Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
In my opinion, this is the biggest clash on the EPL calendar. Whenever these two sides meet, the tension is palpable and you get the feeling that things could boil over at any moment. Traditionalists will argue that Manchester United and
Fifth-placed Blackburn face
Hleb revels in his rise from scapegoat to shining light at resurgent Gunners
Rebuilt Rivals Set For Battle
Phil McNulty: Fabregas Holds the Key
Alan Hansen: United Strength Begins in Defense
Saturday, 3 November
Kick-off: 1245 GMT
20:30 Energie Cottbus v Schalke
Saturday 3rd November
15:30 Werder Bremen v Hansa Rostock
15:30 Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
15:30 Bayer Leverkusen v Arminia Bielefeld
15:30 Nürnberg v Stuttgart
15:30 Hamburg v Hertha Berlin
15:30 Hannover v Borussia Dortmund
Sunday 4th November
16:00 Bochum v Wolfsburg
16:00 Karlsruhe v Duisburg
Hamburg – Hertha Berlin
Bayern’s closest challengers face Hertha Berlin at the HSH-Nordbank Arena. Huub Stevens’ side are currently riding the crest of a wave with nine wins in their last ten games and find themselves just four points behind Bayern Munich. They have also shown they are more than a one man team, as influential skipper Rafael van der Vaart has been missing since the international break with an injury although he is now ready to return. A 3-1 win over Freiburg on Wednesday has seen the Hanseaten advance to the last 16 of the German Cup.
Lucien Favre sees his Hertha side nestling comfortably in mid-table. Five wins have been mirrored with five defeats and a single draw. The capital club were sent tumbling out of the Cup in midweek by Wuppertaler SC, which was the big shock of the second round. Their recent home form has been better than their away form, so HSV should be confident of gaining another three points.
Barcelona lost ground at the top of the Primera Liga on Thursday after being held by lowly Real Valladolid. Joseba Llorente stunned the visitors with the opener after 17 minutes, but Ronaldinho replied shortly before the interval to spare Barca's blushes.
D.C. United 2 - 2 Chicago Fire
For Chicago, the playoffs effectively started with the final game of the regular season, when the Fire defeated a Galaxy team that needed a victory to clinch a place in the postseason. From that moment on, Blanco has shifted his game into a different gear. His experience of pressure situations and ability to carve out something extra when it matters were crucial in driving the Fire past United and a step closer to the title.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson, with characteristic obscenity, says his greatest achievement is “knocking Liverpool off their f****** perch”. When Kenny Dalglish resigned as manager after Liverpool threw away a quartet of leads in the 4-4 draw with Everton in the FA Cup, the team were top of the league. Dalglish left, emotionally in tatters, another victim of Hillsborough. Manchester United filled the vacuum created by tragedy, that’s all. But expecting humility from Ferguson is too much. Grim years loomed ahead.
26 Liverpool 0 Everton 0, League Cup final, March 25, 1984
During the dark days of Thatcherism, a match in London was as much a political statement as a football trip. Thousands of ski-hatted Scousers, Blue and Red, disgorged from trains into Euston station singing in support of the Miners and Liverpool’s Militant Council. Scouse power in action.
ALL 50 MOMENTS
Wednesday 31 October (all times local)
20:00 Villarreal 3 - 0 Levante
20:00 Almeria 0 - 1 Real Zaragoza
20:00 Betis 0 - 3 Osasuna
20:00 Getafe 2 - 0 Athletic
20:00 Recreativo 0 - 0 Racing
20:00 Deportivo 1 - 1 Mallorca
21:00 Valencia 0 - 4 Real Madrid (Half-time score)
22:00 Atletico Madrid L - L Sevilla
Thursday 1 November
22:00 Valladolid - Barcelona
22:00 Espanyol - Murcia
Real Madrid hit four goals in a devastating first-half spell as they stormed to a 5-1 away win over Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday. A second-minute strike from Raul, a Ruud van Nistelrooy double and a superb shot from defender Sergio Ramos put Bernd Schuster's side 4-0 up after just 37 minutes while Robinho added a classy fifth midway through the second half.
