Sanford's Soccer Net Archives for January 2009
The third round draw also features three all Premier League ties, with West Ham hosting Arsenal,
Aston Villa facing Blackburn and Wigan playing Hull.
Major League Soccer's 14th season began with a flourish in Seattle as a packed house served up a
teaser for great things ahead at the debuting franchise. The Sounders eventually set a
single-season league attendance record, and then supplied a brilliant punctuation mark on 2009 as a
grand and gracious MLS Cup host.
Thanks to Dave for passing this along...
(Summary is not available.)
Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to eight points on Sunday thanks to a 1-0
home win over Fiorentina.
City rivals AC Milan capitalised on Juventus' 2-0 defeat at Cagliari to climb to second.
Team of the Week
According to Sky.it, the 36-year-old man climbed onto the balustrade of the second tier
where he lost his footing and fell down to the first tier, crushing a 46-year-old and his son in
The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has revealed that the Football Association of Ireland asked to be
included in the World Cup as an extra team following the Republic of Ireland's controversial
play-off defeat to France.
Arsenal 0 - 3 Chelsea
Dominic Fifield: Ashley Cole makes his point
Harry Harris: Men against boys
Arsenal's flimsy title challenge torn apart
Everton 0 - 2 Liverpool
Richard Jolly: Kuyt industry key for Reds
Everton and Moyes face testing times
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Tottenham
Harry Harris: Spurs edge ahead in top-four race
Birmingham City edged out Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United ruined Avram
Grant's debut in charge of Portsmouth while Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur were forced to play
out a 1-1 draw.
Madrid's expensively-assembled superstars put up a good fight, but Barca have drawn first blood in
the title race...
Barcelona 1 - 0 Real Madrid
Fulham 3 - 0 Blackburn
Dempsey double downs Rovers
Hull City 3 - 2 Everton
Tigers hold on for vital victory
Chelsea1333Manchester United1328Arsenal1225Tottenham Hotspur1325Aston Villa1322Manchester
Rovers1316Birmingham1315Everton1315Hull City1415Wigan Athletic1314West Ham United1311Bolton
Manchester United 0 - 1 Besiktas
United left with work to do
United's kids not quite ready
Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Maccabi Haifa
Olic gives Bayern hope
Bordeaux 2 - 0 Juventus
Chamakh seals top spot
AC Milan 1 - 1 Marseille
Lucho denies Milan
Porto 0 - 1 Chelsea
Anelka swoops late as Blues stroll
Real Madrid 1 - 0 FC Zurich
The Path to the Knockout Stage + Complete Standings
Goal.com runs through the best in show from matchday 5 of the Champions League...
Alves Pique Sharonov Tremoulinas
Hleb Fabregas Cisse Krasic Pedro
The Champions League is full of recently retired players excelling in management. None of them
works in England.
Liverpool crashed out of the UEFA Champions League and Rangers tumbled out of Europe completely as
Arsenal cruised into the last 16.
Debrecen 0 - 1 Liverpool
Reds win but crash out
Liverpool's bread and butter look stale
Uncertain future awaits
Fiorentina 1 - 0 Lyon
Viola through at Liverpool's expense
Barcelona 2 - 0 Inter Milan
Barca dominate Nerazzurri
A complete performance
Arsenal 2 - 0 Standard Liege
Gunners top group
Horror foul leaves Gibbs with broken foot
Rangers 0 - 2 Stuttgart
Germans too good
Chelsea and Manchester United can win their respective UEFA Champions League groups with
qualification to the knockout phase already assured.
There is significantly more at stake in Group C, where all four clubs retain hopes of
qualification, although heavyweight duo AC Milan and Real Madrid currently occupy the top two
A day of travel (over the river and through the woods) so just the basics today. Besides Paul
Hart's sacking and the Champions League, there's not much going on. Be safe. -Sanford
Portsmouth have sacked manager Paul Hart after the club's poor start to the season left them rooted
to the bottom of the Premier League.
What: Fifa World Cup 2010 draw
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
When: December 4, 2009 5pm GMT.
The 32 teams will be seeded in four pots to be confirmed, perhaps, as late as the eve of the draw
Liverpool, Barcelona and Rangers are all facing the prospect of crashing out of the UEFA Champions
League in the penultimate round of group games.
Debrecen vs. Liverpool
Victory in Hungary may not be enough
Carragher remembers past failures
The Dutchman's ignoring of Rubin players may have helped them retain the title and cost Russia a
World Cup finals place.
Rubin Kazan have good reason to thank the blinkered Guus Hiddink.
After seeing off Fiorentina 3-2, Parma find themselves fifth in the table and that certainly is an
Seventh sister back on the scene as Parma perk up sibling rivalry.
