Cristian Álvarez recibe el premio a mejor jugador del mes de febrero de LaLiga SmarBank de manos de Andoni Cedrún.
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Italians Dominate League Action
Italy dominated this week’s Matchday Five action with all four Italian participants posting victories. Superpowers Bayern Munich, Ajax, Barcelona, Chelsea, and defending champion Liverpool are all through to the knockout round of sixteen. Regular fixtures Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven will all need to win and in some instances get help in Matchday Six to advance.
The UEFA Champions League Cup features the thirty-two best teams in Europe based on their finishes in their respective leagues from the previous year. The thirty-two are seed into eight groups of four who play a home-and-home round robin format. The top two point-getters advance to the knockout round while the third place team is relegated to the consolation UEFA Cup draw. Last place teams are eliminated from Europe.
Italian champ Juventus beat defensive minded Brugge 1-0 on a 80th minute goal by veteran Alessandro Del Piero to lock up their group and move on. Inter beat upsart Artmedia 4-0 behind a triple from Brazilian striker Adriano. The neroazzuri have also clinched their group and move on. Milan beat Turkish champ Fenerbahce 4-0 with former Euro Player of the Year Andruiy Shevchenko netting the first «four-pack» in Champion’s League history. Milan controls its own destiny in its group finale. Upstart Udinese scored twice in the final 20 minutes to beat Panathiakos 2-1 and will need a hard to come by point vs. Barcelona to guarantee their advancement.
Below are the Group Standings and Matchday Five results along with scenarios outlining advancement into the round of sixteen. Matchday Six will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday December 6th and 7th.
Group A: Bayern Munich 12 points, Juventus 12, Brugge 6, Rapid Vienna 0
This group is finalized with Bayern and Juventus moving on. Munich got two goals from Dutch ace Roy Makaay in 4-0 route of rapid. Juve bested Brugge 1-0 on late goal by verteran Del Piro. Brugge has secured place in Uefa Cup. Brugge hosts Bayern while Juventus travels to Rapid in what amounts to a Friendly.
Group B: Arsenal 15, Ajax 10, Thun 3, Sparta Prague 1
Arsenal beat Thun 1-0 on late goal by Pires and travel to Ajax for tuneup. Nigel de Jong got both Ajax goals in 2-1 win over Sparta. Ajax is through. Thun needs a home draw against Sparta to send home the Czechs and a position in Uefa.
Group C: Barcelona 15, Udinese 7, Panathinaikos 4, Werder Bremen 5
Ronaldinho had a goal and an assist in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Werder Bremen. Barca is perfect through five matches. Udinese need home draw against La Liga’s best or Panathinaikos win to move on. Weder Bremen would advance with win over Pana and Udinese loss. A Werder/Pana draw would eliminate the Germans with the Greek champs continuing on in the consolation.
Group D: Villareal 7, Lille 6, Manchester United 6, Benefica 5
Lille at Benefica and Villareal at Manchester United both drew 0-0 setting up complicated final leg. Villareal continue with a draw or with a loss and Manchester Unied loss or draw. United is through with a win at Benefica or with draw and Lille loss. Lille, despite just one goal in five matches, continue on with road win or draw and Manchester United loss.
Group E: Milan 8, Schalke 7, PSV 7, Fenerbahce 4
Milan eliminated Fenerbahce with 3-1 win. Red-Devils need home win or 0-0, 1-1 draw against Schalke. The Germans advance with a draw or loss with a PSV loss. The Dutchmen must win or draw at home vs. Fenerbahce or they’ll be going home.
Group F: Lyon 13, Real Madrid 10, Rosenborg 4, Olympiakos 1
Lyon and Real Madrid drew 1-1 at Stadio Bernabeu, Guti and Carew exchanging goals. Lyon has now gone an entire calender year without a loss of any type. Rosenborg secured their spot in Uefa by netting a rebound 83rd minute of their 1-1 draw at Lerkendal Stadium. Rosenborg at Lyon and Real Madrid at Olympiakos are just formalities.
Group G: Liverpool 11, Chelsea 10, Real Betis 7, Anderlecht 0
Chelsea advanced to the knockout round by sending Anderlecht to their 11th consecutive Champion’s Cup defat. Anderlecht has yet to score in this year’s round robin. Liverpool and Betis slugged it out in scoreless draw sending Spaniards to consolation. Chelsea and Liverpool renew their Premiership rivalry at Stamford Bridge in their group finale.
