Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Well it looks like being a Barcelona v Manchester United final in the Champions League on May 28 after the Catalans booked their Wembley tickets on Tuesday, though Schalke 04 will have something to say about that in the penultimate match of the 2010-11 competition.
Barcelona were simply too good for Real Madrid despite the 1-1 scoreline, and you get the feeling that in this sort of form they will be hard to stop.
Although the 90 minutes were littered with niggly fouls and several acts of ‘simulation’, for the first time in four recent meetings between the bitter rivals, we saw a football match.
And it ended nicely too, with scenes of joy as Eric Abidal was hoisted aloft by his jubilant team mates. Astonishingly Abidal could feature in the final, just two months after surgery to remove the tumor from his liver. Well done that man.
In our latest Monday post on Spanish soccer, Iain Rogers in Barcelona muses on the ill-tempered Champions League clash between arch rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid and the possible repercussions for the Spanish national team and looks at the unrivalled brilliance of World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.
Bad Spanish blood boils over into Champions League “Clasico”
Last week’s Champions League semi-final first leg between Real Madrid and Barcelona made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The Premier League title race is reaching boiling point and Ferguson is hot under the collar that his team did not get a penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The Champions League is the biggest club competition in the world and generally where players peak, so Wednesday’s semi-final first leg should be the best of the recent encounters between the Spanish rivals.
Olimpo, a modest team from the port city of Bahia Blanca on the windswept Atlantic coast in southern Buenos Aires province, are doing well in the Clausura championship. They are in fourth place three points behind leaders Velez Sarsfield.
Boca Juniors, one of the big clubs from the capital, are 14th — seven points off the pace.
They might be running away with the Premier League title and facing a side who are 10th in their own table (ok, those portents look pretty rosy), but they have come unstuck the last two times they have lined up against German rivals in the semi-finals.
The fixture is widely regarded as the most fiery and dangerous derby in world football but despite the game almost being a title decider, the sting was taken out of the occasion by Red Star ultras refusing to turn up at Partizan’s stadium.
In our latest Monday Spanish soccer post, Mark Elkington in Madrid looks at the state of play ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final between arch rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, Diego Forlan’s relegation to the bench at Atletico Madrid and the curse of the balls on the pitch.
Real bristling with confidence before Champions League semi
Last week’s dramatic King’s Cup final victory over Barca has provided a palpable boost to Real coach Jose Mourinho and his players and they romped to a 6-3 win at third-placed Valencia on Saturday despite resting several key squad members.
It’s Easter weekend but there’s no rest for the world’s football players with another hectic schedule of matches.
By Philip O’Connor
It was as if Stale Solbakken’s winning machine had been taken by the moment.
Crowned champions minutes before kickoff by Odense’s failure to beat Nordsjaelland, they quickly fell behind to lowly Lyngby.