a win over Chelsea, an away win over Aston Villa. But for the most part, Roberto Martinez’s first year in the English Premier League has been disappointing, as his team has underachieved all year long.

In fact, there was still some relegation doubts coming into the game, as they were only four points out of the drop zone going into Sunday’s game at DW Stadium with Arsenal.

For 80 minutes, it looked like just another disappointing day for the Latics, but in a 10-minute span, all that potential turned into reality, as Wigan stunned the Gunners with a three-goal rally that was completed by Charles N’Zogbia’s blast in stoppage time, giving Wigan an historic 3-2 win, their first over Arsenal.

Wigan is now virtually safe, while Arsenal’s flickering title hopes are exterminated.

Trailing 2-0 in the 80th minute, there looked no chance of a Wigan comeback. But N’Zogbia played substitute Victor Moses in and although Moses’ first touch was poor, he was smart enough to play the ball back to Ben Watson, who colly finished from 12 yards out to cut the lead to 2-1.

It was one-way traffic after that as Wigan poured on the pressure. Watson nearly equalized in the 87th minute as his header off a corner was cleared off the line.

A minute later, though, the game was tied on a catastrophic goalkeeping error by Lukasz Fabianski, who had a decent game to that point. But he just flat out dropped a corner kick, and Titus Bramble was the man on the spot to head it just back over the goal line.

Arsene Wenger quickly tried to put Robin van Persie on, but Arsenal was shell-shocked, and a minute into stoppage time, N’Zogbia completed what could be the comeback of the season in the Premier League, when he drilled a left footed shot from 20 yards out off the near post and behind a rooted Fabianski, sending a rare very good crowd at the DW into celebration mode.

Wigan actually started the brighter team led by Wigan’s version of Walcott, N’Zogbia, who missed a shot in just the 11th minute. The Latics were also dangerous on a couple of set pieces.

But, about the midway portion of the first half, Arsenal started to take control and Walcott was the catalyst, running at the Wigan defense, far from the Premiership’s best. In the 33rd minute, Walcott found his way in, but chose not to shoot, played it square and the ball was cleared.



The constant threat of Walcott was finally realized in the 41st when Nicklas Bendtner played Walcott in and he ran by the entire Wigan defense and finished expertly past goalkeeper Chris Kirkland for a 1-0 Arsenal lead.

Wigan’s best player was probably midfielder Watson, and it looked like he might have earned a penalty just 45 seconds after halftime as he was pulled back by Samir Nasri. Referee Lee Mason waved it off, and replays showed contact was fairly minimal.

Arsenal appeared to put the game away three minutes later on some woeful defending off of a corner. Mikael Silvestre was left alone to head the corner in at the far post, while Wigan had two people marking the near post and no one on the far post to make it 2-0.

The rest of the game was all Wigan. At last, in Game 35 of 38, their potential was seen in a 10-minute span that will live in Wigan history for years to come.

Squads :


Wigan Athletic: Kirkland; Bramble, Gohouri, Fiugeroa, Melchiot, Diame, McCarthy, Watson (Schraner 93 '), Rodallega, N'Zogbia, Moreno (Moses 61')

Arsenal: Fabianski, Silvestre, Campbell, Clichy, Sagna, Eastmond (Van Persie 90 '), Diaby, Nasri, Rosicky (Merida 80'), Bendter, Walcott (Eboue 80 ')

Carew and Delfouneso scored when against host at Fratton Park : Portsmouth 1-2 Villa

PORTSMOUTH 1
- Brown 9

ASTON VILLA 2

- Carew 16,
- Delfouneso 82

**Brown's 10th minute deadlock breaker came against the run of play, but was well-taken, nevertheless.

The midfielder found the bottom corner from just outside the box after Anthony Vanden Borre latched on to Kanu's through pass and Kevin Prince-Boateng stepped over his cut-back.

But the strike failed to rob Villa of early momentum, as they immediately looked for a response.

James denied Stewart Downing, who cut in from the right flank and arrowed a low drive towards the bottom corner.

But when Carew got into a similar position just seconds later, he got the desired result.

The number 16 proved to be lucky for Carew - his 16th goal of the campaign coming on 16 minutes when he beat the offside to control Stephen Warnock's lofted pass and drill home with authority.

