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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hamburg sack coach Bruno Labbadia before Europa League clash

Hamburg have sacked coach Bruno Labbadia only three days before the club's Europa League semi-final second leg tie against Fulham.

After failing to make home advantage tell in Thursday's first-leg 0-0 draw against the Cottagers, Hamburg were drubbed 5-1 at Hoffenheim on Sunday.

"We saw that as things were we would not be able to succeed against Fulham," club chairman Bernd Hoffmann said. Assistant coach Ricardo Moniz will take charge until the end of the season.

"There was no alternative to this," added Hoffmann. "We need to improve the probability of us being successful on Thursday (against Fulham)."

Labbadia took over at the northern German club last summer, enjoying a successful start to the season.

However, Hamburg have won just four of their 15 Bundesliga games since the winter break. Sunday's loss to their mid-table opponents leaves them seventh in the table, five points behind nearest rivals Stuttgart, who hold the last European berth with just two games remaining.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Inter Milan back on top in Serie A after Roma slip-up

Inter Milan 3-1 Atalanta Bergamo

Inter Milan returned to the top of the Serie A table thanks to a comfortable 3-1 victory over relegation-threatened Atalanta in the San Siro on Saturday evening.

Atalanta stunned their illustrious hosts when they took the lead with less than five minutes on the clock but, just as they had done midweek against Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, Inter hit back with three goals.

After a dire opening five minutes, Inter began to get back into the game and top scorer Diego Milito levelled before McDonald Mariga gave them the lead with his first Nerazzurri goal 10 minutes from the break.

Cristian Chivu also scored his first goal for the club to wrap up the points for Inter in the 78th minute and send them back to the head of the standings.

AS Roma 1-2 Sampdoria

Giampaolo Pazzini scored twice as Sampdoria stunned Roma 2-1 on Sunday and prevent them from moving back into first place in Serie A.

Roma captain Francesco Totti opened the scoring in the 14th minute before Pazzini restored parity early in the second half.

With Roma looking to reclaim the lead, Pazzini struck on a fast counter-attack with five minutes remaining to silence a jam-packed Stadio Olimpico.

With the win, Samp climbed into fourth place - the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Roma now go into the final three games trailing league leaders Inter Milan by two points.

Leading Standings in Serie A

Team        Pl  W  D  L   GF:GA Pts 
Inter Milan 35 21 10  4   68:31  73 
AS Roma     35 21  8  6   62:39  71 
AC Milan    35 18 10  7   56:38  64 
Sampdoria   35 17  9  9   45:40  60 
Palermo     35 16 10  9   54:44  58 
Juventus    35 16  6 13   52:49  54

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Paddy Power takes bets on Adebayor reception at Emirates

Paddy Power has opened betting on Adebayor’s expected greeting on his return to Arsenal tomorrow with the striker expecting the most hostile of receptions from the home fans.

After leaving Arsenal on acrimonious terms to take the Manchester City cash last summer Adebayor further fuelled the flames with some tough tackling and outlandish goal celebrations in front of the Arsenal fans when the two teams met at the Eastlands earlier in the season.

Having made himself as public enemy number one the Arsenal fans are ready to show Adebayor their opinion of him and so Paddy Power are betting how loudly the Man City striker’s first touch is booed by Arsenal fans.

Using a decibel meter in the ground the bookie will record the sound level and make 121-125 decibels (db) the betting favourite at 9/4. Other sound levels include 11/4 for 116-120db and 5/2 for 126-130db.

The loudest football match on record is Liverpool’s 2008 game against Turkish team Besiktas in Istanbul which reached a deafening crescendo of 132db.

Darren Haines, spokesman for Paddy Power, said: “Adebayor won’t be expecting a warm reception from the Arsenal fans on Saturday and the jeers could even reach record-breaking levels. The beauty of the bet is that its one of the few times fans can directly affect the result of the market and win themselves some money.”

As a guide to other levels of noise 100db is the equivalent of a revving motorbike, 115db akin to the average rock concert and 140db is the noise level of a jet plane at 100ft.

How loudly will Adebayor’s first touch be booed by Arsenal fans?
6/1 At 100–105db
4/1 At 106–110db
7/2 At 111–115db
11/4 At 116–120db
9/4 At 121–125db
5/2 At 126–130db
5/1 At 131–135db
12/1 At 136–140db

Will Adebayor dare to celebrate if he scores at The Emirates?

