Posts Tagged ‘Inter Milan’

The draws are out and Arsene Wenger will probably be wishing he kept his mouth shut.

Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk

AC Milan v Tottenham

Valencia v Schalke

Inter Milan v Bayern Munich

Lyon v Real Madrid

Arsenal v Barcelona

Marseille v Manchester United

Copenhagen v Chelsea
We’ve watched most of these ties last season. Last seasons two finalists get it on and Munich have a shot at revenge which they’ll most likely get. Tottenham get to face the other team from Milan and they’ll find themselves at familiar ground when they go back to the San Siro.

Arsenal draw Barcelona. Nuff said.

 

 

Advertisements

Before I start of my weekly entry, I have to apologise to Dimitar Berbatov for not putting one up last week. I’m sure he’ll feel really bad that his 5 goal haul against Blackburn wasn’t mentioned on the illustrious blog that is Fever Pitch.

I’m sorry, Dimi.

The reason I didn’t update last week was because I thought I would do it after the Carling Cup ties and after the mauling United took at West Ham, I think I was just too depressed. Arsenal are now clear favourites to go on and win the Carling Cup and just as I predicted are on course to win a trophy, unless they really screw up like United did.

On to this week’s action though..

Manchester United’s tough game at Blackpool

I am, of course, joking. There was no game at Blackpool because their ground was frozen and they do not have under soil heating. I had read reports about this early in the week, last week and I was hoping they’d thaw it out in time. I think its ridiculous that Blackpool do not have under soil heating and and since they don’t, United should be given 3 points and consider the game a walkover. This is just my two cents of course, Ian Holloway will tell you something else.

Super Samir

Arsenal were playing at a place they’re not very comfortable playing at against Fulham this weekend. Most Arsenal fans were worried since the game was at the Emirates. Eventually the match was settled by two super strikers by Samir Nasri who showed such fantastic composure that you would be forgiven for thinking that he was an out and out striker.

Superman

Arsenal started off really well and created chance after chance after chance but failed to put them away until Samir Nasri’s strike gave them the lead. Fulham shockingly equalized very quickly after Kamara found himself onside and one on one with the keeper. It was quite amazing, both center backs just switched off and the score was 1-1. Arsenal looked like they might throw away a lead at home again.

Arsenal, however, managed to grind out a win, something they haven’t been able to do in previous seasons. Winning matches like this keep you in contention for the title. Van Persie played a gentle ball to an oncoming Samir Nasri who danced past the defence and maybe should have taken a shot, but then he made space for himself after luring out Mark Schwarzer but kept his cool and finished from a really tight angle. Any football fan should definitely watch the two goals.

That win propelled Arsenal to the top of the table since United didn’t play this weekend and now next weekend when Arsenal take on Man United at Old Trafford its a 1st versus 2nd clash like back in the good old days.

Champions still struggling

Another title contender and current Premier League champions only managed to pull of a draw at home against Everton. The last ten minutes or so of that game felt like they were playing at Goodison. Its rare that you see Chelsea on the back foot at Stamford Bridge, unless you saw the Sunderland game, that is, but here they were getting pushed back and back by Everton’s attack. Drogba put Chelsea in front through a penalty after Howard brought down Anelka in the box. Jermaine Beckford equalized for the Toffees and Everton earned a very good point at Stamford Bridge, but that makes it their 6th game without a win.

Serie Ahhh

In Italy, current European champions and league holders Inter Milan slipped to 6th place after losing to Lazio. Lazio are now in second place and AC Milan are top courtesy of a crushing victory over Brescia. Rafael Benitez has managed to screw things up at Inter Milan so lets all give him a big round of applause and a pat on his back. All I hope now is that he becomes the next Barcelona manager.

The one man who can screw up any utopia

Speaking of Barcelona..

What about the Clasico piece you ask? Well, what’s there to write about? Madrid got hammered and humiliated and Jose Mourinho claimed otherwise. Who is he kidding? It definitely was a humiliating event. If that isn’t humiliating, I don’t know what is.

