Friday, April 22, 2011
Ian Holloway is subdued. It is not a description one would readily associate with the Blackpool manager, even in this of all weeks, but his demeanour is not shaped by the mounting threat to what he – and any fair-minded judge – would regard as the finest achievement of the Premier League era.
Bosnia are decently placed for Euro 2012 but the dispute over their federation's Bosniak, Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat structure threatens to derail their pursuit of qualification.
Three into one won't go for Bosnia as Fifa and Uefa ban hits home.
Scotland's top police officer has warned that a combination of alcohol, sun and a bank holiday could make Sunday's Old Firm clash "the perfect storm".
The chief constable of Strathclyde police, Stephen House, predicted that violence, including rape and domestic abuse, will surge this weekend.
Allegri, whose side are on course to clinch their first scudetto since 2004, has demanded full focus from his players ahead of Saturday's match at relegation-threatened Brescia.
Second-place Napoli travel to Sicily to take on Palermo looking to bounce back from last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Udinese that hindered their title challenge.
Inter are at the San Siro in Milan to square off against fourth-placed Lazio, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.
Barcelona host a 16th-placed Osasuna side that have lost their last three games while Real Madrid must return to the Mestalla - the scene of their cup success -to take on third-placed Valencia.
Eduardo Alvarez's Quiniela
Manchester United have the chance to go temporarily nine points clear at the top of the table in another crucial Premier League weekend. Sir Alex Ferguson has a 19th title in his sights as his side prepare for a clash with Everton, while Chelsea take on West Ham and Arsenal travel to Bolton. Wolves and Blackpool both have home games as they look to earn vital wins at the bottom of the table while the battle for fourth place continues.
Manchester United vs. Everton: Preview
Manchester United vs. Everton: Paul Merson's Preview
Bolton vs. Arsenal: Paul Merson's Preview
Lawro & Liam Gallagher's Predictions
"I cannot ... sit there and be placid like I am on dope," Wenger said. "I care about the game and I'm motivated to win the game and agitated, yes.
"But it is one thing to be agitated and in control of your decisions and be lucid, or be completely out of control.
Did Real Madrid's victory over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey signal a shift in the balance of power between the Spanish giants?
Real are unbeaten in the first two of four back-to-back meetings in 18 days and their success on Wednesday will have fortified them for the two Champions League semi-final encounters to come.
We learned several things from Real's cup win. First and foremost, it showed Barcelona can be beaten.
The bar is filled with Lille supporters but only one man can remember the last time the club won the French title.
"Yes I was there that day," the charismatic Raymondi tells me while sipping his pre-match beer. "I never believed we could do it again but this year maybe yes. Fifty-seven years I am waiting for this. After this I tell people I can die happy, no problem."
The owner of the Madrid jewelry shop that made Spain's most treasured trophy, Federico Alegre, heard about the incident on the radio as he was driving back to Madrid from Valencia where he attended the final and immediately headed to the club to supply the team with a replacement cup.
"I arrived at the Bernabeu two minutes before the team bus arrived.
"I always make a spare in case something unexpected happens, lest the king be left with nothing to give out. The spare has been ready for a long time," he told daily newspaper El Mundo.
Step forward Gino Coutinho, goalkeeper of the Eredivisie club ADO Den Haag who, along with his girlfriend, was yesterday on trial in a Dutch court charged with owning a major cannabis farm and, as if that was not enough, being involved in forgery and money laundering.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the Rumbelows Cup final - the last time a team from outside the top flight won a significant piece of silverware in English football. This is the story of Ron Atkinson's Wednesday side, and their unlikely triumph over Sir Alex Ferguson's United.
Having been thoroughly outplayed the entire second half, and with Monterrey closing in on a third goal, Javier Morales scored a stunning goal in the 89th minute to lift the visitors to an improbable 2-2 draw in front of a sold-out Estadio Tecnologico in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.