Wednesday 31 October (all times local)
20:30 Atalanta 2 - 2 Cagliari
20:30 Fiorentina 1 - 0 Napoli
20:30 Inter 4 - 1 Genoa (report)
20:30 Juventus 3 - 0 Empoli (report)
20:30 Palermo 1 - 1 Parma
20:30 Reggina 1 - 3 Livorno
20:30 Roma 3 - 2 Lazio (report)
20:30 Sampdoria 0 - 5 Milan (report)
20:30 Siena 1 - 1 Catania
20:30 Udinese 2 - 1 Torino
On a night of potential giant-killings in the Carling Cup, there were no upsets - though Luton have taken Everton to extra-time and Leicester City gave Chelsea a fright, leading 3-2 before succumbing to two late goals to lose 3-4.
God returns to Anfield...
When Eduardo arrived at the Emirates from Dinamo Zagreb this summer he was hyped as the "new Thierry Henry". Still too busy lamenting their hero's departure, few Arsenal fans were convinced but the Brazilian-born Croatia striker undid Sheffield United last night with two goals even Henry would have treasured.
When Avram Grant promised that there would be more excitement at Stamford Bridge, this cannot have been what he meant. Twice Leicester led, Chelsea's second equaliser coming as late as the 86th minute, and it was deep into stoppage time before the holders confirmed their progress with a goal as chaotic as the game it decided. In the confusion Frank Lampard claimed the final touch, and with it a hat-trick. "I don't know who scored the last goal," said Grant, "and I don't care. Chelsea scored it."
Any team except the Chicago Fire, which has had more success at RFK than any visitor. The Fire's perfect playoff record against D.C. (4-0-1 after its Game 1 victory last week) is well-publicized, but their playoff record at RFK is more staggering. Two postseason visits to RFK (in 2003 and 2005) have resulted in two shutout victories by a combined score of 6-0.
D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire: Preview
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The two-time Most Valuable Player in the NBA Steve Nash has expressed an interest in buying Tottenham Hotspur, though any potential involvement would rely heavily upon the Phoenix Suns player unearthing financial backers with whom to form a consortium to tempt the current regime into any sale.
I'm certainly no fan of the NBA and do not pretend to be an expert, but I'm fairly confident that Steve Nash is not its "biggest star." -Sanford
Cash-strapped Coventry had their Carling Cup dreams cruelly ended as Carlton Cole's injury-time winner for West Ham gave the Premier League side a 2-1 win.
Bolton v Manchester City - 20:00
Chelsea v Leicester - 19:45
Liverpool v Cardiff - 20:00
Luton v Everton - 19:45
Portsmouth v Blackburn - 19:45
Sheffield United v Arsenal - 19:45
Tottenham v Blackpool - 20:00
Valencia host Real Madrid in the marquee clash of this matchday...
Plaza de la Reina, Valencia
Avram Grant says there are no longer any "untouchables" at Chelsea and only those who perform well are guaranteed a place in his side.
Grant spells it out: there are no 'untouchables' at Chelsea now
The former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has announced his retirement with immediate effect. The 35-year-old, now with Ajax, revealed that he had taken the decision to quit due to a lack of motivation.
England may have "invented" football but the Brazilians define its soul and no one with a drop of romance in their veins can argue with the appeal of a World Cup in the land of the joga bonito. But yesterday's decision by Fifa, football's world governing body, to award the 2014 tournament to Brazil is, like that which sent the 2010 jamboree to South Africa, something of a gamble.
As with 2010, the political choice is also the popular one, but the challenges are immense. The area bordered by Porto Alegre, Recife and Manaus, all putative hosts, is larger than that marked by Oslo, Lisbon and Istanbul, and lacks Europe's generally impressive transportation infrastructure.
On Sunday Wembley Stadium played host to the first-ever regular season NFL game outside North America when the Miami Dolphins played the New York Giants. While the game itself was a little disappointing, days of pre-game hype, promotional razzmatazz and the Dolphins rather charming cheerleading squad provided plenty of good clean fun for the Limeys.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
J.R. Eskilson and Zac Lee Rigg roundup the performances put forth by the Americans playing throughout several leagues in Europe outside of England.
Goal.com USA's Matthew Braine looks at each American players performance over this past weekend in England and Scotland.
