Friday, April 16, 2010
Carlos Tevez and Gary Neville, the two central figures in the acrimony that has surrounded this season's Manchester derbies, will be under police orders not to do anything that could incite crowd trouble when City and United renew hostilities tomorrow.
The Manchester derby between City and United kicks things off this weekend as the former aim to close on fourth place while the latter target salvaging the defence of their Premier League crown.
Elsewhere, division leaders Chelsea make the short trip to Tottenham, struggling Hull City visit Birmingham City, Burnley are seeking back-to-back successes against Sunderland, Arsenal take on Wigan while Wolves and Bolton go in search of vital points at Fulham and Stoke respectively.
Fabio Capello has joined the chorus of praise for Serie A leaders Roma as they head into Sunday's city derby at Lazio. While Inter can go back on top with a win, for at least 48 hours, Juventus are looking to reduce their three-point gap to fourth-placed Palermo.
Barcelona must negotiate a testing city derby with Espanyol this weekend as they close in on the La Liga title. Hoping to take advantage of any Barca slip at Espanyol's Cornella-El Prat stadium are a Madrid side who face third-placed Valencia at the Bernabeu a day later on Sunday.
Koeln – Bochum
Hamburg – Mainz
Freiburg – Nuernberg
Schalke – Borussia M’gladbach
Borussia Dortmund – Hoffenheim
Eintracht Frankfurt –
Free for every reader, your cut-out-and-keep guide to North East football cliches. Courtesy of The Times, you need never again be stuck for conversation down the pub. We can tell you how to abuse Newcastle United supporters for their "delusional" response to promotion and lambast Sunderland fans for their daft "expectations." For good measure, we’ll guide you on how best to make gratuitous references to Teesside’s landscape.
Didier Deschamps's side are on the verge of winning Ligue 1 and put an end to years of underachievement.
Never mind the title, the Gunners should have made a bold statement about a bright future against Tottenham.
Football just hasn't stopped this week, and there were still a couple of games to go as I wrote this, so I'll have to consider some of this weekend's matches without knowing all the prior results. Perhaps that makes it more interesting anyway. Eduardo did well last time out, with 7 from 10, and that's hard to beat, particularly at this stage of the season when everything starts to go a bit topsy-turvy. Why does this happen?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
He should have signed a striker in January to compensate for the loss of Robin van Persie and has never adequately replaced Gilberto Silva, even though it's obvious that Denilson is not a good enough defensive midfield player. For all their promise, this Arsenal side often struggle to do the defensive basics correctly, which must be a failure of coaching, squad-building or both.
Struggling Valladolid have appointed Spanish football's Red Adair for what will now, inevitably, be a wild fight for survival.
Mission possible for Real Valladolid as Javier Clemente answers SOS.
Fifa agreed on Wednesday to drop a ruling that sales could only be made online or through a ballot procedure.
Sir Alex Ferguson digs out a stereotype to blame Bayern Munich - who had six non-German players in their starting XI at Old Trafford - for getting Rafael sent off as Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League.
"It was tempting to sit in the home dug-out... when I was getting ready to go out, I thought I'd get pelted with eggs."
The yolk is on Neil Warnock upon his return to Selhurst Park with QPR.
"Attempts on goal is like going to a nightclub. Yyou could speak to 50 girls but if you're going home on your own, it's no good, is it? You could only speak to one and go home with her!"
Roy Keane's dating tips and Ipswich's scoring issues!
"It was extraordinary, there's no other word to describe it. It was embarrassing."
Brian Laws finds words where there are none, following Burnley's drubbing by Man City.
"He plays on the left, he plays centre mid, Charlie Adam could play for Madrid!"
Blackpool fans salute their hero at the Scunthorpe game.
"Exhausts in the morning, you're on exhausts in the morning!"
Fulham fans to Wolfsburg counterparts, regarding the Volkswagen factory that seems to employ two-thirds of the city's population.
Aston Villa 2 - 2 Everton
Jagielka clanger lets Villa off the hook
Wigan 0 - 0 Portsmouth
Lame Wigan fail to break down Pompey
Kevin McCarra: White Hart Lane graveyard for Arsenal ambitions
Kevin Palmer: Gunners left to wonder what might have been
Oliver Kay: Arsenal left with too much to do
David Hytner: Campbell shows he's still got it
Patrick Barclay: Campbell return a success
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Spurs, Stoke, Liverpool and Wigan will be no more deferential than Bolton as Chelsea aim to reclaim the title they last held four years ago. "The Premier League is in our hands, we have to stay calm," Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea coach, said on a night when John Terry played through a first-half injury and Yuri Zhirkov shed a milk urn of blood in a collision with Bolton's Kevin Davies.
Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Everything to play for in North London Derby
Spurs fans warned over Sol abuse
Aston Villa vs. Everton
Villa look to put pressure on leading pack
Wigan vs. Portsmouth
Latics welcome Cup finalists to DW Stadium
In the United States, Spurs vs. Arsenal will be broadcast on ESPN2 this afternoon at 3pm EDT...