But they managed to brush off their defeat to the Catalans and overcame Valencia thanks to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Barcelona too won their match against Osasuna 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Lionel Messi and one from Pedro.

And to finally round off things..

Reigning Champions aren’t doing too well anywhere except in Spain. In Germany, Bayern Munich suffered another defeat and are in 7th place with 23 points. Leaders Borussia Dortmund are on 40 points, a good 17 points clear. So one good season and thats it?

The week has been pretty good for the top 4. Wait, I think its best to say top 3, don’t know who the fourth is – Tottenham, City or Liverpool? I think we’ll give it to Spurs considering they DID finish fourth last season. But if Spurs are included, then they had their ups and they had their downs as well.

Weekend was United versus Spurs and within 3 minutes of the game Park Ji Sung hit the upright. I was expecting a flowing game and it came. Lets be quite honest, I was on the edge up until Nani scored United’s second. Perhaps one of the most controversial goals ever scored in the Premier League era, but in my opinion it was a legitimate goal. Clattenburg made an absolute meal of it. He has it in for United versus Spurs game – Pedro Mendes’ goal being disallowed, giving United a penalty in the 2006/7 season incorrectly and then failing to give Spurs one even though Gary Neville was holding on to Chimbonda in the penalty box.

Clattenburg made a complete mess of things

The goal was good though. However what I really noticed was that Nani had to be told by Scholes to shoot. Some of you may say it wasn’t sportsman like behaviour for Scholes to ask Nani to shoot. I don’t know about that, but what I’d really like to draw your attention to is the fact that Scholes brain works really really quickly.

While perhaps all the other players on the pitch were pretty sure that it was a free kick, it was Scholes who realised that the ref hadn’t blown the whistle therefore the game was still in play due to the advantage given to Spurs (either that or he understood what Clattenburg meant with his shrug). Its fantastic how he figured it out in the heat of the game, but then we all know he has a cool head on his shoulders except when he needs to make a tackle.

Chelsea won away at Blackburn which was definitely a tough fixture and Arsenal managed to win in the dying moments of the game against West Ham. The Hammers would have been quite disappointed especially after Robert Green making some fantastic saves during the game. Nonetheless, Song managed to win it in the end for Arsenal and therefore they remain second in the Premier League standings 5 points behind Chelsea and on level with United but with better goal difference (+2).

_____________________

Gareth Bale rips apart Inter Milan again

Bale ripped apart Inter Milan in the first leg at the San Siro but since the final result was Inter 4 – 3 Spurs, it wasn’t talked about too much. Bale then repeated his performance at White Hart Lane in front of the Tottenham faithful and I’ll bet they’d love to make a DVD out of this!

Humbler of Maicon

Beating the reigning European Champions can have a very satisfying feeling. But absolutely hammering the reigning European Champions gives you a sense of euphoria. Spurs are pretty sure to go through barring some unforgivable mistakes.

Credit to Harry Redknapp for always playing attacking football and you see the results. Bale absolutely ripped apart Maicon twice and has trampled all over his reputation of being the best right back in the world. Rafael Da Silva (Manchester United’s young full back, also Brazilian) did a much better job of containing Bale at Old Trafford.

_______________

Other Champions League shizz bizz..

Real Madrid managed to draw 2-2 against AC Milan at the San Siro. Two goals by Pippo Inzaghi (the second one was perhaps offside.. then again he was born offside, wasn’t he?) for Milan and a goal each from Higuain and Pedro Leon (in the end) to put Madrid through to the group stages. Still unbeaten in Europe, Real Madrid.

Group G

Teams Pld Pts
1 Real Madrid CF Real Madrid 4 10
2 AC Milan Milan 4 5
3 AFC Ajax Ajax 4 4
4 AJ Auxerre Auxerre 4 3

Arsenal missed a brilliant chance to cement their place in the last 16 of the Competition after losing 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk. The Gunners went in front through Walcott and then were 1-1 due to an Eastmond own goal. Following this Eduardo came back to haunt his old club (as I mentioned he might). 2-1 to Shakhtar on the night, although Arsenal are still favourites to go through.