A masterful display at Freiburg confirmed Mesut Ã–zil's status as the best player in the league, a
one-man source of creativity.
Mesut Ã–zil streets ahead of rivals to inspire Werder to greater heights.
It's not supposed to be this way. Carlos Marchena's not supposed to score and he's certainly not
supposed to score the same day David Albelda does.
Even the most evil men are capable of beauty once in a while.
Sepp Blatter has called an emergency meeting of Fifa's executive committee to discuss the
fallout from Ireland's World Cup qualifying play-off elimination by France.
The meeting will be held only two days before the draw for the finals in South Africa.
Freddie Ljungberg knows all the questions about Arsenal's durability. Do they have substance to go
with their undoubted style? Character as well as creativity? Depth as well as desire? In short,
when the going gets tough, can Arsenal get going?
The new NASL has nine teams: Carolina RailHawks, Atlanta Silverbacks, Crystal Palace Baltimore,
Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, St. Louis Soccer United, Tampa Bay Rowdies and
Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Spanish striker Fernando Torres talks about life at Liverpool and in the Premier League, and how he
had managed to avoid the limelight despite his football superstar status.
Our discussion addressed a number of topics, including his views on using instant replay in soccer
officiating (in the wake of the controversy in Wednesday's World Cup Ireland-France World Cup
qualifier), the MLS salary cap, Landon Donovan's future in MLS, a move to a single table,
consensus-building with MLS owners, and his thoughts on my book, The Beckham Experiment.
The trouble with the 'clÃ¡sico' (Barcelona v Real Madrid, in case you didn't know) is that
in the week preceding this apocalyptic fixture everything seems conditioned by its looming
presence. It might have been better for the clubs themselves to have played the game on a weekend
which neither preceded nor succeeded a Champions League midweek, but the gods of destiny preferred
to keep things boiling over, sitting up there in the clouds this summer, poring over the fixture
Ronaldinho (Milan): Arguably the former Barcelona star's best match this season. A full
ninety minutes of ingenuity and creativity. His one-touch assist for Pato was sublime and his
penalty was dispatched with confidence. He is thriving in Leonardo's system and enjoying his
Goals fly in from all angles, with scoreboards threatening to blow a fuse and reporters racing
through pencils as they frantically scribble away in an effort to keep up with the action unfolding
in front of them.
These are the games which really capture the imagination - at least for the players and
supporters of the side in the ascendancy.
Iraqi football teams have been banned from all international competitions after sectarian
infighting among the country's sports officials.
Not since Zinedine Zidane lined up Marco Materazzi's chest with his head in Berlin over three
years ago have so many opinions, distortions, hyperbole and hypocritical utterances been spewed
The "Henry Incident" has provided an opportunity for outlandish stereo-typing and xenophobia.
Tottenham Hotspur went scoring bananas in a humiliation of Wigan Athletic, their North London
rivals Arsenal saw their title aspirations suffer a blow while struggling pair Hull City and West
Ham United played out a six-goal thriller.
Inter Milan stretched their lead at the top of the table as Parma prevailed in a five-goal thriller
AC Milan edged a seven-goal thriller against Cagliari, while Francesco Totti was the hero for
Real Madrid have moved to the top of the Liga table after beating Racing Santander while Barcelona
were held at Athletic Bilbao.
Valencia moved back into the Primera Liga's top four on Sunday with a convincing victory on their
Few gave Real Salt Lake much of a shot to defeat Los Angeles and win its first MLS Cup. Kyle
McCarthy explains how RSL positioned itself for glory and grasped the opportunity in the Monday MLS
Kevin McCarra at Anfield
Liverpool 2 - 2 Manchester City
Richard Jolly at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 - 0 Everton
Kevin Palmer at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 4 - 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Dominic Fifield at White Hart Lane
Tottenham 9 - 1 Wigan
Shockingly there's a full weekend of soccer action about to start. I know, how can that be?!?! Have
the authorities lost their minds? With Thierry Henry roaming the streets, handling a ball,
destroying a nation's economy, causing cancer and eating children, it's hard to believe European
governments are allowing people out of their houses.
Blame it on my Liverpool supporting Uncle who is in from his retirement compound in Thailand.
Hopefully I'll get some previews up later today. Thankfully countries playing countries is behind
us for a spell and we can focus on the true beautiful game: club football. -Sanford
(Summary is not available.)
Uruguay struggled to tame Costa Rica before booking their place in the World Cup finals with a 1-1
draw at home in the second leg of their South America/CONCACAF play-off on Wednesday. The match was
held up for nearly five minutes near the end because of fighting between a Uruguay camera crew near
the touchline and the Costa Rica bench amid a nervous denouement.
