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football !!

Discussion in 'Sport & Athletics' started by Platton, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Chelsea have been plunged into a goalkeeping crisis ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League return leg against Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan.

    Chelsea lost first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech with a calf strain in the 2-1 opening leg defeat at the San Siro and deputy Hilario collected an abductor injury during last Sunday's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Stoke.

    The injuries have left the Blues with just Ross Turnbull and Rhys Taylor available for Saturday's Premier League clash with West Ham.

    The pair are likely to be on duty against Milan in their return last-16 tie as coach Carlo Ancelotti admits it is unlikely Hilario or Cech will have recovered in time to play.

    The loss of Hilario is a real blow for Ancelotti as Turnbull has made just two appearances for the club this season.

    Turnbull, who joined on a free transfer from Middlesbrough last summer, played in the 4-0 Carling Cup win over Bolton and Chelsea's 2-2 draw with APOEL in this season's Champions League group stage.

    "We have a problem with the goalkeepers," admitted Ancelotti. "We don't know if Hilario or Petr are able to play on Tuesday.

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    Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano gave under-fire coach Manuel Pellegrini a vote of confidence despite their Champions League exit.

    However, with the Champions League and Copa del Rey now out of their reach, Madrid only have the Primera Division title to try and salvage something from their first season back under the presidency of Florentino Perez.

    Madrid replaced arch rivals Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division standings last weekend after defeating Sevilla 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

    Valdano added: "This project (under Perez) has only just started and this was a sad night because we had placed a lot of hope in this competition.

    "We need to be more united than ever, to encourage the players and show our personality, to get over this situation and face the criticism that will come."

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    Stuttgart keeper Jens Lehmann is likely to retire in the summer after confirming he won't be extending his contract at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

    The 40-year-old has opted against remaining with the Swabians and hopes understudies Sven Ulreich and Alexander Stolz will prosper following his departure.

    "Staying would be unfair on Sven Ulreich," he told the Bild newspaper. "He will be rivalling Alexander Stolz and they are both looking forward to the challenge."

    Asked if he would consider staying on a while longer, particularly since Ulreich has a serious injury and may miss the start of next season, Lehmann said he could "rule that out".

    It appears the only scenario in which former Germany international Lehmann would prolong his playing career is if a Premier League club came calling.

    He recently claimed that he felt good enough to play another year in the English top flight and an offer to do so may change his mind about retiring.

    "I am planning to retire, but you just never know," he added. "I am still really enjoying playing football."
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Finnish sports surgeons get extra advert when David Beckham is flown to Turku Finland for his Achilles operation.

    Sad to see him with this injury since it means he won´t get to the WC games.

    "Beckham was reportedly flying to Finland today for an operation to repair a major Achilles injury incurred during AC Milan's 1-0 Serie A victory over Chievo on Sunday night. "
     
  4. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Talk about a freak injury. He wasn't even running or anything. Was just kinda standing there and pulled up, then started hopping on one leg. Could be a career ender by the sound of it.
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I think it has something to do with the constant kicking ball which is causing several minor injuries to the tendon with time and the tendon could turn out to look like "Swiss cheese". Of course age has something to do with it as well as mostly it happens to men aged 30+ who start sports "again" after a long period of couch sports.

    I recall back in season 2000-2001 in the Premier there were some 15 football stars out with achilles tendon rupture or major injury. Maybe they invented something to protect the tendon with a stretching method or something but I haven´t seen another season with so many achilles ruptures.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Great football by Barca and especially Messi:

    Barca cruised through to the quarter-finals with a convincing 5-1 aggregate victory and they remain favourites to defend their European title at the Bernabeu stadium in May.

    It was an impressive performance on Wednesday night by Pep Guardiola's side, for whom Lionel Messi netted a brace and Pedro Rodriguez and Bojan Krkic also got on the scoresheet, but Puyol is adamant the Catalan giants will remain grounded, knowing how easily things can go awry in this competition.

    Highly-fancied trio Real Madrid, Chelsea and AC Milan have all been dumped out at the last-16 stage this season, while aside from Manchester United, no Champions League winner had previously managed to get to the quarter-finals the following year since the 2003/04 competition.

    "The euphoria is normal but we have our feet on the ground as it's already been shown you can have one bad day and be eliminated," said Puyol.

    Winger Pedro added: "We are getting closer (to retaining their title) but it's difficult and we have to take it step by step.

    "All the remaining teams will be difficult, we respect them and we have to be focused."
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Very interesting matches coming up in the Champion´s League:

    Quarter-finals: First-leg ties:

    Tuesday March 30: Bayern Munich v Manchester United, Lyon v Bordeaux.

