Latest European Football News
Chelsea Vs Tottenham Match Preview 08/05/13
Tonight is a massive game in the chase for a Champions League spot as 3rd play 5th in the Premier League. Cheslea welcome Spurs to Stamford Bridge where a win for The Blues will almost guarantee them Champions League football, as they will be 6 points above rivals Tottenham and have a far superior goal difference.
For Spurs this is a pivotal game and a victory will put qualification for the Champions League fully in their hands puttin Arsenal into 5th spot. A high class performance from Gareth Bale is essential if they are to pull off an upset, as they have failed to win at Stamford Bridge in 20 visits, a Premier League record.
Chelsea welcome back Eden Hazard who is available for selection, while Tottenham are hoping Aaron Lennon will be an option for them.
This promises to be a match of high intensity and hopefully one to keep us on the edge of our seats.
Sir Alex Ferguson Retires 08/05/2013 9.19am GMT
It has just been announced that the most successful manager in the history of football has retired. Sir Alex will continue his duties until the end of the season. He has inspired a generation of Scottish managers, and others alike. He won a staggering 49 titles in his career including 13 Premier League titles and 2 UEFA Champions League titles. He is a manager that will be sorely missed, and football will be forever different without him.
Swans Beat Wigan 07/05/2013
Wigan lead twice tonight against their Manager's old club, however two moment's of mistakes allowed Swansea to capitalise and solidify their place in mid table with a 3-2 win. This was Wigan's game in hand and their chance to join points with Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland, however they still lay 3 points behind. They are not out of it yet though, as if Newcastle or Norwich lose both their remaining games, Wigan can win only one of them and stay up on goal difference only.
In more serious news, Swansea Goalkeeper Michel Vorm was stretchered off with what looked like a possible neck injury, leading to 9 minutes added time. An update will be made when more is known.
Latics need a win to set-up a two-game brawl for survival in the Premier League 07/05/2013
Tonight Wigan will be needing a win their game in hand if they are wanting to challenge to keep themselves safe this season. A win against Manager Martínez's old club Swansea would see Wigan leapfrog Newcastle and Norwich due to goal difference, join points with those two and Sunderland, and bring everybody up to 12th place Fulham in to a relegation scrap in the final 2 games of the season. For the neutral, a Wigan win would set up one of the most gripping relegation battles in the history of the Premier League
Sunderland fight to earn 1-1 draw 06/05/2013
Despite playing abysmally in the first half and going down to ten men when Craig Gardner lunged in to a double-footed tackle, Sunderland found some form in the second period. Paolo Di Canio must have had some stern words for his Sunderland team at half-time, because in the second half the came out and fought hard to over come a 1-0 deficit and gain a vital point in their battle for the right to be one of the big boys again next season. There are now 3 teams on 38 points, only 3 ahead of Wigan, who can go level with Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich on Tuesday night with a win over mid-table Swansea.
Real Sociedad Have Champions League Spot In Their Sights 06/05/2013
Real Sociedad have been impressive in the second half of the season and the league table shows it. They sit in 4th place 2 points ahead of Valencia and also have a game in hand of them. A win tonight against Getafe will increase the gap to 5 points with only 4 games remaining. After a previous good spell for Getafe, they now havn't won in five, losing their last three on the bounce. Carlos Vela has been the main man for Sociedad this season, scoring 13 league goals and getting 8 assists. However he is not the only reason for their success, Sociedad work as a whole team constantly putting pressure on opponents and utilising their speedy players with a lightning counter attack. With Real Sociedad looking to have a slightly tougher run in than Valencia, this game is key in securing points to tighten their grip on the Champions League spot.
Sunderland V Stoke 06/04/2013
Stoke travel to The Stadium Of Light trying to gain their third successive win which will just about secure their safety in the top flight. Standing in their way is a Sunderland side who will have to put last weeks thrashing by Aston villa behind them in order to perform at full tilt. Coach Paolo Di Canio has warned players that there is no room for complacency and there is still a lot to do to ensure the Premier league safety. Sunderland have a string of injury problems and playmaker Sessegnon is missing due to suspension. A win for Sunderland will propel them to 40 points level with Stoke and effectively put the whole bottom half of the table in a relegation fight. This ensures to be a pivotal match in the hunt for Premier League safety.
