RSS
people

Manchester United Reach Champions League Final in Style

Manchester United reached the final of the champions league second time in a row after beating Arsenal 3 – 1 at the emirates. United had a slender 1 – 0 lead from the first leg and Arsene Wenger was almost certain that Arsenal will play magnificently and reach the Champions League final. His words may have been soon forgotten as two quick first half goals from Manchester United ended there hopes quickly and they were outplayed for the most of the game.

_45739142_ronaldo466x282_pa

Unites started with Berbatov and Tevez both on the bench with Ji Sung Park being preferred over them while the United midfield consisted of Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Ronaldo. Wenger’s words may have elated the Gunners fans as they were roaring in the stadium as Arsenal dominated for the first few minutes. But things changed after 7 minutes when Kieran Gibbs slipped while failing to clear a Ronaldo cross from the left and Ji Sung Park was there to finish into the far corner. Two minutes later, the home crowd was stunned as Ronaldo fired in the free kick from 41 yards after being fouled by Van Persie. Things were almost over for Arsenal as they needed 4 goals to win and they failed to create any good opportunities for the rest of the half. They may have been 3 – 0 down had Almunia not saved a Rooney curling shot which was on target.  Ronaldo went close on two occasions with Almunia making a save. read more »

No Comments | Tags: , ,

Manchester United Edge Arsenal in Champions League Semifinal First Leg

The game was not a typical Manchester United – Arsenal game that we have come to expect from the both teams. It was a rather quiet game with Manchester United edging out the win thanks to a goal from the unsung hero John O Shea. Before the game, Sir Alex has said that he will take a 1 – 0, but after this performance, he would be rather disappointed that they couldn’t score more goal. Arsenal will be a bit pleased as they rarely threatened but the defended properly and some good goal keeping from Almunia made sure that the score was 1 – 0 and not worse.

O Shea scoring

Sir Alex preferred Berbatov over Tevez this time, probably to show Tevez that he can also start important games and make him stay at Old Trafford. United nearly found the goal in opening minute when a looping header from Rooney was well saved by Almunia. Then Tevez was guilty of missing a sitter but thankfully O Shea scored from the resulting corner. In the midfield, the young duo Fletcher and Anderson did well and showed fantastic energy. Another good chance fell to Ronaldo but he shot straight at the keeper. Arsenal finally got a bit settled late on in the first half but they hardly threatened and were mostly on the backfoot.

Arsenal started with only Adebayor as a lone forward and he hardly looked convincing as he was not getting any service from the midfield. Arsenal did but up some good passes but they lacked in the final third of the pitch. Late in the second half, Manchester United brought on Giggs for Anderson and Berbatov for Tevez. The argentine was shaking his head as he was substituted but he got a standing ovation from the crowd who were shouting his name and asking Ferguson to sign him. This might be a much talked about thing whether Tevez will stay or not. Giggs came on for his 800th appearance but he was unable to make much of an impact.

Ronaldo showed his skill when he unleashed a dipping shot from 30 yards. Almunia was helpless but the ball crashed against the crossbar and went out. United did carry forward there attack but they couldn’t find the break through. Credit must be given to O Shea who celebrates his 28th birthday tomorrow. He has been such a loyal player to Manchester United. He has not been a regular but he has always played his part when he gets his chance due to any injury problems. His versatility is excellent, he can play as right back, left back, central defender or even in midfield. He may have scored only the 15th goal of his career but such an important goal this is. The game is not decided right now but Arsenal know that they have to score 2 goals past Manchester United to win and that is not easy. And if Man Utd manage to get an away goal, things will be much difficult.

No Comments | Tags: , ,

Liverpool 4 – 4 Arsenal : Premiership Classic

If you have any doubts why Premier League is the  best league in the world, then all those doubts would have been gone if you have checked out this match. The match had all the ingredients of a classic and till the final whistle, you couldn’t tell which team will win the match.

