Friday, April 15, 2011
Real Madrid and Barcelona will embark upon an intriguing four-game showdown on Saturday as the season approaches its climax.The two sides will meet in the La Liga this weekend with the title effectively at stake.
AC Milan, meanwhile, will be without Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Saturday's match against strugglers Sampdoria.
Ibrahimovic, who is the team's joint top scorer with 14 goals alongside Alexandre Pato, will start a three-match ban this weekend.
Second-placed Napoli are three points behind Milan and riding a four-match winning streak in Italy as they go into their home clash with European hopefuls Udinese.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Dominic Raynor's Preview
Paul Merson's Preview
Midlands Battle Lines Drawn
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
U.S. TV: Saturday, April 16 at 12:15pm EDT on Fox Soccer Channel
Five Epic Manchester Derbies
Bolton vs. Stoke City
U.S. TV: Sunday, April 17 at 11am EDT on Fox Soccer Plus
Stuart James: Pulis gets what he wants from Stoke
Paul Fletcher: How Coyle has transformed Bolton
In a rare interview, the Manchester United legend Paul Scholes says he is considering retirement after a glittering career.
Could FA Cup semi-final be Paul Scholes's last Manchester derby?
Sporting Braga capped a historic night for Portugal in the Europa League as all three Primeira Liga teams went through to the semi-finals. Starting the night level after a 1-1 draw away to Dynamo Kyiv last week, Braga survived the 28th-minute dismissal of Paulo César to earn a goalless draw which saw them through on away goals.
This week, Barcelona begin the Clasico mind games by giving Real Madrid the manita, Diego Maradona's 1986 Golden Ball is 'melted down' by the mafia, Nemanja Vidic almost cries, Luis 'The Owl Kicker' Moreno boots a human and an awful statue of David Beckham is unveiled in Iran.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
But some sides are more desperate than others for points and as the number of games whittle down, the fixture list still has some real crackers in store.
The last day of the season always has the final say on an affair or two but where are the biggest battles in the final run-in? Sportsmail looks at six of the most important games that will have a major impact on the title race, a Champions League spot and the biggest relegation free-for-all ever seen.
And so you can attribute pretty much anything you like to Abramovich. Roman likes chocolate. Roman enjoys cold showers. Roman wants to buy the Eiffel Tower. Roman wants to sign Lady Gaga. Anything is possible. Anything is plausible. Because Roman won't tell you otherwise. And official denials from club spokesfolks are not taken seriously.
Sid Lowe: Europe and Spain's biggest rivals prepare for four installments of El Clásico in only 18 days, culminating in the all-important Champions League semi-final.
Rod Gilmour: Forget a lazy end of season run-in. Barcelona and Real Madrid are set for four games in 18 days, starting with La Liga on Saturday and ending with a tasty Champions League semi-final double header.
Tottenham 0 - 1 Real Madrid (agg. 0 - 5)
Kevin McCarra at White Hart Lane
Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane
John Brewin at White Hart Lane
Italian Press View
Schalke 04 2 - 1 Inter Milan (agg. 7 - 3)
The collective hangover had barely cleared on Wednesday morning before Brighton and Hove Albion — and their manager Gus Poyet — were preparing for the dawn of a new era.
On Tuesday night, Lionel Messi set a new record when recording his 48th goal of a wonderful season for Barcelona. The previous holder of the club record was Ronaldo, who in his solitary season at the club in 1996-97 won both the Copa del Rey and the Cup Winners' Cup under Bobby Robson, before his career at Camp Nou was truncated by a bitter contractual dispute.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel at 2:45pm EDT
Tom Adams: Only pride at stake for Spurs
Jose taunts Tottenham
Schalke 04 vs. Inter Milan (agg. 5 - 2)
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Plus at 2:45pm EDT
Bas Savage has raised the bar for the wackiest haircuts in football.
With Dagenham and Redbridge battling for survival in League One, the striker attempted to inspire them for their clash against league leaders Brighton with a Spiderman design sprayed on his head.