Chelsea Close in On Europe Spot 05/05/2013
Chelsea visited Old Trafford looking to get a tighter grip onto a Champions League spot. The first half was pretty mundane with both sides creating little in the way of chances. Oscar had the best chance with a run from the half way line leading him inside United's box where his shot was parried onto the post. the second half seen United liven up a bit with a superb ball from Giggs Splitting Chelsea's defence but Robin van Persie failed to guide it into the net. Chelsea then started to probe but still couldn't create anything of real worth. That was until the 86th minute when after slick passing outside United's box the ball found its way to Juan Mata who managed to steer the ball into the corer of the goal which ultimately give Chelsea their 1-0 win. Soon after Rafael lashed out a kick at fellow Brazillian David Luiz and he was show red for his actions. Camera replays show Luiz smiling to the crowd as he lay on the ground hurt by the kick, which will undoubtebly cause a stir. The win puts Chelsea one point above of Arsenal who have played one more game, and three clear of Tottenham, a big step in their quest for Champions League football next year.
Juventus Clinch 2nd Title In A Row
Relegation fighters Palermo travelled to the champions home ground trying to put a halt on Juventus' celebrations. They were unable to do so, however, and Juventus won the game through a penatly dispatched through Vidal on the hour mark. They did not perform to their usual standards maybe due to the fact they knew a draw would be enough for the title, and did not create may chances to threaten palermo's goal. This title now shows how dominant Juventus have been this season by winning the league when 2nd spot Napoli still have 4 games left to play.
Chelsea Face Champions In Must Win Game 05/05/2013
Chelsea visit Old Trafford today in what is a vital match in their quest to secure Champions league football next season. With Rafa Benitez sticking to his rotation system we could see a start for John Terry who was left out against Basel on Thursday. We can also expect the three flair players Hazard, Mata and Oscar in behind Demba Ba who is likely to return. With Manchester United already having the title in the bag, they may have lost some edge from their game and Chelsea will be at full tilt hoping to capitalise on any lapses in concentration. Benitez will be hoping he can get one over on Sir Alex Ferguson who he feels has belittled him for over a decade, and further fuelled their rivalry recently by suggesting Ferguson should have won more in Europe with the resources he has.
Bale Increases Price Tag 04/05/13
Gareth Bale once again scored the winning goal for Tottenham late in the game to keep their Champions League hopes alive. It was a game which seen Southampton create the better chances missing out on two clear goal scoring opportunities. With five minutes to go who else but Bale scored another screamer, picking the ball up on the right wing and running inside where he unleashed hell. Failure for them to qualify for the Champions League may well mean they lose Bale to a bigger club next season.
Tigers Roar Into Big Time, Posh Humbled, Wolves Wander Down (04/05/2013)
There was elation for Hull City AFC, after they gained automatic promotion into the World's most lucrative league, the FA Barclays Premier League. However, this meant that Watford, who lost 2-1 to Leeds in a game that had 16 added first half minutes due to the injury of Watford's goalkeeper, will have to try and gain promotion through the Play-Offs. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table it was a bleak day for Wolves, who finished second bottom, and especially for Peterborough, who where safe until a heart-wrenching, late 3-2 winner for Crystal Palace, forcing them down with a record 55 points, 4 points more than ever needed to be relegated from the Championship
Hull And Watford Battle For Last Automatic Promotion Place For Premier League 03/05/13
Tomorrow we will see the climax to The Championship season and with Hull and Watford both fighting for the last automatic promotion spot, you can expect a nail biting afternoon. It's all in Hull City's hands as they are one point ahead of Watford currently sitting in second place, meaning a win will complete their flight to the top. However, standing in their way of that win is already promoted Cardiff City, who's manager Malky Mackay has promised to field a full strength team in what is effectively a £140 million match. Hull could have sealed their place in the Premier League a lot earlier if it wasn't for their disastrous run of form losing them valuable points. Watford however, have found some recent form by winning their last two games whilst also performing impressively. They are at home to Leeds who have nothing left to fight for which may help them. If Hull only managed a draw against Cardiff, this would mean Watford could get away with only drawing aswell, and still get promotion due to their superior goal difference. Whatever happens it promises to be an exciting and nerve racking day for all involved, which will end in despair for one club and ecstasy for the other.
