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Monday, May 27, 2013

FOOTBALL : Rafael Benitez named as new Napoli manager.

Napoli have appointed Rafael Benitez as their new manager for the 2013-14 season.

Benitez had been looking for a new job with his deal as interim Chelsea manager coming to an end, and he was in demand - with an impressive career that has seen him win the Champions League and FA Cup with Liverpool, La Liga (twice) and Uefa Cup with Spanish club Valencia.

Napoli finished second in Serie A, behind Juventus, and will be in the Champions League next season.

Meanwhile, it seems very likely that Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will rejoin Chelsea this summer.

FOOTBALL : Crystal Palace win promotion to English Premier League

Veteran striker Kevin Phillips scored the only goal of the match in extra-time from the penalty spot as Crystal Palace beat Watford 1-0 at Wembley in a tight Championship play-off.

Phillips, a former Watford player, made no mistake from the spot, picking out the top corner in the 105th minute after Marco Cassetti had needlessly brought down Wilfried Zaha.

The size of the potential promotion prize, which is estimated at around £120m in TV rights and "solidarity payments" seemed to freeze both sides, and it was a disappointing game with neither keeper having to make a save in the first half.

Crystal Palace are now the first club to have won promotion to the Premier League five times - although they will be hoping this stay is longer than their previous four visits, which all lasted just one season.

FOOTBALL : Lazio beat Roma to win Coppa Italia

Lazio won the Coppa Italia for the sixth time with a 1-0 win over fierce rivals Roma at Stadio Olimpico.

Senad Lulic scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute after Roma keeper Bogdan Lobont failed to deal with an Antonio Candreva cross.

Roma's best chance to equalise came when Francesco Totti's free-kick was deflected onto the crossbar and a goalmouth scramble was cleared.

Victory for Lazio means they qualify for the Europa League group stage

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Barcelona win race for Brazilian star Neymar - agree 5 year deal with Santos

Barcelona have announced that they have reached a deal with Brazilian club Santos for Neymar, transferring the 21-year-old forward in a five year deal.

Santos had accepted two offers made by Barcelona and Real Madrid for Neymar, and earlier Saturday, reports in the Catalan media said the Brazilian star had chosen to play for Barcelona.

Neymar is the club's leading scorer in the post-Pele era with 138 goals in 229 matches, and is likely to join Barcelona after playing for Brazil in the Confederations Cup in June.

Brazilian media reported that Real Madrid was willing to pay 35 million euro ($45.1 million), but Neymar has said in the past that his personal preference is to play alongside Lionel Messi in Barcelona. Barcelona will pay 25 million euros ($32.3 million).

Bayern Munich win UEFA Champions League

Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in a memorable Champions League final on Saturday to become European champions for the fifth time.

Goals from Croatian Mario Mandzukic after 60 minutes and Dutchman Arjen Robben, with a stunning 89th-minute solo strike, settled a well contested final after Dortmund had levelled with a 68th-minute penalty from Ilkay Guendogan.

The victory kept alive Bayern Munich's hopes of a treble as they have already won the German league title and face VfB Stuttgart in the Cup final in Berlin next Saturday.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Europa League winners will get Champions League place from 2015-16

UEFA has confirmed that the 2015 Europa League winners will qualify for the following season's Champions League.

The move is designed to boost interest in Europe's secondary club tournament. Uefa has tried a number of initiatives to increase interest, with previous attempts including changing its name from Uefa Cup to its current title in 2009.

The decision at Uefa's Congress follows months of talks between the governing body and the European Club Association.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bet365 offer Free Bet for Champions League Final

The Champions League returns to Wembley on Saturday 25th May as last year’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich take on 1997 winners Borussia Dortmund in the final.

Top European Bookmaker bet365 have got a fantastic free bet offer for this match - simply place a pre-match bet on the Champions League final and you will receive a free In-Play bet to the same stake on the big match.

To qualify for your free In-Play bet, simply place a bet before kick-off, then once the game starts place another bet on any In-Play market. If your FIRST In-Play bet loses bet365 will refund this stake, up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet.

Maximum amount is :
Eng UK - £50
Eng Ire - €50
Eng Eur - €25
Eng ROW/Canada/Australia - $50
Spa – 25€
Ger – €25
Ita – €25
Dan – 250 kr
Swe – 250 kr
Nor – 250 kr
TCh – 100 RMB
SCh – 100 RMB
Bul – 20 лв
Gre – €25
Por – 10€
Pol – 40 PLN
Rom – 40 RON
Cze – 300 Kč
Hun – 3.000 Ft

As always, there'll be plenty to choose from at bet365 with over 70 In-Play markets available throughout the game including Next Goal, Match Goals, Total Corners, Half-Time Result, Full-Time Result and much more.

With an extensive range of pre-match and In-Play markets and this fantastic free bet offer, bet365 is OUR number one place for sports betting. Check out bet365 now

NOTE : Please note that following countries are NOT included in the offer :
Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Vietnam, Belarus, Croatia, Serbia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovenia, Georgia, Moldova, Macedonia

Monday, May 06, 2013

Juventus defends Serie A title for 29th league championship

Defending champions Juventus clinched their 29th Serie A title with a 1-0 victory over Palermo on Sunday.

A penalty from Arturo Vidal secured the win and gave Juve an unassailable 14-point lead over second-placed Napoli, with four games to play.

It is the first time that Juve have "officially" won back-to-back titles in 10 years, although Juventus did win Serie A titles in 2005 and 2006 - but they were subsequently stripped when Juventus were found guilty of match-fixing and demoted.

Crowd banners - and Juve's official website - featured the number 31 prominently, in reference to the 29 titles plus the two taken away from them.

# Team       MP Wn  Dr Ls  GF GA   GD Pts
1 Juventus   35 26  5   4  67 20  +47  83
2 Napoli     35 21  9   5  67 33  +34  72
3 Milan      35 19  8   8  61 38  +23  65
4 Fiorentina 35 18  7  10  65 43  +22  61
5 Roma       35 17  7  11  69 54  +15  58

Ajax win Dutch title for 3rd year in row

Ajax wrapped up their third consecutive Dutch Eredivisie title in style with a 5-0 thrashing of lowly Willem II.

Ajax outclassed their opponents and cruised into a 2-0 lead at half-time through goals from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Christian Eriksen.

The second half was a procession and goals from Viktor Fischer, Siem De Jong and Danny Hoesen secured another domestic title for the Amsterdam club and condemned Willem II to relegation.

The result left the Ajax four points clear of nearest rivals PSV Eindhoven, whose 4-2 win over NEC Nijmegen was not enough to take the title race to the final round of matches.

It is the 32nd time Ajax have been crowned Dutch champions and coach de Boer becomes only the third man to lead the Amsterdam side to three Eredivisie crowns in a row after Rinus Michels and Louis van Gaal.
# Team       MP  W D  L  GF  GA  GD   Pts
1 Ajax       33 21 10 2  81  31  +50  73
2 PSV        33 22  3 8 102  40  +62  69
3 Feyenoord  33 20  6 7  63  38  +25  66