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.
That Champions League and drama undoubtedly go hand in hand was again in evidence after another tense night in Europe, with one blog even describing Inter Milan’s comeback victory over Bayern Munich as one of the best Champions League matches of all time.
As if that’s not enough, a “Little Pea” was scoring a double for Manchester United to send them through to their 11th quarter-final in just 19 years of the competition. No club has reached the last eight on more occasions.
Good day everyone and welcome to a new week. Following a great weekend of footballing action and with so much at stake over the next few days in Europe, there is plenty to discuss.
Let’s begin with a look at the FA Cup quarter-finals, and please add the weekend of April 16/17 to your diaries as the Manchester derby will make its way to Wembley for the semi-finals while Stoke face Bolton.
It was my first trip to Lyon to see Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid and though I knew what to expect on the field given the Spanish side’s troubles here in the past, I had no idea what the city or its famed cuisine would be like.
In the end, the food in one of France’s gastronomic centres probably outshone the fare on the pitch although it was a decent game with both sides fighting for every ball in the cold and the rain.
Olympique Lyon’s Stade de Gerland has proved to be something of a graveyard for Real Madrid’s European ambitions over the last decade.
The nine-time European Cup winners travel there for a Champions League last-16, first leg on Tuesday with an abysmal record to look back on from previous visits – three defeats, no goals scored and six conceded.
How we’ve missed the Champions League. It’s nine weeks since the line-up for the last 16 was completed and a couple of months since the draw offered up a handful of belting ties, including Inter Milan v Bayern Munich in a repeat of last season’s final.
We’ll have to wait a week for that one, with the more leisurely format these days meaning we see just two matches a night. This week, we can look forward to AC Milan v Tottenham and Valencia v Schalke on Tuesday, with Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk and Arsenal v Barcelona on Wednesday.
Barcelona attempt to come back from a 3-1 defeat in the first leg when they host Inter Milan at Camp Nou. Will it be a happier night for Lionel Messi? Can Pep Guardiola get his own back on Jose Mourinho? Or will the Italians confirm their superiority and make it through to the final in Madrid?
Bayern Munich booked their place after a hat-trick from Ivica Olic earned them a 3-0 win in the second leg against Olympique Lyon and a 4-0 victory on aggregate. Read on in the live blog for details on how that happened.
Bayern Munich take on Olympique Lyon in the first leg of the second Champions League semi-final and we’ll be following the match between these two stylish teams live from 1845 GMT, 2045 in central Europe.
Will the game be able to match Inter Milan’s crackling 3-1 victory over Barcelona? We’ll be here from around an hour before kick-off with on-the-spot detail from our reporter in the stadium, Karolos Grohmann and plenty of other contributors. Please join us for the fun.
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?
We’re live blogging the night’s two Champions League quarter-final first legs, with expert commentary and analysis, including on-the-spot details from our reporters in the stadiums (or stadia, if you prefer).
Join us here from around 1645 GMT for all the build-up and action from the biggest club competition in town.