Friday, April 23, 2010

Landon Donovan Gets Mad at a Reporter

Premier League 2009/10: The Countdown

As the Premier League football season reaches its climax, Telegraph Sport highlight the games that really matter.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

Tottenham aim to make it a memorable hat-trick when they lock horns with Manchester United, Spurs' top-four rivals Manchester City head to Arsenal while Aston Villa tackle derby foes Birmingham.

Elsewhere, table-toppers Chelsea look to return to winning ways against Stoke City while struggling trio Hull City, West Ham and Burnley have home games against Sunderland, Wigan and Liverpool respectively.

Preview I
Preview II

Manchester United vs. Tottenham: Preview I
Manchester United vs. Tottenham: Preview II
Arsenal vs. Manchester City: Preview

Lawro's Predictions

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

Barcelona will hope to end a disappointing week on a high against Xerez as top plays bottom in La Liga.

All was looking rosy for Pep Guardiola's side this time last week but a goalless draw with Espanyol allowed second-placed Real Madrid to cut their advantage at the summit back to one point with five games remaining.

Eduardo Alvarez's Previews

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Roma host Sampdoria on Sunday night on the back of six straight victories.

Inter host relegation-threatened Atalanta on Saturday with all eyes set on the Nerazzurri's controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli threw his Inter jersey on the pitch after coming on as a second half substitute against Barca but is set to play this weekend.

Milan go into the final four weeks of the season in third place and seven points behind league leaders Roma.


Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

The Bundesliga’s European hopefuls all have fixtures against lower-ranked opponents this weekend, but no match will be easy.


Bochum – Stuttgart

Nuernberg – Borussia Dortmund
Hertha Berlin – Schalke
Borussia M’gladbach – Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen – Hannover
Mainz – Eintracht Frankfurt
Werder Bremen – Koeln

Hoffenheim – Hamburg
Freiburg – Wolfsburg


Amy Lawrence: Arjen Robben comes of age to take the limelight from cream of Argentina

Bayern Munich's lucky charm threatens Lionel Messi's status as the Champions League's stand-out player.

How much would Ghana miss Essien?

At their first World Cup four years ago, Ghana's campaign came off the wheels when Chelsea star and midfielder Michael Essien missed the second round clash against Brazil.

Even with him the Black Stars' hopes were slim but without a man whose group displays were heroic, those hopes were wafer-thin - as shown when Brazil won 3-0.

Now Ghana's World Cup dreams are being revised again with the news the midfielder may not just miss the last five months of Chelsea's season but June's finals as well, because of a nagging knee problem.

The Five Greatest Premier League Matches Between Manchester United And Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed some of the most exciting matches in Premier League history.

This weekend's opponents have thrilled their supporters with several barnstorming meetings. From incredible comebacks to last-minute equalisers, this game has rarely disappointed. UK looked back at the most gripping contests between the two sides...

Freddie Montero's Free-Kick From Last Night

Friday MLS Forecast

The Forecast ponders the controversial penalty kick decision at the end of last night's 2-2 draw between Seattle and FC Dallas before sharing its weekly picks.

UEFA Europa League: Thursday's Reports

Hamburg 0 - 0 Fulham

Fulham hold firm in Germany

Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Liverpool Forlan strike denies Reds

The Week That Was

This was the week in which Boy George revealed his Nemanja Vidic fetish, Inter Milan beat Barack Obama to Mars, Rosenborg midfielder Anthony Annan took a bite out of an opponent, Juan Roman Riquelme became the new John Terry and Jens Lehmann was reunited with THAT ball boy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From the Cottage to the Continent: The Story of Fulham's Amazing European Adventure

Vilnius. Perm. Sofia. Rome. Donetsk. Turin. Wolfsburg. Hamburg. It looks more like a list of destinations you could fly to for £9.99 on a low-cost airline, but it actually tells the remarkable story of Fulham's trailblazing adventures through Europe this season.

