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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.

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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 »

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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.

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Barcelona and Chelsea Play a stalemate

After watching two amazing games during the previous Tuesday Night’s which finished at 4 – 4, i was also having some high expectation from this game. It was a bit of a shock to see this game finish without any goals. With the quality of players Barcelona have, i was expecting them to at least score a goal. Even Lionel Messi didn’t look like a similar player he is.

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But credit must be given to Chelsea defence and especially Peter Cech. Barcelona had some good possession throughout the match but they found it hard to break the Chelsea defence. They had a couple of decent chances but Cech was alert every time. Dani Alves was a constant threat from the right. Barcelona might feel they could have got a goal had Bojan not missed a very easy chance. For Chelsea it was a draw well deserved though Drogba may have opened the score sheet if he had capitalized on the mistake. It is too early to say who will win. It is all the pay for in Stamford Bridge. But the confidence is with Chelsea now after there good defensive performance and they are always a solid unit at home. And they also were the first team this season to prevent Barcelona from scoring at home.

I feel the second leg will be very crucial. It will be all about who scores the first goal.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Stunning Goal Against Porto

The goal was enough to see Manchester United through to the next stage of the competition. Here is the goal

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Chelsea And Barcelona to meet in the Semi Final of the Champions League

I had a feeling that the game between Chelsea and Liverpool will be a close one but i certainly didn’t expect it to end 4 – 4. It is a bit hard to see Chelsea and Liverpool concede 4 goals in a single match. Although most of the goals were because of errors, it did provide very much entertainment. Liverpool were without Steven Gerrard but they almost took the game to Chelsea when they scored those two quick first half goals and took a lead of 2 – 0 at half time.

It took an angry Hiddink to motivate Chelsea at half time and they responded after that by scoring the first goal thanks to a mistake by Pepe Reina and then Alex scored a thunderous free kick that could have been the best goal of the match to level the game 2 – 2. It looked the game might finish that way but there was some excitement left for the end too. Chelsea took the lead after a Frank Lampard strike but Liverpool responded quickly through a deflected Lucas goal and a headed goal by Dirk Kuyt. Liverpool were leading 4 – 3 with seven minutes remaining and needed one more goal to win the tie but Chelsea killed off the game after a Lampard strike. read more »

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Chelsea – Liverpool 4-4 Champions League highlights

If you missed this amazing match, do check out the highlights

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