Samuel Eto'o struck in the second half as Inter Milan won at Fiorentina to reach the Coppa Italia final.The Nerazzurri travelled to the Artemio Franchi stadium holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg. Fiorentina missed opportunities to score before Eto'o put the visitors ahead in the 57th minute.
Madrid go to Almeria on Thursday with defender Sergio Ramos insisting they won't give up on the title yet.
There are still plenty of other issues to play for with two of the Champions League contenders, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, meeting at the Mestalla on Thursday.
Third-placed Valencia are five points ahead of Real Mallorca and Sevilla, who occupy fourth and fifth respectively, with Athletic a further three points back.
With the 2009-10 club season entering its final straight, Goal.com offers the worst 10 transfer flops from Serie A.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
When news of Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith's decision to appoint a leading US investment firm to sell her stake in Arsenal reached BBC Towers on Monday afternoon, it prompted a chin-stroking debate amongst those hunched over the sports news benches: is this a twist or a development?
Manchester City's wealth has shattered the cartel at the top of the Premier League.
Finally they settled on the current strip - which, with a blue V on a white background looks like something out of rugby league. This is no coincidence. The story goes that they were offered a good deal on the shirts, which a rugby club had ordered and not bothered to collect.
Barça are the best side in the world and Messi is the best player on the planet. Without Xavi, they might not be.
Xavi pulls the strings as Barcelona leave Madrid dangling in despair again.
Italy finally has a title race after Roma go ahead of José Mourinho's stuttering Inter.
Roma's storming of the summit has sent alarm bells ringing in Serie A.
Louis Van Gaal's side are closing in on a 22nd championship after a lacklustre 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern Munich are tiring but have enough to take the Bundesliga title.
Vs. Burnley, 1-4, (90 minutes, 1 assist)
Altidore played the whole 90 on Saturday but Hull suffered a devastating 1-4 defeat at the hands of Burnley. Early on it looked as though Hull would be the aggressors as Altidore fed Kevin Kilbane for the opening goal just three minutes in. However, the Tigers picked up five yellow cards during the contest as they struggled to get their attack going, ultimately taking the lopsided loss. Hull is buried in 19th place, four points away from safety but they do have five games remaining.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Birmingham.
The tweaks of 2005 remain unappreciated but they generated a climate for some of the most beautiful football ever played.
"Could you please explain why Bundesliga teams are so funny. I know managers change, but in no other league do teams change positions so much in different seasons. There are some exceptions, like Villarreal, but the Bundesliga has more of this fluctuation. Why so?"It's a good question. As I type this, the top four teams in the league are Bayern, Schalke, Leverkusen and Dortmund. Last year, they were Wolfsburg, Bayern, Stuttgart and Hertha.
On Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona took not one, but four steps towards another La Liga title by convincingly beating Real Madrid on their own turf. Their 2-0 win gives the azulgranas a three-point lead plus the advantage in the head-to-head tiebreaker, so Real Madrid would need to gain four more points than Barcelona in the remaining seven La Liga matches to clinch the title. Looking at the recent history, it appears beyond them.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wembley is an embarrassment, we should all be delighted for/appalled by Portsmouth, too much of Barça can be a bad thing and Celtic should be careful what they wish for.
So are on Manchester United on the brink of crisis? Is it the end of the empire? Or are we just witnessing the latest blip during two decades of incredible success?
Portsmouth are set to appeal to the Football Association over their failed application for a Uefa club licence. Pompey are currently unable to play in Europe and the club administrator admitted they faced an uphill task to overturn the decision.
The reaction in Argentina whenever Messi has a headline-grabbing performance - and there have been a few this season and last - is one of pride mixed with frustration. Pride because having the planet's finest footballer is a source of joy for all, and his youth brings the tantalising prospect of still more improvement to come. Frustration because, more often than not, Messi hasn't shone in the matches which matter most to the fans in his homeland - those of the national team.
To the many and storied benefits of the Premier League revolution, chalk up the increasing requirement for committed fans to have a finance qualification. "Three years ago," reflects Everton supporter Dave Kelly, "if you'd have said 'enabling grant' to a supporter on the Goodison Road, they'd have thought you were talking about Tony Grant's brother."
Toronto FC has battled a leaky back line since it joined MLS in 2007. Kyle McCarthy explores the impact of the Preki regime and wonders when TFC will get it right in the Monday MLS Breakdown.
Roma moved top of Serie A for the first time since 2007 with a crucial victory in their bid for the title.
After being held 2-2 at Fiorentina on Saturday, Inter Milan found themselves overtaken at the top of the standings as the Giallorossi beat Atalanta 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico to move a point clear.
Real Madrid 0 - 2 Barcelona
Barca back on top
Phil Minshull's Report
Blackburn 0 - 0 Manchester United
Joe Lovejoy at Ewood Park
Richard Jolly at Ewood Park
Liverpool 0 - 0 Fulham
Tony Barrett at Anfield