Paddy Power are also betting on the striker’s celebrations should he score a goal in the match. it’s 10/11 Adebayor has learnt his lesson and doesn’t celebrate scoring a goal but 16/1 for a finger on lips or hands behind the ears gesture and 33/1 he again runs the length of the pitch in celebration.

10/11 No celebration
11/4 Arm raised
8/1 Air punch
8/1 Dance
16/1 Finger on lips
16/1 Hands behind ears
16/1 Badge kiss
22/1 Knee slide
33/1 Run length of pitch

Check out the Paddy Power website for the latest odds

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NRL : Betting Suspended as Melbourne Storm salary cap examined

Several bookmakers have suspended betting on the NRL wooden spoon following a stream of bets for reigning premiers Melbourne Storm to finish last.

In 2002, Canterbury - who were on top of the ladder at the time - finished last after having 37 competition points stripped by the NRL over salary cap breaches.

The club last month opened its books to salary cap auditor Ian Shubert after it emerged the NRL was concerned with several issues regarding player payments, including a third-party television deal involving skipper Cameron Smith.

And it was believed Storm officials were in Sydney on Thursday to hear the findings of the probe.

Sportingbet Australia spokesman Bill Richmond said "We took three bets to win $A10,000 and another to win $A8000 for the Storm to win the wooden spoon all within 10 minutes of each other this morning,".

Another bookmaker - - also suspended betting on the wooden spoon and on teams to miss the top eight and spokesman Haydn Lane said "Before betting was suspended we took more than 30 bets this morning on NRL teams to miss the Final 8. Every single one of those bets was on the Melbourne Storm at $A7".

TABSportsbet spokesman Glenn Munsie said he didn't think much of the initial $A200 bet on Wednesday night until further bets followed on Thursday morning.

"The spark starts, becomes a brushfire, becomes a bushfire," Munsie said. "It all started in a couple of places this morning and they're now coming from everywhere."

Bayern Munich 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais

Arjen Robben produced another moment of magic to fire Bayern Munich a step closer to the UEFA Champions League final with a 1-0 victory over Lyon in the first leg of their semi-final.

The Dutch winger, the hero of Bayern's dramatic away goals victories over Fiorentina and Manchester United, lashed home in the 69th minute of an intriguing encounter in which both sides were reduced to 10 men long before the final whistle.

Franck Ribery was dismissed late in the first half for a heavy challenge on Lisandro. But Lyon, saw Jeremy Toulalan head for an early bath after two yellow cards in quick succession at the start of the second period.

Robben was then infuriated to to be substituted by Van Gaal, making his feelings known as he left the field, only to be accosted by his equally fiery manager on the sidelines.

Goals : Robben 69.
Crowd : 68,000

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Internazionale Milano 3-1 Barcelona

Inter Milan sent reigning Champions League champions Barcelona to the brink of elimination following their 3-1 victory in the first leg of their semi-final at the San Siro tonight.

It was the game billed as an early final, and if the eventual final in Madrid can live up to what this had to offer, then the 90,000 fans inside the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will be in for a treat on May 22.

Pedro put Barcelona in front in the 19th minute, but Inter turned the game around thanks to goals from Wesley Sneijder (30th min), Maicon (48th min) into the second half and Diego Milito (61st min).

Inter will now travel to Spain next week looking to wrap up the tie and qualify for their first ever Champions League final appearance.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Paddy Power sweating after early Chelsea are Champions payout

Paddy Power are sweating on the prospect of a £500,000 cock-up after Paul Scholes’ last minute winning goal in the Manchester Derby and Spurs unexpected 2-1 win over League leaders Chelsea has thrown the title race open again.

Last week, the Irish bookmaker decided that the English Premier League title was done and dusted and paid out £500,000 to punters that had backed the Blues to win the league.


With the topsy-turvy season taking yet another twist Chelsea’s previous four point lead has been cut to one and Carlos Ancelotti’s team are now 8/11 from 1/7 to win the title with United breathing down their necks at 5/4.

Paddy Power said: "Now we now exactly what Fergie meant by 'squeaky bum time'! At 2.30 on Saturday Chelsea's grip on the title looked a little firmer but then Paul Scholes’ late winner for Manchester United and Chelsea's own defeat at Spurs changed everything but we're punters at heart and will be experiencing, if not exactly enjoying, the same nerves of the title run-in all the way to the line just like our customers."


