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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Carling Cup - West Ham and Arsenal go through

Arsenal and West Ham will take their place in the last four of the Carling Cup after scoring home wins on Tuesday night.


West Ham booked a first League Cup semi-final for 20 years after knocking holders Manchester United out of the Carling Cup at snowy Upton Park.

West Ham caused the upset of the night - spanking a second-string Manchester United side 4-0 at Upton Park with ex-United old boy Jonathan Spector scoring the first two goals ... his first ever goals in senior English football.


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made nine changes from the team that defeated Aston Villa 4-2 on Saturday and for long periods of the first half the Gunners were slightly disjointed and disappointing in front of goal.

Arsenal took a while to subdue an energetic Wigan side, but a goal in each half was enough to see Arsenal beat Wigan 2-0 at the Emirates.


The draw takes place following tomorrow evening's last-eight matches between Birmingham and Aston Villa and Ipswich and West Brom.

Who will host the 2018 World Cup? Bookies say RUSSIA !

BBC's Panorama programme was broadcast on Monday night and accused Issa Hayatou, Ricardo Terra Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz of taking bribes, while on FIFA committee business.

The three men took the money from a sport marketing firm awarded lucrative World Cup rights between  1989 to 1999, the programme alleges. The alleged bribes are included in a confidential document listing 175 payments totalling about $100m (£64m).

Although the allegations have nothing to do with World Cup votes for this hosting round, all three men are part of the 24-member vote to decide the next two hosts for FIFA's World Cup and it is unlikely that it will have helped England's chances.

Russia are the odds-on favourites across the bookmakers - with Paddy Power into 8/11 (1.73) while the joint Spain-Portugal bid was also cut to 9/4 (3.25).

England are now 3rd favourites at 3/1 (4.0) having been favourites earlier on in the process. Belgium-Holland is the other bid to be considered by FIFA's executive committee on Thursday - but it is rated a 40/1 outsider at Paddy Power.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chelsea's John Terry to be out "for months".

Chelsea captain John Terry could be out for "months" with a nerve problem in his right leg, according to a report by BBC Sport.

The injury forced Terry to miss Sunday's 3-0 defeat by Sunderland and he has also pulled out of England's friendly against France on Wednesday.

A Chelsea source was reported on BBC Sport: "It could be months [until he's fit], although that's the pessimistic view. We don't know the root of the pain."

A Chelsea spokesman said: "John reported for training this morning. He met with club doctors and the medical team and discussed plans to continue seeing various specialists to try to find a solution to the nerve problems he has been experiencing in his right leg."

The injury has been troubling the defender since the end of last season and, despite resting for three weeks between the end of the World Cup and the start of the Premier League season, the problem has not cleared up.

Terry told the Daily Mail : "After games I am in agony and not sleeping at all. I used to play with pain at seven out of 10. Now? It's 10 out of 10. I need to take a few weeks rest, see a couple of specialists and solve the problem."

"It is at a point where I can't carry on with it. I used to be able to make it through games because the adrenaline gets going and you blank the pain out, but now there really is no decision to make."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Arsenal move into second place - winning 2-1 at Everton

Arsenal have had a good week, winning at Wolves (2-0) and Everton (2-1) to climb into second.

The Gunners are not playing great football right now - certainly not smoothly flowing - but they are mixing some good touches with a bit of solid tackling, ruthless defending and some good goalkeeping. ( finally ! )

To be honest - I feel that this current side is less talented than most line-ups that Wenger has put out over the last decade - and although Arsenal are still a quality outfit the Gunners possibly lack a little bit of world-class footballing skill.

But this side HAS been build with the English domestic game in mind, with physique and size and experience also playing a part alongside the skill component ... and the result is that we are seeing Arsenal winning on the road with a league best 4-2-1 away record this season.

Those 14 away points are the highest total in the league - next highest are Chelsea and ManCity with 10 points and Man United on 9.

So Arsenal are less frilly - but more effective - it seems that Mr Wenger has finally got the message - "silverware matters".

               HOME          AWAY      GD  Points
1 Chelsea  13 6-0-1 17:3  3-1-2 11:5  +20   28 
2 Arsenal  13 4-0-2 15:6  4-2-1 11:6  +14   26 
3 Man Utd  13 5-1-0 15:5  1-6-0 11:10 +11   25 
4 Man City 13 3-3-1  7:5  3-1-2  8:5   +5   22 
5 Bolton   13 2-3-1 10:8  2-4-1 11:11  +2   19 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pato fires AC Milan to top of Serie A

Alexandre Pato got his fifth goal in seven games as AC Milan went top of Serie A as previous leaders Lazio suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Cesena.

AC Milan 3-1 Palermo
Pato opened the scoring for AC Milan and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty and a late goal by Robinho ensured Milan claimed all three points with a 3-1 win at San Siro.

Cesena 1-0 Lazio
Lazio were beaten by Cesena, who triumphed 1-0 courtesy of an 84th-minute Marco Parolo strike. The win was just Cesena's third of the season but they remain 18th in the standings.

Lecce 1-1 Inter Milan
Lecce denied Inter Milan a first win in November with a late equaliser at Via del Mare. Ruben Olivera levelled 11 minutes from time to rescue a point for the hosts with a 1-1 draw, just three minutes after Diego Milito had broken their resistance.

Brescia 1-1 Juventus
Veteran Alessandro del Piero was unable to celebrate his birthday with a goal as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw at Brescia.

Del Piero turned 36 on Tuesday but the talismanic striker and his side had to settle for a point at lowly Brescia after two goals in two second-half minutes lit up an otherwise uninspiring contest. Fabio Quagliarella gave Juve the lead in the 71st minute, but the home side responded almost immediately through the influential Alessandro Diamanti.

AS Roma 3-2 Fiorentina
Roma claimed their third straight win with a 3-2 home triumph over Fiorentina. Fabio Simplicio and Marco Borriello made it 2-0 to Roma before Alberto Gilardino and Simone Perrotta traded strikes to make it 3-1 with 13 minutes remaining. Substitute Gaetano D'Agostino then set up a tense finish with a fine free-kick.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Europa League : Lech Poznan 3 - 1 Man City

Manchester City suffered a third straight defeat in all competitions as they were well beaten by Polish side Lech Poznan in Europa League Group A.
City started well but it was hosts Lech who opened the scoring, Dimitrije Injac fizzing in a low strike from distance.

Emmanuel Adebayor's close-range finish pulled the visitors level and David Silva volleyed against the crossbar. A 1-1 draw seemed likely until Manuel Arboleda inadvertently nodded in and Mateusz Mozdzen rifled a fine third.

I know it's a second tier European competition, and that Man City fielded a weak line-up, and that City will "probably" still qualify from this group ...

But for a club that has spent such a lot of money over the last two years - this is a pretty poor level of performance - and hardly a good return on the cash being spent.

Will boss Roberto Mancini become the fallguy for this slump in form?