Monday, March 31, 2014

Liverpool continue Anfield dominance

Tottenham were the latest team to feel the wrath of Liverpool's dominance at Anfield as Tim Sherwood's side slumped to a 4-0 defeat on Sunday.

The victory fired Brendan Rodgers' charges to the top of the Premier League, two points clear of Chelsea with six matches to go.

And Anfield looks likely to be the place where the title will be decided this season, with Manchester City and Chelsea still to visit.

Liverpool have won all but two of their home games in the Premier League this term and Rodgers believes Chelsea and Manchester City will be dreading the trip to Anfield.

"There is no doubt they [our rivals] understand this is going to be a real tough place to come," said the Liverpool manager. "We love playing here. The support today was incredible and that is only going to intensify as the season goes on. It works for us rather than against us."
Monday, 31 March 2014 12:00

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ibrahimovic settles in for goal highlight reel

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored so many extraordinary goals that he is unable to recall all of them.

As a result, the Paris Saint-Germain striker has already made plans for how to spend his retirement years - watching clips of his acrobatic efforts.

"I'm spoiled to have scored so many exceptional goals," he said. "There are a few I will see on the internet when I retire and I'll tell myself they're amazing. I'll ask myself how even I could have achieved such feats.

"In a match, it happens like that. I don't train for these, they are instinctive actions, like my goal against Bastia when I scored with the backheel. I have to try things to have a chance against opponents.

"This is what makes the difference between a small and a large team. Crazy things can come out of nowhere. This is what is good about football, it's completely unpredictable."
Saturday, 29 March 2014 12:00

Moyes on plane protest lookout

As if David Moyes didn't already have plenty to worry about.

After a couple of positive results - against Olympiakos in the Champions League and West Ham at Upton Park - the pressure is back on the Manchester United boss after the 3-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals City.

The result, along with a season which has fallen way below expectations following the arrival of the Scot in place of the retired Sir Alex Ferguson, has prompted a response.

One group of fans has raised the money to fund a 'fly-past' protest, with a plane set to carry a banner reading 'Wrong One - Moyes Out' over Old Trafford during the clash with Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, 28 March 2014 12:00

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bayern prepare for Man Utd clash after title party

Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions on Tuesday with an incredible seven matches still to play.

Pep Guardiola's side beat Hertha Berlin 3-1 to ensure the title party could get started, as goals from Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Franck Ribery were enough to make it 25 league wins for the season for the ruthless Bavarians.

Asked how they would celebrate the title win, Arjen Robben said: "I don't know what follows now. We will see. If Schweini (Schweinsteiger) plans a party, he usually does that good. There will be a beer shower."

But the celebrations won't last too long - with Bayern preparing to take on Manchester United in the Champions League on April 1 as their quest for more trophies in 2013-14 continues...!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:00

Smoking Bacca leaves Ronaldo & Co. in his wake

It was the Carlos Bacca show at the Ramon Sanchez on Wednesday.

The Colombian striker put a huge dent in Real Madrid's title challenge as he scored both goals in a famous 2-1 win for Unai Emery's side, with Pepe and Raphael Varane struggling to deal with the 27-year-old.

Real Madrid had taken the lead early on in the contest, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo although there was nothing stopping Bacca thereafter, with the former Club Brugge man scoring twice to leave Madrid three points behind Atletico at the top.
Thursday, 27 March 2014 12:02

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Manchester City ready to tackle in-form Rooney

A mini-revival has seen Manchester United qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals and throw their hat back in the mix for European football and it has been largely down to Wayne Rooney's form.

The England international scored one of the goals of the season against West Ham on Saturday, lobbing Adrian from all of 59 yards.

However, Tuesday night brings about a more fearsome prospect as United host Manuel Pellegrini's City at Old Trafford. David Moyes will be desperately hoping his side can avenge the 4-1 rout at the Etihad earlier this season and recognise that the form of his star striker is pivotal to that prospect.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 09:55

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Messi the only sheriff in Clasico town

Lionel Messi came to Barcelona's rescue in an enthralling Clasico encounter on Sunday night, with the Argentine bagging a hat-trick as the Catalans twice came from behind to claim a 4-3 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barca boss Gerardo Martino had been under increasing scrutiny in the build-up to the match, with the Camp Nou outfit needing to win to retain any realistic hopes of winning La Liga.

And with his countryman in the last-chance saloon, Messi virtually single-handedly dragged Barca towards all three points to ease the pressure on Tata.

