Friday, February 7, 2014

Chelsea bus transforms into title-chasing juggernaut

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was expected to 'park the bus' against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Manuel Pellegrini's free-scoring side have notched a staggering 68 goals in the Premier League this season, and nobody had kept them from finding the back of the net at home.

But rather than setting up Chelsea to sit back, soak up the pressure and play for the draw, Mourinho abandoned the bus and went all out for victory.

The Blues harried and pressed the hosts and were more than good value for their 1-0 victory courtesy of a Branislav Ivanovic strike.

The win leaves Chelsea level on points with City, just two adrift of league leaders Arsenal with 14 games still to play.
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 07:30

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mourinho readies Chelsea bus ahead of Man City showdown

Jose Mourinho leads his title-chasing Chelsea team to the Etihad Stadium on Monday night looking to cause a shock and stop Manuel Pellegrini's free-scoring side from retaking the lead at the summit of the Premier League.

Mourinho has a number of famous career highlights in away games and although he has blamed visiting teams at Stamford Bridge for 'parking the bus', he may be wise to adopt such tactics at City.
Monday, February 3, 2014 07:23

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fortress Barcelona comes crashing down

Barcelona’s long unbeaten home record came to an abrupt halt on Saturday night as Valencia triumphed 3-2 in an enthralling game at Camp Nou.

A miserable night for the hosts also saw Jordi Alba sent off as Gerardo Martino's men suffered their first home league defeat since April 2012.

The result throws yet another twist into the title race and hands the initiative over to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, who both have the opportunity to move ahead of the Catalans on Sunday.
Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:50

Galliani Banknote

Time's up! Who sealed their deadline-day deals?


It was a frantic close to transfer deadline day, even if some of the big deals did not go through.

There was still plenty of action, with Dimitar Berbatov swapping Fulham for Monaco and Kostas Mitroglou replacing him from Olympiakos.

Dani Osvaldo clinched his move from Southampton to Juventus, and Adel Taarabt also left for Serie A, namely AC Milan.

Arsenal had been hopeful of signing Julian Draxler throughout January but would not match Schalke's valuation. They also wanted Blaise Matuidi and considered Mogran Schneiderlin, but ended up with Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow.

There was bad news for Liverpool, too, as they missed out on a late deal for Yevhen Konoplyanka.

If you want to find out how deadline day panned out in more detail, check out Goal's in-depth guide.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 10:00

Friday, January 31, 2014

Last chance! Deadline day targets exit through transfer window

The clock is ticking and the January transfer deadline is fast approaching - could there be some late moves before the window closes?

Arsene Wenger has ruled out the signing of Julian Draxler, but Arsenal are in talks to sign both Lazio striker Miroslav Klose and Spartak Moscow midfielder Kim Kallstrom.

Southampton look set to say goodbye to Dani Osvaldo, who is in Turin for a medical with Juventus ahead of a loan move.

Dimitar Berbatov is also on the move. Tottenham looked favourites to re-sign the striker after Lewis Holtby moved to Fulham, but Monaco have stolen ahead in a move for the Bulgarian.

Plenty of moves have been confirmed and there are a lot more expected before the deadline - stay with Goal for all the latest updates!
Friday, 31 January 2014 13:30

Thursday, January 30, 2014

19th century West Ham keep out Chelsea

Jose Mourinho let his frustrations be known on Wednesday night after West Ham somehow managed to hold Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea bombarded Sam Allardyce's side, who stood firm against chance after chance with a well-manned defensive line that simply would not budge.

But Mourinho took exception to West Ham's strategy and voiced his disapproval after the game.

"This is not the best league in the world, this is football from the 19th century," said Mourinho.

"The only thing I could bring was a Black and Decker to destroy the wall."

Allardyce though, was quick to brush off the criticism.