Group H: Inter 13, Rangers 6, Artmedia 5, Porto 4
Inter is through after bombing Artmedia. Rangers got miracle 1-1 draw at Porto as late substitution McCormack buried a scramble off a set piece in the 88th minute. They’ll move on with win over Inter at Glasgow or a draw and a Porto/Artmedia draw. Artmedia slips by with Rangers loss and home draw. Porto must win to have any hope of moving on.
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4 Reasons Individual Awards (UEFA "Ballon D’Or" and FIFA "The Best") in Football Should Be Scrapped
The Ballon d’Or is an award awarded by UEFA and France Football magazine while «The Best» is awarded by FIFA, the ethically-challenged arbiter of the world’s most popular sport. Although prestigious as it is degenerate, both awards are nothing more than tangible compliments paid by the writers and experts (confederations administrators, coaches, football team captains, fans etc.) whose opinions and votes were canvassed. Presently, both awards have become an egotistical first past the post as nobody embodies the toxic and political nature of both awards than the recipients of the past decade. The comparisons of football players across and within football leagues (for these awards) is a time-honed guilty pleasure for fans. Like most sports awards, fans will always root for their favorites – but unlike many others, it’s hard to make a statistical case that one player is more valuable than another. The point is, teams are like machines. One part, no matter how important, cannot function properly without the other. That makes the award merely a measure of prolific goal-scoring but as any manager will tell you, that is probably not enough to carry a successful football team. Comparisons among football players are essentially what makes trading cards, sticker albums and fantasy soccer so popular but there should be no place for it in an official capacity. And how can we improve on what we have at present? The basic truth is we can’t, unless the awards are discontinued due to the following reasons:
Football is a Team Sport: Debate on individual footballers among football fans is fun but in a team sport with so many leagues, such individuality is impossible to measure precisely. Football (as we all know) is a team sport where eleven men from two separate squad of players compete against each other for a trophy or in modern times, to get a paycheck at the end of it all. Every football team requires world-class (supremely talented) goal-keepers, defenders, midfielders and attackers to excel and win domestic (EPL, Serie A etc.), continental (CAF, UEFA Champions League) and inter-continental (FIFA Club World Cup) trophies. No player or position is dispensable or greater than the other as they must all work in unison to achieve a common goal. Most great attackers of today (and yesteryears) would probably make terrible defenders and goalkeepers and most great defenders and goalies might be terrible attackers and midfielders in the game. It feels wrong to constantly elevate a particular set of football players over their teammates because of their position on the field of play. Football games are worn ‘Firstly’, by goals scored by a team’s strikers, midfielders, defenders and ‘Secondly’, by (potential) opposition goals stopped by that same team’s defenders and goal-keeper. No player truly wins a game single handedly except he plays all positions simultaneously – being at his penalty box defending and punching away the opposition’s shots on goal and at the same time running of to score all kinds of goals in the opposition penalty area. Most FIFA and UEFA individual awardees perform brilliantly when their team’s passing and playing style suit them thus giving them freedom like no other side would. Most managers strive to fit 11 players into the best team rather than having to fit the best 11 players into a team. There is a reason why reputable managers around the world like Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho have categorically despised and blasted such individual awards in a team based sport.
Biased towards Attackers: Winners of FIFA and UEFA awards (presently and in the past) are (nearly) always players who play close to the opposition goal – such as strikers and attacking midfielders – enabling them to score hatful of goals while putting faith in their teammates (defenders and goalkeeper) to prevent the opposing team from scoring and winning the game. In football, it is widely known and accepted that attack win games but defense win titles and trophies. Very few defenders and goalkeepers are recognized for their output on the field of play and the dirty work they do (so that their attacking teammates in the opposition goal can get the ball to score.) It is quite disheartening that attackers are paid way better than defenders and goalkeepers. Goalkeepers are usually the least paid in a football team, even with the alarming level of scrutiny aimed at them, which begs the question why anyone would choose to be a goalkeeper. No one has really found a way to compare the value of goal keepers to outfield players – much to the detriment of goalies. Should a goal stopped by a goalkeeper be treated as equally to a goal scored by a striker? How much should quality defenders influence our judgement of a keeper – and how much should quality midfielders influence our judgement of a forward? There can be no denying the fact that some players do improve the overall quality and effectiveness of certain teams, but even in that case, such extraordinary players wouldn’t be able to win anything for their respective teams if, for example, the goal keeper spills every shot fired at him by the opposition. The beauty of modern football is such that every player (bar the goalkeeper) is minimally required to score goals anytime, anyhow and whenever it pleases him or (to some extent) his coach, which makes the fact that individual awards given only to offensive players does a lot of disservice to their teammates and the sport.