After such a frantic start, it was quite baffling that the two sides went in at the break with the scoreline still at 1-1.

Brad Friedel had to be at full stretch to push behind Boateng's curling shot and while Villa were left ruing a lack of luck when Ashley Young's cross came back off the post via a deflection off Marc Wilson, the two incidents that followed caused greater frustration.

With Phil Dowd and Howard Webb already off Villa's Christmas card list, referee Lee Probert left himself in danger of paying a similar penalty when he failed to point to the spot after Vanden Borre tugged down Agbonlahor.

However, Probert got it spot on when Papa Bouba Diop lost control of the ball and sent Carew tumbling four minutes before the break. The striker hammered his penalty down the middle but James did brilliantly to keep it out.




Portsmouth didn't relent in their efforts to steal an unlikely victory and substitute Tommy Smith went close when Michael Brown's throw-in was flicked into his path.

But the final word was saved for Villa's two super subs - Delfouneso and Emile Heskey.

With eight minutes to go, Heskey applied a crucial flick to Milner's cross and Delfouneso volleyed home from close range with only his second touch since replacing Agbonlahor.

It ensured Sunday certainly was a happy day for the man they call the Fonz.

Squads :

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Carew, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Beye, Clark

Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, Wilson, Sowah, Diop, Yebda, Brown, Boateng, Kanu, Utaka
Subs: Ashdown, Smith, Pack, Ward, Ritchie, Ciftci

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crucial goal from Tim Cahill on the injury time, send a victory Everton at Ewood Park

BLACKBURN ROVERS 2
- N'Zonzi 69,
- Roberts 81

EVERTON 3
- Arteta (pen) 4,
- Yakubu 79,
- Cahill 90

**Tim Cahill's 90th minute strike gave Everton a 3-2 win after Blackburn twice came from behind in a pulsating match at Ewood Park

Mikel Arteta's penalty put the Toffees ahead but the Spaniard could have been sent off shortly after for poking Morten Gamst Pedersen in the eye.

Rovers levelled when Steven Nzonzi smashed in from 30 yards but Everton regained the lead when substitute Yakubu nodded in with his first touch.

Jason Roberts restored parity with a 25-yard drive before Cahill tapped in Yakubu's low cross to snatch victory.

The result leaves Everton only one point behind seventh-place Aston Villa and two adrift of Liverpool, who are in sixth place in the table - the last slot that brings Europa League qualification.



Team Line-Ups :

Blackburn: Robinson; Salgado, Nelsen, Jones, Givet; Pedersen (Roberts 64), Andrews (Hoillet 70), Nzonzi, Olsson (At 90th St.); Dunn; Kalinic

Everton: Howard, Hibbert (Yakubu 79), Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Pienaar, Arteta, Neville, Cahill, Bilyaletdinov (Anichebe 69), Saha (Yobo 90)

Darren Bent's 23rd Premier League goal of the season, it is time Fabio Capello took the hint

SUNDERLAND 2
- Campbell 25,
- Bent 41

BURNLEY 1
- Thompson 82

**Darren Bent's 23rd Premier League goal of the season helped edge Burnley ever closer to the relegation trapdoor.

Having impressively seized possession from Tyrone Mears, Richardson’s delivery reached Alan Hutton via Bent. All that remained was for the excellent Hutton to dispatch a cross stabbed beyond Brian Jensen’s reach by the on-rushing Campbell. Utter despondency was writ large across Laws’s face.

Not that Campbell’s opener came as a shock. Jensen had earlier done well to repel a John Mensah header following Jordan Henderson’s cross before looking relieved as Kenwyne Jones hit a post after connecting with Richardson’s corner. Even worse, Burnley were coming off consistently second best against Sunderland’s youthfully dynamic central midfield combination of Henderson and David Meyler.

Before kick-off Laws warned his team Bent was “on fire” but Burnley’s defence lost the would-be England striker as Campbell met Meyler’s splendid long pass to the back post and headed down for Bent to tap the ball home from close range. It was his 23rd Premier League goal of the season. Surely it is time Fabio Capello took the hint. “We couldn’t cope with Jones and Bent,” conceded Laws. “They’re quality and they pushed us far too deep.”

