Monday, 31 October 2011

Week 1 of Prediction tables

Chris Deacon 12 points, 3 PS
Everton 0 Manchester United 1
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 2 Wolves 0
Norwich 1 Blackburn 2
Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 2
Swansea 0 Bolton 1
Wigan 1 Fulham 1
West Brom 0 Liverpool 2
Spurs 3 QPR 0
Stoke 2 Newcastle 3

Perry Blanchette 10 points, 2 PS
Everton 0 Manchester United 1
Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 5 Wolves 0
Norwich 1 Blackburn 1
Sunderland 0 Aston Villa 1
Swansea 0 Bolton 0
Wigan 1 Fulham 2
West Brom 0 Liverpool 2
Tottenham 2 QPR 1
Stoke 1 Newcastle 1

Daniel Underwood 9 points, 1 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 2
Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2
Manchester City 3 Wolves 0
Norwich 2 Blackburn 1
Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 1
Swansea 1 Bolton 0
Wigan 1 Fulham 2
West Brom 1 Liverpool 2
Tottenham 3 QPR 1
Stoke 2 Newcastle 1

Liam O'Donovan 9 points, 2 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 3
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 3 Wolves 1
Norwich 1 Blackburn 1
Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 2
Swansea 1 Bolton 3
Wigan 2 Fulham 0
West Brom 0 Liverpool 1
Tottenham 3 QPR 1
Stoke 2 Newcastle 0

Fraser Stradling 8 points, 1 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 3
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 4 Wolves 1
Norwich 0 Blackburn 0
Sunderland 0 Aston Villa 2
Swansea 1 Bolton 1
Wigan 0 Fulham 1
West Brom 0 Liverpool 2
Tottenham 2 QPR 1
Stoke 2 Newcastle 0

Daniel A Lofti 7 points, 1 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 2 
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 4 Wolves 0
Norwich 2 Blackburn 1
Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 2
Swansea 1 Bolton 1
Wigan 0 Fulham 2
West Brom 1 Liverpool 2
Tottenham 2 QPR 1
Stoke 1 Newcastle 1

Jack Burman 7 points, 1 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 1
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 2
Manchester City 4 Wolves 0
Norwich 0 Blackburn 0
Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 2
Swansea 0 Bolton 2
Wigan 2 Fulham 2
West Brom 0 Liverpool 3
Tottenham 2 QPR 2
Stoke 1 Newcastle 3

My Predictions 5 points, 0 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 3
Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 4 Wolves 0
Norwich 2 Blackburn 1
Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 0
Swansea 2 Bolton 1
Wigan 1 Fulham 0
West Brom 2 Liverpool 4
Tottenham 3 QPR 0
Stoke 2 Newcastle 0

Tyrone Nicklin 5 points, 0 PS
Everton 2 Manchester United 1
Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2
Manchester City 5 Wolves 0
Norwich 1 Blackburn 1
Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 0
Swansea 1 Bolton 0
Wigan 1 Fulham 2
West Brom 2 Liverpool 1
Tottenham 4 QPR 1
Stoke 2 Newcastle 2

James Sherwood 3 points, 0 PS
Everton 1 Manchester United 0
Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1
Manchester City 4 Wolves 0
Norwich 2 Blackburn 2
Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 0
Swansea 2 Bolton 3
Wigan 2 Fulham 0
West Brom 2 Liverpool 2
Tottenham 4 QPR 0
Stoke 1 Newcastle 1

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Villarreal lose Rossi for six months

Seven points from nine games. Bottom of their Champions League group. And now the loss of their talismanic striker Giuseppe Rossi for six months. Its fair to say its been a luckless and poor start to the season for the 'Yellow Submarine'.

The news is a huge blow for Villarreal considering the fact their other striker Nilmar is also a long term absentee after recent knee surgery.

Consecutive 3-0 defeats against the surprise leaders Levante and Real Madrid has confirmed Villarreal's place in the drop zone, coupled with three defeats from three in a poor Champions League campaign, means the injury to Rossi is not only cruel but poorly timed.

Villarreal qualified for the Champions League last season, for the first time since Manuel Pellegrini's exit. His departure was massive for the club, as they consistently had been performing above expectations with limited resources avaliable to him.

With some winable games coming up the pressure is on Juan Carlos Garrido to lift the Spanish club from their current slump.

Zubar own goal ensures Bournemouth poor run continues

A second half own goal from Stephane Zubar extended Bournemouth's winless run to six games, ensuring the south coast side stay in the bottom four.

