Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Rooney strike — wonder goal or shinpad special?

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/Wayne Rooney’s overhead scissors kick goal to win the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Saturday has sparked a tidal wave of hyperbole in the British media, with “wonder goal” the most popular tag used to describe it.

The general consensus was not that it was just the nailed-on winner for “goal of the season” but was also the best of Rooney’s career and even the best ever seen at Old Trafford.

There must be some short memories in the north-west. The hundreds of thousands of fans who witnessed George Best score stupendous goals of every type – the vast majority never televised and enjoyed once and once only by those in the ground – will shake their heads in disbelief at how such a sweeping statement can quickly attract such currency.

There is no question that it was a great goal that took athleticism, confidence and precise skill – but even with all three of those elements in place it still looked as if the ball flew into the top corner off Rooney’s shin pad rather than his boot.

Not much ‘typically German’ about this Bayern Munich team

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/What did Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson mean when he criticised Bayern Munich players for what he said was their attempt to influence Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli after Rafael Da Silva fouled Franck Ribery?

“They all rushed towards the referee,” Ferguson told British TV, complaining about the second yellow card that got his right back sent off. “Typical Germans.”

Champions League Live: Man Utd v Bayern, Bordeaux v Lyon

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We’re following the Champions League quarter-final, second legs live this evening. Join us here for updates and on-the-spot comment from Manchester United v Bayern Munich and Bordeaux v Lyon. Can Bayern hold on to their slim lead at Old Trafford? Will Wayne Rooney be fit? Is there any way back for Bordeaux? And can anyone match the feats of Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s victory over Arsenal last night?

United beware: City look ready to make a lot more noise

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Rarely can a defeat, and such a heart-breaking one at that, have been greeted with so much enthusiasm by the losers as Manchester City’s 4-3 reverse at Old Trafford.

Sports professionals are forever banging on about “taking the positives” from setbacks but for everyone connected with City, their performance and the whole occasion on Sunday showed that they really will be a force to be reckoned with over the next few months and years.

Tosic back with a bang for Serbia, can he break through at United?

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Serbia winger Zoran Tosic has boosted his chances of playing more first team football for club and country after scoring his first two international goals in a 3-1 friendly win over South Africa in Pretoria.

The 22-year old has made only a couple of competitive first team appearances for Manchester United since his move from Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade in January and was consequently dropped by Serbia coach Radomir Antic for their 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

The goals will come for Owen, so should an England recall

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Michael Owen missed four glorious chances in Manchester United’s 2-0 friendly win over Valencia but the very fact that he was there to miss them signals a real chance of the former Liverpool reviving his career for club and country.

Owen’s failure to find the net was described as a wasted opportunity by some, given that England coach Fabio Capello was there watching him, but consider … playing for Newcastle at the end of last season, when did he look in with a chance of scoring even one?

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