Beneath Wearside’s weak April sunshine, Burnley’s hopes of a top flight future were fading away in much the same meek and mild manner they had allowed their protests about that second goal possibly being a shade offside to be swiftly extinguished. “Bent’s strike was a killer. It was a soul destroyer,” lamented Laws. “And I’m told it was marginally offside.”

At least Robbie Blake did not abandon hope. The gifted forward had been on the pitch for less than a minute after stepping off the substitutes’ bench when his incisive pass played in the negligently marked Thompson whose low shot from the edge of the area proved far too good for a hitherto under-employed Craig Gordon.

After barely conjuring a chance all afternoon Burnley had left it until the 82nd minute to take advantage of a Sunderland defence who appeared to be allowing their minds to wander towards summer holiday plans.



Team Line-Ups:

Burnley : Jensen, Mears, Cort, Duff, Fox, Paterson, Elliott, Alexander, Cork, Eagles, Steven Fletcher. Subs: Weaver, Carlisle, Caldwell, Blake, Bikey, Jordan, Thompson.

Sunderland : Gordon, Hutton, Turner, Mensah, Richardson, Campbell, Meyler, Henderson, Malbranque, Jones, Bent. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Zenden, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Mwaruwari.

Matthew Taylor was the matchwinner, score two goals in three minutes

STOKE CITY
- Dave Kitson (13)

BOLTON WANDERERS
- Matthew Taylor (85)
- Matthew Taylor (88)

**Bolton took a massive step towards survival thanks to Matthew Taylor's late brace at Stoke.

Dave Kitson had given the Potters a first-half lead after latching onto Tuncay Sanli's pass and rounding Jussi Jaaskelainen in the 13th minute.

But Taylor turned the match around, drawing things level with a free-kick in the 85th minute before netting the winner three minutes later.

The win takes Owen Coyle's side - who had lost their previous four matches - up to 14th in the Barclays Premier League, but more importantly, they are now seven points clear of the drop zone with three games to play.

It was a result that looked unlikely after a first half which Stoke dominated.

The hosts' first chance came in the 11th minute when Rory Delap almost crept in to steal the ball as Gretar Steinsson attempted to shepherd it back to Jaaskelainen.

After it was scrambled away, Delap launched his first long throw of the game into the Wanderers' box which Robert Huth sent looping over the bar.

Two minutes later, the Potters were ahead as Tuncay lofted the ball over the Bolton defence for Kitson, who prodded it past a stranded Jaaskelainen before slotting home.

Stoke almost doubled their advantage shortly after as another long throw was again met by Huth, whose header hit the post before bouncing off Liam Lawrence and out of play.

Fabrice Muamba picked up a yellow card on the half-hour after clattering Huth, but from a handy position, Glenn Whelan could only blast the free-kick into the Bolton wall and the ball was cleared.

Tuncay created some space for himself in the area five minutes before the break but was denied by a slide tackle from Paul Robinson, and Huth made a poor connection when the ball fell to him from a corner, leaving an easy catch for Jaaskelainen.

Having seen his side produce next to nothing in the opening 45 minutes, Coyle tried to inject more urgency into the Bolton attack by throwing on striker Ivan Klasnic for the second half in place of Sam Ricketts.

The visitors looked determined to make a better go of things and had a chance within seconds of the restart when Kevin Davies nodded down Robinson's free-kick in the box, but it fell to Zat Knight, who produced the finish of a centre-half which was well off target.

Five minutes later Wanderers had their best opportunity so far as Davies squared to Klasnic, who flashed a shot across Thomas Sorensen's goal that went the wrong side of the post.

Taylor then blazed his attempt at a spectacular volley high over the bar before finding Klasnic, who again could only send his effort wide.

Bolton seemed to be growing in confidence and on the hour Klasnic instigated a counter-attack which led to Jack Wilshere forcing Sorensen into a diving save.



Stoke were looking a shadow of themselves in the first half, but Danny Collins did get a header away in the 66th minute that did little to trouble Jaaskelainen.

The Potters had been on the ropes for most of the half, but with 20 minutes to go they suddenly created a flurry of chances that could have sealed the game.