Despite losing out on the Ballon d'Or to Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi showed he remains the dominant force in Clasico contests, becoming the all-time leading scorer in the fixture.

His first-half goal was followed by two perfect penalties, and he even set-up Andres Iniesta's opener as well as threading the pass that saw Sergio Ramos sent off, proving he's the only sheriff in town.

Monday, 24 March 2014 13:00

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mourinho spoils Wenger's party

Arsene Wenger travelled to Stamford Bridge on Saturday looking to celebrate his 1000th match in charge of Arsenal and eager to silence Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

But it was the Portuguese, who had dubbed his counterpart a “specialist in failure”, who came out on top in the London derby, as a humbling 6-0 rout and perplexing sending off overshadowed Wenger's special day.

After the defeat, the Frenchman made a swift exit and missed his post match press conference as the club bus “had to leave” – if only Arsenal had parked it in front of their goal!
Sunday, 23 March 2014 09:00

Wenger celebrates 1000th Arsenal game

Arsene Wenger celebrates a huge milestone on Saturday as he takes charge of Arsenal for the 1000th time.

The Gunners travel to league leaders Chelsea in a crucial clash in the title race at Stamford Bridge.

Victory for Arsenal will leave them just a point behind the Blues although Wenger will be well aware he has never beaten Jose Mourinho.
Saturday, 22 March 2014 11:08

Van Persie rescues sinking Moyes

Robin van Persie came to Manchester United’s rescue on Wednesday night, scoring a hat-trick against Olympiakos to ensure safe passage into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Red Devils went into the game 2-0 down after a dismal display in the first leg in Greece and with David Moyes coming under intense pressure following Sunday's 3-0 humbling by Liverpool in the Premier League.

Yet Van Persie was not to be denied, scoring all three goals at Old Trafford to seal a dramatic comeback victory and throw Moyes a lifeline.
Thursday, 20 March 2014 11:49

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eto'o sees off Drogba to emerge as top dog

Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge saw Samuel Eto’o overshadow Didier Drogba as the Blues secured a 2-0 second leg victory.

The two sides came into the game still on level terms, after a 1-1 draw in Turkey, but Eto’o's fourth minute goal gave Chelsea the lead in the tie.

Gary Cahill added a second as the Blues ran out 3-1 winners on an emotional night for Drogba who could not find the target on his return to Stamford Bridge.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 09:30

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Return of the king: Chelsea welcome back Drogba

Tuesday’s Champions League clash between Chelsea and Galatasaray sees Didier Drogba return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he left the club in 2012.

The Ivorian enjoyed great success during his time with the Blues winning the three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and, famously, the Champions League in his last ever game for the club.

Jose Mourinho has already insisted Drogba will return to Chelsea in some capacity one day as he prepares to welcome the striker on what is sure to be an emotional evening in west London.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:15

Rooney rocked by Liverpool nightmare

Wayne Rooney described Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool as one of the worst in his career as Manchester United are left to pick up the pieces from another uninspiring display.

The Premier League champions find themselves miles off the title pace, while pressure continues to mount on manager David Moyes, who was at a loss to explain the manner of his side’s defeat at Old Trafford.

"It's a nightmare,” Rooney told MUTV.

"It's one of the worst days I've ever had in football.

"It's hard to take. You have to give Liverpool credit - they played well - but it's difficult to take.

"Nobody wants to lose, especially in this way, in your own stadium. It's not nice."
Monday, 17 March 2014 12:00

Liverpool look to knock Manchester United off their perch

"My greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their ******* perch," former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson famously once said of the rivalry between the two clubs.

But now, after almost 20 years of dominance in English football, Sir Alex has stepped down and Liverpool have the chance to do the same to their most bitter rivals at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Anfield outfit is resurgent under Brendan Rodgers, sitting seven points off the top of the Premier League with two games in hand over leaders Chelsea.

United, meanwhile, have struggled during a transitional period under new boss David Moyes, who has described the clash as the biggest in the Premier League.

Is now the time for Liverpool to knock the Old Trafford giants off their perch?
Sunday, 16 March 2014 07:30

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Taxi! Bendtner looks set for Arsenal exit

Nicklas Bendtner has edged closer to the exit door at Arsenal following his altercation with a taxi driver in Copenhagen on Tuesday evening.

When asked if the incident was the final straw for the forward, the Arsene Wenger told reporters: "He is at the end of his contract at the end of the season.