Liverpool knew they needed to win the match to put pressure on Manchester United as the title race gets nearer to the end. They were without Steven Gerrard but they still started strongly against an Arsenal side who had some young players. Arsenal were missing Adebayor and Van Persie and had the young Lukas Fabianski in the goal. It soon became evident that they were in for a busy evening as Liverpool started attacking from the beginning with Torres terrorizing the defence with his skill. Liverpool tested Fabianski on various occasions but they young keeper looked fired up for the occasion. They way they were playing, it looked a matter of time before Liverpool will score but it was Arsenal who took the breakthrough on 36th minute. Mascherano gave the ball away to  Nasri who beautifully passed to Fabregas who set up Arshavin to score the opener.

read more »

No Comments | Tags: , , ,

5 Reasons why Arsenal finished without any silverware

When February started, Arsenal was comfortably sitting at the top of Premier League with a 5 point lead over Manchester United and a 3 point lead over Chelsea. They were playing wonderful attacking football and it was difficult to see how anyone can defeat them. But today, they are out of the title race. Even there superb victory against AC Milan at champions league seems blurred now considering the loss against Liverpool. Wenger says that a combination of refereeing decisions, bad luck and injuries are to blame for there bad season. But considering they have gone three seasons without any trophy, something else must be wrong. Here we will look at some reasons why Arsenal failed to win any trophy.

1) Lack of players

The current Arsenal squad has enough quality to win trophies but they are definitely lacking in numbers. After the sale of Henry to Barcelona, it didn’t look like Arsenal would really challenge for anything but they did well. Adebayor, Van Persie and Fabregas kept the gunners season alive with superb performance. But look at what happened when Arsenal fielded a weakened side at the Carling Cup match against Tottenham. They were beaten 5 – 1 and that was the sign of things to come. In the FA cup, another weakened side faced Manchester United and were heavily beaten 4-0. Adebayor, Fabregas have played almost all the games this season and they will tire out.

2) The squad is not strong enough ?

Arsenal faced a lot of injury problems this season. Rosicky and Van Persie have missed most of the season through injury. Eduardo suffered a horrific injury and there was no backup. Bendtner has really failed to convince and Walcott has been mainly used a substitute. Instead of buying players in the January window, Arsenal sold Lasanna Diarra to Portsmouth to further reduce the squad size. Wenger claimed that the squad was good enough to win the championship but that has clearly been proved wrong. Due to injuries, many players got over burdened.

3) Inexperience of young players.

Though Arsenal youngsters have shown enough quality and unity to fight for the championship, they clearly lack experience. They have failed to beat the big teams such as Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool. Look at teams such as Man Utd and Chelsea. They got a good blend of young and experienced players.

4)The Birmingham Game

Yes, the infamous game in which Eduardo got injured. It somehow had a psychological effect on the team. Arsenal downfall started after this game.

5) Getting Key Decisions wrong

Many people have said that Wenger have got some key decisions wrong. One of them will be playing Toure at Right back instead of Center back. Playing Senderos at Center back was a poor decision considering the mistakes he made against Liverpool. Even Walcott who has impressed as substitute haven’t been given a starting place by Wenger.

Clearly Wenger needs to see that he needs to buy a few quality players. The Arsenal squad is likely to reduce in the summer to. The ageing Lehmann and Gilberto who are unsettled will definitely leave . Fabregas has also been attracting the interest of major clubs such as Real Madrid. If this were to happen, Arsenal certainly need a lot of players to challenge for the titles next season.

No Comments | Tags: , ,

Title dream over for Arsenal after loss to Manchester United

Man Utd 2 – 1 Arsenal

(Ronaldo (pen) , Hargreaves)     (Adebayor)

 

The title dream for Arsenal is now virtually over after they lost 1 – 2 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Before the game, they were six points behind Man Utd and needed to win to stay in the title unit but they couldn’t get the win even after dominating the game for long periods.