First Dean Whitehead bolted forward and attempted to hoist a long ball over Jaaskelainen, but the Finnish keeper jumped to palm the ball upwards and the danger was cleared.

Then substitute Matthew Etherington surged down the left flank and played the perfect pass for Tuncay, who hit the post from only a few yards out.

Kitson was perhaps even more guilty of profligacy immediately after as he hit the rebound over the bar under a challenge from Steinsson.

Stoke were back in the ascendancy and eager to seize the moment, Tony Pulis sent on Ricardo Fuller for Tuncay. Moments later Jaaskelainen was tested again as Danny Higginbotham sent a low drive into his arms, and Kitson then headed over from Etherington's corner.

It was Kitson's final act as Pulis put on James Beattie to add more fresh legs up front, but it was Bolton who hit back with five minutes remaining after their substitute Vladimir Weiss was brought down by Dean Whitehead on the edge of the area. Taylor rifled the free-kick past Sorensen into the bottom corner and Wanderers were level.

Three minutes later Taylor was the matchwinner as he got on the end of Weiss' cross, before Stoke captain Abdoulaye Faye wasted a glorious chance to equalise at the death.

Author : soccernet.espn.go


Team Line-Ups:

Stoke City: Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Collins, Lawrence, Whitehead, Whelan, Delap, Sanli, Kitson. Subs: Begovic, Beattie, Fuller, Pugh, Etherington, Wilkinson, Moult.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee, Ricketts, Muamba, Wilshere, Taylor, Kevin Davies. Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, Elmander, Mark Davies, Klasnic, Cohen, Weiss.

Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale scored putting a team back in the big four

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2
- Defoe (pen) 15,
- Bale 44

CHELSEA 1
* Lampard 90

**Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale blew the Barclays Premier League title race open with goals against Chelsea - and also put Tottenham back in the Champions League places.

Defoe tucked away from the penalty spot for his 24th of the season after John Terry handled in the area, then Bale followed up his midweek goal against Arsenal with another before the break at White Hart Lane.

Terry's miserable evening, after being involved in a verbal spat with a supporter at half-time, was capped off with a sending off for two bookings.

Frank Lampard pulled one back but it was too late for Chelsea.

Television scheduling meant the match kicked off with Manchester United only a point behind Carlo Ancelotti's leaders, having defeated their rivals City with a last-gasp winner.

That result also favoured Spurs in their hunt for fourth place as they knew a victory would take them back above City - and within a quarter of an hour they were ahead.

Florent Malouda's powerful drive from 30 yards may have been parried by Heurelho Gomes in the early stages but it was Spurs who were applying the pressure before the deadlock was broken.

Roman Pavlyuchenko fired over from the edge of the area and also had an effort blocked by Alex - but Harry Redknapp's men were not made to wait long for their opener.

They were denied penalties when Defoe appeared to get his shirt pulled by Terry and when Bale went over John Mikel Obi's challenge, then Phil Dowd pointed to the spot after the third appeal. Pavlyuchenko stepped over Bale's cross from the left and Terry leant in with his arm, enough for Dowd to award a penalty.

Terry was accused of getting away with a penalty following a similar incident against Bolton in midweek but the former England skipper's luck looked to have run out on this occasion.

There was still a chance of a reprieve as Defoe had missed his previous two penalties this season and was asked to step down from spot-kick duties, but Tom Huddlestone then missed against Bolton so the England striker volunteered again and this time sent Petr Cech the wrong way.

Redknapp's men looked for a second and Cech was called into action when Pavlyuchenko spun on the edge of the area and curled a shot that needed tipping over. Then Luka Modric went on a mazy run that led to David Bentley getting a volley deflected wide by Terry.

It got worse for Chelsea as Mikel picked up an injury and headed straight down the tunnel when he was replaced by Michael Ballack in the 34th minute.

They did have the ball in the net shortly after, but the flag had gone up for offside when Yury Zhirkov skipped Malouda through to finish past Gomes.

Bale doubled the lead just before the break when he cut inside Paulo Ferreira and used his unfavoured right foot to beat Cech at the near post.

Lampard almost pulled one back immediately but Gomes pulled off a save at full stretch to block the volley, replicating his performance against Arsenal on Wednesday when he was at his best to protect Spurs' lead.