In his first two years, Jason Kreis took Salt Lake from league laughingstock to 2009 MLS Cup champion. RSL is 4-0 in the young MLS season, and its 34-game home unbeaten run in all competitions may well be the longest in the world after Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk recently ended its 55-game streak.
Avoid unnecessary domestic disputes, make your husband feel like a champion and offer as much support as possible - all tips on how to enjoy a successful marriage and maintain a Serie A title challenge, according to the Italian club Napoli.
José Sosa and his woman appear to be happy...
Sports represented: soccer 114, basketball 18, baseball 12, auto racing 6, golf 5, American football 5, hockey 5, cricket 4, boxing 3, track and field 3, rugby 2, tennis 2, badminton 1, cycling 1, motorcycle racing 1, sumo 1, yachting 1.
The sports and leagues: Aussie rules football (AFL), baseball (MLB, NPB), basketball (NBA), cricket (IPL), football (CFL, NFL), soccer (Bundesliga, EPL, La Liga, MLS, Serie A, SPL).
The countries: Australia, Canada, England, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Spain, USA.
Arsenal have dropped 13 Premier League points from winning positions this season. Telegraph Sport looks at where the damage has been done...
Tottenham 3 - 3 Arsenal
Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane
Kevin McCarra at White Hart Lane
Richard Williams at White Hart Lane
David Hytner at White Hart Lane
Jeremy Wilson: Wenger right to drop Jack
Chelsea 3 - 1 Birmingham
Mark Lomas at Stamford Bridge
Dominic Fifield at Stamford Bridge
But last night Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos dropped a gleaming 35-year-old silver trophy under the wheels of a double decker bus.
The Copa del Rey - The King's Cup - is Spain's version of the FA Cup and Madrid celebrated wildly after beating their arch enemies Barcelona 1-0 to the trophy at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Surely there was a misprint in this report about Steven Gerrard marrying his long-term partner Alex which completely changed its meaning.
He read it again but it came out the same, so he phoned his co-owner: “Tom, there's something you need to know. Our team captain is gay.”
A bemused Hicks asked for the evidence and when Gillett read it to him, in between guffaws, he explained that in England the term “partner” can refer to a member of the opposite sex.
The Utah club will visit Mexico’s Monterrey on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League final, the first installment of a home-and-home series that will determine if it can become the first Major League Soccer team to win the region’s top interleague competition.
If it does, it won’t just be plaudits and an admirable little slice of history that awaits. The winner of the CCL will be granted an automatic place in the quarterfinal of December’s Club World Cup, a tournament held in Japan that features every continental champion.
Tottenham vs. Arsenal (U.S. TV: ESPN2 at 2:45pm EDT)
Paul Wilson: Harry should worry about Spurs and not Stoke
Paul Merson: Arsenal will struggle to recover from disaster
David Conn: Time to question the Arsenal model
Chelsea vs. Birmingham (U.S. TV: Fox Soccer Channel at 2:45pm EDT)
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 0, 1992
It was Teddy Sheringham's (right) first North London derby and, unsurprisingly, all attention was focused on the striker. It was also the first north London derby of the newly-formed Premiership. Yet it was not Sheringham who grabbed the headlines but Paul Allen, who scored the only goal of the game.
"For the board this is important. But I imagine there will be a moment when you have to decide: do you win things or not?"
This is the last week of the group phase of the Copa Libertadores, the continent's equivalent of the Champions League. Of the eight groups, four have been completed, while the rest have their last round coming up on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
We decided to take the entire last millennium out of the equation and pretend the world began in 2000. At least, I consoled myself while I crossed out the names of Diego Maradona and Michael Laudrup, 99% of you taking part in this debate will have seen the contenders in action.
"Viable" parcel bombs have been sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two high-profile fans of the Glasgow club, sources have told the BBC.
Sources said the liquid-based devices, sent in the past month, appear to have been intended to "kill or maim".