8/13 Chelsea
5/4 Man Utd

Check out all the latest bets at Paddy Power - where sometimes you win - even if you don't land the bet ! ;-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Portsmouth 2-0 Tottenham (AET) - Pompey reach FA Cup Final

Frederic Piquionne and Kevin Prince Boateng fired Portsmouth into the FA Cup final at Wembley with a sensational 2-0 semi-final victory over Tottenham.

Pompey, in financial administration and relegated from the Premier League on Saturday, broke the deadlock in the 10th minute of extra time.

The controversial Wembley surface struck again as Spurs defender Michael Dawson slipped allowing Piquionne to stab home to give Portsmouth an extra-time lead.

Boateng added the second from the spot after Wilson Palacios was wrongly adjudged to have fouled Aruna Dindane.

Tottenham fans deserted Wembley in droves instantly - this was a day of joy for Avram Grant and his Portsmouth players, who mixed desire, determination and occasionally desperation to record a landmark triumph.

Pompey, the 2008 FA Cup winners, will now conclude a season of crisis at Fratton Park with a final against Chelsea.

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-0 at the Bernabeu in El Classico

Barcelona ended Real Madrid's perfect home record winning 2-0 the Bernabeu to go three points clear at the top of Spain's La Liga.

Lionel Messi's 40th goal of the season in all competitions put the reigning Spanish and European champions on the road to a 2-0 victory in 'El Clasico', with Pedro Rodriguez completing the scoring 10 minutes after half-time.

The result ended Madrid's 12-match winning streak in La Liga and their 100% record at the Bernabeu, which had stood at 15 successive triumphs, but more importantly it put Barca in pole position to retain their league crown.

Goals : Messi 33, Pedro 56
Crowd : 80,000

Chelsea reach FA Cup Final with 3-0 win over Aston Villa

Chelsea are through to the FA Cup final after Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard's second-half goals helped them overcame Aston Villa 3-0 at Wembley.

Aston Villa had first-half claims for a penalty turned down after a challenge by John Obi Mikel on Gabriel Agbonlahor in a match played on yet another poor Wembley surface.

Drogba broke the deadlock midway through the second half with his 32nd goal of the campaign before Malouda and Lampard struck in the closing minutes to give a flattering look to the scoreline.

Goals : Drogba 68, Malouda 89, Lampard 90.
Crowd : 85,472

Dont Push It ridden by Tony McCoy win the Grand National

Don't Push It and Tony McCoy wiped the smile off the bookmakers' faces as the public's faith in the Champion Jockey was answered at last with a breathtaking first Grand National success costing the industry an estimated £10 million.

The inspired gamble saw McCoy's mount halve in price from an opening 20/1 with Sky Bet in the morning and his mount was eventually sent off a 10/1 joint favourite when the tapes rose.

David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "McCoy's victory has cost us millions. We've feared this day for fifteen years and our worst nightmares have just been realised. Punters never lost faith in the champ.

"What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago we were on the champagne and now we're reduced to bread and water. We'll be paying the punters out for months to come. It's the worst result for us in ages and all we can do is grit our teeth and salute the champ."

Ross County beat Celtic in Scottish FA Cup semi-final

Ross County sealed the biggest win in their history and one of the great upsets in Scottish football as they shocked Celtic 2-0 in Saturday's Active Nation Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

Steven Craig scored a wonder-goal and Martin Scott netted a late second to send County into the final for the first time.

Craig was lost for words after Ross County stunning victory.

"Words can't describe this, it's Roy of the Rovers stuff," Craig said on Sky Sports 1. "I could feel cramp coming after about an hour. The atmosphere and adrenaline got me through it."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bayern Munich eliminate Manchester United on away goals

Bayern Munich fought back from three goals down on the night to record a 2-3 loss - but that was enough to knockout Manchester United from the UEFA Champions League on away goals.

On a pulsating evening, Manchester United stormed into a three-goal lead through Darron Gibson and two more goals from Nani.

But Ivica Olic's goal just before the break raised Bayern hopes and after Rafael's 50th-minute dismissal for a second yellow card, the Bundesliga leaders capitalised on the extra man thanks to a stunning Arjen Robben volley 16 minutes from time.

It was a repeat of the Dutchman's decisive goal in the identical away-goals win against ACF Fiorentina in the last 16 and means Bayern can look forward to their first semi-final since 2001, the year of their last European crown when they also beat United at this stage.

See a free 30-second goals package at

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Ladbrokes turn off free bet offers on Grand National Day

Internet punters looking to scoop up free bets are reminded that Ladbrokes will once again be switching off the Sports Betting freebet offer on Grand National Day.

