Friday 30 October 2009

Chelsea enjoy slip-ups

After a sweeping 5-0 win at home to Blackburn, Chelsea sit at the top of the Premier League as their closest rival, Manchester United, lost 2-0 at Liverpool, and Arsenal relinquished a 2 goal lead to draw 2-2 at West Ham, while Manchester City suffered the same fait at home to Fulham. Tottenham dominated their home match against Stoke in vain as they lost 1-0 and Aston Villa drew 1-1 at Wolves, while Everton rallied back from 2 down only to lose to a late goal at Bolton.
In Spain Real Madrid dropped points in a goalless draw at Sporting Gijon while Barcelona hammered Real Zaragoza 6-1 at the Camp Nou.
Arsenal knocked Liverpool out of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 win at the Emirates on Wednesday.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Life is a beach

A bizarre goal scored with the aid of a beach ball was the undoing of Liverpool at Sunderland while Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at Villa was also good news for United who went top after their 2-1 win over Bolton in Manchester.
In the Champions League Rubin Kazan produced the shock of the week beating Barcelona 2-1 at the Camp Nou while Real Madrid also lots at home going down 3-2 to Milan in a match laden with goalkeeping errors. Glasgow Rangers were thumped 4-1 at home to Romanian Unirea Urziceni and Liverpool lost their home tie 2-1 to Olympique Lyonnais. Kalou scored twice and Lampard also got on the score sheet at the Bridge as Chelsea eased 4-0 past Atletico Madrid while 9-man Bayern Munich lost 2-1 away to Bordeaux who missed 2 penalties.
In the Europa League Everton took a 5-0 battering at Benfica while Roma who had a penalty saved by Mark Schwarzer forced a 1-1 draw with the last kick of the match at Fulham, and Slavia Prague earned the same result at Valencia. Kazim Richards scored the only goal for Fenerbahce who won at Steaua Bucharest while another Turkish Romanian encounter ended in Glatasaray hammering visiting Dinamo 4-1 with Shabani Nonda netting twice and Harry Kewel also among the scorers. Hapoel Tel Aviv enjoyed a convincing 5-1 victory at home to Rapid Vienna while young Swede Marcus Berg scored the only goal for Hamburg at Celtic Park.

Saturday 17 October 2009

Young Ghana win World Cup

Ghana became the first African team to win the FIFA under 20 World Cup by beating Brazil on penalties in Egypt. Despite Daniel Addo’s controversial sending off in the 37th minute, Ghana took Brazil to extra time where the drought continued mainly thanks to Ghanaian keeper Daniel Agyei who made an outstanding save to keep Brazil at bay. In the penalty shootout Brazil were a penalty kick away from lifting the cup but failed to convert their last 2 kicks, giving Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu the chance to score in sudden death and send Ghana into frenzy as they lifted their first Under-20 World Cup trophy.

Earlier in the day Hungary scored a last minute penalty to draw 1-1 with Costa Rica and win third place on penalties.

Hosts Egypt began the tournament with a convincing 4-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago, but were silenced 2-1 by Paraguay in their next match needing a spirited performance to defeat Italy 4-2 and finish top of group A followed by Paraguay and Italy who also pregressed.

Spain shone in Group B winning all 3 matches with a clean sheet and scoring 13 in the process including 8 against Tahiti. Venezuela and Nigeria also progressed from this group.

All 4 teams in group C registered wins but only Germany and South Korea made it to the next round. The Koreans had lost 2- 0 to bottom team Cameroon, but a 1-1 draw against Germany and 3-0 victory over USA - who had thrashed Cameroon 4-1 and lost 3-0 to Germany - saw them through.

Ghana and Uruguay dominated group D while Uzbekistan and England made up the numbers and took early flights home.

Brazil who started their campaign by sweeping Cost Rica aside 5-0, finished on top of group E with 7 points, ahead of the Czech Republic on goal difference. Costa Rica reached the next stage as one of the best 3rd teams thanks to their 3-0 win over Australia who returned home pointless.

Group F saw a complete reversal of fortunes for Hungary and Honduras. After being beaten soundly 3-0 by Honduras, the Hungarians woke up to hammer South Africa 4-0 and top their group with a 2-0 win over the UAE, while Honduras finished bottom of the group losing 1-0 to the UAE and 2-0 to South Africa who both followed Hungary into the next round.

In the round of 16 Spain finally met their match losing 3-1 to Italy while South Korea eased 3-0 past Paraguay. Ghana needed extra time to dispose of South Africa 2-1, and Hungary needed a penalty shootout to get past the Czechs after drawing 1-1 in normal and 2-2 in extra time. Hosts Egypt suffered a shock exit losing 2-0 to Costa Rica, while 3 goals in 9 minutes gave Brazil a 3-1 victory over Uruguay. The United Arab Emirates continued their quests by beating Venezuela 2-1, and Bjorn Kopplin scored a last minute goal to give ten-man Germany a 3-2 win and knock Nigeria out of the competition.

In the Quarter-finals Ghana defeated South Korea 3-2, while Italy who had 3 players sent off lost 3-2 in extra time to ten-man Hungary in a match that saw both managers sent to the stands. Maicon scored 2 minutes from time and a minute into extra time to give Brazil a 2-1 win over Germany, and Costa Rica scored in the last minute of extra time to knock the UAE out by the same score line.

In the Semi-finals top scorer Dominic Adiyiah scored twice as Ghana beat Hungary 3-2 to reach the final where they met Brazil who defeated Costa Rica with a single Alan Kardec goal.

Saturday 10 October 2009

A bridge too far for Liverpool

Sunderland came close to a win at Old Trafford but gifted United an equalizer with a stoppage time own goal, while Chelsea go into the international week break at the top of the league table after beating Liverpool 2-0 in their Sunday match at the Bridge. Portsmouth registered their first points of the season with a 1-0 win at Wolves, and Arsenal twice came from behind to eventually run out comfortable 6-2 winners against Blackburn at the Emirates. On Monday Aston Villa and Manchester City drew 1-1 as Richard Dunne scored for Villa against his old club.

In Germany Bayern Munich find themselves in 8th place after only managing a 0-0 home draw against lowly Köln and in Spain Real Madrid relinquished their top spot to Barcelona after losing 2-1 at Sevilla who are now equal with them on points.

Saturday 3 October 2009

Chelsea taste defeat

Chelsea lost their position at the top of the Premier League after losing 3-1 at Wigan in a match that saw Petr Cech sent off while giving away a penalty. The new leaders are Manchester United who won 2-0 at Stoke while Liverpool and Tottenham both enjoyed emphatic wins to stay in the top four. Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick for Liverpool who trashed Hull 6-1, and Robbie Keane went a goal better as Tottenham demolished Burnley 5-0 at White Hart Lane. Carlos Teves scored twice against his beloved Hammers to take Manchester City closer to the summit with a 3-1 win on Monday evening. In Italy Sampdoria defeated Inter with a single goal 18 minutes from time to go top of Serie A, and in Germany Hamburg are top of the Bundesliga after beating Bayern Munich also with a single goal 18 minutes from time.

In the Champions League Sevilla return from Glasgow with a satisfying 4-1 win over Rangers and Steven Jovetic scored twice for Fiorentina to send Liverpool home empty handed. Hannu Tihinen scored a 10th minute goal to give FC Zurich and unexpected win at AC Milan and Manchester United came from behind to beat German champions Wolfsburg 2-1 at Old Trafford. Bayern Munich and Juventus played out a goalless draw.