Tag Archives: Ryan Giggs

Barcelona sublime in Champions League win

29 May

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the Champions League final yesterday, you are missing out. Barcelona put on a masterful performance to win the European title over Manchester United, 3-1.

  • Thank goodness the game was decided on the field, by the players.  There was no controversial sending-off, no shot-from-the-stands diving and no B.S. penalties – as it should be.
  • I love watching Barcelona play.  They all work so well together, it almost seems unfair.  And of course, there’s the passing, which is jaw-dropping.  They are so patient with the ball, watching for just the right opportunities to attack the goal.  And because of their ridiculous amount of possession, it made United work all the harder to even try to get the ball back.
  • I wish I could play like Xavi.  That man has phenomenal vision.
  • United started the game strongly, forcing Barcelona into uncharacteristic bad passes and mistakes.  The Spanish side soon settled down and took over proceedings.  United got some fire back after Rooney’s equalizer, but the second half was all Barcelona.
  • Why, oh why would you give Lionel Messi any room to operate?  Even though Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand made some excellent last ditch tackles, Messi had all the space in the world to receive the ball and run at the defenders at pace.  One of the reasons he was able to score his goal was that neither Vidic or Evra closed him down.  I still can’t believe the best player in the world is only 23 years old.  Scary.
  • Even though Barcelona was clearly the better side, props to Manchester United for not giving up, especially after the third Barca goal.
  • United tried to play the same way they have all year, but they were unable to come up with a way to contain Barcelona.  Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs were outclassed in the midfield.  Antonio Valencia had a less than memorable outing and Chicarito was unable to take advantage of his speed up top.  Rooney played well, but couldn’t spark a miracle comeback.
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Chelsea Wins FA Community Shield

9 Aug

Chelsea defeated Manchester United 4-1 on penalties in the FA Community Shield on Sunday.  Manchester United took a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a Nani goal in the 10th minute.  Chelsea stormed back in the second to take a 2-1 lead behind goals from Frank Lampard and Ricardo Carvalho.   With time running out, United’s Wayne Rooney scored off an excellent through ball from Ryan Giggs to send the game to penalties.  Giggs and Patrice Evra both had penalties saved by Petr Cech and Salomon Kalou hit the match-winning PK for Chelsea.

I didn’t see the whole match, but I must say that both squads looked rather good.  The passing was crisp and both teams looked hungry to win.  I’d say that both squads will be competing quite fiercely to win the Premier League this season (more on that in a later post).

Sigh, Liverpool needs a lot of help

15 May

Quick hits from the past week:

  • I ran a half marathon Saturday, so pardon the lack of posts. 
  • Liverpool beat West Ham, 3-0, behind a brace from captain Steven Gerrard to keep their slim title hopes alive.  The Reds need Arsenal and Hull to pull off HUGE upsets of ManU if there is any hope for the title.
  • Manchester United defeated Manchester City at the weekend, 2-0, and Wigan on Wednesday, 2-1, to take a six point lead at the top of the table.  The Red Devils only need one more point from their remaining two games (at home to Arsenal, away to Hull) to win the league title for the third straight year.
  • Newcastle defeated Middlesbrough, 3-1, to move out of the relegation zone.  Hull City, Boro and West Brom are currently headed down.
  • As the season winds down, the transfer talk gets louder, but I will not address it much unless something actually happens.  Currently, the rumour of Liverpool’s Xabio Alonso to Arsenal is my least favorite.
  • Steven Gerrard was named the 2009 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association, an award he clearly deserves.  He beat out MU’s Ryan Giggs (who scooped the PFA award) and Rio Ferdinand for the honor.  Chairman of the FWA Steve Bates, chief football writer for The People, said, “Steven’s performances this season have been of the highest quality.  His drive and desire have underpinned Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge and ensured a tight finish to the season.  Steven is clearly in his prime and quite rightly rated one of the finest midfield players of his generation, and the FWA are delighted to honour his contribution to club and country.”

The week in review

1 May

Ok, so it’s been a while since I posted anything…so here’s some quick hits from what’s going on in the football world.

  • Manchester United used a 5-goal second half to defeat Tottenham, 5-2, on Saturday, April 25 – breaking the hearts of Liverpool fans who thought they might actually catch a break in the race for the title. 
  • Liverpool kept pace with the leaders, defeating Hull, 3-1, with a brace from Dirk Kuyt and a goal from Xabi Alonso.  The Reds are three points back in the table.
  • The Champions League semis started on Tuesday with Chelsea playing at Barcelona.  Chelsea put on a defense-only display and came away with a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou.  Manchester United played at home against EPL rival Arsenal on Wednesday.  John O’Shea scored the game-winner in the 17th minute for the home side.  The second leg is next week (May 5/6).
  • All professional soccer games in Mexico are being played in empty stadiums due to swine flu fears.
  • Skipper Steven Gerrard should be back in the lineup for Liverpool’s matchup with Newcastle this week after missing action due to a groin injury.
  • Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs was voted the PFA Player of the  Year.  Ashley Young of Aston Villa earned the PFA Young Player of the Year award.  Six United players were named to the PFA Team of the Year.  The team consists of: Rio Ferdinand (MU), Ryan Giggs (MU), Cristiano Ronaldo (MU), Edwin Van Der Sar (MU), Nemanja Vidic (MU), Patrice Evra (MU), Steven Gerrard (LIV), Fernando Torres (LIV), Nicolas Anelka (CHEL), Glen Johnson (PORT), Ashley Young (AV).