Portugal belatedly secured their place at next summer's World Cup with an impressive performance in
Zenica. After scraping a 1-0 win in Lisbon at the weekend with a laboured showing on home turf,
Carlos Queiroz's side upped their game to close out the qualifying play-off and book a ticket to
Slovenia reached the 2010 World Cup finals at the expense of nine-man Russia thanks to Zlatko
Dedic's 44th-minute goal on a dramatic night in Maribor. Russia, who had Aleksandr Kerzhakov and
Yuri Zhirkov sent off in the second half, were left to rue some poor defending and an overall
Take one look at the scoreline from the United States' 3-1 defeat by Denmark, and it's tempting to
assume that the more inexperienced elements of manager Bob Bradley's lineup were to blame. But
closer inspection reveals that some veteran performers should bear most of the responsibility.
Winners and Losers
Lessons learned from Denmark and Slovakia
Europe England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Denmark,
Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, France
Africa Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria
Asia Japan, Australia, South Korea, North Korea
Oceania New Zealand
Concacaf United States, Mexico, Honduras
South America Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay
Dimitris Salpigidis scored the only goal as Greece clinched a place at the 2010 World Cup courtesy
of a narrow victory over Ukraine at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.
Agony for Sheva...
Trap's dreams denied by missed chances and underhand tricks
Cascarino: Henry is an insincere cheat
Richard Williams: How Henry could have handled it all so differently
Maher: Ireland hard done by
Barclay: Lucky Domenech spared trial by video
Lee Dixon: Henry has tainted his reputation
Amy Lawrence: Trap finds no luck
Bitter Keane blasts FIFA, UEFA & Platini
Fifa rejects calls for replay after Henry handball
Algeria qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 with a disciplined if patchy
display, in a match as testy as it was tense. Antar Yahia's winner emphasised the commitment to
attack the Algerians have shown throughout qualifying: the scorer was a right-back on a far from
Forgot to mention that I'm all a twit today as the matches progress. Here's my name:
SanfordssoccerI think that's all you need, but I might be wrong.
Bloody hell. It finally all comes down to this. After today, we're done.
Egypt vs. Algeria
Khartoum Stadium, Khartoum, Sudan
Battle for final African spot at fever pitch
France vs. Ireland (1-0 agg.)
The Internazionale striker Samuel Eto'o has celebrated Cameroon's qualification for next summer's
World Cup in South Africa by buying every member of the squad a Â£29,000 watch.
Liverpool have risked a furore over a film starring Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher that
portrays Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, as a whisky-guzzling drunk and Gary
Neville, the club's captain, as a rat who "hates Scousers".
Gerrard and Carragher were joined by Rafael BenÃtez, the Merseyside club's manager, at the
premiere of Fifteen Minutes That Shook The World in Liverpool on Monday evening.
Carlo Garganese runs down the Top 10 list of players who should never been allowed to wear the
sacred No.10 shirt...
Gibbs becomes the 12th player on Arsenal's ever lengthening injury list â€“ he had been the
club's first-choice left-back due to a stress fracture of the back suffered by GaÃ«l Clichy.
Gibbs was forced out after only 21 minutes of the game against Lithunia, with initial reports
suggesting he may have broken a metatarsal.
The American singer appeared at the ceremony in a West Ham basque, complete with the team's badges
on her chest, prompting the club to commission a special limited-edition range of underwear for
sale to fans. West Ham say they were "responding to huge demand".
Some of Scotland's players are "too thick" to understand George Burley's coaching methods,
according to the sacked manager's nephew, Craig.
When the United States originally set up this Wednesday's friendly against Denmark, it was thought
that the encounter would provide a fair assessment of where the Americans stood in comparison to
another World Cup contestant. The chance to look at some fringe members of the team was also a
5. The stick-it-right-up-'em Scottish crowd
When I was a kid watching games at Ibrox, Parkhead or Hampden I sensed even then "the angry
Scottish football crowd". To this day the Scots aren't too keen on the type of football which tends
to succeed, ie, methodical, studied and careful in the build-up.
The first rock was thrown with such force that it traveled through the bus, smashing windows on its
way in and out, Michel Gaillaud, a French doctor, recalls. Panicked, he and the football players he
treats dived for cover. "We were bombarded with stones," says Gaillaud. "People were screaming. We
were lying on the floor.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is on course for a return to action against Manchester City in the
Premier League this weekend after recovering from a groin injury.
"I offered to shave off my beard and put on some make-up and then I'd have looked like my
Derby County's Robbie Savage after turning up at the airport with his wife's passport for a
friendly in the Netherlands.
"I was joking on the sidelines saying 'You Americans have been dying to get it to four
quarters and you finally got it!