Group H

Teams Pld Pts
1 Arsenal FC Arsenal 4 9
2 FC Shakhtar Donetsk Shakhtar Donetsk 4 9
3 SC Braga Braga 4 6
4 FK Partizan Partizan 4 0

Chelsea has booked its place in the last sixteen and don’t really have much to worry about having conceded only 1 goal in the European encounters. The battle for second between Spartak Moskva and Marseille will be interesting after Marseille hit Zilina for 7.

Bayern Munich also are assured of a last 16 place after getting maximum points from their four games in Group E. Roma are second with six points.

Barcelona drew 1-1 at Kobenhavn with Jesper Gronkjaer pretty much running through Barcelona and “holding his own in the battle of number tens”, as the commentator said. They’re on 8, Copenhagen are on 7 points. On our blog we had expected Rubin Kazan to go through but Copenhagen seems to be favourites to take the second place in Group D.

In Group C Manchester United are on 10 points and Valencia on 7. This seems pretty much like what we expected it to be.

Group A is pretty much wide open. There’s no room for error in that group.

Group A

Teams Pld Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur FC Tottenham 4 7
2 FC Internazionale Milano Internazionale 4 7
3 FC Twente Twente 4 5
4 SV Werder Bremen Bremen 4 2

 

Spurs are on 7, Inter on 7. Twente on 5. I think its pretty safe to say that Bremen are not going to go through although it isn’t impossible either. You never know what happens in the Champions League though.

 

‘I MET with David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad.

I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.

I was interested to hear what Sir Alex had to say yesterday and surprised by some of it.

It is absolutely true, as he said, that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new  contract. During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world.

I have never had anything but complete respect for MUFC. How could I not have done, given its fantastic history  and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?

For me its all about winning trophies – as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the  questions I was asking were justified.

Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex Ferguson a huge debt. He is a great manager and  mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton when I was only 18.

For Manchester United’s sake I wish he could go on forever because he’s a one-off and a genius.’ – An Ungrateful Bastard.

Yea Wayne. I’m sure Sir Alex doesn’t know how to win trophies. The Gaffer himself said it best, “I’ve only won 27 trophies”. According to Daily Mail however, he’s won 35! How many have you won Wayne?

Roy Keane came out vocally against the quality of the squad at the time he was playing. He criticized the same set of players that inspired United to a European double victory in 2008 and another Premiership title the following year.

I’ve read in a lot of United forums where people have hit out against the current transfer policy of United. While its true that United aren’t spending the same kind of money that they used, its also true that most of the money that is currently being spent is on some good players.

Have a look at the players that have joined Manchester United since the Glazers took over.

Vidic – Definitely a good buy. People thought he wasn’t cut out for the Premier League, but boy has he proved his doubters wrong. Currently wearing the arm band.

Evra – Phenomenal full-back and a world class player. Not having the best season thus far, but I’m sure its only a matter of time before he picks it up

Carrick – Currently playing like a school boy, but no one can deny that it was Michael Carrick’s signing that injected some creativity in midfield when United first won the title after a gap of four years. Hopefully he’ll find his old form back.

Nani – Scoring almost every game currently.

Anderson – I’m not sure what to say.

Hargreaves – Perpetually injured, but again a good signing

Berbatov – 30 million. That’s a LOT of money.

Tevez – Loan.

Obertan – Not seen enough of him, but he came on last night and made the game a whole lot more interesting

Owen – A smart move, I think considering he came on a free.

Valencia – Fantastic signing. A different kind of player from Ronaldo, but still essential to the team. Should give Nani crossing lessons in my opinion.

Hernandez – Scores almost every time he plays.

Bebe – What really disgusts me is statements like “If I were Wayne Rooney, and I saw that the summer signings include a homeless guy, I would leave too”. I don’t know why Bebe was signed either, however statements like that are horrible and attacks the person and not his footballing talent (or lack of it)

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from the above list. However I think most the signings Sir Alex has made since then are pretty smart. All of them may not be in the bracket of “World Class” as Shrek believes himself to be, but a majority of them are good players who contribute to the team.