Oliver Kay: England's Top-Flight Team of the Season

Right back: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

The competition here was so poor that, for a time, I was going to pick Carlos Cuellar, Aston Villa’s makeshift right back. Ivanovic, who prefers to play at centre-half, is no Maicon either and has had a few iffy games, but, in an unimpressive field – Bacary Sagna strangely below par, Glen Johnson inconsistent, Vedran Corluka not wholly convincing – the Serbia defender makes it by default.

The Rest

Oops! Wrong Ivanovic. Sorry...

Portsmouth barred from Europa League next season

Portsmouth will not be permitted to play in the Europa League next season because of their financial problems.

The South Coast club would have qualified to play in Europe next season after reaching the FA Cup final against Chelsea - who will be in the Champions League - but the club’s administrators have been told that any late application for a Uefa club licence will not be considered.

Portsmouth: The Great Betrayal

Martin Tyler's Column

Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.

UEFA Europa League Semifinals: Today's Previews

Hamburg vs. Fulham

Dempsey returns for Cottagers

Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool
Bus, train & plane for Reds

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday's Match Reports & Fallout

Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Lyon

Report I
Report II

Mark Lomas at Allianz Arena

Player Ratings

England: Wednesday's Premier League Report

Hull City 0 - 2 Aston Villa

Louise Taylor at the KC Stadium

England: Premier League Worst Signings of the Season

2. Kolo Toure & Joleon Lescott (Manchester City, £14 million & £22 million)

With money no object, Mark Hughes went shopping for defenders. And while John Terry eventually opted to stay at Chelsea, the former Manchester City manager had the opportunity to assemble an enviable back four. He produced a ridiculed one. Kolo Toure fared rather worse than his cheaper replacement at Arsenal, Thomas Vermaelen, while Joleon Lescott appeared, especially in the first half of the season, unnerved by the price tag and a rather lesser player than the man who excelled for Everton. And as Roberto Mancini has discovered, City's most reliable centre back is one who was already at the club: Vincent Kompany.

The Rest

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

UEFA Champions League: Previews For Today's Match

What: Champions League Semi-Final First Leg
Bayern Munich vs. Lyon
When: 2:45pm EDT
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Preview I
Preview II

Paul Marshall: Lyon on road to success
Paul Doyle: Lyon's Lloris one of the best

Martin Rogers Column

John Terry gets called a lot of names these days and he’s getting used to it. Abuse and vitriol from opposing fans cascades down from the stands on the tainted Chelsea defender every week.

But “liability” is one taunt he thought he’d never hear.

Terry’s failings and infidelities in his private life have spawned a wider examination of his on-field productivity, and in the closing weeks of the English Premier League season, he is failing the test.

Manchester United supporters to blame for lack of tickets, say Sunderland

Sunderland have blamed the notoriety of Manchester United’s travelling support for the decision to issue just 1,700 tickets to visiting fans for the May 2 fixture at the Stadium of Light.

Jonathan Wilson in Eastern Europe

Footballers who return to old clubs gamble with their legacy but the former Chelsea player is sure he made the right decision.

Andriy Shevchenko hoping for perfect swansong to career at Dynamo Kyiv.

How Roy Hodgson steered Fulham on long road to Hamburg

The Cottagers' manager has taken the club from the brink of relegation to a remarkable Europa League odyssey.

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday's Match Reports & Fallout

Internazionale Milan 3 - 1 Barcelona
Report I
Report II

Roberto Gotta at San Siro
Kevin Buckley at San Siro
Matt Hughes at San Siro

Richard Williams: Inter add style to substance

Barcelona ran 10k less against Inter than against Arsenal

Balotelli criticized by teammates after tantrum

Player Ratings

On the road with Liverpool: Madrid here we come

The first leg of this rearranged journey to the Vicente Calderón and the Europa League semi-final first leg is an eye-opener for all concerned. For the cosseted millionaires of Liverpool Football Club, there is the rare taste of public transport. For the rest of us – the accompanying party of 20 journalists – it is the rare experience of first class without hiding in the toilets when the ticket inspector appears. And free drink.