You had to feel sorry for those fringe England players pushing their claims for a World Cup squad
place against Brazil. There were few chances to shine and they were outgunned individually and
Unsurprisingly England's under-strength line-up looked like a collection of players.
I'll be frank. The main reason you're reading this column is that it's due. And yes, I did think
about taking this week off and not sending anything. Obviously, nearly everybody who makes a living
covering German football has talked or written about Robert Enke's death these past days. I intend
to remain an exception, and you'll know why.
If it was drama you wanted, African World Cup qualifying was the place to be this weekend. Nigeria
and Cameroon became the latest teams through to the finals - joining Ghana, Ivory Coast and hosts
South Africa - but in very different circumstances.
The scene in Cairo. Wednesday's match will be in "nuetral" Sudan.
After the Brazil v England game in Doha on Saturday night, Fabio Capello remarked, amongst other
things, that Brazil were a better side than Spain and were more likely favourites for the crown in
South Africa. In justifying this view, he said that Brazil were physically stronger, and that they
The Arsenal manager will need to change his strategy now that his gifted forward has joined the
The Dutchman will have placenta rubbed into the damaged area by a Serbian housewife who
successfully healed a former Feyenoord team-mate Danzo Lazovic.
Burley won just three of his 14 games in charge and his sacking follows the 3-0 friendly defeat in
Cardiff on Saturday.
Costa Rica 0-1 Uruguay
Crucial Lugano Goal Brings South Americans Closer To World Cup 2010
Ireland 0-1 France
Anelka Gives France Away-Goal Boost
Greece 0-0 Ukraine
Stalemate In Athens As Visitors Leave Happier
New Zealand players celebrate after booking trip to South Africa.
The World Cup of 2010 is already taking shape, with twenty-six of the 32 teams on offer having
already staked a claim towards a tournament berth.
Giovanni Trapattoni, the Ireland manager, said Lassana Diarra's verbal attack on Keith Andrews,
which precipitated a confrontation of a more physical nature with players from both teams forming a
melee, was an "insult to the Irish people". "I cannot say the sentence," the Italian added.
Alex Villaplane said captaining France was 'the happiest day of his life'. Fourteen years later he
was shot dead for being a traitor.
Roy Hodgson on managing levels of expectation at Fulham and his position as a potential successor
to Fabio Capello.
'It's always been a crowning glory to be asked to coach your national team'.
The Argentina coach is banned from all football related activity for two months and has been fined
25 thousand Swiss francs for his post-match rant following the World Cup qualifier against Uruguay
The striker suffered an ankle injury 10 minutes into Holland's goalless draw with Italy on Saturday
and had to be stretchered from the field.
For the second season in a row the Fire had a chance to make a trip to the MLS Cup Final and once
again they came up short. The home fans at Toyota Park showed up in force, but they didn't see the
same commitment and coherence from their team that they got in last week's 2-0 home win over Prince
and the New England Revolution.
I hung out with Lilian Thuram last night. I'm taking a day off to let that sink in. More over the
Police are currently investigating how the stolen vehicle entered Albania. Luxury vehicles stolen
from Western Europe often end up on Albania's streets after their plates are changed and are then
sold on with falsified documents. The car, a Range Rover SUV, stolen from the Italian football
player three years ago, had Tirana plates and was registered to an Albanian national.
He has won the Champions League, but only one of his last nine fixtures. He still appears adored by
many on the Kop, but is derided by still more on messageboards and phone-ins. He is one of the most
divisive figures in football. But how many of the criticisms commonly levelled at Rafa Benitez
stand up to analysis?
Remember Freddy Adu? Of course you do. In 2004, he was the 14-year-old who was seen as the
future of the game in the United States and a potential new global star. The subject of gargantuan
hype when he made his Major League Soccer bow in April of that year for DC United, Adu still holds
records as the youngest player and goalscorer in the MLS's short history and is also the youngest
player to appear for the senior US team.
When future historians look back at the age of globalisation, it is not the Americanisation of the
planet's culture that will amaze them most, nor the pervading presence of brands such as Coca-Cola
and Nike. No, it is the global conquest of football.
Using the squad that Raymond Domenech has picked for the World Cup play-offs, Goal.com's Robin
Bairner has picked his starting XI to send France to South Africa. In addition, he has selected a
wildcard player to keep an eye on...
Brazil's playmaker on Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and why England can triumph in South
'I have no doubt England can win the World Cup' says KakÃ¡.
Post-war Germany is traditionally reluctant to dwell on the past. But, as the country mourns the
loss of a great footballer, for once the show cannot go on.
Robert Enke's death has cast a long shadow over German football.
