Friday, 18 May 2012

Blue heaven at last gasp

Manchester United picked up all 3 points on offer with a single goal at Sunderland and waited anxiously for the outcome of the match at Manchester City where the hosts fell 2-1 behind to Queens Park Ranger, who were a man short after the dismissal of Joey Barton, but equalised in stoppage time and scored the winner with virtually the last kick of the season to win the Premier League. Losers QPR, were also celebrating, after Jonathan Walters completed his brace with a penalty at home for Stoke to force a 2-2 draw and relegation upon Bolton leaving the Londoners with life in the top division. Tottenham defeated Fulham 2-0 at home, but Arsenal came from behind at West Bromwich Albion, who were managed by Roy Hodgson in his final match before taking on the England job, to win 3-2 and finish 3rd guaranteeing a place in next season’s Champions League. Emersson Boyce scored twice for Wigan as they ended the season with a 3-2 home win over relegated Wolves while Liverpool lost 1-0 at Swansea in what turned out to be Kenny Dalglish’s last match in charge of the Reds, and Newcastle lost 3-1 at Everton. Chelsea beat Blackburn 2-1 at home while Aston Villa lost 2-0 at Norwich before parting company with manager Alex McLeish.
In Spain champions Real Madrid reached 100 points with their 4-1 win at home to Real Mallorca with Özil netting twice, while ten-man Barcelona salvaged a last minute 2-2 draw at Real Betis.
With one match remaining, Montpellier are a point away from winning the French league ahead of PSG while Dortmund, Ajax, Anderlecht and Porto have already won their respective leagues.

Friday, 11 May 2012

One win away

Yaya Toure scored both goals at Newcastle as Manchester City moved to within touching distance of winning the Premier League while Manchester United kept the heat on with a double at home to Swansea. Arsenal, who took the lead with a brace from van Persie after falling behind at home to Norwich, were pegged back to 3-3, but remain in 3rd spot after ten-man Tottenham drew 1-1 at Aston Villa. Wigan secured their safety with a 1-0 win at Blackburn who were relegated while a last minute goal gave QPR a vital win at home to Stoke and 2 late West Brom goals denied Bolton a much needed home win. Sunderland were defeated 2-1 at Fulham and Everton drew 0-0 at Wolves while three days after lifting the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Liverpool, Chelsea travelled to the Merseyside and were soundly beaten 4-1 at Anfield. In Spain newly crowned Real Madrid recovered from an early goal to win with 2 late goals at Grenada while Lionel Messi scored all 4 goals in Barcelona’s home win against Espanyol. Atletico Madrid won the Europa League with a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest. A full report can be read at together with the FA Cup final report.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Blue Moon rising

A Manchester City goal against arch rivals Manchester United just before the break at the Etihad sent the Blues to the top of the Premier League on goal difference with only 2 matches remaining while 3rd place Arsenal dropped points in a 1-1 draw at Stoke, and Chelsea hammered Queens Park Rangers 6-1 with Torres scoring a hat-trick for the home side. The shock of the week came at Wigan who took Newcastle apart 4-0 with 2 goals from Victor Moses, but the Magpies bounced back in midweek to stun Chelsea with 2 superb goals from Papiss Cisse at the Bridge. Relegated Wolves came from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 at Swansea while 2 goals from Jelavic helped Everton to a 4-0 home win over Fulham and Liverpool defeated the Canaries 3-0 in Norwich with a Suarez hat-trick that included a goal from the half-way line. Kevin Davies scored both goals for Bolton who picked up a point at Sunderland while Aston Villa played a goalless match at West Brom and Blackburn lost 2-0 at Tottenham. In other midweek matches, Everton drew 1-1 at Stoke while Liverpool lost 1-0 at home to Fulham and Tottenham returned from Bolton with a 4-1 victory thanks to a double from Adebayor. In the Championship, after a 4-0 home win over Coventry, Southampton became the 2nd team to gain automatic promotion to the Premier League.
In Spain Barcelona demolished hosts Rayo Vallecano 7-0 before returning home to defeat Malaga 4-1 with a Messi hat-trick in midweek, while Real Madrid beat their visitors from Savilla 3-0 with a brace from Karim Benzema before their 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday that secured Jose Mourinho’s men the Spanish title.