____________________

The most exciting part of last night’s United versus Bursaspor Champions League clash (besides Nani’s goal) was the unveiling of the banner that said “Who’s the whore now, Wayne?”

Exciting, quite.

And a Chicharito strike in the 86th minute or something.

In contrast, the Inter Milan versus Spurs game was nothing but pure entertainment. Within 16 minutes, Inter had scored 3 and Spurs were down to ten men after Gomes was sent off. Bale ended up scoring a hat trick with his last two goals coming in 90+1 and 90+2 minutes respectively. It ended 4-3. I recommend everyone watch this game!

 

 

We pulled out our prediction hats and we’re going to tell you who we think will qualify from the group stages of the Champions League. Its a little difficult to say who will go beyond that because the draws for the knock out stages aren’t done like in the World Cup.

So here we go..

Group A: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente

Nishanth – Inter Milan and Werder Bremen

Keshav – Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs

__________

Group B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Nishanth – Benfica and Schalke

Keshav – Lyon and Benfica

__________

Group C: Manchester United, Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor

Nishanth – Rangers and Bursaspor [Haha, no.. Manchester United and Valencia]

Keshav – Manchester United and Rangers

__________

Group D: Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan

Nishanth – Barcelona and Rubin Kazan

Keshav – Barcelona and Rubin Kazan

__________

Group E: Bayern Munich, Roma, Basel, CFR Cluj

Nishanth – Bayern Munich and Roma

Keshav – Bayern Munich and Roma

__________

Group F: Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina

Nishanth – Chelsea and Marseille

Keshav – Chelsea and Marseille

__________

Group G: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

Nishanth – AC Milan and Real Madrid

Keshav – AC Milan and Real Madrid

__________

Group H: Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Partizan Belgrade

Nishanth – Arsenal and Braga

Keshav – Arsenal and Shakhtar Donetsk

________________________

This is not in any order. We’re not predicting who’ll finish top of their group or anything. These are the teams we think who will make it out of their groups. And also the final is to be played at Wembley in May.

I was absolutely disgusted when I saw the pictures of Reina, Pique and Puyol pulling a Barca shirt over Fabregas. Reina on top of that shouted “The future of Barca, the future of Spain”.

There was one problem with that statement though. Fabregas is still an Arsenal player and does NOT (whatever Pepe Reina thinks) belong to Barcelona.

Let us put it this way. You have a stone at home (for some odd reason you keep stones at home). I come to your place and the following conversation ensues.

Me : Hey, what is that stone?

You : Oh nothing. You can have it for 50 bucks.

Me : Alright I’ll take it.

Now I take the stone and I polish it and it turns into a diamond. Tah-dah. Fantastic. Now I’m all happy cause I have a diamond which you (like a douche) sold to me for 50 bucks. Now I have something valuable and you want it back but you’re not ready to pay what I’m asking for the effin diamond. I value it at 1000. You say 750, no more. I say fuck off, you.

This is just one side to the story. The other is the absolutely disgraceful behaviour by Barcelona players in trying to get Fabregas to move. They all come out, turn by turn and say they will do their best to get Fabregas to move, or that they would really love to play with Fabregas.

Fabregas is certainly not blameless in this whole fiasco. All he needs to do is come out and say “No, I’m not going to Barcelona”, and that’s where it ends. I really pity Arsenal fans at the moment, because their club captain has one foot out of the door. It is a fucking joke that he’s still the captain of Arsenal, but as a recent entry in Republik of Mancunia pointed out – who else do they have who is captain material?

The shirt over his head was the lowest Barca have stooped to (and I’m quite ashamed to say that there was a former United player involved in that). Actually I’m not so sure whether it was the lowest they stooped to.  Remember how they turned on the sprinklers after Inter Milan knocked them out of the Champions League? Remember how Valdez stopped Mourinho celebrating (Valdez, that too, by far the worst player in the team)?

We all know Barcelona are capable of playing fantastic football, however if they go on behaving like this they’re unlikely to have any of the neutral’s support. The whole world goes on about clubs tapping players up. This is certainly worse.