    Wednesday March 31: Arsenal v Barcelona, Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow.

    -------

    I guess the biggest task will be for Arsenal to drop Barca out of the competition. Inter seems to have a free ticket for the next round but we´ll see. If Rooney stays in shape ManU probably goes to the next round, if not they are bound to go out, I think. Nobody else can score at the moment in ManUtd.
     
  8. efestos

    efestos Member

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    I'll have to became a Barcelona´s fan. The Real Madrid failed again so I've lost the excuse to meet with friends, few beers ... without our beloved wives. :D

    What could do the Arsenal to stop the Barça?
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    We´ll see. Arsene seems to have some ideas how to beat the Barcelona team.

    TEAMtalk | Football | Arsenal News. Latest From The Emirates Stadium.

    "If you go to the bookmakers and try to place a few pounds, you will see that we are not favourites against Barcelona," Wenger said.

    "Of course they are a good side, but so are we.

    "For me, we have a 50/50 game - if we turn up with our best performance we have a good chance to beat them.

    "It will be an interesting, exciting game. We have to make sure we have the belief and focus right.
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    Ah, all is right in the world. Top of the League and Liverpool back in their box!!!! ;)

    Poor game and penalty decision may have been a bit harsh but Liverpool never looked comfortable and United deserved the win. Of a greater significance was Blackburn holding Chelsea to a draw. But there'll be many twists and turns over the next few weeks, for sure
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Pompey can't afford to pick Dindane

    Portsmouth will have to give Lens £4million if Aruna Dindane makes another start for them - and Avram Grant admits they 'can't even pay £4'.

    However, Pompey boss Grant has explained the club would have to sign Dindane on a permanent deal and pay £4million to his parent club Lens if the striker runs out for the Blues one more time.

    "Aruna didn't play because there is a clause in the contract," Grant told Portsmouth Today. "I don't know how many games it is, but if he plays one more game, we have to pay around £4million to his team.

    "At the moment, Portsmouth cannot pay even £4.

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    Manager Carlo Ancelotti believes he will "definitely" still be in charge of Chelsea next season whatever happens in the Premier League run-in.

    "First of all I believe that we will do well this year," he told Italian newspaper La Stampa. "However, my future will definitely be at Chelsea next year, independent of results."

    The result at Blackburn leaves Chelsea four points behind Manchester United and two behind Arsenal, though with a game in hand.

    Ancelotti admits his side are faltering at the moment but has refused to blame injuries for their poor form.

    "They are two points lost especially looking at how the game went," he said. "We are going through a tricky period, between injuries and cup disappointment.

    "But we're still fighting on two fronts.

    "The period we're going through is independent of injuries. They have a bit of a bearing on it, but we had many absences in January as well during the African Nations Cup.

    "All the clubs have had injuries, it can't be an excuse."
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Didier Drogba's winner allowed Chelsea to move two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table after a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

    --------

    Well, now the tables have turned again and Chelsea is the favourite. Without Rooney and tired from the Bayern game ManU just wasn´t playing well, I think. But that´s football. Also the Drogba goal was offside but that´s football... Still five games left so we´ll see but Chelsea has the advantage now to win the Premier.

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    Burnley 1-6 Manchester City

    I think that says it all!

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    League One

    After a great start to the season it seems Leed Utd will have a tough time even to make it to the Play-offs...

    Billy Paynter condemned faltering Leeds to a fourth successive defeat as Swindon climbed into the top two with a 3-0 victory at Elland Road. Leeds have now gone an alarming 385 minutes without scoring.
     
  13. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Drogba goal was more then a blown call...its one thing to be a hair offside, its another to be two strides off side and get away with it. I was hoping for a draw.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Congrats Newcastle!

    Newcastle boss Chris Hughton hailed his side's "wonderful achievement" after they secured Premier League promotion.

    The Magpies are guaranteed at least a top-two finish after Nottingham Forest drew 0-0 with Cardiff.

    "From day one the focus has been to put everything into this," said Hughton, whose side celebrated their top flight return by beating Sheffield United 2-1.

    ----------

    Huge game tonight:

    Barca vs Arsenal

    Wenger sounded an upbeat note despite the challenge of having to beat the European champions to progress to a semi-final against Inter or CSKA Moscow.

    "We've won away everywhere in Europe - Barcelona is a place where we haven't done it, so there is no better opportunity than Tuesday," he said.

    Arsenal will be without a number of players, with Alex Song ruled out with knee and groin problems, while Andrey Arshavin and William Gallas are also out through injury.

    Skipper Cesc Fabregas is also out after breaking his leg in the first leg but would have missed the Nou Camp encounter anyway because of suspension.