At 11pm on Sunday night in the media centre under their Estadio do Dragao, nearly an hour after champions Porto had beaten Sporting Lisbon, Andre Villas-Boas had the room in the palm of his hand. In that sense, the Porto coach is easily compared with the man widely regarded as his mentor, Jose Mourinho, but from there the two men made in Porto start to diverge. Villas-Boas speaks softly, but with authority.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
José Mourinho's side avoided a sixth straight defeat against Barcelona, but not everyone enjoyed his 'prehistoric' tactics.
Real Madrid stem the bleeding, but critics turn on Mourinho's medicine.
Dortmund may be one game off the Meisterschaft but Schalke are the real talk of the Bundesliga.
Schalke's feelgood buzz keeps stellar Dortmund off the back pages.
Feelgood buzz? I had no choice...
Despite being without their two best strikers, Udinese were strong enough to put a huge dent in Napoli's title chances.
Under-strength Udinese force Napoli to rewrite their Serie A script.
Hannover dominated the match, having the better of the chances throughout, but was simply unable to find a way past the immense Frank Rost in Hamburg’s goal. Hannover’s defense was just as stalwart, but going forward the visitors were unable to find a way through. Didier Ya Konan in particular failed to find his shooting boots, squandering several chances throughout the match.
On the other hand, Bayern Munich went about its task with ruthless efficiency, pummeling Bayer Leverkusen 5-1 and leapfrogging Hannover yet again to move into 3rd place in the Bundesliga with six matches left in the season.
On Tuesday, Edu played the entire contest and nearly headed in a second Ranger goal late but the shot was tipped aside. Still, Rangers got the 1-0 win over Aberdeen courtesy of a Nikica Jelavic.
Come Saturday, Rangers moved to the top of the SPL by defeating St. Mirren 2-1. Edu played the whole match again, nearly setting up a Jelavic goal early on.
David Hytner: Five reasons why Arsenal's season has unravelled
Kevin McCarra: Eboué's foul may come to define an era of missed chances at Arsenal
A smaller revenue for the French league therefore means less for the clubs themselves, and before too long they will be unable to keep their star players on big salaries. Last season, the likes of Yoann Gourcuff (€23.5M/$33M), Loic Remy (€15M/$21.6M) and Andre-Pierre Gignac (€18M/$25.9M) all made big-money summer moves within Ligue 1.
That pattern is unlikely to repeat itself this summer, so here are some of the stars, in no specific order, who could be leaving Ligue 1 at the end of the season:
AC Milan: Giovanni Galli; Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta, Paolo Maldini; Roberto Dinadoni, Frank Rijkaard, Carlo Ancelotti, Angelo Colombo; Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten
Barcelona: Victor Valdes; Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Eric Abidal; Sergio Busquets; Xavi, Andres Iniesta; Pedro, Lionel Messi, David Villa
A stalker who repeatedly turned up at the home of the Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand has been convicted of harassment.
Susanne Ibru, 38, twice disturbed the player and his wife Rebecca as they slept at their home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, claiming she needed to speak to him.
Gaddafi is a man who I have always admired,' declared Diouf. 'I am telling the truth. I know him, and I know his son Saif as well. They are my friends.
'I cannot remain far away from what is happening in Libya. I do not know who is in the right and who is wrong, but it is a shame to see so many victims.By the will of Allah, victory will go to the side that is in the right.'
I thought the Clasico was a good game, even an interesting game, and I seem to have been engaged in arguments about it all Sunday. I guess they'll continue until Wednesday night, when we get the next instalment in the quartet - namely the small matter of the Copa del Rey at Valencia's Mestalla stadium.
Monday, April 18, 2011
The decision to award the 2022 games to Qatar has been controversial, because of the oppressively hot summer temperatures and the oppressive government that bans things like drinking, homosexuality, and freedom of the press.
Presenting the absolute best of the absolute worst, Goal.com UK selects the biggest flops of the campaign based on impact, adjustment, price and contribution to their new sides.