"He can't take it, can he?" he replied. "He can't take it because we've outwitted him - he just can't cope."
Thursday, January 30, 2014 15:30

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wheels beginning to fall off Arsenal bandwagon

Arsenal’s season took a turn for the worse on Tuesday as the Premier League leaders were held to a 2-2 draw at Southampton.

The result means Arsene Wenger’s men could be knocked off top spot should Manchester City beat Tottenham on Wednesday.

However, there was worse to follow with news that midfielder Aaron Ramsey, so often the star of the show for the Gunners this season, would be out for another four to six weeks through injury.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 13:14

Wenger hoping to ride Puma to success

Riding the crest of a... Puma?!

It may be not be a phrase that rolls off the tongue but that is exactly what Arsenal could be doing afteragreeing a commercial partnership with the German sportswear company.

The agreement, announced on Monday, will be the club's "biggest commercial deal ever", with Puma replacing Nike as the club's official kit supplier ready for the 2014-15 Premier League campaign.

Speaking about the deal, chief executive Ivan Gazidis told the club's official website: "We are excited to be partnering with PUMA, a company whose football heritage and record of innovation have a strong affinity with our own.

"This represents another important step forward in Arsenal's progression on and off the pitch."
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:00


Monday, January 27, 2014

Mourinho snatches Salah from Liverpool as Mata moves on

With just days to go, the January transfer window is beginning to hot up with the big clubs starting to splash the cash.

Manchester United have sealed the biggest transfer of the window so far, signing Juan Mata from Chelsea for a club-record £37.1 million.

However, the Blues have also been active, snapping up Mohamed Salah from FC Basel from under the noses of Liverpool.
Monday, January 27, 2014 12:00

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rosell's special delivery for Neymar's parents

The controversy surrounding the resignation of Barcelona president Sandro Rosell rumbles on in Spain.

Rosell stepped down on Thursday, following the announcement of an investigation into the transfer of Neymar to Camp Nou.

At a press conference on Friday, Rosell's replacement, Josep Maria Bartomeu, was adamant the deal to sign the Brazil international cost €57.1 million.

Of that €57.1m transfer fee, €40m went to Neymar's parents, with the deal - including a signing-on fee, commission, marketing and other add-ons - totalling €86.2m.

"I guarantee we have not lied," Bartomeu said, denying any wrongdoing. "Football games are won on the field of play and we have always been highly responsible in the way we have dealt with our contracts. My colleagues have a high level of expertise."
Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:00

Crocked Falcao sucked into World Cup abyss

Radamel Falcao is set to be another high-profile star missing from the World Cup after being ruled out for six months through injury.

The Colombia international tore his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Monaco against Chasselay in the Coupe de France meaning he will play no part in this summer’s tournament in Brazil.

The striker insists he still retains a small hope he will be fit in time, but it is expected that like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed out on qualification with Sweden, he will have to make do with simply watching the action.
Friday, January 24, 2014 12:10

Manchester United pay the penalty in Capital One Cup

Manchester United’s season took another turn for the worse on Wednesday night as they crashed out of the Capital One Cup in the semi-final second leg Old Trafford.

Phil Bardsley thought he had sent Sunderland to Wembley after scoring deep into extra-time before Chicharito’s even later strike ensured the game went to penalties.

A far from impressive set of spot-kicks ensued with the Black Cats triumphing 2-1 in the shoot-out with Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Phil Jones and Rafael all missing for the Red Devils.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:44

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Moyes tries to sneak Mata away from Mourinho

With his team struggling in the Premier League, Manchester United manager David Moyes is understandably keen to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.

One man on the Scot’s radar is Chelsea bench-warmer Juan Mata who Jose Mourinho has previously claimed he does not want to sell.

However, Manchester United are not to be deterred and have stepped up their interest in the Spaniard who they hope they can convince to swap Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:42

Cry-baby Ribery throws his toys out of the pram

Franck Ribery has not taken losing out on the Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo at all well, if his latest comments are anything to go by.

