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Man Utd 2 – 2 FC Porto

A poor performance from United and some good football by FC Porto ensured that Porto left Old Trafford with a smile on there face and two away goals. Many had predicted that it would be an easy match for United but Porto were a far better team. After Macheda’s late winner against Aston Villa, i thought United will play like a rejuvenated team but that was simple not the case.

United had Rooney, Vidic, Scholes back in the side with Rio Ferdinand missing. Things got off to a bad start for Manchester United as they conceded a goal in the 4th minutes and it was a poor play and defending that let to the goal. Cristiano Ronaldo lost the ball and some poor defending from Evans allowed Rodriguez to cut in a curl in the opening goal. Ronaldo soon had a header saved by Helton in one of United’s rare attacks but they soon equalized thanks to a big mistake from Porto. Bruno Alves tried a back pass to Helton but Rooney has already anticipated what he was going to do and intercepted the pass and coolly slotted in the equalizer. read more »

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Manchester United defeat Inter 2 – 0 To advance in Champions League

The scenario was nearly the same as of 2004 when Jose Mourinho visited Old Trafford with Porto. But this time, he was not lucky enough to run down the touch line but to see just stand there and see his Inter side get knocked out of the competition. Two quick goals from Manchester United in each half was enough to see off the threat of Inter. Both teams had good chances but it was Manchester United who made better use of them and luck was also on there side. read more »

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Man Utd defeat Barcelona to reach Champions League Final

What a night for United and especially for Paul Scholes. Scoring only his 2nd goal of the campaign but what a goal it has turned out to be. I might have criticized Paul Scholes for the awkward challenge on Messi at the edge of the box in the first minute. Luckily, the referee judged it correctly and didn’t give a penalty. He made up for this with a devastating curling shot from 25 yards thanks to a little bit of help from Zambrotta. United were without Vidic and Rooney but they settled well in the opening minutes. We could have been 2-0 up had Park been a bit more clinical with the strike. Barcelona enjoyed superior possession and there danger man was Messi. Everytime he had the ball, i was nervous. Even though Barcelona had a lot of possession, they were reduced to shots from outside the area with the only danger being of Messi who had a decent shot saved by Van Der Sar. Nani was guilty of missing a great chance when he headed wide from 8 yards after a great cross by Park.

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Third time lucky for Chelsea?

Chelsea may finally accomplish what Jose Mourinho failed to do during his time at Chelsea. They have lost to Liverpool twice in the champions league semifinal, thanks to a Luis Garcia’s controversial goal and the defeat on penalties. On both the ties, the luck seemed to have favored Liverpool and that may change this time as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield thanks to Riise’s own goal at injury time.

In a match that was dominated by Liverpool, they looked set for a win when the much maligned Dirk Kuyt’s finish three minutes before the interval gave them the lead. Liverpool had some good chances but Peter Cech was there to save well from Gerrard and Torres. But the tie suddenly turned to Chelsea’s side as Riise scored an own goal from Kalou’s free kick five minutes into injury time.

Chelsea have been unable to get past Liverpool twice in the same stage but it seems Avram Grant may finally accomplish what Mourinho failed to do. The return leg is at Stamford Bridge where Liverpool have failed to score at 8 outings and Chelsea are also unbeaten there. But this time, Liverpool know that they have to score and things look set for a pulsating tie .

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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.

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Champions League Roundup 01-02 April

The first round of CL quarter finals has passed and we can be almost certain who are going to reach the semi finals with the exception of Liverpool and Arsenal. Manchester United got the job done thanks to goals from Ronaldo and Rooney in a 2-0 win against Roma. Even though Roma dominated the game for a few intervals, there lack of clinical finishing and an inspiring performance from Van Der Sar prevented them from scoring. Though Roma have beaten Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabau, i don’t think they will be able to defeat United at Old Trafford. Though they might have Totti back for the return leg, Ronaldo’s form has been World Class and the pace of United attack is frightening.

As for Barcelona, they have there 17 year old sensation Bojan to thanks for there 1-0 win against Schalke. The young forward is outshining the players such as Henry and Eto and has earned praise from the manager Frank Rijkard. And with the quality of players at the disposal of Barca, they cant lose the game at home. So we should expect a crunch semifinal between Manchester United and Barcelona. The most eagerly awaited match was between Arsenal and Liverpool which was drawn 1-1 with Liverpool getting the vital away goal. Even though Arsenal outclassed Liverpool for much of the game and they were harshly denied a penalty, Liverpool certainly has the edge at Anfield and i have a feeling that Liverpool will progress.

Chelsea wont be able to forget how they lost the game to Fenerbache 2-1. They were exceptional in the first half but still ended up losing the game due to two quick goals from Fenerbache. Maybe Chelsea should have listened to Anelka who warned about the threat of his older team. But still I fancy a Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge unless Fenerbache mount a late rally like the match. So we might have another semifinal between Liverpool and Chelsea and we might end up having an all English final.

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