There was drama at half-time, starting with Terry's spat with a fan by the tunnel.
Ancelotti's response was to use his remaining substitutes at the break, with Nicolas Anelka and Branislav Ivanovic coming on for Joe Cole and Ferreira, but Didier Drogba then pulled up injured just before the restart. With all of Chelsea's substitutes used, Drogba hobbled back on prevent his team playing with 10 men.

Defoe had a chance to extend the lead in the 50th minute when Pavlyuchenko poked his strike partner through, but Cech was down sharply to save the one-on-one opportunity.

The feisty atmosphere went up a notch when Lampard and Huddlestone crashed into a tackle, leading to the Spurs player getting booked and Deco also being cautioned for his role in the aftermath.

Terry was also cautioned midway through the second half for bringing down Pavlyuchenko from behind when the Russian was running at goal.

He got his marching orders 23 minutes from full-time, with his second foul on Bale.
'Twice I got the ball,' he told his bench as he headed down the tunnel.

Bentley almost added another but his cheeky lob was tipped over by Cech and there was also time for Gomes to deny Drogba from close range and for Lampard to pull one back in stoppage time.



Team Line-Ups:

Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes, Kaboul, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale, Pavlyuchenko (Peter Crouch '95), Defoe (Gudjohnsen '78).

Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira (Ivanovic '46), Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Deco, Mikel (Ballack .33), Lampard, Joe Cole (Anelka '46), Drogba, Malouda.

Author : RTE

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Scholes made his dramatic goal with only seconds of stoppage time remaining

MANCHESTER CITY 0

MANCHESTER UNITED 1
- Paul Schole 90

**Manchester United moved within a point of Chelsea in the Premier League title race on Saturday thanks to Paul Scholes' injury time winner in a 1-0 victory at Manchester City and Tottenham's 2-1 triumph over the leader.

"The important thing is to maintain the lead at the top of the league," he said. "It is only one point and only three games [to play] but the title is still in our hands. We don't have to be afraid, we have to stay calm and look for the next game against Stoke."

Both teams missed chances in the Manchester derby at Eastlands before Scholes was left unmarked in the City area to head home a cross from Patrice Evra in the third minute of stoppage time.

"We deserved to win the match, no question. But I couldn't see a goal coming," Ferguson said. "I decided to put Scholes a bit further forward and it paid off. He was man-of-the-match today. He was wonderful, he's such a skilful player."



Team Line-Ups:

Manchester City: Given; Onuoha, Kompany, Tourem Bridge; Johnson (Vieira 65), Barry, De Jong (Ireland 79), Bellamy, Tevez, Adebayor (Wright-Phillips 75)

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia (Obertan 80), Scholes, Fletcher, Gibson (Nani 59), Giggs, Rooney (Berbatov 74)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Danny Rose a spectacular, Bendtner scored again : Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Arsenal

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2
- Rose 10
- Bale 47

ARSENAL 1
- Bendtner 85

** Tottenham all but ended Arsenal's hopes of winning the Premier League with a win which boosted their own chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Danny Rose fired a spectacular volley to help deliver a seemingly fatal blow to Arsenal’s Barclays Premier League title aspirations at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham’s 19-year-old midfielder, making his first league start, smashed home Manuel Almunia’s looping fisted clearance on the full from 30 yards out.

Spurs doubled their lead through Gareth Bale a minute after the interval before Nicklas Bendtner set-up a nervy finish by weighing in with a late goal.

An in-depth match report will be available shortly.




The composition of Players:

Tottenham: Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, King, Bale, Kaboul, Huddlestone, Modric, Rose (Bentley '46), Pavlyuchenko (Crouch '9), Defoe (Gudjohnsen '67).

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna (Walcott '53), Campbell Vermaelen (Silvestre '20), Clichy, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson (Van Persie '68), Rosicky, Bendtner, Nasri.

Impressive Tim Cahill's with two goal, Phil Jagielka made a fatal mistake.

ASTON VILLA 2
- Gabriel Agbonlahor (72)
- Phil Jagielka (og 90)

EVERTON 2
- Tim Cahill (23)
- Tim Cahill (74)

** Aston Villa's faint hopes of achieving Champions League football suffered a setback despite Everton defender Phil Jagielka's injury-time own goal rescuing them a point in a 2-2 draw.