Bournemouth incredibly opened the scoring after just 16 seconds, after Wesley Thomas curled home brilliantly from long range. Colchester United rallied in the second half and grabbed a deserved leveller as Zubar, trying to prevent Kayode Odejayi from scoring, only succeeded in turning the ball into his own goal.

Colchester came into the game on the back of just one defeat in five, however six draws from their opening 14 matches, prevented any possible play-off push.

In their last home encounter Colchester trailed inside a minute and history repeated itself as Bournemouth struck after just 16 seconds. Thomas, on loan from Crawley Town, picked up on a loose ball and from distance, curled past Ben Williams in style.

The goal stunned the hosts and it wasn't until the 28th minute they created a chance of note as Anthony Wordsworth blazed over. Odejayi did brilliantly to find Colchester's top scorer, however well when placed he could only put over.

Bournemouth and Wes Fogden in particular blew a chance to double their lead. Marc Pugh did brilliantly to get a cross in, however Fogden's header was weak and Williams saved with ease.

Darryl Flahavan produced a world class save on the stroke of half-time to prevent Ian Henderson from levelling. Wordsworth chipped a teasing ball through, which Henderson did well to get to before the covering Zubar, however his left foot volley was brilliantly repelled by Flahavan.

Bournemouth should have repeated their first half feat in scoring inside the first minute of the half, however inexcusably Thomas headed wide with the goal gaping.

Having been accused of leaving his changes too late in games recently, Ward made two substitutions just five minutes into the second half with Lloyd James and Steven Gillespie entering the fray, with the later a change that the Colchester crowd took well.

Fogden had a goal disallowed mid way through the second half after the midfielder was adjudged to have been in an offside position as he finished from close range after an Adam Barret knock down.

Sub Gillespie was perhaps fortunate not to avoid a straight red card as his over the top challenge was only deemed worthy of a yellow card.

Moments later Gillespie made the most of his redemption by creating the equaliser. Gillespie did brilliantly to win the ball from Stephen Purches and his squared ball was converted into his own goal by the luckless Zubar.

Neither side threatened a late winner as both clubs had to settle for a point in a drab affair.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Prince Boateng hat-trick stuns Leece as AC come back from the dead.

AC Milan had started the defence of their Serie A title in limp fashion with just eight points from six games and 3-0 down away to relegation candidates Leece at half time, their poor start looked set to continue. Enter Kevin Prince Boateng and the most unlikeliest of revivals.

The former Portsmouth man stunned the hosts with a hat-trick as Milan won 4-3, with the forgotten man Mario Yepes heading the winner in the 83rd minute.

Guillermo Giacomazzi headed Leece in front with the slightest of touch from a Carlos Grossmuller free-kick. Christian Abbiati, who probably should have done better with Leece's opener, conceded a penalty mid way through the first half fouling Daniele Corvia, after dropping a simple corner at the Italian's feet. Massimo Oddo, ironically on a season long loan from AC Milan, stepped up and smashed the penalty home. Grossmuller incredibly made it three just before half-time, stabbing home a lose ball.

Boateng started the comeback just four minutes into the second half with an exquisite slashed finish. A Milan corner was only half cleared and after the ball found its way to Boateng, the Ghanaian, smashed home brilliantly.

If the former Spurs midfielder's first effort was good, his second was brilliant. Teed up by the controversial Antonio Cassano, Boateng let fly with another cracking effort, giving the Leece keeper simply no chance.

Boateng amazingly levelled an amazing game in the 63rd minute, in doing so completing his hat trick. Christian Abbate saw his effort blocked and the ball fell kindly for Boateng whose shot narrowly crossed the line.

The Colombian Yepes amazingly won the game for AC in the 83rd minute with a back post header. Cassano was again the creator, as his lofted cross was met well by the former PSG defender and his bullet header won the game for the Rossoneri.

Elsewhere in Italy, unbeaten Juventus were held to their fourth draw in the opening seven games as Genoa got a deserved 2-2 away to the 'Old Lady'. A late Andrea Caracciolo strike ensured the heavy spending Genoa left with a share of the spoils.

Thiago Motta ensured Inter got only their second victory of the season as they overcame Cheivo 1-0 at the San Siro. Roma bounced back from their derby defeat with a solid if not spectacular 1-0 home success against Palermo. The Argentine Lamela scored the only goal of the game after just eight minutes.

Despite their loss of key players at the start of the season, Udinese continued their fine start to the season with a comprehensive victory over Novara. Two Antonio Di Natale strikes and one from Maurizio Domizzi were easily enough.

