Friday 30 April 2010

Fulham make Europa final

Solomon Kalou scored a hat-trick as Chelsea demolished Stoke 7-0 at the Bridge while Ryan Giggs converted 2 spot-kicks for Manchester United who kept the pressure on with a 3-1 home win against Spurs. Arsenal and Manchester City played out a goalless draw at the Emirates while Milner scored the only goal from the spot to give Aston Villa 3 points at home to Birmingham and a brace from Steven Gerrard helped Liverpool to a 4-0 win at relegated Burnley. A last minute penalty saw Fulham fall 2-1 at Everton while Portsmouth fought back with a double from Dindane to draw 2-2 at Bolton and West Ham picked up 3 home points with their 3-2 win over Wigan.
Olic scored all 3 goals at Lyon as Bayern Munich reached the Champions League final where they will meet Jose Mourinho’s Inter who knocked reigning champions Barcelona out despite losing 1-0 at the Camp Nou. In the Europa League Diego Forlan who had scored the only goal in the first leg gave Atletico Madrid the decisive away goal in extra time to silence the home crowd at Liverpool, but there were huge celebrations at Craven Cottage as Fulham came from a goal down to win with a skilfully taken goal from Simon Davis and a 76th minute goal from Zoltan Gera to reach the final where they will meet Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on May 12th

Friday 23 April 2010

Gunners throw title hopes away

Arsenal let a 2 goal lead slip in the last 10 minutes to return empty handed from Wigan conceding the title race to Manchester United and Chelsea. Paul Scholes kept United on track breaking the deadlock with a header in the last seconds of added-on time at Manchester City while Chelsea fell 2-1 at Tottenham who are fighting for 4th to secure a place in next season’s Champions League. Tim Cahill scored a last minute goal to give Everton a 3-2 win at Blackburn while Aston Villa came from behind to win 2-1 at Portsmouth, and Liverpool eased past West Ham 3-0 at Anfield.
After dropping points in a goalless draw at Espanol, Barcelona travelled by coach to Italy due to the volcanic dust where they lost 3-1 to Inter in the first leg of the Champions League semi final. In the other semi, Arjen Robben scored the only goal of the match for Bayern Munich at home to Lyon after both teams had been reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Franck Ribery and later on Toulalan.
In the first semi-finals of the Europa League Liverpool’s marathon trip to Atletico Madrid ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat while Fulham did better, holding hosts Hamburg to a goalless draw.

Friday 16 April 2010

The ups and downs of Pompey

A day after Portsmouth had their relegation from the Premier League confirmed, their resolute performance against Tottenham at Wembley earned them a 2-0 win in extra time and an FA Cup final meeting with Chelsea who had defeated Aston Villa with 3 late goals on Saturday. In the battle to avoid relegation, Graham Alexander scored twice from the spot as Burnley recovered from an early goal to hammer their hosts Hull 4-1 and West Ham picked up 3 vital points with a 1-0 home win against Sunderland. Fulham held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield, but Manchester City were in a scoring mood as they battered Birmingham 5-1 in Manchester. Manchester United drew blanks at Blackburn, giving Chelsea the opportunity to go 4 points clear at the top with a narrow 1-0 home win against Bolton in midweek. Arsenal suffered a huge setback losing 2-1 at Tottenham with Danny Rose scoring a belter to open the scoring for Spurs, and Aston Villa forced a late own-goal to salvage a 2-2 home draw against Everton.
In Spain Barcelona won El Classico 2-0 at Real Madrid to put themselves in the La Liga driving seat.

Friday 9 April 2010

Messi Euro end for Gunners

Chelsea took a big step towards the league title winning 2-1 at Manchester United with Drogba coming on to score a controversial 2nd while Arsenal kept up the pressure breaking the deadlock in stoppage time at home to Wolves. Tottenham fell 3-1 at Sunderland while Manchester City buried Burnley at Turf Moor with 3 goals in the first 7 minutes eventually winning 6-1, and West Ham picked up a point in their 2-2 draw at Everton. On Easter Monday Newcastle United celebrated promotion to the Premier League with a 2-1 home win against Sheffield United after Nottingham Forest had been held to a goalless draw at home to Cardiff, but by Tuesday all eyes were focussed on the Capm Nou where Arsenal took the lead against Barcelona only to be undone by four magical Lionel Messi goals in the Champions League. Manchester United got off to a flying start with 2 goals in the first 7 minutes against Bayern Munich and seemed to be cruising at 3-0 but the Germans pulled a goal back just before the break and after the dismissal of Rafael Da Silva Bayern found the all-important 2nd away goal with a stupendous volley from Arjen Robben to end English participation in this year’s Champions League. A goal at CSKA Moscow was enough to see Inter through to the semi-finals with Lyon also progressing despite losing 1-0 at Bordeaux.
In the Europa cup Liverpool battered Benfica 4-1 at Anfield while Bobby Zamora scored the only goal of the match in the first minute at Wolfsburg to see Fulham through. Hamburg took a step closer to playing the final in front of their home crowd with a 3-1 victory at Standard Liege, while in the all-Spanish tie Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Valencia to go through on the away goals rule.

Friday 2 April 2010

Lampard hits four in Villa demolition

Chelsea ran riot at the Bridge smashing forth-place contenders Aston Villa 7-1 with Frank Lampard scoring 4 times for the Londoners, while Manchester United stayed at the top with their 4-0 win at Bolton, but third-place Arsenal lost ground at Birmingham when a last gasp goal denied them a win as they drew 1-1. Harry Redknapp got the better of his old club as Tottenham beat visiting Portsmouth 2-0, and in another London match West Ham lost 1-0 to stoke while Fulham were beaten 2-0 in Hull. Torres scored twice as Liverpool picked up a 3-0 win against Sunderland at Anfield and on Monday Manchester City achieved the same result at home to Wigan with Tevez scoring all 3 goals.
In the Champions League Manchester United lost Rooney to an injury and the match 2-1 to Bayern Munich with the hosts netting the winner in stoppage time, while in France Lyon got the better of their compatriots Bordeaux 3-1 in their home leg. Arsenal fought back at the Emirates to take a 2-2 draw to Barcelona with Fabregas equalising from the spot having fractured a leg which will keep him out for an estimates 6 weeks, and Inter will take a 1-0 lead to CSKA Moscow. In the Europa League there were 2-1 home wins for Benfica against Liverpool, Hamburg against Standard Liege and Fulham against Wolfsburg, while in the all-Spanish match Atletico Madrid drew 2-2 at Valencia.