    "I'm confident despite the injuries we have that we can do it," said Wenger. "Of course, we will need to get everybody to 100% of his potential and have a great team performance.

    However, under Guardiola, Barcelona have outscored their opponents 13-2 at the Nou Camp in four knockout round games.

    "We're going to try to be ourselves and to get the ball and I think Arsene Wenger thinks the same," said Guardiola. "The team that has the ball more is going to win."

    Guardiola goes into the game without central defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, who are both suspended, while Ibrahimovic is unavailable because of a calf injury.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Messi show last night. Four goals!

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger acclaimed Lionel Messi as the world's best player after his four-goal haul ended the Gunners' Champions League hopes.

    A Messi-inspired Barcelona won 4-1 at the Nou Camp to complete a 6-3 success on aggregate in the quarter-final tie.

    "I believe we lost against a team that is better than us and that has the best player in the world," said Wenger.

    "Once he's on the run, Messi is unstoppable. He's the only player who can change direction at such a pace."
     
  16. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Messi IS Barcelona. They would be nothing with out him. The amount of goals he has scored this season, and they're still only level on points with Real Madrid? He's a one man show.
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Franz Beckenbauer spoke of "one of the most beautiful defeats in Bayern Munich's history" after they reached the Champions League semi-finals.

    A volley executed to perfection by Arjen Robben 16 minutes from the end secured Bayern's passage after Manchester United had raced into a 3-0 lead on the night.

    Ivica Olic brought Bayern back into contention in the 43rd minute and their cause was aided by United defender Rafael's dismissal for a second bookable offence five minutes into the second half.

    "We were asleep at the start and Man U were superior in every aspect," admitted Beckenbauer. "At 3-0, I would not have bet even a cent on Bayern. But they turned it around magnificently.

    "Two moments were decisive: the goal for 3-1 from Olic just before the break and then Rafael's red card. Bayern then played with composure, let the ball roll and Robben then scored a dream goal.

    "It was one of the most beautiful defeats in Bayern Munich's history."

    It was Bayern's first defeat at Old Trafford after two draws and a win, and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "That is the first time we have lost in Manchester, but it is a loss we are happy to accept."

    It was not the only defeat for Rummenigge, as Bayern president Uli Hoeness explained.

    The pair had made a bet before the game on whether Wayne Rooney would actually play, despite seemingly being ruled out due to injury on the eve of the match.

    "Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has got to pay for a dinner with 10 guests," said Hoeness. "We had a bet and I said that he would play."
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Great end to the Premier league season:

    Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Paul Scholes for keeping Manchester United's Premier League title hopes alive on Saturday.

    Scholes scored in the third minute of injury time to settle the Manchester derby at Eastlands 1-0 in United's favour and keep the reigning champions in sight of leaders Chelsea.

    Ferguson said the title would have been out of sight had United been held to a draw.


    And

    Harry Redknapp said there was "no doubt" that Tottenham were the better team in their 2-1 win over Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

    Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale were on target against Chelsea as Spurs followed up their midweek win over Arsenal with another superb success that puts them back in the Champions League places.

    "They were well-deserved wins," said Redknapp.

    "We were the better team again, there was no doubt about that. We created all the chances and deserved the points.
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Oops! What happened...

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is demanding his players swallow "the most disappointing defeat of the season" and end the campaign on a high.

    Leading 2-0 in the 80th minute with goals either side of half-time from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre, the Gunners appeared poised to rejoin the title hunt.

    But the Latics staged the most astonishing comeback as Ben Watson, Titus Bramble and Charles N'Zogbia hit the net to give Wigan their first league win over Arsenal after eight defeats and a draw.

    Assessing Wigan's devastating spell, Wenger said: "It's difficult to understand what happened in those final minutes.

    "I was concerned before they even scored. We were comfortable, but we lost focus, discipline, and we were caught. It was not like us.

    "We had a lack of discipline for the first goal; we made a mistake with the second, and by then we were in shock and it gave them the belief.

    In a season when Wigan have been permanently staring over their shoulder at the relegation zone, they have now beaten Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal - all for the first time.

    The win leaves them seven points clear of the bottom three and on course for a sixth successive season in the top flight.

    "Moments like this are vital for our club, are the reason why we are involved in football and what our fans deserved," said manager Roberto Martinez.

    "To beat Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in one season is something that doesn't come by accident, and I'm extremely proud of the players.
     
  20. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I still don't understand how Fabianski is higher in the pecking order then Mannone (the young Italian Keeper). Fabianski's gaffs (see vs. Chelsea and now vs Wigan) are incredibly embarrassing...and costly! There was certainly nothing anyone could have done against the 3rd goal by Wigan, but that 2nd Goal...well, even I could have done better!
     

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