Other results
Fiorentina 2 Catania 2
Cagliari 0 Napoli 0
Parma 1 Atlanta 2
Siena 2 Cesena 0
Bologna 0 Lazio 2

Monday, 24 October 2011

Rosler off as Donaldson rescues a point

A Clayton Donaldson screamer barely seconds into the second half earned Brentford a point away to a high flying Notts County.

Brentford manager Uwe Rosler was comically sent to the stands mid way through the first half as the former Manchester City player blocked off the impressive Alan Sheehan as the left back prepared to take a free-kick on the half way line.

Shortly after the incident Notts County, deservedly, if yet controversially opened the scoring as Karleigh Osbourne apparently fouled Alan Judge in the penalty box. Jeff Hughes stepped up to take the resulting penalty, expertly beating Richard Lee, with a classy penalty into the top corner.

Seconds into the second half Donaldson brilliantly levelled with a long range effort giving no chance in the County goal. Both sides missed their one glorious chance to steal the three points as Neil McGinn missed when one on one for Brentford and sub Sam Sodje blazed over when well placed late on for County.

Martin Allen's County were the better side, however their real lack of threat in behind a solid Brentford defence was their undoing, as neither Lee Hughes or Ben Burgess got on the wrong side of a defence well marshalled by the impressive Miguel Llera. It wasn't until sub Sodje came on, ironically whose usually a centre back that they got in behind.

Brentford came into the game with a reputation as a side who perform better away from home and with Notts County flying in the top six of League One, the game was a battle of two play off hopefuls.

County were by far the better side early on and Sheehan was a consistent threat down the left hand side. His ability to beat a man coupled with some perfect crosses caused Brentford problems through out the first half.

A game full of controversy had its first real talking point after 20 minutes as Jonathan Douglas was perhaps lucky to avoid at least a caution as his reckless tackle on Neil Bishop.

The incident saw both sets of players lose their temper, and temper's boiled over slightly as the Brentford manager Rosler refused to move as Sheehan prepared to take a free-kick. A clearly angered Allen remonstrated by leaving his technical area to barrage Rosler. The referee Mark Haywood was quickly over to send the German to the stands.

With half time approaching, County scored in fortuitous fashion as Haywood incorrectly pointed to the spot. Judge and Osbourne challenged for an arial ball, which the County winger got to first with the follow through causing Osbourne to knock over Judge. Despite the contact it was never a foul, with no County player even enquiring for a spot kick. However Jeff Hughes stepped up and buried the penalty.

Just 20 seconds into the second half the former Crewe man Donaldson, a transfer target for Allen's Notts County in the summer, stunned the Meadow Lane faithful as he curled home from distance to level the scores.

County were rocked and Marcus Bean missed a presentable opportunity to turn the game completely on his head as he headed wide from a corner. The unmarked Bean should have at least forced Stuart Nelson into action.

Lee did brilliantly to twice thwart County in a matter of seconds. Firstly the former Watford keeper bravely beat Lee Hughes to the ball and then reacted superbly to deny Karl Hawley with a save with his legs.

McGinn then missed a sitter for Brentford as one on one he placed wide. Donaldson again was the creator as he picked up on a fall from the otherwise impressive Krystian Pearce and slide through for the on loan Celtic winger, however his finish was poor and never troubled Nelson.

Allen's bold decision to replace Burgess with Sodje, a defender by trait, nearly paid off as the centre back come centre forward should have won the game. After winning the initial header, a mix up in the Brentford defence saw the ball fall perfectly for Sodje, however his finish when well placed was awful.

Neither side threatened a winner in the last five minutes and a point for County saw them stay in fourth, whilst Brentford moved up a place into tenth.

Man of the match: Alan Sheehan

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Two Rooney penalties see United home

Manchester United won for the first time in three attempts in the Champions League as two Wayne Rooney penalties helped them overcome Otelul Galati 2-0.

After a drab first half where United were thwarted well by a strong defensively Galati, it took a handball from the Romanian sides captain Sergiu Costin handled a Rooney cross to gift the English Champions the chance to take the lead, which Rooney took with a well taken spot kick.

Nemanja Vidic was wrongly sent off for a lunge on Bratislav Punoševac, only for Milan Perendija to make it ten on ten after he saw yellow for a second time. In injury time Rooney won United's second penalty which the in-form forward buried for a 2-0 win.

