Friday, March 12, 2010
The people who live nearby, proud as they are to host soccer’s greatest event, also wonder: How could there be money for a 46,000-seat stadium while many of them still fetch water from dirty puddles and live without electricity or toilets? In January 2009, the speaker of the municipal assembly, Jimmy Mohlala, was gunned down in front of his house. He had gathered evidence about stadium deals and declared that he was ready to name names and shame the shameless.
Tottenham Hotspur continue their pursuit of fourth place as they kick-off this weekend's action against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday lunchtime. Elsewhere, Chelsea will be aiming to climb back to the top of the table when they host West Ham, Burnley and Wolves lock horns while Bolton take on Wigan in two relegation six-pointers, and Arsenal make the trip to Phil Brown's Hull City. Everton go to Birmingham, Stoke host Villa, Fulham are at Manchester United and Manchester City go to Sunderland.
Spurs vs. Blackburn Preview (ESPN2 @ 7:45am EST)
AC Milan coach Leonardo has already forgotten his team's 4-0 humiliation at Manchester United in the Champions League and is focused on challenging for the Serie A title. Ahead of Sunday's home game against Chievo, Leonardo said: "I had imagined a different game at Old Trafford. Once again, Inter coach Jose Mourinho will have to watch his side's match at Catania on Friday from the stands while he completes a touchline ban. Roma are in third place, two points behind AC Milan ahead of Sunday's match at Livorno.
All eyes will be on Real Madrid's visit to Real Valladolid to see how they react to yet another Champions League disappointment. On paper, Madrid could barely have picked better opponents to face after last night's blow. Valladolid have taken just four points - all from draws - from their 10 games in 2010 and last Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao left them in 18th place and five points adrift of 17th-placed Real Zaragoza and safety. Barca had held top spot since beating Madrid in November but they dropped to second place after being held 2-2 at Almeria last Saturday. Pep Guardiola's reigning champions now face a potentially tough match on Sunday as they play host third-placed Valencia.
Schalke host Stuttgart, Hamburg visit Leverkusen, and Bayern face Freiburg in this round…
Schalke – Stuttgart
Borussia M’gladbach – Wolfsburg
Hertha Berlin – Nuernberg
Mainz – Koeln
Bochum – Borussia Dortmund
The young forward is confounding doctors with the speed his recovery is going at. He is targeting a return to les Lionceaux’s first team by the conclusion of the campaign...
A privileged few have experienced the honour of captaining their country to World Cup glory. Just two have won the competition as player and manager. But only one man has completed the hat-trick by 'winning' the World Cup as an administrator as well. It is hardly surprising, then, that the great Franz Beckenbauer will always be inextricably and inescapably associated with football's greatest competition.
Milan's heavy defeat at United suggested Serie A's weakness, though Internazionale will dispute that against Chelsea.
Liverpool's stuttering season took another turn for the worse as they lost 1-0 away to Lille in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash. Juventus outclassed Fulham to win 3-1 in the first leg of their tie in Turin. The Cottagers struggled for possession in the first half and went 2-0 down within 30 minutes thanks to goals from Nicola Legrottaglie and Jonathan Zebina.
Dempsey returned for Fulham...
This was the week in which ducks ate Urawa Reds' training pitch, Sergio Ramos indulged in a spot of nipple rubbing, Real Madrid boss Manuel Pellegrini was called a ''coward'', Samir Nasri scored a goal of the season contender and dummy-spitting Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is dubbed the 'greatest of all time'.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
When Robbie Savage said that he was not just “the hair, teeth, tan and the big house” it was rather assumed he was practicing another soundbite for his budding career as a radio commentator.
The midfielder is unlikely to have been ignorant of the symbolism of draping a green and gold scarf around his neck at Old Trafford last night.
Lille vs. Liverpool
French title-chasers looking to pile pressure on Rafa's Reds.
Juventus vs. Fulham
Hodgson's side face tough test against Italian giants.