Benfica and Chelsea make it into the UEFA Europa League Final (02/05/2013)
Both with a 3-1 victory in their second legs, and Benfica overcoming a first leg 1-0 defeat to Fenerbahçe , they and Chelsea who beat FC Basel 5-2 over two legs will compete the 2013 UEFA Europa League Final. In what has been a disappointing season Chelsea and Interim Manager Rafa Benítez, a chance of silverware could be on the cards. In a stark contrast Benfica have all but wrapped up their domestic Liga ZON SAGRES, and a Europa League win in the Amsterdam ArenA would top their proverbial cake with a cherry on top. Benfica a legendary European club and Chelsea one of the new-breed legends, and current UEFA Champions League champions, make this seasons Europa League finals one of the most hotly anticipated and possibly most reputable Finals of the past few years.
Bayern Make It An All German Final 01/05/13
Bayern Munich headed to The Nou Camp with a 4-0 lead already under their belts. The game started pretty slow considering Barcelona needed at least four goals and the first half saw Bayern with the majority of chances, most of them on the counter attack, however they failed to pick out the killer pass in the final third. As quick as the second half started Bayern scored through Arjen Robben with a cultured finish passed Victor Valdes. The goal effectively put the tie to bed as Barcelona now needed six goals. This task was impossible even by their standards especially with talisman Lionel Messi left on the bench, who did not feature at all. Bayern kept to their game plan and created more chances and two more goals, provided by Gerard Pique (own goal) and Thomas Muller. This now means that the two powerhouses of German football will meet each other at Wembley for the final which promises to be a marvel of a game for any football fan. Agg Barcelona 0-7 Bayerm Munich.
Dortmund Make Champions League Final 30/04/13
Borussia Dortmund have made it to the Champions League final for only the second time in their history. Real Madrid started the tie off at 100 miles per hour knowing that they needed a minimum of three goals to win the tie. The early pressing got them no results however, and their game died down towards the end of the first half. When the second half began it was Dortmund who looked the most lively, with last weeks hero Robert Lewandowski getting chance after chance but failing to find the back of the net. In the 83rd minute Karim Benzema got on the end of a cross to make it 1-0 to Real Madrid. Just five minutes later Sergio Ramos made it 2-0 with a rocket shot from the edge of the six yard box. This made the affair very cagey for Dortmund in the final moments as Madrid constantly put the pressure on striving for the third goal they so badly needed. Tomorrow Dortmund will find out who their opponents will be in the final at the end of may, which at the moment looks like it will be rivals Bayern München barring a massive turn around by Barcelona. When Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was interviewed after the match he was asked 'Maybe try again with Real next year?' and his reply was 'Maybe not, I want to be somewhere I love and where people love me'. This suggests that Mourinho may well make the return to Chelsea where he once managed and was loved.
Mourinho's Last Chance 30/04/13
After last weeks obliteration of current La Liga Champions Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund travel to Santiago Bernabeu looking to book their place in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25th. Trying to stop them is tactical mastermind Jose Mourinho, who's pedigree in this competition is pretty much unrivaled. For Madrid to turn around a 4-1 deficit seems highly unlikely, but with the wealth of talent which they have at their disposal, anything is possible! It has been over ten years since Madrid last lifted Europe's most coveted trophy and that is one of the main reasons Mourinho was brought in. The Real Madrid hierarchy know that Mourinho strives for the Champions League trophy more than any other, but it still manages to evade him as Real Madrid boss. If they fail to make the final in tonight's much anticipated encounter, then many people believe it will be his last European game in charge of the Spanish giants. Since last weeks game with Borussia Dortmund, rumours have been circulating that Mourinho revealed to their manager Jurgen Klopp that he he will be returning to old club Chelsea next season, which Mourinho declines saying. Whatever happens in tonight's big game it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks regarding Mourinho's future and a possible return to his true love Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League.
