Friday, April 17, 2009

Gunners look strong as they move into semis

Arsenal produced an impressive performance to overcome Villarreal 3-0 at Emirates Stadium and win their UEFA Champions League quarter-final 4-1 on aggregate. Theo Walcott gave the Gunners a perfect start when he coolly chipped the ball past Diego Lopez after 10 minutes, although Emmanuel Adebayor missed a good chance to make it 2-0 before the break. Villarreal improved after half-time and enjoyed a brief spell of pressure, but Adebayor's fine finish on the hour-mark eased Arsenal's nerves.
Any chance of a Villarreal fightback then disappeared nine minutes later when Walcott won a penalty after being brought down by Diego Godin, and Sebastian Eguren was sent off for protesting too much. Robin van Persie stepped up to smash the spot-kick home and Arsenal coasted through the closing stages to set up a meeting with defending champions Manchester United in the last four.


Friday, April 10, 2009

EPL top squads trying to focus as there are multiple task at hand

In an unprecedented display of consistency and excellence, the top four EPL sides are simultaneously battle with each other to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League while being separated by only one point at the top and 10 points between fourth place in the EPL table. Rarely has there ever been so much resting on each game as there will be over the next two weeks. Although their focal point was off his game Chelsea still sent an impressive message in their quarter final let one victory over Liverpool and returns to friendly confines of ‘The Bridge’ where they should close the Reds out. Also returning home will be Arsenal need just to hold serve to move on to the semis. The current EPL leaders will have to get some road work done if they are to keep hopes alive as a trip to Porto will not be easy with two away goals presenting a high hurdle. No doubt the two home sides have a great opportunity to advance but what about what about the other two? Who do you think will advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League? Let us know here and in the World Soccer Chat Rooms.

Barcelona 4 - 0 Bayern Munich
Liverpool 1 - 3 Chelsea
Man Utd 2 - 2 FC Porto
Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal

EPL comes down the home stretch with much to be decided

At the top, defending champions Manchester United are wobbling. It has been suggested the jelly feeling has been due, too many scrapes indicating a collapse was on the horizon. And so it has proved. Sir Alex Ferguson, though, has a habit of turning the tide, of avoiding the self-destruct button. The talent is there, and one would prefer not to be Sunderland come 3pm.

Liverpool
will no doubt have the taunt of a midweek Chelsea defeat fresh in their smarting minds. It will be intriguing viewing to see how the Reds respond in their quest for the title against a rough and ready Blackburn Rovers still grappling for survival.

Meanwhile Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League showing against Liverpool reminded all of their horsepower, and they'll need all they can muster if they're going to overtake the leaders. Gary Megson's bullish Bolton Wanderers have fared well at Stamford Bridge in the past, but be warned of Michael Essien and co. That Merseyside injection was no short-term fix.
The return of Newcastle United hero Alan Shearer on Tyneside last Saturday proved an anticipated anticlimax, but perhaps the occasion got the better of the 'Messiah' - a pseudonym which ultimately defines as saviour, and screams much expectation for a former television pundit to bear. Do you think Man U can hold off the other three Champions League participants to raise the cup? Let us know here and in the World Soccer Chatrooms. Here are the EPL standings going into the final weeks.

Premier League Table - April 5 2009
Team.............P.......W......D.......L.......GD.....Pts
Man U ....... 30......21..... 5...... 4..... 32......68
Liverpool ......31......19......10......2.......34......67
Chelsea.........31......19......7.......5.......34......64
Arsenal.........31......16......10......5.......23......58
Aston Villa.....31......15......7.......9........6......52