Thursday 26 May 2011

Survival Sunday

On the last day of the season Blackpool had a daunting trip to Manchester United where they took a 2-1 lead but were eventually beaten 4-2 by the newly crowned champions and consequently relegated. At Molineux Wolverhampton Wanderers seemed doomed after falling 3-0 behind to Blackburn in the first half, but 2 goals after the break gave Wolves a better goal difference over Birmingham who were drawing at Tottenham until Roman Pavlyuchenko sank the Blues with his second deep into stoppage time keeping Wolves alive. A single goal at Stoke kept Wigan in the Premier League while already relegated West Ham bowed out with a 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion came from 3 down at Newcastle at draw with a 2nd half hat-trick from Tchoyi. Chelsea lost 1-0 at Everton but finished 2nd in the league followed by Manchester City who consolidated 3rd spot with a 2-0 win at Bolton while a 2-2 draw at Fulham left Arsenal in 4th place. Aston Villa ended the season on a high, with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Villa Park.

Friday 20 May 2011

A City United in glory

A Wayne Rooney penalty at Blackburn gave Manchester United a 1-1 draw and their 19th league title on the day that Manchester City defeated Stoke City to win the FA Cup at Wembley. At the other end of the table Wigan came from 2 Demba Ba goals down to beat West Ham 3-2 with a brace from N’Zogbia that condemned their visitors to the dreaded fall, while DJ Campbell netted twice for Blackpool who got the better of Bolton in a 7 goal thriller at the seaside and Wolves triumphed 3-1 at Sunderland. Hangeland scored both goals for Fulham at troubled Birmingham while Everton lost to a single goal at West Brom and Liverpool were suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Tottenham. Chelsea could only manage a 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle while Darren Bent scored 2 early goals as Aston Villa won 2-1 at Arsenal who dropped into 4th place after Manchester City’s 3-0 midweek victory over Stoke with Tevez scoring twice for the hosts.
After goalless matches in the first legs, Swansea beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 and 2 goals from Shane Long helped Reading to a 3-0 win at Cardiff to set up a Wembley final for a place in the Premier League.
In Europe Porto won the Europa League, defeating compatriots Braga 1-0, and the Dutch picked up the UEFA under 17 trophy with a 5-2 triumph over Germany in the final.

Friday 13 May 2011

United point to the title

Manchester United are a point away from winning the Premier League for the 19th time after a 2-1 home win over their closest rivals Chelsea, while Arsenal continued their recent dismal run with a 3-1 defeat at Stoke. Manchester City lost 2-1 at Everton but a Tottenham own-goal at Eastlands secured them a top 4 finish in midweek. Defoe had rescued a point for Tottenham at the weekend with a late goal against visiting Blackpool and Liverpool had put Fulham to the sword 5-2 at the Cottage with another 3 goals from their on-form striker Maxi Rodriguez on Monday evening. A last gasp goal gave Sunderland a 2-1 win at Bolton while Newcastle won by the same score line at home to Birmingham. There were 1-1 draws for Blackburn at West Ham and Wigan at Aston Villa while in the Black Country derby Wolverhampton Wanderers picked up 3 vital points with a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion to move out of the bottom three. There were no goals in the first leg semi-final play-offs for the Premier League between Reading and Cardiff, and Nottingham Forest and Swansea.
In Spain Cristiano Ronaldo netted 4 times in Savilla as Real Madrid demolished their hosts 6-2 and added a hat-trick to his tally 4 days later to help his side cruise 4-0 past visiting Getafe, but a 1-1 draw for Barcelona at Levante on Wednesday was enough to give the Catalan giants the Spanish title.

Friday 6 May 2011

Not over the line

Manchester United are still not home and dry after losing 1-0 at Arsenal while Chelsea picked up 3 points at Stamford Bridge with a controversial 2-1 win over Tottenham, once again raising the question of goal-line technology. Liverpool enjoyed a 3-0 home win against Newcastle and Fulham won by the same score line at Sunderland thanks to a Simon Davies double while a single goal was enough to give Blackburn a win at home to Bolton. Ten-man West Bromwich Albion defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at the Hawthorns and West Ham fell by the same result at Manchester City while Everton drew 1-1 at Wigan and there was a goalless encounter between Blackpool and Stoke City. Queens Park Rangers were promoted to the Premier League as champions and were later joined by Norwich City who finished runners up in the Championship.
In Spain, Real Madrid who had lost 3-2 at home to Real Zaragoza and Barcelona who had suffered a 2-1 loss at Real Sociedad in the league, met in the Champions League at the Camp Nou where a 1-1 draw was enough to see Barcelona reach the final at Wembley where they will meet Manchester United who eased 4-1 past Schalke at Old Trafford.
Braga booked their place in the Europa Cup final on the away goals rule with a 1-0 home win against Benfica while a 3-2 defeat at Villarreal was not enough to deny Dublin an all-Portuguese final as Porto had hammered the Spanish outfit 5-1 in the first leg.