The Premier League has rejected a plan to bring Celtic and Rangers into English football's top
North America will have a new soccer league from April after rebel clubs broke away from the
established second tier league to form a new competition.
The seven include USL champions Montreal Impact and the team they beat in the league's final
game -- Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC and Minnesota Thunder have also split from USL to form the new
league along with former USL team the Atlanta Silverbacks and a new team from St.
"Ferguson is a very complicated man," Nani said. "He's tough. If things are all right, then they
are all right. But when he thinks something is wrong, everything is screwed.
"He can go from complimenting you to just plain trashing you in a matter of minutes. Has it
happened to me? Hell, yes!
France stars Yoann Gourcuff and Karim Benzema give off the impression that they have been pinned
back on the ropes for a little too long as they prepare for Saturday's World Cup play-off against
the Republic of Ireland.
One suspected it was bound to happen. Every year we are presented with a new edition of the
internal drama at Bayern Munich. It's a phenomenon that takes place frequently at Saebener Strasse
and leaves the club's management in sheer disillusion and the fans in astonishment while
blood-thirsty journalists start sharpening their pens.
"He'd clean my shoes, make me cups of tea and even came to one of my fan club afternoons...he may
be a global superstar but has he ever sold out Discotheque Royale on a Sunday afternoon?"
Lee Sharpe on the days when he was king and David Beckham was his bootboy.
"Phil's having a Guinness in his office at the moment - and he deserves one.
The 27-year-old striker says he wants to hold talks with Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager,
after becoming disillusioned with life at White Hart Lane.
I don't really want to go back to the Michael Owen issue, but, since with eerie regularity people
mention his "great goalscoring record for England" I might as well chip in. First of all, a
"goalscoring record for England" is put together over a long period of time, especially in his
case, since he made his debut back in February of 1998.
United States and Sochaux striker Charlie Davies has been released from hospital after being
injured in a car crash last month near Washington DC.
The 32-year-old was hit by the train as it passed through a crossing at Neustadt-Eilvese on its
route between Hamburg and Bremen. Police said the Hannover 96 captain's car, parked metres away
from the tracks, was unlocked and his wallet still inside. The two train drivers reported seeing a
man on the tracks but could not stop in time, police reported.
Alex Ferguson has the experience to close the gap on Carlo's Ancelotti's table-toppers...
What's a bigger embarrassment? Real Madrid labouring to a 1-0 home win over Alcorcon with their big
guns out on show, or AlcorcÃ³n demolishing Real Madrid 4-0 at their 3,000-capacity Santo Domingo
stadium with half of the mini-Galacticos day-dreaming out on the pitch?
The answer? Both are equally disgraceful.
Skysports.com takes a look at some of the biggest refereeing gaffes of the season so far.
With no win in 10 games and their best players frozen out by the club, Lazio's players have been
ordered to attend a training camp.
Lazio retreat as their ship starts sinking.
Such a shame that their club isn't doing well...
Instead of acting on Philipp Lahm's criticisms, Bayern are glossing over their failings in Europe
and, at the moment, the Bundesliga.
Philipp Lahm slaughters his own club to leave Bayern Munich ranting and railing.
He would help...
"Top teams in the Champions League have first-class players in seven, eight positions â€“ we
don't," Lahm said.
Guus Hiddink's side are favourites to make it through the play-offs to South Africa, but his
selection problems give Matjaz Kek hope of masterminding an upset.
Slovenia hoping for another play-off miracle against the might of Russia.
Over 50 clubs from Saudi Arabia to Merseyside have beaten Real since 1999. Agonised AtlÃ©tico still
aren't one of them.
Groundhog day for AtlÃ©tico as Real dish out familiar Madrid derby pain.
Not one. Not two. But three Americans scored in England last week, as every goal either secured a
victory or equalized the score.
"The surgery went well, I was told afterwards that it was textbook," said Onyewu, who is now
rehabbing in California. "Everything went along well, I am feeling better each day."
Onyewu recalls looking down and seeing that his kneecap was in his quadriceps muscle. "It looked
pretty bad," he said.
Liverpool 2 - 2 Birmingham City
Richard Jolly: No glory for Reds in Anfield draw
Andy Hunter: Ngog's embarrassing case of cheating gets draw
Kevin McCarra: Gerrard returns to curb humiliation
November 10, 2009 P Pts Chelsea1230Arsenal1125Manchester United1225Tottenham Hotspur1222Aston
City1216Burnley1216Fulham1115Everton1115Wigan Athletic1214Blackburn Rovers1113Birmingham1212Bolton
Wanderers1111Hull City1211West Ham United1210Wolverhampton Wanderers1210Portsmouth127
The fact that Sporting GijÃ³n lie seventh in the league, with a quarter of the games now played, is
probably the fairest thing to highlight at the start of this week's column. After beating Espanyol
1-0, they have garnered sixteen precious points from the ten games so far played, and as averages
go would be very happy to end the season on something around 60 points, their present haul
multiplied by four.
