Friday 26 March 2010

The narrowest of gaps

Chelsea dropped 2 points in their 1-1 draw at Blackburn but demolished Portsmouth 5-0 at Fratton Park in midweek to move to within one point of Manchester United who went down to an early goal from Torres but ended up 2-1 winners at home to Liverpool. Arsenal who played the entire 2nd half with 10 men at the Emirates but defeated West Ham 2-0 are a further point behind the leaders. John Carew scored both goals at home for Aston Villa to rescue a point against Wolves who mauled West Ham 3-1 in midweek when Aston Villa dropped another 2 points at home with Carew equalising Fraizer Campbell’s effort for Sunderland. Darren Bent scored twice at the Stadium of Light on Saturday as Sunderland beat Birmingham 3-1 and 2 late goals gave Portsmouth a 3-2 win at home to Hull City. Manchester City’s unbeaten home record came unstuck when they lost 2-0 to Everton and in the FA Cup Fulham took the lead in their replay at White Hart Lane but Tottenham completed the semi-final line-up with 3 goals in the 2nd half.
In Scotland Rangers are running away with the title after Celtic were humiliated 4-0 at St. Mirren which lead to the sacking of manager Tony Mowbrary.
In Lisbon Benfica beat Porto 3-0 to win the Portuguese League Cup.

Friday 19 March 2010

Historic night at Fulham

A last gasp goal from Bendtner gave Arsenal a 2-1 win at Hull to keep them on the heels of Chelsea who hammered West Ham 4-1 at the Bridge and Manchester United who eased past Fulham 3-0 at Old Trafford thanks to another 2 goals from Wayne Rooney. Manchester City needed a last minute goal to earn a 1-1 draw at Sunderland, and Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a brace as Tottenham picked up a 3-1 home win against Blackburn while on Monday evening Liverpool sailed to a 4-1 win over Portsmouth with Torres scoring twice for the home side.
In Spain Higuain netted a hat-trick as Real Madrid won 4-1 at Real Valladolid, and Messi scored all 3 as Barcelona brushed Valencia aside at the Camp Nou.
Jose Mourinho took Inter to Chelsea in the Champions League and got the better of his old club, winning 1-0 to knock the Londoners out of Europe, while a 2-1 win in Savilla saw CSKA Moscow through to the next round along with Bordeaux who achieved the same result at home to Olympiakos, and Barcelona who outclassed Stuttgart 4-0 after their 1-1 draw in Germany.
In the Europa League Fulham recovered from a 3-1 defeat at Juventus and an early goal at the Cottage to record a glorious 4-1 victory on the night and knock the Italian giants out 5-4 on aggregate, while Fernando Torres scored twice to seal a 3-0 win for Liverpool over Lille at Anfield. Valencia won on away goals after their 4-4 draw at Werder Bremen, while Hamburg did enough to progress despite losing 4-3 at Anderlecht. Aguero scored both goals for Atletico Madrid in their 2-2 draw at Sporting Lisbon to see the Spanish side through on the away goals rule while Benfica scored a last minute goal to win 2-1 at Marseille, and Wolfsburg needed extra time to get the same result at home to Rubin Kazan. Standard Liege are also through to the next round winning 1-0 at home after having beaten Panathinaikos 3-1 in Greece.

Friday 12 March 2010

Big guns rampant

In a week that saw a mixture of FA Cup and Premier League matches, Piquionne scored both goals against Birmingham to give the home crowd something to celebrate as troubled Portsmouth booked a place in the semi-finals where they will meet Tottenham or Fulham who failed to score at Craven Cottage. Aston Villa came from 2 down in the first half at Reading to win 4-2 thanks to a Carew hat-trick, and will play Chelsea in the other semi after the Londoners disposed of Stoke 2-0 at the Bridge. In the league Everton hammered Hull 5-1, while Manchester United struggled to win 1-0 at Wolves, and Arsenal rallied to a 3-1 home win against Burnley.
In Spain with Barcelona drawing 2-2 at Almeria, Real Madrid moved to the top of the league after coming from 2 down at home to beat Sevilla 3-2 with a last minute goal, but their joy was short lived as they were knocked out of the Champions League in midweek after only managing a 1-1 home draw against Lyon. A rocket from Robben gave Bayern Munich the away goal to take them through despite losing 3-2 at Fiorentina, while Arsenal pummelled Porto 5-0 thanks to a hat-trick by Nicklas Bendtner who had missed 3 sitters at the weekend, and Manchester United mauled Milan 4-0 at Old Trafford. In first leg of the Europa League, Liverpool who had lost 1-0 at Wiagn on Monday, lost by the same scoreline to a late goal in Lille, and Fulham were beaten 3-1 at Juventus while Rubin Kazan, Valencia and Benfica drew 1-1 at home to Wolfsbug, Werder Bremen and Marseille respectively. Standard Liege triumphed 3-1 at Panathinaikos, and Hamburg enjoyed the same result at home to Anderlecht while nine-man Sporting Lisbon held Atletico to a goalless draw in Madrid.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Gunners close the gap

With Manchester United playing in the Carling Cup final, Arsenal closed the gap on the top two with a 3-1 win at Stoke scoring 2 goals late on in a match that will be remembered for the horrendous injury to Aaron Ramsey, as nine-man Chelsea fell at the Bridge losing 4-2 to Manchester City with Tevez and Bellamy scoring a brace each, as did Lampard for the losing hosts. Portsmouth who went into administration put their financial difficulties aside for 90 minutes to win 2-1 at Burnley, while Tottenham defeated Everton 2-1 at White Hart Lane, and Liverpool secured the same result at home to Blackburn with goals from Gerrard and Torres.
In Scotland Rangers took a firm grip on the SPL by beating arch rivals Celtic 1-0 with a goal by Maurice Edu in stoppage time.