Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Two trophies may still prove too little for Liverpool

Photo

By Phil O’Connor

Andy Carroll’s winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton might have put Liverpool on course for a second trophy, but even if they go on to win the competition it will still represent a poor return for the season.

In most major football nations, the national cup competition comes in a very distant second to the league in terms of importance, but for years England bucked that trend and the FA Cup retained huge prestige.

Since the dawn of the Champions League, managers in England have been more focused on achieving fourth place in the league than Wembley glory, but it still retains a special place in the hearts of English fans.

The same might not be said for Liverpool’s American owners, the Fenway Sports Group – having spent a rumoured 300 million pounds to buy the club, they will have expected an awful lot more than two trips to Wembley for their money.

Bad boy coming of age as Bendtner buries Liverpool

Photo

By Phil O’Connor

A contract running out, in trouble over drunken behaviour and a country qualified for Euro 2012 – whatever one thinks of Sunderland’s on-loan Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, his life is far from boring.

With the clock ticking down on an Arsenal deal that is highly unlikely to be renewed, Bendtner hit the headlines this weekend as he struck his second goal in two games to all but end Liverpool’s hopes of a shot at next year’s Champions League.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soccer Break Thursday – Champions League recap

Photo

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Where to start after four brilliant Champions League quarter-finals, even if the intrigue for next week's second legs has all but gone from three of the ties with Barcelona leading Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1, Real Madrid 4-0 up against Tottenham Hotspur and Schalke 04 in total charge against holders Inter Milan after the 5-2 triumph at the San Siro.

However, the appetite has most certainly been whet for the very probable 'Clasico' semi-final between Real and Barcelona, a meeting of the world's two best players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. April 26 or 27 and May 3 or 4. Do not miss these dates. Not that Spain's two leading clubs are thinking that far ahead.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soccer Break Friday – Champions League draw special

Photo

SOCCER-EUROPA/Well well well. Now the Champions League really is wide open..

So here's that quarter-final draw again:

Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea v Manchester United

Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk

Inter Milan v Schalke 04

As Gary Lineker put it, there will be an English team in the semi-finals, but could Tottenham make it two sides? Real are certainly not invincible.

Now, before taking a look at all the domestic leagues over the weekend, a recap of Thursday's highlights from the Europa League. Quite a night of upsets.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

If Torres goes, Liverpool should heed Spanish lessons

Photo

SOCCER-SPAIN/If the excited reports on the 24-hour channels are correct, Fernando Torres may soon arrive at Chelsea's training ground to seal a move that will leave Liverpool in a dangerous situation -- under pressure to sign high-profile reinforcements and with wodges of money to spend as the deadline fast approaches.

Kenny Dalglish accepted on Monday that transfers are part of football and the internet chatter suggests many fans have reached the conclusion that Torres may have reached the end of the Anfield road.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Liverpool sign Suarez but will he play with Torres?

Photo

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/UPDATE: Liverpool have confirmed that Torres put in a written transfer request on Friday night. The club have rejected it. Read the statement here.

Liverpool and Ajax have just announced that Luis Suarez is joining the Premier League club in a deal worth up to 26.5 million euros.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League podcast, episode 3

This week the podcast panel discuss the clash of European aristocracy at the Bernabeu, where nine-times winners Real Madrid host seven-tiems champions AC Milan, plus the Wayne Rooney saga and the plight of Liverpool.

Kevin Fylan is joined by Owen Wyatt, Mark Meadows, Jon Bramley and Toby Davis

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Liverpool have new owners – what they need now is Torres back to his best

Photo

SOCCER-ENGLAND/LIVERPOOL-SALEBuying Liverpool may prove the easy part for new owners who will be expected to spend freely to rescue the five times European champions from their worst start to a season in more than 50 years.

What John W Henry really needs is for Fernando Torres to recapture the form that made him the most feared striker in the Premier League.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Liverpool board leads 2-1 in court cases with end now in sight

Photo

SOCCER-LIVERPOOL/Here we go again. After another legal victory in the High Court for the Liverpool board and main creditor RBS, all eyes turn to Dallas, where a new hearing on the ownership battle is underway.

Wednesday's original ruling had, it seemed, paved the way for Liverpool to be sold for 300 million pounds ($479.8 million) to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) -- owners of the Boston Red Sox -- but that was before George Gillett and Tom Hicks obtained a temporary block in a Texas district court.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Liverpool board wins right to sell but another court battle looms

Photo

SOCCER-ENGLAND/LIVERPOOL-COURT

Updates at 0029 GMT, Thursday after Texas court injunction and Liverpool statement.

Liverpool were given the go-ahead to sell the club when a High Court judge backed the club's board but another court battle could be on the cards after current co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett obtained an injunction in Texas to block the sale.

  •