Archive | November, 2008

Weekend Update – EPL

30 Nov
Robin Van Persie scored twice for Arsenal in their 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Robin Van Persie scored twice for Arsenal in their 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Scores and such from this weekend’s Barclays Premier League action.  Check out the current table here.

Result of the Week: 

Chelsea 1, Arsenal 2 – Big win for Arsenal with Robin Van Persie scoring both goals in a 10-minute stretch in the second half.  The first goal was definitely offsides, but it was still a nice finish.  If Liverpool wins Monday against West Ham, the Reds go top of the table over the Blues.

Portsmouth 3, Blackburn Rovers 2

Tottenham 0, Everton 1

Manchester City 0, Manchester United 1 – Rooney scored his 100th goal for the Red Devils while teammate Cristiano Ronaldo got sent off in the second half.  Ronaldo received his second yellow after handling the ball in the box.  He claimed he heard a whistle from the crowd and thought play was dead.  Regardless, he’ll miss the next match.

Stoke City 1, Hull City 1 – Both teams are currently safely out of the relegation zone.  Hull sits in sixth while Stoke is 13th.

Wigan 2, West Brom 1 – West Brom is struggling, but they already have as many points as Derby did all season last year, so they got that going for them, which is nice.

Sunderland 1, Bolton 4 – Keane’s job in jeopardy after drubbing?

Aston Villa 0, Fulham 0

Middlesborough 0, Newcastle 0

Liverpool vs. West Ham – Monday – The Reds will AGAIN be without Fernando Torres who injured his hamstring AGAIN this week.  A win puts them at the top of the heap…for now.

The Knockout Stage

27 Nov
Steven Gerrard celebrates after scoring against Marseille. (REUTERS/Phil Noble)

Steven Gerrard celebrates after scoring against Marseille. (REUTERS/Phil Noble)

The following teams have booked passage to the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League, which begins Feb. 24-25.  The final group matches will be played on December 9 and 10.

Internazionale

Barcelona

Sporting

Liverpool

Atletico Madrid

Lyon

Bayern

Juventus

Real Madrid

Manchester United

Villarreal

Arsenal

Porto

There are still two spots from group A that could go to Roma, Chelsea or Bordeaux.

Champions League -11/26

26 Nov

Manchester United, Villarreal, Juventus and some others I’m sure I’m forgetting progressed to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League yesterday.  There’s eight more games today with Liverpool and Atletico Madrid looking to clinch spots in the next round.

Today’s Games

Liverpool vs. Marsailles (Gerrard WILL be available)

Atletico vs. PSV Eindhoven

Bordeaux vs. Chelsea

CFR Cluj vs. Roma

Inter vs. Panathinaikos

Anorthosis Famagusta vs. Bremen

Shaktar vs. Basel

Sporting vs. Barcelona

Champions League Line-Up

25 Nov

Several teams can clinch a spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League with victories today.  Three games make the cable line-up and I’m sure you can guess which games they are…Arsenal is on ESPN Deportes at 4:30 EST, Real Madrid plays on ESPN Classic at 5 EST and ManUtd is on ESPN Deportes at 8 EST.

Today’s Games

Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Juventus

Villarreal vs. Manchester United

Aalborg BK vs. Celtic

Bayern Munich vs. Steaua Bucharest

Fiorentina vs. Lyon

Fenerbahce vs. Porto

Arsenal vs. Dynamo Kiev

BATE Borisov vs. Real Madrid

2008 MLS Cup

24 Nov

The Columbus Crew defeated the New York Red Bulls, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon to capture the 2008 MLS Cup.  It was the first time since 2002 that the team with the best regular season record also won the MLS Cup.  Guillermo Barros Scheletto was named the MVP after assisting on all three Crew goals. 

Frankie Hejduk (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images North America)

Frankie Hejduk (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images North America)

The Red Bulls came out strong and put the Columbus defense on its heels to start the game.  Despite early domination by the Red Bulls, Columbus’ Alejandro Moreno scored in the 31st minute against the run of play, beating goalie Danny Cepero to the far post after receiving a pass down the sideline from Schelotto.  The Crew had a 1-0 lead at halftime, but NY again came out firing in the second half and got an equalizer from John Wolyniec.  Columbus stormed back and took a 2-1 lead only two minutes later on a Chad Marshall goal.  From that point on, the Crew controlled the game and New York never really had a chance to get back in it.  Crew captain Frankie Hejduk added a third goal to put the game away.

Schelotto was the MVP of the regular season and the final after stellar performances in both.  He had 19 assists during the regular season, six in the playoffs, and three in the final.  His skill in timing his passes correctly and placing the place in the exact location it needs to be are fantastic.  For example, on Hedjuk’s goal, he somehow kept control of the ball at the edge of the box despite three defenders being around him and then gave himself enough time and space to loft the ball to Hedjuk who was making a run across the box.  Wonderful stuff.

Sigi Schmid, the Crew manager, led the team to their first ever MLS Cup title.  A title that must’ve been especially sweet for Schmid considering the final was played in the stadium of his former team, the LA Galaxy, the team he was fired from in 2004.  Schmid’s now won two titles in MLS, one with the Galaxy and one with the Crew. 

There are some doubts and rumors circulating about whether Schelotto and Schmid will be back with the team next year.  Without them, the team will not be nearly as successful and the Crew need to do everything they can to keep that duo in town.

The Other Football: Nittany Lions are Big Ten Champs!

23 Nov

I realize this isn’t soccer, but I don’t care.  My alma mater, The Pennsylvania State University, was crowned Big Ten Champions after drubbing Michigan State 49-18.  The team is now headed to Pasadena, California for The Grandaddy of Them All aka The Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.  It’s the team’s second Big Ten title in four years.  This senior class has done amazing things for the program and of course, you can’t forget the man, the myth, the legend, Joe Paterno.  

Running back Evan Royster celebrates after clinching the Big Ten title and a team to the Rose Bowl.

Running back Evan Royster celebrates after clinching the Big Ten title and a team to the Rose Bowl.

The Nittany Lions absolutely DOMINATED the Spartans from beginning to end.  Quarterback Daryll Clark threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns.  On Senior Day, all three senior wideouts had great games, with Deon Butler leading the way with three TD catches.  

The defense was also studly and poor Michigan State quarterback got the crap beat out of him.  He got picked off twice and hit or hurried numerous times. 

Penn State played one of their best games of the season against the No. 15 team in the country and whoever they play in the Rose Bowl better watch out!

WE ARE…PENN STATE!!!!

Stevie G

21 Nov
Steven Gerrard celebrates after scoring against PSV Eindhoven in Champions League.

Steven Gerrard celebrates after scoring against PSV Eindhoven in Champions League.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is out for the Premier League fixture against Fulham Saturday after hurting his groin against Bolton last weekend.  He also missed England’s friendly with Germany.  It’s unknown whether he’ll be available for the Champions League game against Marsailles next week.  Defender Jamie Carragher will wear the captain’s armband in his place.

Even though it’s a blow to Liverpool to have Stevie out, they are still capable of putting together a strong performance.  They did beat Manchester United without Gerrard or Fernando Torres after all.