Dutch soccer star Ruud Gullit was a legend in the 1980s. Now he is the new manager of Chechen team Terek Grozny as part of a pet project by Chechnya's hardman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, who hopes football success can help rebuild his battered country. But critics accuse Gullit, who used to be an outspoken proponent of human rights, of selling out.
With promotion secured, chairman Tony 'the Lizard' Bloom is one division away from his aim of Premier League football by 2019.
The new stadium...
Manchester United 2 - 1 Chelsea (agg. 3 - 1)
Phil McNulty at Old Trafford
Paul Hayward at Old Trafford
Richard Jolly at Old Trafford
Kevin McCarra at Old Trafford
Jonathan Wilson: 4-3-2-1 to no avail
Five Things We Learned
Shakhtar Donetsk 0 - 1 Barcelona (agg. 1 - 6)
U.S. World Cup strikers Jozy Altidore and Herculez Gomez ended extensive goal droughts with impressive tallies over the weekend and allayed some fears and worries among national team fans in the process.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel at 2:45pm EDT
Alan Smith: How Chelsea can win
Henry Winter: Ghosts of European past keep Sir Alex's spirit alive
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Barcelona (agg. 1 - 5)
Whether Chelsea can feel as pleased with themselves, only time will tell.
Having criticised mallorquines in his Son Moix tenure, Gregorio Manzano's return with Sevilla was always going to be lively.
Let them eat paella: Real Mallorca give Manzano a white-hot homecoming.
Who is Stan Kroenke, where does his money come from, and what changes will he make at Arsenal? Jeremy Wilson travelled to Denver last January to find out.
3 - 0
Richard Jolly at Anfield
Andy Hunter at Anfield
Mirko Slomka's hardworking side have overcome tragedy to give themselves a chance of Champions League football.
Hannover emerge from the shadows for tilt at European dream.
Luca Toni was dismissed as a flop by Genoa's president - but his winner against his old club kept Juve's European hopes alive.
Luca Toni tastes sweet revenge as Juventus win lunchtime thriller.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Udinese's hopes of playing in the Champions League next season were dealt a further blow with their second consecutive defeat, a 2-1 reverse at home to Roma.
A penalty from Francesco Totti in the 57th minute put the Giallorossi in front, but Antonio Di Natale levelled two minutes from time.
Totti's second with the final kick of the game broke Udinese's hearts and earned Roma all three points to get them back into the hunt for a top-four finish.
If you were looking for someone to save your season, and perhaps your job, would that person really be Benayoun?
Benayoun issues rallying cry
The byline for Paul Hayward's article runs 'after a week when Real Madrid and Barcelona beat Europe 9-1 the prospect of four Clásicos in 18 days enters thrilling view'. Hopefully that'll be the case, rather than a mass of overhype and overkill.
Artistry and anger vie as Real and Barça stage world series
There were no great shocks in the EPL this weekend. The top teams won, the bottom teams lost, ManU eased past Fulham, Chelsea forced out a win, Blackpool continued to slide, as did Wolves. The biggest winners must be Aston Villa, who won while their rivals lost, while Arsenal will be glad to be back scoring goals.
Blackpool 1 - Arsenal 3
Gunners keep title hopes alive
Richard Jolly at Bloomfield Road
Tottenham 3 - Stoke 2
Redknapp insists Spurs can clinch top four spot after edging out Stoke
Manchester United 2 - Fulham 0
United's stroll in park ahead of 'special week’
Bolton 3 - West Ham 0
Cracks show as Noble and Green clash
Chelsea 1 - Wigan 0
Blues eek out win
Kevin Palmer at Stamford Bridge
Wolves 0 - Everton 3
It looks like the real world has caught up with the double-barrelled controllers of Arsenal. American Stan Kroenke [ 'we don't need his money and we don't need his sort'] has taken a majority stake in the Gunners and has agreed terms for the purchase of the remaing stock which values the club £731 Million.
Kroenke takes full control of Arsenal
Who is Stan Kroenke?
'Kroenke will respect Arsenal legacy'