Lilian Thuram, Caribbean-born French soccer player, activist and writer, is well-known both for his
successes on the turf and for his frequent political interventions off of it. During his week-long
residency at Duke, he will participate in several events, sharing his thoughts on sport, racism,
and immigration as well as discussing the work of his new foundation.
Los Angeles 1 - 0 Chivas USA
Donovan penalty sends Galaxy to semis
Chicago 2 - 0 New England
Blanco leads Fire surge
Houston 1 - 0 Seattle
Ching strikes in extra time to end Seattle's dream
When: Monday, November 9, 2009 - 3:00 EST
Where: Anfield, Merseyside, England
U.S. TV: ESPN2
Inter Milan were held to a 1-1 draw by a determined Roma at the San Siro on Sunday night - but
still moved five points clear at the top of Serie A. In-form city rivals AC moved up to third after
inflicting a 2-1 home defeat on Lazio which leaves the Rome side hovering just above the relegation
Kevin McCarra's Match Report
Defeat hurts Sir Alex hard
Chelsea's belated revenge leaves Manchester United nursing grievances.
Sir Alex screams blue murder: "It was a bad decision, but what can you do? You lose faith in the
Carlo Garganese looks back over another explosive weekend of Serie A action, paying tribute to an
incredible Jose Mourinho record and coining a new nickname for elbow-attacker Patrick Vieira...
Harry Harris at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 1 - 0 Manchester United
Richard Jolly at the KC Stadium
Hull City 2 - 1 Stoke City
Kevin Palmer at Molineux
Wolves 1 - 4 Arsenal
Manchester City played out a six-goal thriller with Burnley at Eastlands, Everton returned to
winning ways, as did Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur - the former in a more convincing manner
than the latter - while an inspired double substitution helped Blackburn Rovers fight back against
Sevilla and Valencia maintained their pursuit of title favourites Barcelona and Real Madrid with
wins on Sunday. On Saturday, 10-man Real Madrid continued their remarkable run of success against
city rivals Atletico at the Vicente Calderon, but they were given a huge scare after almost
surrendering a 3-0 lead in an incident-packed derby they won 3-2.
The Fire came into the second leg down 2-1 in aggregate goals facing an opponent that they've faced
a huge number of times in the playoffs over the years, lately with good results. I could go on
about the challenges that the Revs faced this year, but frankly it's not worth the time. This Fire
team came into the playoffs in mediocre form, with rumors of trouble in the locker room and using a
Ligue 1 teams had an amazing week in the Champions League (not so much in the Europa) that somewhat
validated my prediction of French teams being real contenders this year. While Bordeaux won with
class and Lyon once again upset Liverpool in the same manner they did 2 weeks ago, Marseille
destroyed Zurich and are now in a position to make Real and Milan sweat.
Bayern face Schalke, Hoffenheim host Wolfsburg and Dortmund head to Werder in Round 12...
Bayer Leverkusen â€“ Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayern Munich â€“ Schalke
Borussia M'gladbach â€“ Stuttgart
Hoffenheim â€“ Wolfsburg
Bochum â€“ Freiburg
Hannover â€“ Hamburg
Hertha Berlin â€“ Koeln
Werder Bremen â€“ Borussia Dortmund
Fireworks are expected on Sunday when Premier League leaders Chelsea host second-placed Manchester
United at Stamford Bridge. Elsewhere, Phil Brown is under pressure for his Hull City side to pick
up a positive result against Stoke City, in-form Arsenal travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers,
Manchester City welcome North West rivals Burnley to Eastlands while Tottenham Hotspur and
Sunderland clash at White Hart Lane.
Goal.com's Subhankar Mondal looks ahead to the key clash between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in
La Liga on Saturday night...
The Madrid derby takes centre stage this weekend as big-spending Real travel to struggling
Roma face a daunting trip north this weekend in Serie A when they travel to the San Siro to face a
reinvigorated Inter Milan.
Real Salt Lake had scored just nine goals on the road all season, and the Columbus Crew had scored
a single goal in the last five games, but throw that all out the window â€“ this is the playoffs.
The Forecast discusses Real Salt Lake's upset victory in Columbus on Thursday night before it
reviews the decisive second legs ahead in the three remaining conference semifinal series.
Benfica handed Everton another painful lesson at Goodison Park. The two-goal margin
of victory could actually have been larger, the Portuguese side missing several chances to increase
the embarrassment for Moyes's men. In the event, Benfica settled for two second half goals, one
from Saviola and one from Cardozo.