Our readers can get a special matching £25 free bet at Ladbrokes at the moment - but this will be turned off at Midnight, Friday 9th April.

But Grand National Day is the busiest of the year for online bookmakers, and Ladbrokes have told us that they simply cannot keep up with the load - and will not offer the free bet on Saturday.

So the moral of this betting news is clear, if you have not joined up to Ladbrokes yet - do it now - and claim the special £25 free bet.


Wednesday 7th April = £25 free bet
Thursday 8th April = £25 free bet
Friday 9th April = £25 free bet
Saturday 10th April = Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zero!! ***
Sunday 11th April = £25 free bet
will be back

So if it's not Saturday yet - join up to Ladbrokes now !! and get your matching free bet.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

FC Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal FC (agg: 6-3) - video of goals

Four sublime goals from Lionel Messi, including a fabulous first-half hat-trick, took Barcelona into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the third year running.

It required a performance of absolute brilliance and four wonderful goals from Lionel Messi but Barcelona underlined their status as European champions by sweeping past Arsenal to advance to a semi-final against FC Internazionale Milan.

Even after falling behind to Nicklas Bendtner's early goal for Arsenal on the counterattack, Barca built on last week's impressive display in north London as Messi contributed a sumptuous 22-minute hat-trick and added a fourth two minutes from time.

The 6-3 aggregate scoreline took the UEFA Champions League titleholders into the semi-finals for the third year in a row and will also give food for though to José Mourinho, whose Inter side now face the task of stopping the Barça juggernaut in the last four.

You can see 30 seconds of the goal highlights at the UEFA site here.

Newcastle United back in Premier League for 2010/11 - at 8/1 for top half finish

Newcastle are rated as 8/1 by UK bookmaker BetFred for a top-10 finish in the Premier League next season after securing a return to the top flight.

The Magpies clinched promotion on Monday when promotion rivals Nottingham Forest failed to beat Cardiff.

Now the bookies are pricing up Newcastle's 2010/11 performance and although they are fancied to stay up, Betfred feel a top-half finish is unlikely, making that outcome an 8/1 shot.

Betfred spokesman Mark Pearson said: "A lot depends on how much Newcastle spend in the summer but we believe they have the experience to stay up. We expect a season of consolidation, that's why a top-10 finish is 8/1."

Betfred also offer 5/4 that Newcastle finish above local rivals Sunderland, while they make Chris Hughton's side 9/2 to go straight back down to the Championship.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Chelsea win 2-1 at Old Trafford to go top of the table

Chelsea moved to the top of the Barclays Premier League title with a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Manchester United went into the clash without the injured Wayne Rooney but with a one-point advantage at the top of the table.

However, the hosts fell behind in the 20th minute when Joe Cole flicked in Florent Malouda's pull-back to put Chelsea ahead.

United improved after half-time but found themselves two down with 11 minutes left as substitute Didier Drogba slammed the ball past Edwin van der Sar, although replays showed the striker was clearly offside as he collected Salomon Kalou's pass.

United replacement Federico Macheda pulled one back within two minutes when Petr Cech pushed Nani's cross onto the chest of the youngster - this time Macheda getting the benefit of the doubt when he handled.

Dimitar Berbatov had the best chance to force a draw but his 90th-minute but his snapshot from the edge of the area was easily saved by Cech.


Team        Pl  GD Pts 
1 Chelsea   33 +54  74 
2 Man Utd   33 +50  72 
3 Arsenal   33 +41  71 
4 Man City  32 +24  59 
5 Tottenham 32 +26  58 
6 Liverpool 32 +21  54

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Arsenal v Barcelona - the comeback stings some punters on Betfair

It was a pretty good game at the Emirates last night, with Arsenal showing some substance to battle back late on - but some punters will have been hurting after looking at some stats from Betfair regarding the in running betting ...

Arsenal v Barcelona (2-2)

• Barcelona matched at 1.04 to win (more than £200,000 traded) when holding a 2-0 lead
• Draw backed at 28
• Final score of 2-2 traded at a high of 48
• Over 3.5 goals backed at 12.5

Beware backing the "sure thing" in running - Barca at 2-0 up would have looked easy money - just look at some of those prices in-running !!

Ouch !!

Barcelona backed to finish the job

However, despiute Arsenal's comeback in London the punters have quickly backed Barcelona down to 1.21 to finish the job in the second leg in Spain.

Latest qualification odds at Betfair : 1.21 Barca; 5.3 Arsenal