Four French Internationals Called By Police As Witnesses In Sex Scandal

Thierry Braillard, counsel for Govou, told the media: “My client wishes to assert the he is not remotely related to any pimping network. This affair wounds him deep because it affects his family and their honour.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

UEFA Champions League: Previews For Today's Match

What: Champions League Semi-Final First Leg
Inter Milan vs. Barcelona
When: 2:45pm EDT
Where: San Siro, Milan, Italy
U.S. TV: Fox Sports Net
Preview I
Preview II

Richard Williams: Mourinho faces toughest test
Roberto Gotta: Inter's date with destiny

Mourinho has little sympathy for Barca travel woe
Guardiola the Conqueror
The Making of Mourinho

Franck Ribery questioned over Paris call-girl allegations

Ribery was summoned before the judge together with fellow French international Sidney Govou, 30, of Lyons. Their lawyers stressed that the pair were involved in the inquiry only as witnesses. “My client had no other part to play in this matter,” Sophie Bottai, Ribery’s lawyer, said. “Some personalities, including Franck Ribery and other players, have a relationship with someone close to the organiser of an escort girl network. It’s only because of this relationship that they have been heard by police.”

Australia's Harry Kewell targets World Cup after return from injury

The former Liverpool winger, who has not played since December, expects to return for his club Galatasaray this weekend but has only four games in which to prove his fitness before the end of the league season.

Sid Lowe in Spain

Barça's neighbours waited 13 years to have a stadium of their own again, and it hasn't taken long to settle in.

Espanyol make their new home a fortress to derail Barcelona.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany + Bundesliga Table

The Bundesliga could soon witness the disconcerting spectacle of an English manager with a fake German accent.

McClaren and Houllier in the frame to resurrect slumping Hamburg.

Bayern Munich3118943763
Schalke 043118762361
Werder Bremen3115972854
Bayer Leverkusen31141252454
Borussia Dortmund3115881353
VfB Stuttgart311489850
Hamburg SV31121271548
VfL Wolfsburg3113711546
Eintracht Frankfurt3112910-445
FC Cologne3191012-737
Borussia Monchengladbach3110714-1237
TSG Hoffenheim319814-335
VfL Bochum3161015-2428
SC Freiburg317717-2728
Hannover 96317618-2927
Hertha Berlin315818-1923

Paolo Bandini in Italy + Serie A Table

Hauling off two club idols left the manager in danger of being pilloried, but his gutsy changes kept Roma top.

Courageous Claudio Ranieri's tinkering pays off for Roma.

AS Roma3421852471
AC Milan34181062064
Chievo Verona3411815-341

Quotes & Chants of the Week

"I know Drogba is a world-class player, but he could play world-class volleyball on that evidence."
Bolton boss Owen Coyle gives a verbal volley to Didier Drogba, after the Chelsea striker's handball went unpunished.

Then there's the second one, when John Terry handles it. The assistant referee says it hit his shoulder but it's a clear penalty. He must have a shoulder that stretches down to his ankles in that case."
Coyle wonders whether John Terry is actually Inspector Gadget in disguise.

"He put youths who hadn't even trained with us before on the bench, along with
me. I was the nanny."
Ex-Rangers player Jerome Rothen claims Walter Smith turned him into the Mary Poppins of the squad.

David Pleat: "I know Modric's dentist. And his dentist thinks he's a super, super guy."
Commentator 2: "You can tell a lot about someone from dental records."
Pleat: "Absolutely!"
One of the most bizarre pieces of commentary I've ever heard from the Spurs-Chelsea match!

"I expect Manchester to win."
Cristiano Ronaldo's Sky Sports exclusive Manchester derby preview.

"Que sera sera,
Wherever we'll be, we'll be
We're going to Wem-berlee.
Que sera sera."
Portsmouth fans after seeing their team beat Spurs in the FA Cup Wembley.

"Adebayor, Adebayor - he scores more than Berbatov, who cost a lot more."

Quickly followed by....

"Adebayor, Adebayor, but when we sign Torres he's out of the door."
Manchester City fans.

