Monday, April 02, 2012

Spring Break: See You Next Week

England: Monday Night Football Previews

Who: Blackburn vs. Manchester United

When: 3pm EDT
Where: Ewood Park, Blackburn
Preview II

Stiliyan Petrov in Profile: Aston Villa's Bulgarian Captain

When Martin O'Neill took charge of Aston Villa in August 2006, his first move in the transfer market was to recruit Stiliyan Petrov, a player he had worked with at previous club Celtic. The Bulgarian, then 27, had developed into one of the most influential players in the Scottish game, winning four league championships in his seven seasons at the club. Despite a slow start in the Premier League, his ceaseless industry garnered the respect of his team-mates and was rewarded with a steady improvement in his form. When it was announced on Friday that he had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, he had become the captain of Alex McLeish's Villa side and one of the club's, and league's, most consistent performers.

Stiliyan Petrov 'upbeat' as leukaemia treatment begins

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is "upbeat" as he begins his treatment for acute leukaemia, according to former Celtic team-mate John Hartson. Hartson, a former cancer sufferer, spoke to Petrov on Sunday before he began treatment at a London hospital.

MLS Recap: Henry hat trick, RSL turnaround, Wondo penalty

The big story was Thierry Henry netting his first MLS hat trick, the Frenchman's trio punishing expansion Montreal. recaps Saturday's MLS action.

England: Premier League Weekend Review, Reports, Analyses, Teams of the Week, Etc.

Few weekends will match the one that has just passed as nine Premier League matches yielded 33 goals. Whether it be Manchester City feeling the heart, Spurs back on song or Andy Carroll enduring the proverbial 'mare on his return to St James', there was something for everyone.


Aston Villa 2 - 4 Chelsea
Kevin Palmer at Villa Park

Russell Kempson at Villa Park

Manchester City 3 - 3 Sunderland
Daniel Taylor at the Etihad Stadium
Duncan White at the Etihad Stadium

Jamie Jackson at the Etihad Stadium
Five Reasons for City Slump

Queens Park Rangers 2 - 1 Arsenal

Amy Lawrence at Loftus Road

Wolves 2 - 3 Bolton
Phil McNulty at Molineux

Newcastle 2 - 0 Liverpool
Louise Taylor at St. James' Park
Luke Edwards at St. James' Park

Tottenham 3 - 1 Swansea City
Jason Burt at White Hart Lane

Dominic Fifield at White Hart Lane

Five Things We Learned

Michael Cox: Tactics

Garth Crook's Team of the Week
Team of the Week

European Weekend Round-Up

Real Madrid edged closer to their first La Liga title in four years when they trounced Osasuna 5-1 away on Saturday to maintain a six-point lead at the top with eight matches left. The Serie A title race could go down to the wire after leaders AC Milan were held to a 1-1 draw at Catania and second-placed Juventus cut the gap to two points with a 3-0 win over Napoli. Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga lead was cut to three points after they drew 4-4 in a thrilling game at home to VfB Stuttgart. Paris St Germain missed out on an opportunity to reclaim top spot when they lost 2-1 at Nancy, their first Ligue 1 defeat in four months.


Anzhi tasks Carlos with a huge summer transfer expenditure

Anzhi have an interesting sponsor.  I'm not familiar with  "abibas".
Anzhi Makhachkala are preparing an extraordinary transfer spend of €300 million ($399M) with the aim of establishing itself as a Champions League club within the next three seasons. The huge investment in new players will be front-loaded on the upcoming summer window ahead of the Russian Premier League's conversion to an autumn-spring schedule. The spending is to be overseen by Roberto Carlos, appointed Team Director by Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimov after stepping down as the Dagestan-based club's captain earlier this year. The former Brazil international's remit is to employ his extensive knowledge and contacts to ensure the billionaire's resources deliver elite-level European soccer.

The Fifth Official

Few of us like a Monday morning, but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from a week brimming with potential victims.

Off the Ball

Off the Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories. This week there is another Messi around; some German fans take matters into their own hands; Facebook causes issues in Ghana; Mario Balotelli makes an unexpected entrance at an Inter press conference and Miss Southampton may have one of her own thanks to a headline writer at the south coast club's matchday programme.