"Nobody gave him any permission to go to Copenhagen and he will be fined for that.

"Honestly I don't know really what happened because I haven't spoken to him.

"The only thing that is for sure is he had nothing to do in Copenhagen."
Saturday, 15 March 2014 12:00

Friday, March 14, 2014

Moyes, RVP & the Man Utd happy family

It appears that David Moyes and Robin van Persie may have kissed and made up.

The Manchester United striker denied that he was unhappy at the club and provided his full backing to Moyes in an interview on Thursday and stated: "The truth is I’m very happy here at this club. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract.

"This is how I feel, although it’s not what has been suggested in the media.

"I’m very happy with my team-mates and I’m very happy with my manager and his staff."

So all seems well in the Manchester United family, for now...!
Friday, 14 March 2014 10:30

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Groundhog Day for Manchester City in Europe

You can forgive Manuel Pellegrini for feeling a sense of deja vu as he wakes up on Thursday morning.

Manchester City were dumped out of the Champions League by a clinical Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday night, and it was an all too familiar story for the Premier League side.

Just as in the first leg, Lionel Messi and Dani Alves were on hand to score the goals that would seal City's exit while Pellegrini's men suffered another red card, after Martin Demichelis' dismissal at the Etihad Stadium, as Pablo Zabaleta was given his marching orders.
Thursday, 13 March 2014 10:00

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Champions League circus comes to town

So the first two teams are in the hat for the Champions League quarters following Tuesday night's action, with Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid going through at the expense of Arsenal and AC Milan.

On an eventful night in Germany, Arjen Robben caused controversy for the manner in which he earned a penalty against the Gunners, which Thomas Muller would miss during the 1-1 draw, with Arsene Wenger insisting after the match that the Dutchman was a master at diving.

In the other game of the evening, Clarence Seedorf's Milan side were forced to jump through hoops as Diego Costa and Co. proved too strong for the Italians in what turned out to be a thumping 4-1 win.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:00

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bayern attempt to stop Arsenal by any means necessary

Arsenal face a monumental task of repeating their Allianz Arena heroics from last season and claiming the victory that would take them through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Gunners need to win by two-clear goals in Germany following their first-leg loss to Pep Guardiola's side and, speaking ahead of the game, the Bayern boss admitted his side will lose out if they allow Arsenal to have the ball.

He said: "If we let Arsenal keep the ball, we will have a lot of problems.

"They have a lot of quality, every single player has unbelievable technical skills with the ball. They have players like [Santi] Cazorla, [Mesut] Ozil, [Tomas] Rosicky and [Mikel] Arteta - it is no problem for them to keep the ball in their lines.

"So the only way to avoid that is to keep the ball for ourselves - and obviously we have to be aggressive."
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 12:00

Ronaldo tops star-studded Goal Rich List

Cristiano Ronaldo has pipped Lionel Messi to the top spot of the 2014 Goal Rich List.

The Real Madrid star is the hottest property in football and boasts an estimated wealth of €148 million [£122m] - just €2m [£1.5m] more than his Barcelona rival.

The list, topped by the now-retired David Beckham in 2013, features the likes of Wayne Rooney, Samuel Eto'o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Click here to see the full Goal Rich List top 10.
Monday, 10 March 2014 12:30

Monday, March 10, 2014

Golden oldie Eto'o rolls back the years

Samuel Eto'o proved age is just a number as he put in a talismanic display in Chelsea's 4-0 victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

The Cameroon striker, who turns 33 on Monday, opened the scoring after pouncing on a mistake from Jan Vertonghen before winning a penalty following a challenge from Younes Kaboul.

Eto'o's also made light of recent accusations that he was older than 32 with his goal celebration as he hobbled up to the corner flag and pretended to nurse a bad back.

I knew about it. It was fine, it was the best way to diffuse a situation which was funny - make fun of a funny situation - it was good," said Jose Mourinho.
Sunday, 9 March 2014 12:00

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sherwood hopes Spurs switch on against Chelsea

Tim Sherwood has warned his Tottenham side that a repeat of their last away outing in the Premier League could see them on the receiving end of a drubbing against Chelsea.

Spurs face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge having failed to win their in the league since 1990, when Gary Lineker scored the only goal of the game.

And Sherwood has called for improvement after seeing his side stumble to a shock 1-0 defeat against Norwich City at Carrow Road before picking up a narrow victory at home against Cardiff City.