Hargreaves celebrate The game was very open in the first half with chances coming for both the sides. Arsenal started the game with a great determination and tempo to stay in the title race. They needed a win and they started attacking from the opening minutes. With Fabregas operating in midfield and Hleb playing just behind Adebayor, it was causing a lot of trouble for United defenders and soon chances soon started coming for Arsenal. The first chance fell to Fabregas who shot narrowly over. After that Eboue delivered a beautiful cross from the right and resulting Adebayor shot was blocked by Rio Ferdinand. After that a volley from Gilberto from a corner was blocked by his own team mate Song. Adebayor was guilty of missing several chances from the edge of box. It was hard to imagine that Arsenal hadn’t scored till now. Hleb was causing a lot of trouble for the United Defenders and he raced through the defence to set up Adebayor from the 12 yards but Adebayor shot tamely into the hands of Van Der Sar. United also had some good chances to score. Patrice Evra delivered a beautiful ball for Ronaldo who crossed for Rooney but his close range shot was diverted by Jens Lehmann. If Adebayor was guilty of missing several chances, then Lehmann was responsible for preventing United from scoring with some beautiful saves. The second chance came for Rooney when a mistake from Song allowed Rooney to break through but his shot was diverted wide by Lehmann’s foot.

Arsenal didn’t have to wait long for the goal as they got it in the beginning of the second half. Van Persie delivered a cross from the left which beat both the goal keeper and the defenders and was bundled in by Adebayor. The goal was a bit controversial as it appeared that Adebayor has used his left forearm to bundle the ball but it Arsenal did deserve a bit of luck for there play. But they were not in the lead for long as the ‘hand’ came back but to United’s advantage. A ridiculous handball by Gallas won a penalty for United. Ronaldo stepped up and converted the penalty, was asked to do it again for encroachment, and he sent in into the bottom corner to score is 38th goal of the campaign. Both teams decided to go for the win as Wenger introduced Walcott and United sent on Tevez and Anderson. Tevez almost scored a goal immediately as his sizzling shot beat Lehmann but was also inches wide of post. Arsenal had a great chance when Clichy’s cross from the left took a deflection and deflected to the post by Van Der Sar. Then came the free kick which ended Arsenal’s dream. Gilberto fouled Evra 25 yards out and the resulting free kick was brilliantly taken by Hargreaves who sent the ball over the wall and into the far corner of the net while Lehmann remained unmoved. Arsenal introduced Bendtner and he had to good chances but they were saved by Van Der Sar and United held on for a famous victory that may secure them another title.

read more »

4 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-2 in Champions League Thriller

No matter how bad Liverpool performs in the league, they always seem to get there results over the two legs. With the first leg tied at 1-1, Arsenal needed an early goal to put some pressure on Liverpool and that’s what they got when Diaby scored a goal in the 13th minute. Liverpool were lethargic in the opening minutes and it looked like Arsenal might get the win here. It all changed in the 30th minute when some poor defending from Senderos allowed Sami Hyypia to head Liverpool level. It was the inspiration that Liverpool needed and they started dominating the game playing more confidently.

Rafa Benitez started the game with the unlikely partnership of Crouch and Torres, it worked in the 70th minute when a Crouch flick was latched on by Torres and he turned and blasted the bar into the net. Adebayor had a great chance soon when he was clear on target but shot wide. He could have done better had he taken his time in shooting. It looked like Liverpool was set for the win until a brilliant run from Walcott where he beat 6 defenders before crossing for Adebayor to sidefoot home. Liverpool didn’t give up and they immediately attacked the other end and won a penalty when Babel was adjudged to have been brought down by Toure. It was a controversial decision but Gerrard made no mistake from the penalty kick. Arsenal tried to attack and pushed players forward and that allowed Liverpool to counter attack and Babel raced clear through to score a fourth goal for Liverpool and send them into the semi finals where they meet Chelsea.

Despite losing, it was a great performance from a young Arsenal team. Had some decisions gone there way, we might have seen a new winner. Liverpool were poor in the first half and didn’t play well until Sami Hyypia’s header. But they showed enough determination and character to come back into the game and win it.

1 Comment | Tags: , , , , ,