Chelsea are through to the UEFA Champions League Final for a second time in three season. The Blues surprised football spectators just under a week ago when they won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge with Didier Drogba scoring the goal. It was a good defensive performance by the Londoners who also had the help of some very poor finishing from Barca most notably Cesc Fabregas.
The road to Munich was still a long way away from Roberto Di Matteo and his men as they had to go to Camp Nou and try to hold off Barca once again. Many had already written Chelsea off by saying they will be overwhelmed by the Catalans on their huge pitch. Some went as far as saying that Chelsea will have to deploy a 11-0-0 formation in order to secure passage through to Munich.
The match started off as expected with Barca dominating the possession and pushing their counterparts back. Things were made tougher when Gary Cahill had to leave the field injured with twelve minutes on the clock and replaced by Jose Bosingwa.
Barca fans and players were probably licking their lips seeing Jose Bosingwa replacing Cahill, when it comes to going forward the Portuguese is strong but defensively he is poor which was a worrying sign seeing the Blues had to defend.
The Catalans took the lead in the 35 minute through Sergio Busquets, things got troubling for the Blues as captain John Terry was sent off for kneeing Alexis Sanchez in the leg in and off the ball incident. Now with a man advantage Barca capitalized on Terry’s dismissal and extended their lead six minutes later from Andres Iniesta. Continue reading Blues Book Their Ticket To Munich
A goal with nine minutes left on the clock at Madejski Stadium by Mikele Leigertwood secured a second promotion to the Barclays Premier League for Reading for the 2012/13 season. The Royals now go 8 points clear of third place West Ham United with two games remaining. The Royals have enjoyed a very successful lat few months winning 15 of their last 17 matches which placed them in such a great position.
It has been four seasons since Reading last competed in the top-flight of English football, in 2006 they got promoted to the top flight and surprised everyone by finishing in eight place but this success couldn’t be repeated and the following season and they were agonizingly relegated on goal difference.
Last season the Royals came close to promotion to the top-flight but lost to Swansea City in the third place play-off final, this season they have avoided the battles of the play-off by clinching second place automatic promotion spot.
Congratulations to Royals fans all over the world you deserve it.
Following Ayegbeni Yakubu’s poor penalty kick in Blackburn Rovers 3-2 loss to Liverpool at Ewood Park it’s only fair to shed some light on some of the worst penalty kicks ever taken. Not on the list but could have been if it was a Top 10 would be the likes of David Beckham, Alessandro Del Piero, Neymar and Dimitar Berbatov. Hide your children because there penalty misses are absolutely atrocious.
Here’s the Top 5 Worst Penalty Kicks Ever: Continue reading Top 5 Worst Penalty Kicks Ever
Benfica who were group winners in a group which consisted of Manchester United couldn’t get pass the London club and their quest ended at Stamford Bridge. Roberto Di Matteo’s men took another step towards winning a first ever Champions League trophy for the club after eliminating Benfica to advance to the semifinals where they will meet defending champions FC Barcelona.
The manager of Benfica Jorge Jesus felt his club deserve to go further in the competition and he was not shy to give his opinion on his clubs exit from the competition.
Jesus said: “We have defeated better sides than Chelsea in the Champions League.
“When you reach the quarter-finals, anything is possible, but Chelsea will have no chance against Barcelona. We are the ones who deserved to play against Barca.
“We have been the best team in Lisbon and London. I am very proud of my men. We played with 10 men for the best part of an hour and we were still the best team. We made Chelsea look ordinary.”
Some managers are gracious in defeat when they get this far in the competition but Jesus obviously isn’t one of them.
Ryan Giggs played his 900th match for Manchester United over the weekend. In the modern day football loyalty is something that is a rarity, no longer can you find a player fully committed to playing his entire career with one club. The 38-year-old made his first appearance for Manchester United in 1991 and has since gone on to win 12 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 UEFA Champions League trophies along with some individual honors.
“To play 900 games for this club, who I’ve grown up supporting, is special – it’s a great day for me,” Ryan Giggs said. “I am sure there will be more twists and turns in the title race and I expect more drama and late goals.”
The Welshman’s 900th appearance was made to be more joyful when he scored the game winning goal in the 91st minute against Norwich City. After the match his manager Sir Alex Ferguson who reached a milestone of 25 years managing Manchester United this season heaped praise upon his evergreen midfielder and Legend.
“For a player to play for one club for 900 games is exceptional, and it won’t be done again,” Ferguson told the BBC. “He deserved that goal for his service to the club. He’s had an amazing career and he’s an amazing man.”
Having signed a one-year extension to his contract this season Giggs will have a chance to add more appearances to his well decorated career and more silverware aswell. Congratulations Ryan Giggs on such an amazing achievement.
For the first time ever Zambia are the champions of Africa after defeating favorites Ivory Coast in a penalty shoot-out.
In 1993 a military plane carrying 30 passengers, 18 of which were players of the Zambian national team crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing everyone on board after leaving Libreville in Gabon for a World Cup qualifier against Senegal.
Now 19 years down the road Zambia are once again in the eyes of the world and this time it in the form of triumph, not tragedy. In attendance to witness this day of joy and remembrance was legendary Zambian player Kalusha Bwalya who was a member of the 1993 Zambian team, Kalusha’s who played for PSV Eindhoven at the time of the incident survived simply because he was making his own way to Dakar.
After 120 minutes of football it came down to penalty kicks, the first 14 penalty kicks were scored, on the 8th penalty kick for the Ivory Coast head coach François Zahoui asked Gervinho to take the spot kick but he refused and Kolo Touré instead stepped up to take the kick and saw it saved by Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene. Continue reading Zambia: From Tragedy To Triumph
Fabio Capello has stepped down as manager of England months ahead of the kick off of Euro 2012. The former England manager have been heavily criticized for his tactics and the players he selected for the team. Capellos’ resignation came after a meeting with the FA chairman David Bernstein and general secretary Alex Horne at Wembley Stadium.
Recently the former Three Lion boss spoke out of the FA decision to strip defender John Terry of the captain of England due to his ongoing racial abuse case that is pending with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
There were shouts of harry Redknapp taking over for when Capello resigns after the Euro’s but with the England post now vacant those shouts will be heard even more and will be much louder, the Italians resignation mioght be welcoming news to some England fans but this is not welcoming news to Spurs fans though.
On Wednesday 4th December 1957 the Busby Babes came up against Dukla Prague in an away fixture in the European Cup in which they lost but went into the next round on aggregate. A few delays in the team return journey home almost caused the team to miss their league match against Everton FC the following weekend. For United’s next away tie against Red Star Belgrade the team had a plane chartered due to their previous problems.
On the 14th of January 1958 at Old Trafford, United defeated Red Star Belgrade 2-1 in the first leg of their second round European Cup tie.
Monday 3rd February 1958, Manchester United boarded their flight to Belgrade and arrives a few hours later to poor conditions. The visibility there was poor and it was snowing, the standards are below the average required by British European Airways. The airport engineer saw the plane only when it was parked on the apron.
On Wednesday 5th February 1958, the tie between United and Red Star Belgrade ended in a 3-3 draw which was enough to see them through to the semifinals of the European Cup for a second year running. The team celebrated their achievement with a cocktail party at the British Embassy.
February 6th 1958, the team along with five other people departs Belgrade in the sunshine as they head towards Manchester but the takeoff is delayed by an hour as Johnny Berry lost his passport. The plane then finally makes it trip to Munich for a scheduled refueling and arrives to an airport filled with snow, rain and low cloud. Captain James Thain was forced to use anti-icing equipment in order to make his descent into Munich. Continue reading The Busby Babes Story