Valencia vs. Werder Bremen
Slumping Spaniards host Germans
Atletico Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon
The midfielder will be on the bench for Fulham when they travel to Italy in the Europa league.
Martin O'Neill discusses Stiliyan Petrov's bedding-in period at Aston Villa when he arrived from Celtic in 2006.
"International football is no longer the pinnacle for players. The pinnacle of a career, for many of the top footballers now, is getting the big contract, the Bentley and the blonde."
Roy Keane on Wayne Bridge's decision not to play for England.
"I never thought it would take so long for me to have a chance to put it on. It does smell. I have only cleaned it once or twice."
Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez after celebrating his first goal for the club by putting on his trademark Spiderman mask. The mask that he keeps in his pants.
"Scoring goals is what you need to do to win games."
Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes finally gets the hang of football after 15 years in the game.
"Mohamed Zidan's dad says Manchester United and Barcelona have been looking at him. My dad says Manchester United and Barcelona have been looking at me too."
Clive Tyldesley commentating on England's game against Egypt at Wembley.
"You'll get the sack in the morning!"
West Brom fans as QPR's fifth manager of the season, Neil Warnock, was introduced to the Loftus Road faithful shortly before kick-off in his first match.
"John Terry - are you my dad?"
Stoke fans during the FA Cup tie with Chelsea.
Kevin McCarra: Match Report
Richard Jolly: Rooney upstages returning hero
David Pleat: How Milan were brushed aside
Harry Harris: Rooney on the brink of greatness
Real Madrid 1 - 1 Lyon
Sid Lowe: Match Report
Phil Minshull: Defeat leaves Pellegrini doomed
Paul Macdonald: €250m Down The Drain as Madrid crash out
No player has generated more excitement and anticipation in his formative years at Barcelona. Though players of the calibre of Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta have graduated from la Masia with remarkable results, it was Ivan de la Pena that developed a very particular romance with Barcelona supporters following his emergence in the mid-90s.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Where: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
When: 2:45 pm EST
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer +
Manchester United vs. AC Milan
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
When: 2:45 pm EST
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Richard Williams: Leonardo will urge Milan to attack
Golden Balls returns to Old Trafford...
U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard may have joined Everton from Manchester United in 2006, but he still lives in the Manchester area, about 35 miles from Everton's Goodison Park in Liverpool. I took the train out to see Howard on Monday, the day after Everton's 5-1 win over Hull City and five days after the U.S.' 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
They do not want Donovan to leave Everton when his loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy ends next Monday and he has to return to California for the start of the MLS season. Not the fans, who were likely seeing his final home game. Not his teammates, who literally held Donovan aloft, jolly-good-fellow style, after his goal and assist on Sunday. Not Everton manager David Moyes, who said once again that he wanted to try to extend Donovan's loan.
QPR's gain in signing one of the division's best managers is very much Crystal Palace's loss.
The figures, which have been published in a study conducted by Virgin Money, suggest that supporters are stepping up their revolt against Malcolm Glazer's ownership, which has gained fresh momentum over the past few weeks following interest from a group calling themselves the Red Knights.
Kevin McCarra: Match Report
Kevin Palmer: Bendtner finds shooting boots
Amy Lawrence: Bendtner repays Wenger's faith
Harry Harris: Super Sam leads the way
Oliver Kay: Irresistible beauty pagaent
Arsenal Player Ratings
Fiorentina 3 - 2 Bayern Munich
Robben's strike sends Bayern through
Fiorentina angry after defeat
The perception may be that English football is unsustainable, but compared to Russia it seems comfortingly robust.
After the boom, Russia's leading clubs are fighting to avoid the bust.
"I'm giving myself a chance to be with the full team by the end of this year," says Lletget, who turned 18 in September. "I want to play for the first team and I think I can do it. The way I'm playing, I can see it, and that would be really big for me. That's the way I feel."