From Metz feeding Bernd Schuster ham to Aberdeen lighting up the north, here are some of the great
The two top sides in the Premier League in recent years, United and Chelsea have unearthed a
rivalry that has been fought on all fronts. While geographical location may not play a part in
their feelings towards each other, the chance to establish themselves at the top is the main
motivation for success.
As French Revolutions go, Arsene Wenger's transformation of Arsenal in 1996 was decidedly less
brutal than its 1789 predecessor. But at the beating heart of a side that espoused the values of a
liberated style of football was a totemic figure who struck fear into the hearts of opponents
thanks to his formidable talent and fiery competitiveness.
Women, girls, ladies...they're just a little too soft and weak to play soccer. Take New Mexico
Lobos player Elizabeth Lambert, seen in this clip on the Marca website. She really needs to toughen
up her game...ouch.
Goal.com highlights the best performers of Matchday 4.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's and Wolfsburg's Zvjezdan Misimovic...
Clint Dempsey, who grew up in a trailer park in Texas, has admitted he was in awe of Italian greats
during his childhood and will relish the chance to play at Rome's Olympic Stadium. The
Fulham winger, who was on the bench when Roma stole a draw at Craven Cottage a
fortnight ago, is set to start as Roy Hodgson's team look for the win that would put them in a
strong position in Group E of the Europa League.
Rangers supporters were involved in a half-time disturbance at the Ghencea Stadium in
Fans were seen on TV destroying seats and challenging match stewards.
Cristiano Ronaldo may face a further three months out if he is forced to have another operation on
his injured ankle. Real Madrid have announced that the Portuguese winger has not showed enough
improvement to join the first team squad in training and that he has travelled to Amsterdam to see
the Dutch ankle specialist Niek van Dijk.
Three points, two injuries, one hero: this was a mixed night for West Ham United that ended in pure
joy. When injuries to Carlton Cole and HÃ©rita Ilunga were followed by a freakish equaliser for
Aston Villa, the scene seemed set for yet another promising performance to end in another
Arsenal virtually booked their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday,
while Liverpool and Rangers' hopes continue to hang in the balance. Inter Milan staged a dramatic
comeback win in Kiev while Rubin Kazan once again frustrated Barcelona.
Lyon 1 - 1 Liverpool
Lopez strikes at the death
Richard Williams Column
Dynamo Kiev 1 - 2 Inter Milan
Late goals gain priceless victory
Rubin Kazan 0 - 0 Barcelona
Blaugrana frozen out in Russia
Fiorentina 5 - 2 Decrecen
Arsenal 4 - 1 AZ Alkmaar
FÃ bregas Masterclass
For more than two years, they formed the public face of Hull City, each gravitating towards the
limelight in a manner that endeared them to some but increasingly irritated others. As chairman and
manager, Paul Duffen and Phil Brown tried to project a positive image, regardless of results.
With the American team eliminated from the FIFA U-17 World Cup after a 2-1 loss to Italy, an
evaluation of the team's performance -- in their knockout round match Wednesday with Italy and in
the tournament in general -- is really a matter of recognizing that there are two sides to every
Liverpool and Rangers are drinking in the last-chance saloon while Arsenal are hoping to toast
their progress into the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League. Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan,
who have not won in the Champions League for over a year, must drop their reputation as draw
specialists when they face Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine where the former Chelsea boss will once again be
up against ex-Blues striker Andriy Shevchenko.
Police reacted when about 500 violent supporters of Hansa Rostock tried to breach a police barrier
and threw bottles and firecrackers after their club had lost to visiting St. Pauli 2-0. About 1,500
police were on hand for the game between the clubs whose supporters have a history of animosity.
"Devastated, yeah. Devastated. But there was nothing I could do about it. Xabi said a long time ago
that he wanted another chapter in his career and finally he got it and his team-mates and the
coaches couldn't stand in his way. We just have to say thanks and move forward without him.
Thailand's top footballers will receive free burgers as part of their new three-year, Â£545,000
sponsorship deal with the fast food giant McDonald's.
Sawadee Kop, indeed...
"With and without the ball at the moment we're very on the ball."
Frank Lampard has a ball after Chelsea's thumping of Bolton.
"Jermaine is really generous - he bought me some Christian Louboutin shoes for
Christmas which I love. But the best present he ever got is priceless - a tattoo of my face on his
If the round-of-16 matchup between the United States and Italy at the Under-17 World Cup
(Wednesday, 10 a.m. ET, ESPN360.com) were to be decided in terms of soccer history, it would be
over before it began. If the match turned on the number of international superstars produced by
each country, the quality of the professional league or World Cup finishes, there would be no need
to take the field.