Villa Show Fight And Class 29/04/13
Aston Villa welcomed Sunderland to Villa Park in what promised to be vital in the task to escape relegation. Sunderland arrived off the back of two wins where as Villa got a 3-0 thumping off Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League Champions Manchester United last week. After a nervous first ten minutes for Villa they began to show fight and opened the scoring through a long range effort by Ron Vlaar. Just one minute later Danny Rose equalised for Sunderland. Six minutes later a counter attack by Villa helped them regain the lead and they never looked back. The second half came and Villa picked up where they left off, with Christian Benteke grabbing a hat trick in a 17 minute flurry. This emphatic win helps put Aston Villa level on points with both Sunderland and Newcastle with only three games of the season remaining.The three teams are clear of the relegation zone by 5 points, however Wigan do have a game in hand which could see the deficit pulled back to two points, making for an exciting battle in the last few games. Aston Villa 6-1 Sunderland.
Redknapp Will Stay With QPR 29/04/13
Just one day after QPR were relegated from the Premier League, they have revealed that Harry Redknapp will remain manager next season in the quest to propel them back into top flight football. Harry will have to offload some of the clubs top earners to save money, however, he should still be left with a strong squad which is capable of returning to the Premier League pretty sharp. it wont be easy though, you don't have to look far to find out how hard The Championship is, a prime example been Wolves who are now on the verge of suffering back to back relegations. If QPR do return to the top quickly, hopefully they have learned a lesson regarding their transfer dealings and control them more sensibly and efficiently next time.
PFA Player of the Year - Gareth Bale 28/04/2013
He's been transformed from a sub-standard left-back into one of the World's best goal scoring midfielders!, from a player whose team never won with him to one that has been the only reason Spurs have been winning in 2013. This pretty much sums up why Premier League star Gareth Bale won the votes of his peers to become the latest PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year, the first double awardee since Cristiano Ronaldo in 06/07, and not many could argue with the reasons behind the votes. He hasn't just been scoring goals this season, but in this year alone Spurs have only won in games that Gareth Bale has scored in , and have only drew one of nine of these games, which was their latest game against Wigan where they salvaged a late 2-2 draw. Offers will no doubt be coming in for him this summer, especially if Spurs do not make it in to the Champion's League for next season, and if they do make it in to the competition where Bale came to prominence, it will be because Bale has dragged them in to it! A worthy winner indeed, and may his form continue to impress!
PFA Team Of The Year Announced - and it has a bit of a bite! 28/04/2013
Less than a week after his infamous biting of Branislav Ivanovic, Luis Suarez has been named in the PFA Team Of The Year, which was met with a chorus of news when announced. The Champions Manchester United have 4 players chosen, in the spine of this Team Of The Year.
GK: David De Gea (Manchester United)
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United) Leighton Baines (Everton)
Midfielders: Juan Manuel Mata (Chelsea) Michael Carrick (Manchester United) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
Strikers: Luis Suarez (Liverpool) Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
Txuri-Urdin On Verge Of Big-Time After a 10 Year Exile 28/04/2013
Only ten years ago, the Basque club Real Sociedad were on the verge of winning their first title since their consecutive La Liga championships of the early '80's. However with things not going their way they lost out to Real Madrid on the final day of the season. Only two seasons later, they were relegated after a slump in form. They have worked hard to re-gain their La Liga status and once again challenge to be one of La Liga's Champions League kin. With a game against fellow Champions League place challengers Valencia, most would presume the fallen powerhouse Valencia may have had a chance to win and subsequently leapfrog over Sociedad in to 4th place. When the match got to the 70 minute mark, and the score at 1-1, many may have though they would buckle, however in the 73rd they took they lead, extended it in the 87th minute with an excellently executed volley from Imanol Agirretxe however they had a late wobble as Jonas pulled it back to 3-2 with a 90th minute header after a save from Sociedad's Claudio Bravo. Agirretxe killed of the tie, though, in the 94th and final minute with sublime pace with weary legs to out-run his defender and with outrageous calmness in such a situation scored with a Messi-esque dink over the rooted Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.