"If we play like we did against Norwich they're gonna need more lightbulbs for the scoreboard," Sherwood warned ahead of the trip to face Jose Mourinho's side.
Saturday, 8 March 2014 11:50

Mourinho reveals Madrid mirror queues

Jose Mourinho has revealed how some of football's top names get ready for the biggest games.

The Chelsea boss says Real Madrid players would spend the final moments before entering the tunnel making sure they look their best during his time at the Bernabeu.

"Lots of times at Real Madrid, the players would be queuing in front of the mirror before the game while the referee waited for them in the tunnel," Mourinho told Esquire.

"But that's how society is now. Young people care a lot about this: they are twentysomething and I am 51 and if I want to work with kids I have to understand their world."
Friday, 7 March 2014 11:45

Friday, March 7, 2014

'I don't care!' Ozil ignores media criticism

"I don't care," said Mesut Ozil on Wednesday when asked about criticism from some quarters of the English media. "They wrote something different three weeks ago and they will do it again in another three weeks. That's part of the business in England."

Arsenal's record signing may not have maintained his form throughout the season but you cannot fault his confidence and the German clearly has no interest in engaging with paper talk.

He is set to return to the Gunners' squad for their FA Cup clash with Everton on Saturday after being given a brief rest by Arsene Wenger - he'll need to be quick about getting back up to speed, though, with a Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich looming.
Thursday, 6 March 2014 11:36

Bayern to continue Dortmund raid

They signed Mario Gotze for €37 million [£30m] and have already secured the services of Robert Lewandowski for next season, but Bayern Munich are not ready to call time on the pursuit of Borussia Dortmund's top stars.

Ilkay Gundogan is the latest Dortmund player to be linked with Bayern, with the midfielder reportedly targeted as a replacement for Toni Kroos, who could leave the Champions League holders this summer.

And Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has indicated the Bundesliga giants will not stop raiding their rivals.

"We would never make a senseless decision to no longer sign players from Dortmund," he told ZDF.

"We have a good relationship with Dortmund. I met with their CEO last summer and any bad feelings were cleared up then."
Tuesday, 4 March 2014 11:00

Ronaldo drags Real Madrid closer to La Liga title

Despite going 1-0 up via Karim Benzema's strike in a violent Madrid derby on Sunday, Real had to rally and come from behind to salvage a point against Diego Simeone's side.

Goals from Koke and Gabi gave Cristiano Ronaldo the perfect platform to salvage a point and help his side move closer to the La Liga title with his

The 2-2 draw leaves Carlo Ancelotti's side top and one point ahead of Barcelona and three ahead of their city rivals with 12 games to go.
Monday, 3 March 2014 11:05

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hole in the wall as Puyol announces Barca exit

After almost 20 years and numerous trophies, Carles Puyol has announced his decision to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

The defender was contracted until 2016, but reached an agreement with the club to rescind his contract after a season spent struggling with injuries.

"After the last two operations it has been difficult for me to recover the level I need to be able to continue here, more than I expected," he said. "That is why I have taken this decision.

"There are three months of the season left and I won't be giving up."

The centre-back - nicknamed 'The Wall' by Camp Nou fans - is set to leave a sizeable hole in the Barcelona defence.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014 12:00

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chelsea & Liverpool top of the class but Pardew on the naughty step

The Premier League once again produced another action-packed Saturday as the title race took yet another turn, while Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

At the top of the table, Chelsea extended their lead with a comfortable 3-1 win over local rivals Fulham with Andre Schurrle the Blues' star man, hitting a second-half hat-trick to secure victory for Jose Mourinho's men.

Behind the Blues, Liverpool leapfrogged Arsenal after a 3-0 win at Southampton while the Gunners' title hopes took a knock after they slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.

Manchester City, meanwhile, now lie fourth but with two games in hand over their rivals as they prepare for Sunday's Capital One Cup final with Sunderland.

However, perhaps the biggest news of the day was at St James' Park were Pardew was sent off after headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler.
Sunday, 2 March 2014 09:41

Digging for gold: Draxler chase hots up

Arsenal missed out on closing a deal in January for Schalke wonderkid Julian Draxler and that may have cost them as Bayern Munich enter the race for the 20-year-old.

Draxler is expected to leave Schalke this summer and although the Gunners had been leading the race, it is no surprise to see his head turned by Pep Guardiola's runaway Bundesliga side.

The race is on...
Saturday, 1 March 2014 08:46