Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vilanova's three stooges conspire to gift Madrid Supercopa spoils

Individual mistakes from Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique, as well as a red card for Adriano, handed victory to Jose Mourinho's men in the second leg at the Bernabeu
Oh dear, oh dear. Barcelona must be kicking themselves wondering just how Supercopa success managed to slip from their grasp.

The Catalans were, at one stage in the first leg, inches away from taking a 4-1 lead but now have to face up to the reality that they have not added to their trophy collection.
Following Victor Valdes' howler in the first leg, Barca's luck was out once again in the return meeting as first, after just 11 minutes, Javier Mascherano's pathetic attempt at a clearance allowed Gonzalo Higuain to race through and grab the opening goal of the game, squaring the aggregate scoreline.

And just eight minutes later there was more embarrasment for Tito Vilanova's men as Gerard Pique's lapse in concentration saw Cristiano Ronaldo's extravagent flick come off before he steadied himself and fired past Valdes to put Real two up on the night.

Surely that was that in terms of leaving Barca players with egg on their faces? Well it wasn't.

Step forward Adriano who completes the line-up of the three Barca stooges as he was red carded for pulling back Ronaldo just before the half hour mark - and not even Lionel Messi, despite his best efforts having pulled a goal back, could stop Mourinho getting his hands on more silverware...

Nani ready to face Sir Alex as he fights for Man Utd future

Nani has demanded showdown talks with Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United after doubts over future at Old Trafford have grown in recent weeks.
The winger, who has been targeted by Zenit St Petersburg, has fallen down the pecking order at Manchester United following increased competition in wide areas. The Portugal international also failed to make the squad for United's 3-2 victory over Fulham on Saturday.

Goal.com understands Nani has demanded a £5 million pay-off in order to leave Old Trafford before the end of the transfer window on Friday, while Sir Alex is considering the option to offload the 25-year-old.

Tottenham jump into bed with Real Madrid

The summer's longest transfer saga was concluded on Monday as Luka Modric finally joined La Liga champions Real Madrid for a fee of £33.2 million.
But it was Tottenham's announcement of a partnership agreement with the Spanish club that really raised eyebrows. In an opaque description typical of tie-ups like this, Spurs said: "The partnership agreement will see the two Clubs working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships."

The cynics will suggest the deal provides the north London club with a venue for an annual friendly, an opposition for Ledley King's testimonial and a high-cost destination for Gareth Bale...

But for now, enjoy Goal.com's take on Tottenham's latest coup.
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

AC Milan star in 'The Can't Spendables'

After a disastrous summer in the transfer market, AC Milan's Serie A campaign got off to a distinctly underwhelming start with a 1-0 defeat to Sampdoria.

In addition to jettisoning veterans Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Mark van Bommel Gennaro Gattuso and Pippo Inzaghi in the close season, the Rossoneri also sold stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to free-spending Paris Saint-Germain and Antonio Cassano to rivals Inter in return for Giampaolo Pazzini.
Chief executive Adriano Galliani's attempts to sign replacements - Real Madrid superstar Kaka has been linked with a return to San Siro - have been undermined by the club's poor financial situation, leaving Milan's hopes of success in Italy and Europe this season looking more forlorn than ever.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

No place like home - RVP settles into life at Old Trafford

Those cynics hoping Robin van Persie would take time to settle at Old Trafford were proved wrong on Saturday, as the Dutchman capped his home debut with a goal in Manchester United's 3-2 victory over Fulham.
Van Persie's superb finish helped his side draw level after going a goal down to Damien Duff's third minute opener, and the 29-year-old has claimed he has already been made to "feel at home" in the north west.

Indeed, despite arriving at the club just over a week ago, Van Persie is clearly settling into life quickly at his new ground.

Liverpool beat Arsenal in Sahin tug of war

Liverpool have beaten Arsenal in their tug of war for Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin.
The Turkish 23-year-old looked at one point to be heading to the Emirates Stadium, but Brendan Rodgers pushed (or pulled, in this instance) for the deal harder, and a season-long loan is Anfield's reward!

Can you see Sahin thriving under Rodgers' tutelage? Or do you think the former Borussia Dortmund star will rue not choosing Arsene Wenger's squad as his temporary team-mates?

Valdes plays the clown as Barcelona blunder leaves Real Madrid laughing

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has been left looking the clown after his late blunder allowed Real Madrid to pull a goal back in the Supercopa Clasico clash which ended 3-2 on Thursday night.
The first leg at Camp Nou was going in the Catalan giants' favour as goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi and Xavi replied to Cristiano Ronaldo's opening headed goal.

However, Valdes' heavy touch from a pass back led to Angel Di Maria easily pouncing on the loose ball and ensuring the cup competition is not over with the second leg of the tie to be played next Wednesday.