Tag Archives: Tottenham

Manchester teams looks to continue strong start

26 Aug

Both Manchester United and Manchester City have started the season in dominating fashion and will look to continue that form Sunday against Arsenal and Tottenham, respectively, teams both fighting for their first wins of the season.  Meanwhile, Liverpool aims to improve on last season as they take on Bolton, where they only won once in the first eight games of the year (yikes).  Definitely a solid slate of games this weekend, especially considering the top four clash between Aston Villa and Wolves kicks off action for game week three.

TV SCHEDULE
Saturday, August 27

Aston Villa vs. Wolves – 7 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Wigan vs. QPR – 7:23 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Swansea vs. Sunderland – 9:53 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Chelsea vs. Norwich – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Blackburn vs. Everton – 10 a.m. ET
Liverpool vs. Bolton – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday, August 28
Newcastle vs. Fulham – 7:53 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Tottenham vs. Manchester City – 8:30 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
West Brom vs. Stoke – 9:53 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Manchester United vs. Arsenal – 11 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

What up, Maxi?

25 Apr

Maxi Rodriguez was the unlikely hero in Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of Birmingham Saturday, notching a hat trick in his first league appearance in over a month. Workhorse Dirk Kuyt and late sub Joe Cole (remember him?) also scored. The goals weren’t necessary pretty (with the exception of the Luis Suarez to Maxi one), but they all count. The nature of the goals just served as a reminder of how far this team has come since January. There’s more fight, more desire and more hope for 2011-12, it’s pretty awesome. Seriously, I have high hopes for next season.

It was a dominating performance by a resurgent Liverpool side. The defense put on another solid performance as John Flanagan and Jack Robinson continued to show that the future is bright. Lucas and Jay Spearing controlled the midfield well and did not give Birmingham much time to get anything sorted.

With four games to go, the Reds sit in sixth place with 52 points. Tottenham is fifth with 55 points and a game in hand. Manchester City’s win today over Blackburn gave City 59 points. The Reds are definitely not out of the running for a spot in Europe and they have four winnable games remaining against Newcastle (H), Fulham (A), Tottenham (H) and Aston Villa (A). Tottenham has it a little bit tougher with games against Chelsea (A), Blackpool (H), Manchester City (A), Liverpool (A) and Birmingham City (H). Liverpool will have to continue to play passionate, aggressive football (and of course win) if there’s to be any chance at Europe next year.

Real bests Barca, Arsenal still can’t seal the deal

21 Apr

Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side won its first domestic cup title in 18 years with a 1-0 extra time win over hated rival Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.  Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game-winner on a powerful header off a pinpoint cross from Angel Di Maria in the first half of extra time.  Real looked the more dangerous team to score throughout.  Much like in their 1-1 draw at the weekend, Pepe was all over the place for Real as he did not allow Barca’s midfield maestros (Xavi in particular) to get into a rhythm.  The disruption of the passing game worked well for Real as it also meant that Lionel Messi had to come further up field to receive the ball and ended up making him less of a goal-scoring threat.

Real has frustrated Barcelona’s free-flowing play two straight games now and I’d say it’s a safe bet that they will play the same style in the Champions League semifinal next week.  Pep Guardiola may have to make some adjustments to allow players like Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Messi to get more touches in dangeorus areas.

Oh, the hilarious part of the Real win?  Sergio Ramos dropped the trophy off the bus in the celebration in Madrid and it was subsequently run over.  Well done, sir.

Meanwhile, back in London, Arsenal continued to show why there is no way in hell it will challenge Manchester United for the Premier League title in a 3-3 draw with Tottenham.  The Gunners went up 3-1, thanks to first half goals from Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie, but Tottenham pulled one back just before half on a strike from Tom Huddlestone.  A 70th minute penalty from Rafael Van der Vaart sealed the draw.

It seems like every single time that Manchester United drops points, Arsenal cannot take advantage of it.  I’m sure they were tired for the Spurs game after the drawn-out affair against Liverpool Sunday, but seriously, you all have to learn how to put a game away if you want to be a title contender.  To make matters worse for Arsenal, Chelsea leapfrogged them in the table on goal difference, courtesy of a 3-1 win over Birmingham.  (And in case you were wondering, no, Torres did not score his first Chelsea goal either.) I’m sure Arsene Wenger is on the verge of a meltdown after his team let yet another lead slip away.