No specific Criteria in given out the Awards: There are no specific criteria in given out individual awards to players by UEFA and FIFA in football competitions played. Most fans, and administrators do not know which competitions – the national league (EPL, La Liga, Serie A) the continental leagues (UEFA Champions League – since all FIFA individual awardees are based in Europe) or international tournament (The FIFA World Cup) – players’ performances in are given top priority when nominees for the FIFA and UEFA individual awards are compiled. Although most nominees and awardees of such awards play for football teams that are either champions in their domestic leagues or champions in the UEFA Champions League or champions in the World Cup (in a world cup year) with their countries, some winners of such awards play for club-sides and countries that were not champions in domestic, continental and international tournaments. Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2010/2011 (because he scored 91 goals in a year) without winning Spain’s La Liga or Champions League with Barcelona or the World Cup with Argentina beating other deserving players who won at least one of the aforementioned competitions.
Breeds Individualistic and Selfish Footballers: In pursuit of individual awards from FIFA, some players forego team work and effort, preferring to go solo on the field of play – to show off (as fans would say) – to the detriment of the squad. Such players do not care if the team is winning or losing a game as long as they are scoring goals, boosting their goal tallies and being in contention for awards by shooting for goal instead of passing the ball to a better positioned teammate, taking every set-piece – free kicks, penalties, corner kicks – awarded in a game even when they have poor records taking such set-piece. This creates instances where a player wins The Ballon d’Or or The Best Player of the Year Awards because he has the highest number of goals in the football season in addition to 5 or 6 man-of-the-match performances and a few awesome highlight reels of the season while his team ends that season trophy-less and second-best in competition finals.
In conclusion, if there must be individual awards (for whatever bizarre reason) then they should be based on objective criteria such as number of goals scored (best striker), number of saves (best goal-keeper) or number of tackles made (best defender) etc. Even that wouldn’t make much sense because, again, scoring a goal is about team effort. No one player can score a goal without the help of his teammates. And Yes, even the solo goals require team efforts. Therefore, it becomes unfathomable as to why football’s governing body, FIFA would hand out these awards which are destructive to the very nature of the sport it is supposed to regulate. FIFA should not be lending its name to a beauty pageant.
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LaLiga ha comunicado este jueves la suspensión, «al menos durante las dos próximas jornadas», de LaLiga Santander y LaLiga SmartBank, a causa del coronavirus que han provocado la cuarentena en el Real Madrid y «posibles positivos en otros clubes». Por este motivo, el organismo que preside Javier Tebas ha acordado «la suspensión, al menos, de las dos próximas jornadas». Tebas ha destacado que «dicha decisión será reevaluada tras la finalización de las cuarentenas decretadas en los clubs afectados y de otras posibles situaciones que pudieran darse». Fuera de nuestras fronteras, por su parte, la NBA ha anunciado la suspensión indefinida de la temporada después de que el pívot francés de Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, haya dado positivo por el nuevo coronavirus.
LaLiga has announced this Thursday the suspension, «at least for the next two days», of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank, due to the coronavirus that has caused the quarantine in Real Madrid and «possible positives in other clubs.» For this reason, the body chaired by Javier Tebas has agreed to «suspend at least the next two days.» Thebes stressed that «said decision will be reevaluated after the completion of the quarantines decreed in the affected clubs and other possible situations that may arise.» Outside our borders, for its part, the NBA has announced the indefinite suspension of the season after the French center of Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
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¿Suspenderán la jornada de Liga MX debido a la alerta mundial? Enrique Bonilla, presidente de la liga, habló sobre el tema y explicó qué medidas están tomando para prevenir el contagio.
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Het coronavirus treft ook de sport. Zo is de Spaanse voetbalcompetitie twee speelrondes stilgelegd omdat de selectie van Real Madrid in quarantaine zit. Ook de Amerikaanse basketbalcompetitie NBA ligt stil omdat een speler van Utah Jazz is besmet. De gouverneur van Tokio heeft echter gezegd dat het annuleren van de Olympische Spelen ondenkbaar is.
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How Dish Network Airs Setanta Sports?