The Bayern Munich man finished third behind the Real Madrid ace and Lionel Messi despite winning a historic treble with the Bundesliga side last season.

"I won everything I could win with Bayern and individually. Ronaldo on the other hand did not win anything," he told AZ.

"I am not sad that I missed out, but it does hurt a bit. I deserved to win the Ballon d'Or.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 11:47

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hat-trick hero Eto'o the star of Stamford Bridge

Samuel Eto’o struck his first hat-trick in English football to fire Chelsea to a 3-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

After both Arsenal and Manchester City registered wins on Saturday, the pressure was on Jose Mourinho’s side to keep pace at the top of the Premier League.

As for Manchester United, defeat at Stamford Bridge has left David Moyes’ men in seventh spot, 14 points behind leaders Arsenal, and their hopes of retaining the title in tatters.
Monday, 20 January 2014 07:00

Villa sting Liverpool in title rally

Liverpool's Premier League title challenge was stopped in its tracks on Saturday as Aston Villa claimed an unlikely point at Anfield.

Paul Lambert's side raced into a two-goal lead in the first half through Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke, who capitalised on a Simon Mignolet error.

But Daniel Sturridge pulled a goal back before the break, and the Reds were level when Steven Gerrard scored from the penalty spot after Luis Suarez went down following a Brad Guzan challenge.

Liverpool are now eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal, and only two ahead of rivals Everton, who have a game in hand.
Sunday, 19 January 2014 12:00

Wenger: Draxler sightings like UFOs

With the January transfer window in full swing, rumours and speculation continue to whirl in the Premier League.

But claims that Schalke's Julian Draxler was spotted at Arsenal's training ground were met with a smirk by Arsene Wenger during Friday's press conference.

"Like with the unidentified flying objects - some see them everywhere," joked the Arsenal boss.

"Are we close to signing anybody? I would say no."
Saturday, 18 January 2014 12:00

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Love is in the air for Ibrahimovic & Klopp

The strong bond between Jurgen Klopp and Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues as the Dortmund boss claims he adores the striker's "antics".

The Paris Saint-Germain forward had previously joked to Klopp at the Ballon d'Or ceremony that he would join the German club for free, although the Dortmund coach concedes, in reality, such a transfer is unlikely to happen.

"I like it, I love his antics, he is an extraordinary player. However, there is no option of recruiting a player of that level," Klopp told DPA.

"He told me that I should let everyone at Dortmund know that he enjoys watching us play football.

"There were years in which he probably did not even know there was a football club in Dortmund. Now he knows and likes us - that says it all."
Friday, 17 January 2014 12:00

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ronaldo fires Real Madrid past Osasuna

Fresh from winning the Ballon d'Or, Cristiano Ronaldo was back in action as Real Madrid took on Osasuna in the Copa del Rey.

Carlo Ancelotti's men held a 2-0 lead from the first leg and quickly added to that tally with Ronaldo opening the scoring after just 20 minutes.

The Portuguese unleashed a free kick which flew straight at goalkeeper Andres Fernandez with the shot-stopper trying to punch the ball clear and succeeding only in forcing the ball onto the ground, between his legs and into the back of the net.

Milan stars face Seedorf's new regime

Clarence Seedorf has been tasked with whipping AC Milan's inconsistent players into shape after being announced as the club's new head coach on Tuesday.

The Dutchman made over 400 appearances for Milan during his playing career and replaces Massimiliano Allegri whose reign at San Siro was called to an end on Sunday following the club's seventh defeat in Serie A this season.

AC Milan currently sit 11th in the Italian top flight and a whopping 30 points behind leaders Juventus.
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 12:00

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ronaldo beats Ribery & Messi to Ballon d'Or

There were lots of tears as Cristiano Ronaldo scooped the Ballon d'Or for the second time in his career on Monday evening.

The Real Madrid forward batted away stiff competition from treble-winning Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery and Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who has already won the prize four times.

"First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team," said an overjoyed Ronaldo.

"Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.

"Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved."
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 12:00

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ronaldo the favourite to win Ballon d'Or

The winner of the 2013 Ballon d'or is announced on Monday, and Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to claim the award.

The Real Madrid star is facing competition from Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery.

But Messi, who won the award in 2010, 2011 and 2012, has struggled with injuries this season, leaving Ronaldo as the frontrunner despite Ribery's Champions League-winning campaign.
Monday, January 13, 2014 12:00

Domenico Berardi and AC Milan

A star was born on Sunday as Sassuolo and an inspired Domenico Berardi effectively brought an end to Massimiliano Allegri's reign at AC Milan with a 4-3 win over the fallen giant of Serie A.

The 19-year-old now has more league goals, 11, than any other teenager in Europe's top five divisions and should his form continue, he may well sneak on to Cesare Prandelli's plane to Brazil with Italy this summer.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Barca & Atletico all square in La Liga tug of war

Barcelona took on second-place Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday evening and drew plenty of admirers for a highly entertaining 0-0 draw.

Contested at a ferocious pace, Diego Simeone's side showed they have kept pace with Barcelona on merit and extended their lead over city rivals Real Madrid to six points.

Post-match comments also saw Atletico winger Arda Turan describe Lionel Messi as an 'alien' after a half-time cameo from the Argentina star.
Sunday, 12 January 2014 12:37

Ancelotti wages war to keep Casillas

He may no longer be the undisputed No.1 goalkeeper at Real Madrid, but Carlo Ancelotti is determined to keep Iker Casillas.

The Spain international lost his place in the starting XI under previous boss Jose Mourinho during the 2012-13 season to Diego Lopez.

Lopez continues to be a regular fixture in the starting XI under Ancelotti, but the Italian is adamant that he does not want Casillas to leave.

"It was not an easy decision, I have two goalkeepers of high quality, the best two in the world," the Italian trainer told RNE.

"I started with Diego as my No.1, but then did not consider that Casillas would not play. Rotating goalkeepers is not the most desirable thing, it is not easy, but they have understood.

"I'll fight the same way I did for Xabi. This team have key players representing the club and I will wage war for Casillas to finish his career here, in Madrid."

Ancelotti has also suggested Casillas could be in the starting lineup to face Espanyol on Sunday as Lopez is struggling with a stomach bug.
Saturday, 11 January 2014 12:45

Yaya Toure crowned King of Africa

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was named CAF African Footballer of the Year on Thursday.

The Ivory Coast international claimed the award for the third successive year, beating off competition from Jon Obi Mikel and Didier Drogba.

Only Samuel Eto'o has achieved the same feat, between 2003 and 2005, as Toure, who was also the only African player named on the 23-man shortlist for the Fifa World Player of the Year award.

Toure is enjoying his most prolific season to date at the Etihad Stadium, having already netted 13 goals this season.
Friday, 10 January 2014 12:15

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Samurai Honda vs Thohir

Keisuke Honda vs Erick Thohir cartoon
Based on the Samurai Jack series
Samurai Keisuke Honda vs Erick Thohir

When it rains it pours on struggling Sam Allardyce

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was afforded no respite by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.

The Hammers are struggling in the relegation zone having failed to win a Premier League game since beating Fulham on November 30.

And Allardyce was forced to face questions about his future at the club after a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday.

To make matters worse, City were in typically ruthless form in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg and put another six past the hapless Hammers at the Etihad Stadium.

"You can't keep losing football matches as a manager, that's for sure," Allardyce acknowledged after the game. "We know the reasons why but even those reasons will not save you in the end."
Thursday, 9 January 2014 11:30


Peep! It's Manchester United v Referees!

David Moyes and Ryan Giggs were less than impressed following Manchester United's 2-1 defeat at Sunderland in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday night.

The Scottish boss said "it looks as though we are having to play them [officials] as well as the opposition at the moment" after the Black Cats were awarded a free kick and a penalty which both lead to goals.