The Entire Eleven
Brazil's long wait to stage the World Cup will end on Tuesday (1430 GMT) when it is named the host nation for the 2014 finals. Brazil is the only candidate to stage the world's largest and most lucrative single-sport tournament after its bid was approved by FIFA's technical delegation last week. By the time the finals kickoff, 64 years will have passed since the South American country hosted the World Cup for the only other time.
Audiences are global, so why not give them a taste of the product in the flesh? Clubs have been going on preseason tours for years, but, precisely because far-flung audiences are becoming savvy, they know that a midsummer friendly is, ultimately, a meaningless exhibition match. There is nothing like the real thing - when points are at stake – to satisfy the craving.
Monday, October 29, 2007
'Spurs are on their way to Belsen, Hitler's gonna gas 'em again...' It's not a song you would expect to hear on a family day out at a Premier League game, but it is one of several anti-Semitic chants still heard at some top-flight grounds. While the message about anti-black abuse is in the public consciousness, campaigners say that anti-Semitism is alive - and unchecked.
Henry and Messi lead Barca, Real Madrid Cruise...
|October 28, 2007||GP||PT|
|Deportivo La Coruña||9||8|
English endeavour and Spanish silk cancelled one another out as the last two unbeaten records in the Premier League were preserved. As the dominant figures in their respective sides, it was fitting that Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas were the scorers at Anfield. In a clash of styles, their individual approaches epitomised the differences between the two teams.
CHELSEA 6-0 MANCHESTER CITY
Removed for crimes against entertainment would be the best way to reflect on Jose Mourinho's departure from Chelsea.
I was out with my mates last Friday night in the local greasy Joe's (well - the owner's called José Mari actually), and after downing a fine round of 'filete con las obras' (steak with the works) - the works consisting of chips, red peppers and two fried eggs, we were just about to tuck into a plate of cheese and quince when the mobile rang.
While another form of football was boring the pants of spectators at a muddy Wembley, the real game of the day in England was taking place at Anfield.
The match proved without doubt that Arsenal are the real McCoy. Liverpool, who badly missed Agger and foolishly risked Torres, were lucky to get away with a point. But for the posts and a fear of open goals Arsenal would have taken all three. Worryingly for rest there are areas where Arsenal can improve. Uncertainty at set pieces is still there, they could learn how to hold a wall, and Adebayor still blows hot and cold. Yesterday he was woeful: his first touch was comical, his passing pitiful [most notably ruining a fantastic length-of-the-pitch run from Toure], and he was offside more often that Pipo Inzaghi. This was perhaps a game where Wenger deep down missed Henry. There's no doubting Adebayor's talent, next week he could score three against United, but he does look more confident with a partner. Wenger would never do it, for a whole host of reasons, but I'd love to see that formation with a player like Eto'o or Ibrahimovic leading the line.
The biggest plus for Arsenal the season, other than Fabregas scoring goals, has been the change in Alexandr Hleb. He seems to have finally bought into the Wenger system. After two seasons of still thinking he was in the much slower Bundesliga he's now adapted his game. Before he would hold up the ball as Arsenal were counter-attacking, destroying momentum. Now he lets the ball flow in the middle of the park, holding it up instead in the final third of the field, thus bringing midfield runners, most notably Fabregas, into goal scoring positions.
Next week: Manchester United at Emirates Stadium
Gerrard shares the glory with Fabregas
Arsene Wenger’s men stick to their principles
David Pleat's chalkboard
Henry the second - Adebayor interview
Drab Draw For Genoa and Fiorentina
Roma beat Milan while Juventus are toppled by Napoli and Inter held by Palermo...
R. Mehdi: There was a conspiracy in favour of Juventus during Moggi's crooked reign now I would suggest, for this season at least, there is a conspiracy against them. That sick feeling most Juventus supports have in their stomachs right now, that's how it feels to be cheated. Juve host Inter next Sunday and if they line-up with this defence they'll get absolutely destroyed. Can't bloody wait.
|Sun 28th October 2007|
|Bolton||1-1||Aston Villa||13:30||Report >|
|Derby County||0-2||Everton||14:00||Report >|
|Sat 27th October 2007|
|Birmingham||3-2||Wigan Athletic||15:00||Report >|
|Chelsea||6-0||Manchester City||15:00||Report >|
|Man Utd||4-1||Middlesbrough||15:00||Report >|