Setanta Sports in Dish Network is the abode of International sports that brings subscribers the complete package of premium global sports programming with non stop access to live coverage of best European and international soccer, rugby and other sports. Subscribers can watch UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, England Internationals, 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, 2012 Euro Qualifiers, Super 14, Tri Nations, Six Nations and much more lively and enjoy them. This article enables the reader to know more about the best soccer in the world.
UEFA Champions League UEFA Champions League also known as European Cup is an annual association football cup competition organized by UEFA since 1955. Setanta sports will show nearly 55 champions league including 14 live matches. The champions league is recognized as the benchmark in the world club soccer.
Air New Zealand Cup Air New Zealand Cup is New Zealand’s professional rugby union competition that was founded in the year 2006 with 14 teams. It is formerly known as the National Provincial Championship. The Air New Zealand cup champions, for each season are awarded with the Air New Zealand Cup Trophy. Setanta Sports will broadcast most games LIVE.
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge cup is a knockout cup competition in football. As it is sponsored by E.ON, officially it is called as FA Cup Sponsored by E.ON. The first competition was held in the year 1871-72 and it is the oldest football association in the world. Setanta sports has offered an extensive live coverage of all rounds.
Barclay’s Premier League The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. It is the country’s primary football competition contested by 20 clubs who acts as shareholders. As it is sponsored by Barclay’s Bank, officially it is known as Barclay’s Premier League. Setanta sports will telecast more than 140 live and exclusive matches.
Chelsea TV Chelsea TV is the official television channel of Chelsea Football club. It delivers matches, news, players, information, live commentary and match highlights. Chelsea TV is found every week displaying matches in Setanta sports.
Currie Cup Currie cup tournament is the South African’s premier domestic rugby union competition. The tournament is regarded as the cornerstone of the south Africa’s rugby heritage and it is founded in the year 1889.
EDF Energy Cup EDF Energy Cup is an English and Welsh rugby union knock out competition featuring twelve premiership clubs and four welsh regions. The sixteen clubs are placed in four pools with three English clubs and one welsh club. It was founded in the year 1971 and was originally known as R.F.U club. Setanta Sports broadcast a total of 12 live matches.
Gaelic Athletic Association Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in the year 1884 by Irish men that focuses on Irish sports such as Hurling and Gaelic football. Gaelic Football is a form of football played mainly in Ireland. The ball of the Gaelic football is similar to that of the soccer ball but it is smaller in size. As per the game regulation the ball has to be carried for a distance of four feet then it has to be either kicked or hand passed. After every four steps, ball has to be bounced to kick or hand pass and kicked back to the hand. Subscribers can watch nearly 25 Gaelic football games in Setanta Sports.
Magners league The Magners League is an annual rugby union competition involving regional sides from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It was originally known as Celtic league. The Magners league will take place between September and May. It delivers a 22 week calendar throughout the season where players can play in home and away. Subscribers can enjoy watching nearly 50 games live in Setanta Sports.
MUTV (Manchester United TV) MUTV (Manchester United TV) is an English subscription based TV channel operated by Manchester United F.C. The channel was launched in the year 1998. MUTV provides exclusive interviews with players, matches including all Premier League games, chat shows, classic games, live reserve and academy games and footballing news. Subscribers can find this game every week in Setanta Sports.
RBS 6 Nations Six Nations Championship also referred to as RBS 6 Nations is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and wales. It was the first international rugby union tournament in the Northern Hemisphere. It is played over an eight week period in the spring of every year. Setanta Sports broadcast all the 15 games.
Russian Premier League The Russian Premier League is the top division of Russian football that was founded in the year 2001. There are 16 teams in the competition. Subscribers can watch nearly 60 live matches for every season with English commentary in Setanta Sports.
Super 14 Super 14 is the largest rugby union football club championship in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The competition runs for fourteen weeks. Setanta Sports shows 45 matches live.
Football League Championship Football League Championship is the second highest division in the English football league system after Barclay’s Premier League. It is referred to as Football League Championship. On regular seasons Setanta Sports broadcasts nearly 60 games.
Tri Nations Tri Nations is an annual rugby union series contest, held between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. A total of six games will be played by teams both home and away in a round robin format. Subscribers can watch all the six games live in Setanta Sports.
Thus, Setanta Sports provides live access to coverage of best European and International soccer, football games to subscribers. Subscribers can enjoy different types of league games in different seasons.
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No Premier League Side in the Semi-Final of the Champions League! Is it a Sign of EPL’s Fall?
Firm followers of UEFA competitions and most especially the Champions League, can attest to the reality that there have been EPL sides in the semi-final of the champions league for the previous six seasons i.e. 2003-2009.