After a shock 3-3 draw last time out at home to Basel, victory over the group minnows was a necessity and despite not being at their best they had enough to edge home.

The games fist chance fell the way of United's Brazilian midfielder Anderson, however his effort from just outside the area was poor and never threatened the Otelul goal.

The early stages were played in the Galati half, however despite Manchester United's possession dominance they never looked like opening the scoring and in fact it was Galati's Iaon Filip who went the closest as his curling effort went marginally over Andreas Lindegaard's crossbar.

After great work from Nani down the Otelul left, Michael Carrick spurned the best chance of the game. The Portuguese winger did well and his cut back was perfect for the midfielder who blazed over when well placed.

Half time arrived and the Romanian side would've been ecstatic in holding the English Champions to a stalemate at the half way point.

United were slow coming out of the blocks for the second half and again rarely threatened to get in behind a resolute Galati defence.

Manchester United had a frustrating first half against Otelul Galati

Rooney narrowly missed the target as United spurned a great chance to open the scoring. Carrick did brilliantly to find Nani whose cross found Rooney who swiveled well but scuffed wide.

Seconds later Rooney found space down the right hand side and his cross was handled by the captain and the referee, correctly so, pointed to the spot. Rooney stepped up to take the spot-kick and put the keeper the wrong way, scoring with ease.

After sixty minutes of poor football, the game burst into life, as moments after Rooneys' goal Manchester United's returning captain Vidic was harshly sent off for a late tackle on Punoševac.

The red card gave Galati more of an opportunity to get back into the game, however they struggled to break down a United side which made two defensive changes due to the red card with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans coming on for Fabio and Antonio Valencia who had a poor game.

With time running out, Galati joined United in finishing the game with ten men as Perendija was sent off for a second yellow card.

After a poor defensive pass, the ball made its way to Nani whose long range effort hit a post with the keeper well beaten in the Galati goal.

Moments later United won their second penalty of the game as Rooney was brought down by Liviu Antal. Again Rooney stepped up to take the penalty and his spot kick was superbly placed past the reach of Branko Grahovac.

The win moves Manchester United up to second in the after Benfica's impressive 2-0 win in Basel. With their city rivals next on Sunday, United will have to improve if they are to leag frog Roberto Mancini's side to top the Premier League table.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Serie A round up

In Italy it was the two days of action was as varied as it could be, with Saturday's action high quality and full of shocks, whereas on Sunday five of the seven games incredibly finished scoreless.

On Saturday Inter Milan's poor start to the season continued with their fourth defeat in just six games as they slipped to 17th in the Serie A table. The game started well for Inter as they took the lead after just six minutes through Estaban Cambiasso opened the scoring, finishing off a nice team goal with a volley at the back post.

However the hosts stunned the Milan giants with two goals in five second half minutes as they turned the game on its head. Firstly Sergio Bernardo Almirón curled superbly over Julio Cesar to level the scores. For the second game in a row Inter conceded a penalty as Cesar brought down Gonzalo Bergessio and Francesco Lodi took the resulting spot kick and smashed home to inflict another defeat on Claudio Ranieri's Inter Milan.

Napoli once again struggled to back up a victory against one of the top sides as they lost at home to Parma 2-1 as Francesco Modesto stunned the Naples side with a late winner.

The other Milan side had also struggled this season, however they registered a much needed win at home to Palermo 3-0 with goals from Antonio Nocerino, Robinho and Antonio Cassano securing a comfortable win.

On Sunday Juventus drew 0-0 away to Cheivo, in doing so maintaining their stay at the top of the table, however manager Conte will have wanted to extend their lead ahead of the struggling giants down the bottom of the table.

The weekend's biggest match was the Rome derby as Lazio took on Roma on Sunday evening. And thanks to a Miroslav Klose injury time winner Lazio edged a close game, with the games real changing point occurring in the 54th minute when Simon Kjaer was sent off in conceding a penalty which the impressive Hernanes scored.

Roma had taken the lead early on through their summer addition Pablo Osvaldo and Luis Enrique's side look set to extend their unbeaten run to five games, however thanks to Hernanes' penalty and a late Klose strike it was Lazio who stole the points in doing so moving up to 4th in the table.