And Giggs thinks "it's getting laughable now, the decisions just aren't quite going for us." Not an easy time to be a Manchester United player!
Wednesday, 8 January 2014 12:00

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Heaven-sent century for Milan legend Kaka

Struggling AC Milan kicked off 2014 with a 3-0 victory over Atalanta, led by club centurion Kaka.

In his second spell at San Siro, the Brazilian notched his 100th and 101st goals for the club in a win which still sees them falling short of expectations in 11th place in Serie A.

A deeply religious person, Kaka has famously worn a vest with the message 'I belong to Jesus' underneath his shirt in the past.

And there is no doubt that, in Kaka's eyes, somebody was smiling down on him on Monday.
Tuesday, 7 January 2014 11:15

Big Sam shot down by Forest's Merry Men

Sitting 19th in the Premier League, you'd forgive West Ham fans for thinking the FA Cup might provide a reprieve, a release from the week-to-week drudgery of an almost certain relegation battle.

You'd be wrong though. A trip to Nottingham Forest - 5th in the Championship - was never going to be a breeze and Sam Allardyce's team selection made this third round tie even tougher.

And thus, with consumate ease, Billy Davies watched the Tricky Trees demolish their top flight visitors, annihilating them 5-0 at the County Ground.
Monday, 6 January 2014 10:32

Walcott trolls Tottenham fans

The third round of the FA Cup saw north London rivals Arsenal face Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium with the Gunners coming out on top in a 2-0 win.

Goals by Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky did the damage and were enough to send Spurs tumbling out of the competition.

It wasn’t all good news for Arsenal though with Theo Walcott stretchered off, however the forward did not look too unhappy as he departed, gesturing the scoreline to Spurs fans with his hands.
Sunday, 5 January 2014 11:24

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Agent Sherwood battles Arsenal demons in Cup clash

Tim Sherwood takes his Tottenham team to the Emirates on Saturday evening but will have to quell a not-so-secret admiration for the hosts, Arsenal.

Sherwood has been seen on a talkshow discussing his affection for Tottenham's north London rivals, much to the chagrin of Lilywhite fans.

However, after a solid start as Spurs boss, he will be out to prove that his loyalty lies with his employers at White Hart Lane as the two clubs do battle for a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Saturday, 4 January 2014 10:55

Friday, January 3, 2014

Solskjaer hopes for Cardiff communication

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faced the media for the first time on Thursday after being officially unveiled as the new Cardiff City manager.

The jury is out regarding whether or not the Manchester United striker was wise to take the reins of the Welsh outfit following the acrimonious nature of the departure of Malky Mackay, who many felt was harshly treated by Vincent Tan, the club's owner.

Solskjaer will be hoping to open a better line of communication with Tan, who has reportly promised the Norwegian that there will be money to spend in the January transfer window.

However, Solskjaer would not be drawn on any transfer targets on Thursday.

"I love working with young, enthusiastic players who want to learn and improve," he said.

"I have not read the papers, I have not seen the reports. But I am looking at the possibilities and the options we have.

"For now the most important thing is for me to work with the players who are here as they are a great bunch of lads.

"I have spoken to all of them and they have impressed me with their attitude. I can see they want to do well for themselves and the club."
Friday, January 3, 2014 16:15

No more Saddybayor under Sherwood

Barely used by Andre Villas-Boas but leading Tim Sherwood's Tottenham on a rise back up the Premier League table...it's Emmanuel Adebayor!

The Togolese frontman headed Tottenham in front at Old Trafford on Wednesday as Spurs defeated their hosts 2-1 and has registered four goals in five games since being reinstated by Sherwood.

It makes for stark contrast to life under Villas-Boas where he was reportedly frozen out and ignored by the Portuguese. But with the 36-year-old relieved of his duties, it has come down to the new man Sherwood to put the smile back on Adebayor's face.
Thursday, 2 January 2014 11:59