The tie ended R. Sociedad 4 - 2 Valencia with Sociedad going 5 points clear of both Málaga and Valencia with 5 games remaining, and currently leading the race to become La Liga's fourth representative in the Champion's League for the 2013/14 season.
RVP Causes More Pain For Arsenal 28/04/13
Robin Van Persie travelled back to the Emirates for the first time since joining Manchester United. With Manchester United already been crowned Premier League Champions and Arsenal still fighting for a champions league spot, its was the latter who needed the win more. Arsenal started brightly and looked threatening from the off. After only a few minutes Walcott ran behind United's defence and managed to squeeze the ball past De Gea into the net. Towards the end of the first half Arsenal looked to have lost a bit of their spark and RVP made a run into the box where Bacary Sagna brought him down conceding a penalty. Van Persie stepped up to take it and finished it comfortably. The second half saw both teams create chances but nothing of real quality, which was dangerous to the other side. The tie finished 1-1 earning Arsenal a point, rather than the three they were craving. This leaves Arsenal 2 points above rivals Tottenham in fifth who have a game in hand, and 1 point behind Chelsea in third who won 2-0 at home to Swansea. The final games of the season will be vital in deciding which clubs pick up the two UEFA Champions League spots left available, with Chelsea and Tottenham still left to play one another.
Juventus Close In On Another Title 28/04/13
Juventus were away to local rivals Torino looking to pick up three points as they move closer to winning the championship yet again. It was a game where Juventus seen more of the ball but struggled to make many clear chances which they could capitalise upon. After pressing hard they fianlly got their breakthrough courtesy of Vidal in the 86th minute. Torino were then reduced to ten men which spurred on Juventus to press harder and they were rewarded with a second goal deep in added time. The win means Juventus are only one win away from winning the title and it leaves Torino still fighting against relegation.
Reading And QPR Are Relegated 28/04/13
Sundays early kick off seen the two clubs at the foot of the Premier League face each other in what was one last chance of saviour. If either team lost their fate would be playing in the Championship next season, with a draw condemning them both to lower league football. Knowing only a win would do you would expect both teams to go all out, but you coudn't get it more wrong. From start to finish both teams played below average football and showed no signs of having any fight in them. Chances came few and far between for both teams as they showed why they are both rooted to the bottom of the table. It ended as a 0-0 draw which meant both clubs are now preparing for Championship football next season.
Real Madrid Win Local Derby 27/04/13
The Vicente Calderon Stadium was the destination of the Madrid local derby on Saturday night in what was a key battle for the chase of second place. Atletico Madrid had fielded a very strong side where as Real Madrid, with champions league in mind, made wholesale changes throughout the team. Radamel Falcao opened the scoring early on to give the home side the lead, then Real Madrid got an equaliser through a Juanfran own goal. Atletico looked the more likely to clinch a second goal, when totally against the run of play Angel Di Maria broke their defensive line and earned Real Madrid a 2-1 lead, which they managed to hold on to for the remainder of the game. Aswell as beating their local rivals, their 2-1 victory meant great rivals Barcelona would have to wait another week before been crowned champions as they only managed a draw away to Athletic Bilbao.
Liverpool Answer The Critics 27/04/13
Liverpool went to St James' Park looking to put to bed any doubt that they are a one man team, in the absence of Luis Suarez. It took them just 3 minutes to grab their first goal which was helped by Newcastle United's slack defending. Liverpool went on to dominate the game scoring another 5 goals along the way, in which was an impressive show. This defeat for Newcastle leaves them fighting relegation with just three games of the season left to play, and has seen some fans calling for the sacking of manager Alan Pardew. Liverpool have been getting better and better under Brendan Rodgers and with a few summer signings, there's no reason why we couldn't see them pushing for a champions league spot next season.