Football Ticket Packages news

May 3, 2010

Chelsea almost there!

The top two teams in the Premier League both faced potentially tricky away games this Sunday, with Chelsea having to visit Liverpool at Anfield and Manchester United going to much-improved Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.     Chelsea, with arguably the more difficult task, kicked off first and, for the first 30 minutes looked very nervous and unconvincing.     A catastrophic back pass from Steven Gerrard, however, let Didier Drogba in to open the scoring and, from then on, the London side were well in command.    Frank Lampard added the second goal after half time, converting a cross from Anelka, but, in truth, the margin of victory could have been much greater.

Manchester United, then, kicked off knowing that only a victory would enable the Reds to go into the final match of the season with any chance of retaining their title for a record-breaking fourth successive season.    With Wayne Rooney back in the side, United always looked the more dangerous side, although Sunderland went close several times.    The only goal of the game was scored by Nani – in a good spell of form at the moment – and so the situation at the end of the day was the same as at the beginning; if Chelsea win their remaining game – at home to Wigan – then the title goes to London.    United will play host to Stoke, hoping that there is yet another twist to this fascinating season.

The only other Sunday fixture was at Craven Cottage, where a Fulham side still celebrating their appearance in the Europa Cup Final next month, won an entertaining match against West Ham by the odd goal in five.    The best goal of the game was probably the first, from American striker Clint Dempsey, and Hammers’ striker Carlton Cole had the unusual experience of scoring at both ends.

The focus on Saturday’s matches had been on the intriguing battle for fourth place, especially on the fixture at Eastlands between Manchester City and Aston Villa.    The visitors, with three successive victories had brought themselves firmly back into the race and when John Carew gave them an early lead things looked very bright for them.    A three minute spell just before the half-time break, however, changed the face of the game.    Firstly, Villa full back Warnock fouled winger Adam Johnson to give Carlos Tevez the chance to equalise from the penalty spot.     Carew then rattled the cross bar at the opposite end before Johnson set up Adebayor to give the home side the lead.     A neat Bellamy finish after fine wing work from Shaun Wright Phillips was the only goal of the second half.

Meanwhile, at White Hart Lane, Spurs kept themselves in the best position to clinch fourth place by defeating Bolton with a single goal from Tom Huddlestone – a superb rising shot from outside the penalty area.    Spurs missed several opportunities to make their lead more secure but now they can go into Wednesday’s match against Manchester City at Eastlands knowing that victory will ensure a crack at Champions’ League football next season.

In Saturday’s remaining fixtures, Birmingham finished off their home programme with a 2 – 1 win against relegated Burnley.    Meanwhile, Portsmouth made a Fratton Park farewell to the Premier League in fine style with a 3 – 1 victory over Wolves.   Goals from Dindane, Utake and Brown outgunned Wolves’ Doyle in what was an emotional afternoon for the players and supporters – although they still have an FA Cup Final to look forward to.    The final game, between Stoke and Everton, finished goalless, although it was nevertheless an entertaining match  in which Jagielka had a headed effort disallowed for the visitors and Delap missed a glorious opportunity for the home side.

The Premier League table, after Sunday’s games, sees Chelsea with 83 points from 37 games, followed by Manchester United with 82, Arsenal with 72 (36 games), Spurs 67 (36), Manchester City 66 (36), Aston Villa 64 (37) and Liverpool 62 (37).

La Liga

There were some vital Saturday games in La Liga – notably, of course, Barcelona’s potentially tricky visit to Villarreal, winners of their previous six home matches and putting in a late challenge for Europa League qualification.    After coming under pressure early in the game, Barcelona took the lead when Bojan and Xavi combined to set up Messi.    Xavi himself then curled in a sumptuous free kick and, to seal the game completely, Bojan scored a third before the interval.     Although the home side pulled a goal back in the second half, Messi scored his 27th league goal to put the seal on an emphatic response to Tuesday’s disappointing defeat.     After the match, coach Guardiola revealed that playmaker Xavi is suffering from a severe calf strain and, although he will continue to play for his team, might be doubtful for the upcoming World Cup.

Valencia took another big step to securing third place with a 2 – 0 success at Espanyol.    The increasingly tired looking David Villa was replaced by giant striker Zigic, who scored both of the goals for the away side.

The battle at the bottom is really going to the final games of the season.    Tenerife hauled themselves up to level points with Málaga thanks to a 2 – 1 home victory against Racing – goals from Román and an Ayoze penalty.    Bottom placed Xerez beat Almería by the same score, with top scorer Bermejo heading the winner in the 93rd minute.     Zaragoza had Colunga to thank for a precious single goal victory at Deportivo whilst the games between Málaga and Sporting and Valladolid and Getafe finished 1 – 1 and 0 – 0 respectively.

Sunday saw Real Madrid playing host to Osasuna, a game most people anticipated would be quite comfortable for the home side.    In the end, it was anything but, with Real being given a nasty shock before emerging victorious thanks to an 89th minute winner from Cristiano Ronaldo.    Aranda gave the visitors a fifth minute lead by taking advantage of a dreadful piece of defending from Albiol but Ronaldo equalised half way through the first half.     Osasuna came back before the interval, however, and Vadoiz scored to regain the lead.     In the second half Real equalised thanks to a rare header from the impressive Marcelo and then, finally, Ronaldo headed in Higuaín’s cross to close the gap with Barcelona to one point again.

The other two matches both finished with a 3-1 scoreline – Sevilla defeating Atlético and Mallorca winning in Bilbao against Athletic.    These results mean that the battle for fourth place, with its Champions’ League qualification, will go right down th the wire in Spain as well as in England.

After Week 35, La Liga has Barcelona with 90 points, Real Madrid with 89, Valencia 65, Mallorca 59, Sevilla 57 and Villarreal 52.    At the other end, Xerez are still bottom with 30 points, then there is Valladolid 33, Tenerife and Málaga with 35 and Racing with 36.    The pick of next weekend’s games looks to be the match in Mallorca between the islanders and Real Madrid – a potentially very difficult fixture for Los Blancos.

Posted by admin @ 11:35 am
Category: Premier League,Spanish League


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