Other Serie A results
Cesena 0 Fiorentina 0
Atalanta 0 Udinese 0
Cagliari 0 Siena 0
Genoa 0 Leece 0
Novara 0 Bologna 2

Friday, 14 October 2011

The European Championships top 10 matches

1) Portugal 0 Greece 1
Definitely the most memorable for the shock value, if not the games quality. Greece stunned Portugal on the opening day of the Euro 2004 tournament and after knocking out the holders France 1-0 in the quarter final and the favourites Czech Republic in the semi's by the same score, Greece had incredibly made the final. Otto Rehhagel's side had got to the final with superb defending, conceding just three goals all tournament.

The host nation Portugal had bounced back well from their opening day defeat and looked good in beating England and Holland in the knock out stages. Luiz Felipe Scolari's side were huge favourites coming into the game, however a Greek defence marshalled superbly by Traianos Dellas kept the hosts at bay. Incredibly Angelos Charisteas headed home to give Greece a surprise lead, which they held onto to record the greatest shock in European football history.

Captain Theodoros Zagorakis was voted the man of the tournament

2) France 2 Italy 1
The Euro 2000 final saw the World Champions France face Dino Zoff's Italy and the final itself was probably the best in the tournament's history as David Trezeguet stunned Italy with a golden goal winner in the 103rd minute.

France made the final after beating Spain 2-1 courtesy of a Zinedine Zidane free-kick and a Youri Djorkaeff smash, as well as a controversial 2-1 semi-final win over Portugal as a late extra time penalty from Zidane edges them through. Italy were too strong for Romania in the quarters and in the semi's they were fortunate as Holland missed two penalties in normal time as well as three in the shoot-out as Italy went through.

The final was a classic and Marco Delvecchio gave Italy a deserved lead which should have been doubled, however Fabien Barthez got the better of Alessandro Del Piero twice. With the game coming to its conclusion, Sylvain Wiltord equalised beating Francesco Toldo, who had performed brilliantly up to this point. Two substitutes combined to get the golden goal as Robert Pires did brilliantly to find Trezeguet whose finish was sublime on the half volley to stun Italy.

3) Yugoslavia 3 Spain 4
Quite simply an incredible match. Spain scored two goals in injury time to avoid a group stage elimination.

Savo Milosevic headed home from a Ljubinko Drulović cross to give Yugoslavia a lead against the run of play. Raul's persistence engineered a chance for Alfonso who curled home a leveller to make it 1-1 in the first half. Dejan Govedarica curled home a fantastic second for Yugoslavia early in the second half, only for the Spanish sub Ivan Muntis to make it 2-2 just a minute later.

With the game heading into its final 20 minutes Slavisa Jokanovic then saw his marching orders as Yugoslavia were reduced to ten men. Incredibly the ten men took the lead as defender Slobodan Komljenović poked home a close range effort to give Yugoslavia a third lead. Gaizka Mendita converted a penalty to make it 3-3 in stoppage time, meaning Spain still needed a fourth to progress.

A long ball from Ivan Helguera caused havoc in the penalty box as the ball bounced for Alfonso who smashed it superbly with his left foot to beat Marko Simeunovič for an amazing 4-3 win, which in the end saw both sides qualify from the group.

4) France 3 Portugal 2
The greatest semi-final match of them all saw France stun Portugal late on in extra time as Michel Platini scored a 119th minute winner.

Jean-François Domergue opened the scoring after 24 minutes with a smashed free kick. Rui Jordão levelled in the 74th minute with a free header. The goal sent the game to over-time which saw the real drama.

Jordão gave the Portuguese a surprise lead in the 98th minute, with an incredible half volley at the back post, which looked set to knock the hosts and favourites out. Nene then missed a great chance to make it 3-1 and the miss was punished heavily.

Domergue smashed home a simple chance in the 114th minute to make it 2-2 which looked set to send the game to penalties, only for the tournaments top scorer Platini to seal a stunning win late on. Jean Tigana did superbly well and found the Juventus man who smashed home from six yards to score his eight of an incredible tournament.

France went on to beat Spain 2-0 in the final.

5) Holland 2 Czech Republic 3
Another amazing group stage game took place at Euro 2004 as the Czech Republic came from two down to stun Holland.

Wilfred Bouma headed home after just four minutes after Arjen Robben's brilliant free kick delivery found the Aston Villa defender at the back post to open the scoring. Holland scored a second in the 19th minute as Robben squared for Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who despite being offside in the pass for Robben from Edgar Davids, tapped home.

Milan Baros did superbly to find Jan Koller who tapped home with an easy chance to half the deficit. Davids nearly made it 3-1, however his long range effort beat Petr Cech only to bounce back of the post and out of play. Edwin Van Der Sar made a fantastic save to preserve the Dutch's lead from Vladimir Smicer's close range effort.