The Rest

Americans On The Continent: Seven Is Not Heaven

Steve Cherundolo captained Hannover again over the weekend, but could do nothing as Bayern Munich pummeled his relegation-threatened side 7-0 on the strength of an Arjen Robben hat-trick.

The Rest

Americans In The UK: Eric Lichaj Scores, Helps Leyton Orient Stay Alive

Lichaj scored his first English goal on Saturday, aiding his team in their League One survival push.

The Rest

Phil Ball in Spain + La Liga Table

There has been a lot going on this week, quite apart from the double whammy of league fixtures and their consequences for the final gasps of this campaign. The Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) called off a possible strike for this last weekend - although it never really looked as though they were serious - and then actually did some good for the game, instead of arguing about whether super-rich foreign players should pay a bit more tax or not. The meeting ended with greater guarantees for the players of Segunda 'B', increasing a fund to pay players' salaries when their clubs cannot, or will not, pay up.

Real Madrid3327245883
Sevilla FC33166111154
Athletic Bilbao3314712149
Deportivo La Coruña3312813-944
Atlético Madrid3311715-340
Sporting Gijon3391014-1137
Racing Santander3381213-1236
Real Zaragoza3381015-1834

England: Monday's Report + Premier League Table

Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham
Richard Jolly at Anfield

Manchester United3576
Tottenham Hotspur3464
Manchester City3462
Aston Villa3458
Stoke City3443
Blackburn Rovers3543
Bolton Wanderers3535
Wigan Athletic3535
Wolverhampton Wanderers3534
West Ham United3531
Hull City3428

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday MLS Breakdown: Bradley Faces Buddle Dilemma As World Cup Approaches

Edson Buddle scored twice to hand Los Angeles a fourth consecutive victory and increase his season tally to seven. Buddle's early-season form presents a difficult choice for U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley, according to Kyle McCarthy.

Gerard Pique Focus

To watch Pique in this gifted Barça team is to see not a junior player but one who takes initiatives. To hear from his colleagues is to recognise that his combination of self-belief and leadership spreads easily from pitch to dressing-room.

No team stands out in the Premier League but there’s a welcome strength in depth

We had become accustomed to the top three losing a total of between 11 and 16 matches a season. This season Chelsea, United and Arsenal have lost 21 and there are three matches each to play. This is partly because of relative financial constraints and partly the improvement of the chasing pack (although neither Manchester City nor Aston Villa have yet had full value for their investments).

England: Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Tottenham leave egg on our faces, Wenger sums up Arsenal's plight, Arteta takes inspiration from the Three Stooges, Mancini brings an old joke to mind and that kiss was just wrong.

Roma, Claudio Ranieri and José Mourinho: Romance and Revenge in Italy

In a story of north v south and hero v Mourinho, Roma's Claudio Ranieri is on the verge of an extraordinary triumph.

Brother of United's Mame Biram Diouf beaten up after Manchester derby

During the day the police made 20 arrests, including 10 for public order offences and one for breaching a banning order. When the teams met in the Carling Cup semi-final in January, police searches at the gates led to golf balls and darts being confiscated from the United fans. On this occasion no weapons were found.

Liverpool's Fernando Torres out for rest of season

Torres's absence for the closing stages of the campaign is the latest blow for Liverpool in a season which has been beset by injuries to key players and poor form as the expected push for a first title since 1990 petered out early on.

Volcano Causes Chaos

Fulham's Europa League semi-final tie at Hamburg will go ahead on Thursday.

The first leg had been in doubt because of the cloud of volcanic ash that has drifted from Iceland and grounded flights across Europe.

Uefa is expected to announce later on Monday whether Liverpool's semi-final against Atletico Madrid will be played on the same night in Spain.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Review

Inter Milan held off the challenge of a courageous 10-man Juventus to move back to the top of Serie A thanks to a 2-0 win on Friday night. Roma restored their one-point lead over Inter Milan at the top of Serie A after overcoming city rivals Lazio.