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Where: Emirates Stadium, London, England
When: 2:45 pm EST
U.S. TV: Fox Sports Net
Wenger wary of warnings
Fiorentina vs. Bayern Munich
Where: Artemio Franchi Stadium, Florence
When: 2:45pm EST
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Snow will not postpone match
Sunderland vs. Bolton
Relegation rivals meet on Wearside with worries for Black Cats
Portsmouth vs. Birmingham
Blues return to Fratton Park after FA Cup exit
Another late comeback recalls the Capello days as Real take a giant step forward in the title battle with Barcelona.
Rafael van der Vaart the Real deal as dramatic winner lights up summit.
The only person who doesn't believe Magath can work his title-winning magic two seasons running is the man himself.
Felix Magath shrugs off title talk but Schalke can't help but impress.
It was the game all Italy had been waiting for but after Silvio Berlusconi's lunch with Leonardo, Milan's tactics were tweaked.
Roma and Milan fall flat in chase to challenge Internazionale.
The player is certainly keen to extend his stay in the Premier League and feels he has improved during his brief spell in England, but Donovan will certainly return to Los Angeles before April 15 in time for the start of the MLS season.
"I have told Galaxy what I want; they know what's going on and I speak to my manager there often," Donovan said in the Telegraph. "Both clubs know how I feel, which is that I would like to stay, though I can't end the season here, I'd have to go back April 15 at the latest.
Landon Donovan scored one of Everton’s five goals on Sunday as the squad easily handled Hull City 5-1.
Following his solid performance against the Netherlands in Amsterdam where he grabbed a headed goal from a set piece, Carlos Bocanegra netted once more against Monaco over the weekend.
The Football Association is looking into a security breach after a tape emerged purporting to carry discussions between England coaches and players.
The recording, allegedly made at the England hotel as the squad prepared for last week's friendly with Egypt, has been offered to media outlets.
All this, of course, is simply a preamble to the topic of the week, which has to be the splendid game in the 'Bernabow' on Saturday night. Even the most avid of Madrid haters would have to admit that it was something of a spectacle. Trailing 0-2 to Sevilla after 53 minutes, the merengues rallied and staged one of their infamous remontadas (comebacks), eventually winning the game 3-2 in stoppage time and taking over from Barcelona at the top of the league on goal difference.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Wigan vs. Liverpool
Reds can return to fourth with win
|English Premier League Table|
|West Ham United||28||27|
No strikeforce can compare to David Villa and Fernando Torres (who did not even start against France) and there are plenty of goals to come from elsewhere in this exquisite side.
Only Brazil will match them on current form and given the South Americans' physical strength and set piece aerial threat created by coach Dunga, they could well be more than a match for the Spanish when they meet.
Inside the United brotherhood the FA Youth Cup-winning class of 1992 – Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs – carry the red flame of continuity and tradition into their mid-30s. Neville, who joined the club way back in 1991 and made the first of his 588 appearances a year later against Torpedo Moscow, has seen and heard everything in two momentous decades and is widely seen as Sir Alex Ferguson's spiritual enforcer on the pitch.
Robbie Savage peddles a great line in self deprecation, John Terry doesn't, and the best dead-ball specialist in England plays in the Championship.
Was that the hint of a tear gathering in the corner of Landon Donovan’s eye as he bade farewell, at least for now, to the place where he sought opportunity and experience and found so much more? We can forgive Donovan for sparing a moment of emotion following what is likely to be the final home game of his loan spell with Everton, where he took less than 10 weeks to swat away years of doubt and criticism.
Serie A leaders Inter Milan were held to a goalless draw by Genoa at the San Siro.
The Nerazzurri went into the game knowing a win would see them climb six points clear of second-placed AC Milan after the Rossoneri were held to a 0-0 draw by Roma on Saturday.
Real Madrid 3 - 2 Sevilla
Almeria 2 - 2 Barcelona
More points dropped at the top
Elsewhere, Bolton Wanderers claimed an unlikely and impressive triumph against West Ham United at Upton Park while Everton spanked five past sorry Hull City to leave the Tigers in the drop zone.