Everton continued to put pressure on the hosts and were rewarded on 23 minutes. Cahill found space in the six-yard box to nod in Leighton Baines' cross after Diniyar Bilyaletdinov had gone close. Apparently it only happens goals in the first half-time.

Everton continued to dominate during the second half but against the run of play, Villa manager to grab an equaliser on 72 minutes. Milner whipped in a delightful cross from the right wing to Agbonlahor in the Everton area, who raced in front of his marker to flick a header past Howard into the far corner.

With 18 minutes remaining, Agbonlahor brought Villa level with his 50th goal for the club - and 15th of the campaign.

Milner sent over a cross from the touchline and Agbonlahor sent a glancing header wide of Howard into the corner of the net.

But two minutes later Cahill struck again to restore Everton's lead. There was a question mark over Villa's defending with Cahill presented with a free header in converting Bilyaletdinov's corner.

Villa looked to gain a late equaliser and found it through an unlikely source. Ashley Young curled in an inviting cross from the left and Jagielka crept in front of Carew, but in an attempt to clear the ball, headed the ball past Howard into the far corner of the goal.



Team Line-Ups :

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock (Delfouneso 78); A. Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Carew, Agbonlahor

Everton: Howard, Neville, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Pienaar, Cahill, Osman, Heitinga (Rodwell 50), Bilyaletdinov (Yobo 90), Yakubu (Saha 63)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nicolas Anelka scored against Bolton to regaining the title.

CHELSEA 1
- Anelka 43

BOLTON WANDERERS 0

**Chelsea cemented their position at the top of the Premier League table and opened a four-point lead over Manchester United following a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers.

The performance was ragged at times and the Blues' customary possession game crumbled in the face of the Trotters' more physical display.

However, Carlo Ancelotti's boys battled to earn three points and create a clear gap at the top.

Bolton pressed and harried Chelsea in the early exchanges and had the better of the first 20 minutes, although the Blues came closest to getting the ball in the net when a Didier Drogba free-kick was punched clear by Jussi Jaaskelainen straight onto the head of Salomon Kalou but he guided it wide.

The breakthrough came two minutes before half-time when Drogba zinged in a superbly weighted out-swinger from the left, allowing Nicolas Anelka to head home from close range with Jaaskelainen stranded.

Chelsea's physios were kept busy at half-time. There had been an anxious moment in the eighth minute when John Terry hurt his right foot tackling Matthew Taylor, but he carried on playing to the relief of watching England manager Fabio Capello.

Left-back Yury Zhirkov was also in the wars. A clash of heads with Bolton striker Kevin Davies left the Russian wearing a large bandage until he could be stitched up.

For Bolton, Chung-Yong Lee proved slippery and elusive on the right flank, but Chelsea, with three changes to Saturday's Wembley starting line-up, did enough, even if it was all hands to the pump at the end.

Midfielder Deco was rested as Ancelotti continued rotating his squad, while in-form Florent Malouda, who had scored five times in the previous four games, and Joe Cole came on as second-half substitutes.

Bolton had a handball shout against Chelsea captain Terry waved away by referee Lee Probert and the Blues came a whisker away from doubling their lead when Frank Lampard beat the keeper in the 79th minute only to see his shot ricochet off the post.

Substitute Johan Elmander came closest to levelling for Bolton with a far-post header and Cole had a chance to wrap it all up in stoppage time but the ball got caught under his feet.



Team Line-Ups :

Chelsea: Petr Cech, John Terry, Alex, Paulo Ferreira, Yuri Zhirkov, John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Nicolas Anelka (Florent Malouda 67), Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (Joe Cole 77).

Bolton Wanderers: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Substance Knight, Gary Cahill, Paul Robinson, Gretar Rafn Steinsson, Samuel Ricketts, Fabrice Muamba, Jack Wilshere (Johan Elmander 82), Matt Taylor, Chung-Yong Lee (Ivan Klasnić 83), Kevin Davies.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Portsmouth: Piquionne, Boateng scores

**Despite experiencing various problems, but Portsmouth prove their quality. Through extra-time, The Pompey frustrate Tottenham Hotspur, and won the FA Cup final tickets.