In the past six seasons, EPL sides regular in the champions league (Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC) have all some way featured in the semi-final of the champions league in the past six seasons, which made English and even foreigners marvel at their absence this season, in the semi-final of Europe’s elite club competition.
In 2005, Liverpool (the all red) and Chelsea (the true blues) locked horns in an entertaining semi-final with both sides led by managers who have managed his team for barely two seasons, Liverpool went on to win the encounter, after a closely contested semi-final match. Liverpool eventually emerged triumphant in that year’s Champions league, after defeating Ac-Milan in an epic final which saw one of the greatest comebacks in football history, 3-0 to 3-3 and then victory.
The proceeding year, Arsenal featured in both the Semi-final and final of the Champions league, to mark a turn-around in their footballing history, but were not so lucky to win the trophy after only qualifying for their first final match in the champions league. They battled with Barcelona in that year’s final, i.e. 2006 final, but got beaten by 2 goals to 1, with Jens Lehmann sent off in that match.
In 2007, Liverpool and Chelsea once again were drawn to do battle in the semi-final of the 2006/2007 season. With the first leg drawn to be played at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea had the opportunity of progressing, and they took full advantage of the home factor by defeating Liverpool by a lone goal after a highly contested fixture. At Anfield, Liverpool played with caution while also surging forward in search for the goal that will put them on level terms with Chelsea, luckily for Liverpool the goal came. A low cross from Steven «general» Gerard found an unmarked Daniel Agger, who sliced the ball through the bodies of Chelsea players and bang into the net early in the first half. Liverpool preserved the one goal lead even after 90 minutes until the extra time was over, then it was time for the ultimate decider; penalty kicks, Pepe Reina was the hero of the day as he saved the deciding spot kick to send Liverpool into the final for the second time in three seasons and a replay of 2005 final with AC-Milan, that dispatched Manchester United in the other semi-final clash by 5 goals to 3 on aggregate.
The final was a highly anticipated one, as two of Europe’s power houses in club football go head-to-head to decide the winner of the 2007 Champions League, eventually two Pippo Inzaghi goals, which made him the highest goal scorer in the Champions league, won Ac Milan the trophy for the seventh time in their footballing history.
The following year saw the best from English teams in the Champions League. All four English representatives made it to the quarter final, with three (Liverpool, after ousting Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United) out of the four progressing onto the semi-final, Liverpool were eventually dumped by fellow English team Chelsea. The progression of Chelsea into the final in 2008 was the first time they were playing in the Champions League’s final; they battled with Manchester United for the coveted trophy, matched United strength for strength, skill for skill, technique for technique, but were just unlucky to miss out in the spot kicks, as United went on to win their third and Sir Alex Ferguson’s second UEFA Champions League trophy, which also aided Cristiano Ronaldo in winning the world player of the year award.
The year 2009, saw a different football style displayed by a team. 2009 Champions League was won by Barcelona of Spain, after showing the footballing world how the game should be played; neat defending, accurate passing, and clinical finishing: characterized the play of Barcelona en-route to winning the trophy for the third time in their history, after triumphs in 1992 and 2006.
2010 came with a lot of promise for the English sides, after bright starts from all the sides in their respective groups; Liverpool won its first game against Debrecen at Anfield, by a lone goal scored by Dirk Kuyt, which made him the club’s third highest goal scorer in Europe with 12 goal to his name. Chelsea also won its first game against FC Porto by a lone goal scored Nicolas Anelka, in a dull encounter due to the water soaked pitch.
Manchester United didn’t do badly in its first game; same was the case for Arsenal, all the English representatives representing well to the delight of English stalwarts. Things started becoming shaky as the competition progressed further to its crucial stage. Liverpool were ousted very early in the competition, as they were ousted in the group phase, even before the last group game. The victory of Fiorentina over Olympique Lyonnais in the game before the last, meant Liverpool were forced to the Europa league were they have solace recently, making an impressive run to the semi-final, having not scored lower than three goals on aggregate in the previous rounds, i.e. round of 32, round of 16 and quarter final, which has earned them a clash with Athletico Madrid away in Spain.