Champions League semifinalists set

13 Apr

And then there were four.  Schalke and Real Madrid booked spots in the Champions League semifinals with convincing wins over defending champ Inter and Tottenham, respectively.  Schalke took down Inter with ease, winning 7-3 on aggregate.  Real had no problems with Spurs either, claiming a 5-0 aggregate win.

Here’s where the fun starts.  Real will now play Barcelona in the semifinals – two of four El Clasico matches in 18 days.  Craziness.  Not sure the world soccer media will be able to handle the intensity of that many (supposedly) awesome games without spontaneously combusting.

In the other semifinal, we will see Schalke take on Manchester United.  Schalke is making its first trip in club history to the semis, so congrats are definitely in order.  If Schalke continues to play like they did against Inter, things could get interesting.  Keep in mind also that United was eliminated by a German team (Bayern) in the quarters last year as well.  Of course, this semi will get less press than the Spanish bonanza, but that doesn’t make it less worthy of attention (as long as MU isn’t the only team getting attention).

The first leg of the semifinals will be April 26-27 and the second leg is set for May 3-4.

Last two semifinal spots up for grabs today

13 Apr

Both Tottenham and Inter Milan have their work cut out for them as they both look to overturn big deficits in second leg Champions League quarterfinal action.  Spurs sits in a four goal hole, courtesy of an early sending-off and a strong Real side.  Inter was shocked by a rampant Schalke side at the San Siro, 5-2.

Of course, Spurs will be without Peter Crouch, the red card recipient from the first leg, however, they will be boosted by the return of Aaron Lennon.  Real should be fielding a full-strength squad.  It will take quite the herculean effort from Spurs to overturn this one.

Schalke will have to play some tough defense to hold Inter at bay.  Of course, the tactic of sit back and never attack generally fails miserably, so hopefully Schalke will be out to put this one away early with some goals of their own.

TV Schedule
Tottenham vs. Real Madrid – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Schalke vs. Inter – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)

Real, Schalke roll in Champions League quarters

5 Apr

Well, Peter Crouch played an important part in today’s match, but not like I thought he would.  The striker was sent off for a second yellow 15 minutes into the game and Real cruised to a 4-0 win over Tottenham.  No three-goal miracle from Gareth Bale this time!  Real got the scoring started with a fourth minute goal from Emmanuel Adebayor and never looked back.  It was only a one-goal game at the half, but goals from Adebayor, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria put the game beyond doubt.  The second leg will be at White Hart Lane, but I don’t think Tottenham has that kind of comeback in them.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Schalke demolished Inter, 5-2.  Who woulda thunk it?  Inter opened the scoring in the first minute on a ridiculous volley from Dejan Stankovic from close to half field.  It didn’t seem to bode well for Schalke, but the German side responded twice to one goal deficits and much like Real, poured in the goals in the second half. Joel Matip opened the scoring for Schalke, while Edu added two of his own.  Raul added to his incredible Champions League tally of 70 goals (!) with a strike of his own.  An own goal from Inter’s Andrea Ranocchia completed the Italian side’s misery.  I don’t think anyone thought Schalke would come into the San Siro and beat the crap out of the defending champs.  Well done, Schalke, now just make sure you keep up the intensity in the second leg.

Champions League quarterfinals kick off today

5 Apr

Inter Milan might be the defending champion, but their quarterfinal game against Schalke isn’t the big draw of the day.  Is it because both teams are struggling domestically?  After all, Inter’s loss to AC Milan all but eliminated Inter from winning the league.  Schalke on the other hand is like the VCU of the Champions League.  The team sits 10th in the Bundesliga, nine points out of European qualification.  Possibly, but it probably has more to do with the fact that Real Madrid has the ever-dangerous Cristiano Ronaldo and Tottenham has the talented Gareth Bale, who should both be playing today despite injury issues.

Of course, the man to really watch out for is Two-Meter Peter.  Peter Crouch has scored seven goals in his last eight Champions League games for Spurs.  Spurs have done a good job of adapting to their opponent’s style throughout the competition and will look to continue that strong performance today.  They will need a strong showing out of goalie Huerelho Gomes, who is somewhat prone to making even the simplest of saves seem like an adventure.

Real finds itself in the quarterfinals for the first time in forever (2004 actually).  In order to take a first leg lead, they will need to take advantage of their chances and keep crashing the goal.  They also must figure out how to slow down Bale, which means there needs to be a strong defensive effort.

TV Schedule
Real vs. Tottenham – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Inter vs. Schalke – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)