Spurs overcome Portsmouth 2-0 in the semi-final match held at Wembley, Sunday (11/4/2010) . The winning goal FA Cup winners 2007/2008 season was recorded Frederic Piquonne in the 99th minute and Kevin Prince Boateng minute penalty 117.

In the final to be held next May 15, The Pompey the season is buffeted by a severe financial crisis and almost certainly relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season, will face Chelsea.

The game

Spurs' first chance to pick in the fifth minute. Through a corner of the football situation, Jermain Defoe off attacks from close range but still failed to penetrate the target.

Seven minutes later Portsmouth's turn to invade. Frederic Piquionne managed to successfully kick secured by Heurelho Gomes.

Buying and selling attacks have continued. Minutes to-27, Tom Huddlestone cross ditanduk by Peter Crouch. Tall players efforts were successful denied by Portsmouth goalkeeper David James.

Ten minutes later, Hassan Yebda breakthrough bait Piquionne leads to a successful escape from the escort Spurs defender. Furthermore, players were numbered the back nine opened fire can still be driven flat Gomes. Aruna Dindane struck the ball rebounds. But the loose ball that he had not led to the goal so that it can be secured by Gomes.

Six minutes into the break, David James in action foiled a removable chip kick Tom Huddlestone from outside the penalty box.

At the end of the first half, two opportunities that got the Spurs midfielder David Bentley entirely thwarted Portsmouth midfielder Marc Wilson.

A minute after the restart, Defoe kick from the right goal can still be discarded by Portsmouth defender Ricardo Rocha.

The Pompey threaten via Kevin Prince Boateng's free-kick on 51 minutes. The ball had bounced the ground in front of the wicket The Lilywhites and then driven away by Gomes and producing football corner.

Four minutes later, a cross was met Aruna Dindane cross. The ball can be caught by Gomes.

Spurs opportunity through Defoe's pass in the 55th minute was too weak so that James would not be too difficult to break the attack.

Next Spurs more threat. However, Crouch got two opportunities in each of the 65 minutes and three minutes later still deviated from the target.

Golden opportunity came for Spurs in the 70th minute. Vedran Corluka released the ball from the left side of the Portsmouth penalty box hit the foot of Aaron Mokoena and could lead to the goal itself. Although overshadowed Crouch, Mokoena successfully throw the ball out.

Five minutes towards the end of the second half, Spurs strike back. Through the corner of the football situation, a ball and then kicked by Kranjcar. But the efforts of Croatia's players still hit the foot of Boateng who was standing in front of the goalposts.

James returned to action in the 90th minute. Luka Modric struck feed from Peter Crouch, the ball successfully ignored by the former England goalkeeper. Gareth Bale struck the ball bounce, but only giving soccer corner kick.

0-0 score stood until 2 x 45 minutes done half forcing extra time. In the first minutes of extra time, the threat of Portsmouth through Piquionne still sideways from goalkeeper Gomes.

Portsmouth opened the scoring in the 99th minute through Piquionne. This goal started from a free kick situation. French players were successful using the situation as defender Michael Dawson who escorted him from slipping. Piquionne then shook off the execution of the North London team goalkeeper.

Crouch had scored in 11 minute first half of extra time. However annulled because of previous violations.

Second half minute of extra time to walk, James avert incursion Spurs built by Gareth Bale and terminated by the execution Pavlyuchenko.

Portsmouth lock the victory in the 117th minute through a penalty Kevin Prince Boateng. There were 12 right-kick awarded after Sebastian Bassong Aruna Dindane in the box violating forbidden.

The last chances in this game comes through substitute spurn The Pompey, John Utaka. Kick can still be pushed over by Gomes.



Teams :


Tottenham Hotspur:
Gomes; Dawson, Bassong, Bale, Corluka, Bentley (Kranjcar 78 '), Huddlestone (Gudjohnsen 102'), Modric, Palcios, Crouch, Defoe (Pavlyuchenko 59 ')

Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Rocha, Brown, Mullins (Hughes 119 '), Mokoena, Yebda (Utaka 87'), Boateng, Wilson, Piquionne (Bouba Diop 112 '), Dindane