The 2010 World Cup will take place in stunning surroundings but there are local concerns about its
Manchester United and Chelsea came from behind on Tuesday evening as they booked their places in
the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. Group C is the most evenly contested affair as
just one point separates the top three. AC Milan remain on top after they a 1-1 draw with Real
Madrid at the San Siro.
The candidates were announced last week for the Fifa World Player of the Year award. Am I the only
one out there who's not too interested?
The point is proved by a brief look at the performances this year of one of the favourites. Based
on what he has done for Barcelona, Lionel Messi would be a worthy winner - but that would certainly
not be the case if the criteria was restricted to his form with Argentina.
As the cream of Europe do battle once more this week, a man who twice inspired his team to the
Champions League final will be nothing more than an interested spectator.
In 2000 and 2001, unfashionable Valencia - driven forward by their brilliant midfield general
Gaizka Mendieta - reached the final of the world's premier club competition, only to suffer defeat
Rafael BenÃtez learns the full extent of Liverpool striker's injury before crucial Champions
League match against Lyons.
Chelsea and Manchester United can book their place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions
League with victories on Tuesday night.
AC Milan vs. Real Madrid
Pellegrini's last chance?
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea
Shamed Drogba returns
Manchester United vs. CSKA Moscow
Fergie shares blame for Rio woes
Bayern Munich vs.
Following the ill-fated reigns of Zico and Juande Ramos, CSKA Moscow finally believe they have the
right man in charge ahead of tonight's game at Old Trafford.
CSKA Moscow go Russian with Leonid Slutsky after foreign experiment fails.
Consistently good displays have put Aaron Hunt on course for a cap or two. But will they be for
Germany or England?
Is Fabio Capello on the Hunt for Werder Bremen's young attacker?
The difference in the Partenopei's performances since Walter Mazzarri replaced Donadoni has been
like night and day.
Unshackled Napoli prosper with Walter Mazzarri's fresh approach.
Napoli's solid midfield...
With nine coaches in six years, no trophies since 1996 and 'encouragement' from extreme-right
ultras Frente AtlÃ©tico, what crisis will hit the club next?
Are 'madhouse' AtlÃ©tico Madrid the worst run club in Europe?
Continuing his strong return to the Borussia Monchengladbach first team, Michael Bradley helped
lead his side to an exciting 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Hamburger SV.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Spanish football is the way in which the different sets of
supporters around the country react to defeat.
It's becoming better known nowadays that Spain is really a loose collective of chalks and cheeses,
where you can cross a regional border and suddenly feel as though you are on a different planet -
so it comes as no surprise that each football club in the country is un mundo (its own
Guido Erhard tried to write a book. The working title, he said, was: "Truth Be Told - A Life on the
Brink". He said the book would "give other people hope and courage". He didn't say it was also a
way of coming to grips with his own demons, but he didn't have to.
"Truth Be Told" was never published, because on a cold, dark and snowy Thursday in February 2002,
Erhard hurled himself in front of an incoming high-speed train at Offenbach main station.
Fulham shocked even their own fans on Saturday, as they defeated Liverpool rather easily 3-1, with
Dempsey providing the final dagger.
Dominic Fifield: Van Persie comes of age
Tom Dart: Fearless Fabregas exposes flaws in Redknapp's plan
David Pleat: Fluid Arsenal too much for Spurs
Phil McNulty: Spurs learn silence is golden
Under-pressure manager Phil Brown can boast the "full support" of Adam Pearson despite a
desperately poor run of form, according to Hull City's new chairman.
The opening weekend of the 2009 MLS Playoffs provided surprise after surprise when few shocks were
expected. Kyle McCarthy runs through the unexpected occurrences before reviewing the first leg ties
in the Monday MLS Breakdown.
Inter increased their lead at the top of Serie A to seven points at the weekend. Carlo Garganese
looks at some of the domestic records the Nerazzurri are setting, but fears they will be eliminated
from the Champions League unless they beat Dynamo Kiev in midweek.
Liverpool undid their hard work of last week after they slumped at Fulham, leaders Chelsea avoided
another away day upset while Arsenal claimed the North London derby spoils.
Full review of the weekend's action in the Serie A which saw Internazionale extend their lead at
Full review of the weekend's La Liga action which saw Real Madrid close the gap on league
Barcelona appeared destined to take maximum points from their trip to Osasuna in La Liga on
Saturday, but were ultimately forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Richard Jolly at Old Trafford
Manchester United 2 - 0 Blackburn
Kevin Palmer at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 3 - 0 Tottenham
Harry Harris at St. Andrews
Birmingham 0 - 0 Manchester City