Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Manchester United took less than 40 seconds to score against title rivals Chelsea, all but killing the game and the Londoners’ hopes of retaining their Premier League crown, while in Italy AC Milan made it 18 Serie A trophies with a 0-0 draw at AS Roma. Barcelona took a giant stride towards a third straight La Liga title with a 2-0 win over Espanyol. Click on this link for our European roundup.
Champions League finalists United and Barca both need a point to clinch their respective league titles, though for the Catalans three wins will be their priority. Why? Nine points plus 91 equals 100, which would set a new record for points scored in a La Liga season.
Read here for a look back at the Premier League season and five key moments for United. The first was the signing of Javier Hernandez, who darted through Chelsea’s defence on Sunday to give the home team their explosive start. Another key performer, seemingly in big games, is South Korean Park Ji-sung.
European competition is almost over for another season after Braga and Porto booked their places in the Europa League final in Dublin.
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.
Happy middle of the week to you all, and if like me you are in London where the sun is out and there is very little football to write about, you are forgiven for thinking the season is over and the grasscourt tennis season is about to kick in.
Don’t look so worried, David (right). While the weather will probably change before I’ve finished writing this blog, the good news is it’s only March and there is plenty more football left. It’s just this week it’s the international break.
By Mike Collett in London
If things had turned out differently, William Gallas could well have been facing Champions League heartache with Arsenal in Barcelona rather than glory with their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur this week.
The 33-year-old France midfielder is one of only a handful of players down the years to have moved across the North London divide — and is absolutely delighted he did.
Former Arsenal, Barcelona and France striker Thierry Henry is loving life in the United States and wants to see New York Red Bulls develop identity as an attractive passing football team but he also hankers after an eventual return to Arsenal in some role in the future.
The following is the full transcript of interview by Simon Evans with Henry after pre-season training with the Red Bulls in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. Shortly before the interview began at the team’s hotel Henry was approached by an American guest who recognised him from a documentary film about racism in sport but who then asked the Frenchman for his name.
Fifth division Chambery’s stunning win over top-flight Sochaux to reach the French Cup quarter-finals has got a lot of people talking and I think it’s fair to say domestic cup competitions around Europe are enjoying a bit of a resurgence.
As this week proved with other games, Cup shocks are nothing new in France – something I knew before moving to Paris on Monday — but the fact newspapers and fans are stilll excited about Chambery’s run speaks volumes.
A tricky start to the season in which manager Martin O’Neill left before a ball was kicked, midfielder James Milner joined Manchester City and the club limped out of the Europa League, Aston Villa were in need of steady hands. Gerard Houllier should be just the man.
The 63-year-old Frenchman, who won five trophies with Liverpool and three French league titles, has swapped his job as technical director of the French Football Federation (FFF) for the Villa hot seat and brings a wealth of experience with him.
Residents of the small Mpumalanga mining town of Barberton say they will continue to support the world cup despite the first round exit of the national team, Bafana Bafana, from the tournament after failing to achieve the impossible odds of beating France 4-0 in order to have a long shot chance of making the next round.
Vuvuzelas could be heard all over Emjindini, Barberton’s Township, during the Bafana Bafana and France encounter on Tuesday afternoon with the sound rising to a deafening level, accompanied by wild cheers, as Bafana Bafana scored their first goal.
The scene inside a shop called Mashipisa, were about fifty had crammed in to watch the match, was near pandemonium when Bafana Bafana scored their second goal.
Shouts of “siyabashaya, siyayishaya iFrance” (we are going to beat them, we are going to beat France) reverberated through the small shop.
However, the excitement was diminished when the French netted one in the second half. And while the end result seemingly was met with disappointment, many still expressed happiness at Bafana beating a team the calibre of France in the World Cup, calling the victory “our revenge for 1998”.