Chelsea were next up for elimination, after a partly successful run in the group onto the round of 16. Chelsea had great scares during a few of their group phase games, Athletico Madrid away in Spain was one those, where they had to settle for a 2 all draw after going through Didier Drogba, only to see a Sergio Diego Aguero brace give Athletico the lead, but Drogba proved to be very clinical in finishing when he slotted his second past Athletico’s goal. The most surprising of Chelsea’s group phase result came on the last day of the group. Apoel Nicosia making only its debut in the Champions League held all conquering Chelsea, with a full first team squad, to a 2 all draw at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal had the most impressive group phase performance where they picked up 16 of the 18 available points in a group which consisted of Olympiakos, Standard Liege, and Az Alkmaar, which are low pedigree teams with frequent Champions League due to inability to make it through the preliminary.
Manchester United, I would say, had an indifferent group campaign. Had a great start, but flattered during the crucial mid games, needed the last game to confirm qualification but put threw any doubts into the thrash after a Michael Owen hat-trick cancelled out Edin Dzeko’s opening goal, for VFL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford.
With the progression of three tops teams from England into the round of 16, hopes and expectation were extremely high. The English teams, however, didn’t get the perfect draws, Chelsea were billed to face Inter-Milan, tutored by Jose Mourinho, Manchester United drawn to do battle with 7 times European champions, Ac-Milan, and Arsenal getting a re-match of the 2009 group game against Porto Fc, 2004 winners.
The first legs saw the English teams face real test of strength, skill and technique.
Manchester United were tested for all the mentioned above against Ac-Milan, first in Giuseppe Meazza, San Siro and then in Old Trafford, but then they emerged victorious on both legs, winning 7-2 on aggregate, with Wayne Rooney scoring four of the seven goals, i.e. 2 goals in each leg.
Arsenal had a similar situation, against Fc Porto, the Portuguese representatives giving them a good run for their money, most especially in Portugal, where the first leg was hosted, which Fc Porto won by 2 goals to 1, in a match which Porto’s second goal by Falcao, was a bit controversial, appearing to be an offside goal.
At Emirates stadium, Arsenal showed no mercy, firing 2 goals past Helton in goal for Porto in quick succession, and at half time, it was Arsenal 2 Porto 1. Porto started brightly in the second half of the game, attacking Arsenal from all angles of the pitch. As the game grew, Arsenal became for more confident, and began playing like the Arsenal we are use to watching in league games. Samri Nasri threw the Emirates into ecstasy, when he dribbled past three Porto defenders and slotted past helpless Helton, who tried to rush out to prevent the goal, but all to no avail. Super sub, Emmanuel Eboue, came on minutes later and sealed the victory, with a clean finish, after he outran the Porto defenders and was set up by Andre Arshavin, with only the keeper to beat, he rounded him neatly before netting Arsenal’s four to cap a fine performance from truly smoking gunners. Nicklas Bendtner, who had earlier netted 2 superb strikes, added a third to mark his first hat trick in his Arsenal career.
It wasn’t a bed of roses for Chelsea neither, as they had to suffer defeats in the hands of Inter-Milan on both legs, which put paid to their Champions League campaign. At the magnificent Giuseppe Meazza, Inter tested Chelsea for wits, work rate and technique, as both teams played out their lives to progress in the competition. Chelsea partly outplayed, but all the «ball possession» could not fetch them the win which they set out to achieve. The ball possession favoured Chelsea in the first leg match, but these were not translated into goals neither were they translated in the goal attempt, shot-on-goal, and so on. Of all the teams which started European campaign in September, Liverpool can be deduced to be the most disappointing of all, due to the fact that it was knocked out in the group phase.
Presently, there are only two English teams in European competition, Liverpool FC and Fulham FC and they both have interesting fixtures in the semi-final, having to face Athletico Madrid and Hamburg, respectively.
There is the possibility of an all English Europa league final, a feat which has not been achieved for over 6 seasons.
The absence of premier league teams In the semi-final of the champions league, in my own estimation, does not connote the fall of the premier league, rather the sole reason is the reality that we have come to face, which is the fact that teams form other countries have sat down and reviewed the methods of English teams, which they have applied, and it has worked magically and very effectively too.
English teams were neither totally outclassed, outpowered nor outplayed, but rather the element of luck was against them, and also the English teams have had a good run in the past, so let other teams enjoy same, so people won’t say the Champions league is an English competition. The English teams will rise up to take what’s rightfully theirs, which is the prestige it has earned over the years, a prestige which in my estimation, is in jeopardy considering the inability of making it to the semi-final of Europe’s elite club competition.
Upon this I settle, the absence of English teams in the semi-final of the champions league is by no means equal to the fall of the premier league, and besides which other league is so unpredictable as the premier league? A league where any team can beat any team, home or away; name the league.
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