Baros levelled for the Czech Republic after 70 minutes after Pavel Nedved's cross was brilliantly flicked in the direction of Baros by Koller, who smashed home brilliantly. The Dutch not only lost their lead but lost a man as Jonny Hetinga was given a second yellow card. Nedved's was unlucky to see his long range effort hit the bar after a fantastic effort from the European player of the year.

Smicer turned the game around after Heinz's long range effort was parried by Van Der Sar and Karel Poborsky unselfishly squared the ball for the former Liverpool man to tap home.

Nedved inspired the Czech's to an incredible win

6) Denmark 2 Germany 0
Denmark were the Greece of 1992 as they won they won the European Championships despite not originally qualifying for the tournament. Denmark took the place of Yugoslavia who were disqualified from the tournament.

Denmark beat the holders Holland in the semi-final on a penalty shoot-out whilst Germany edged out the hosts Sweden 3-2.

Germany were huge favourites going into the game, however John Jensen smashed Denmark in front early on. Jurgen Klinsmann were superbly thwarted by Peter Schmeichel in the Denmark goal.

Despite German possession and chances, Schmeichel frequently kept the World Champions at bay. Denmark then late on stunned the Germans with a second as Kim Vilfort made it two in the 79th minute to stun the footballing world.

7) Holland 2 USSR 0
Silverware had alluded the great Dutch sides of 1974 and 78, however a Ruud Gullit lead side made up for previous failures as Holland finally tasted success.

Holland had beaten the hosts and rivals West Germany 2-1 in the semi finals as Marco Van Basten struck late on, whilst the Soviet Union beat Italy 2-0 in their semi.

The two clubs had already met in the group stage with the USSR coming out victors 1-0 thanks to a goal from Vasyl Rats, however the final would be a different story.

Captain Gullit gave the Dutch a deserved lead as the then worlds most expensive player headed home unmarked.

The game's real talking point occurred early in the second half, as the injury plagued Van Basten scored one of the goals of all time. Arnold Muhren's cross wasn't the best however the then AC Milan forward volleyed home from a quite incredible angle to double the lead and seal the title for the Dutch.

8) England 1 Germany 1
The Euro 1996 Championships were hosted by England and their semi-final against Germany was a classic.

England who had edged out Spain on penalties the round before opened the scoring early on through the tournaments top scorer Alan Shearer as he headed home from a Tony Adams flick on.

Stefan Kuntz levelled for the Germans on 16 minutes as the forward got to the ball before the left back Stuart Pearce.

The game went to extra time and it was England who went the closest as Darren Anderton hit the post after great work from Steve Mcmanaman. Paul Gascoigne was so close to touching home from a Alan Shearer smashed cross, however the ball narrowly avoids the stretched leg of the Rangers man.

The game went to penalties and after five successful attempts each saw Gareth Southgate penalty saved by Andreas Köpke, which meant if Andreas Möller scored then Germany progressed, which he did and Berti Vogtes' side went on the beat Czech Republic 2-1 in the final.

9) Czechoslavakia 2 Germany 2 (The Penalty chip)
The 1976 European Championship final was between Czechoslovakia and West Germany and after a thrilling 2-2 draw the game went to a penalty shoot out, which was won 5-3 by Czechoslovakia, with the winning penalty so confidently chipped by Antonín Panenka.

Czechoslovakia went 2-0 up after just 25 minutes with goals from Ján Švehlík and Karol Dobiaš, only for the West Germans to respond quickly to make it 2-1 through Dieter Müller. With the game nearly over West Germany equalised in dramatic style through Bernd Hölzenbein. The game went to penalties and after Uli Hoeneß's miss, Panenka stepped up to score the winner in such class fashion.

10) Turkey 3 Czech Republic 2
The game saw the real prospect of the first ever penalty shoot-out in a group stage match as both teams had the same points, goals scored, goals conceded coming into the match meaning a draw would've seen a penalty shoot out, however Turkey incredibly came from two down to win.

Jan Koller had headed home to give the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead heading into half time and that lead was doubled in the second half through Jaroslav Plasil.

Turkey got one back through Arda Turan and incredibly they were level shortly after as Nihat pounced on a Petr Cech mistake to make it 2-2. With their confidence high the Turks amazingly made it 3-2 again through Nihat with an amazing curling effort.

There was enough time for Turkey keeper Volkan Demirel to be show a red card for pushing Koller, meaning Tuncay Sanli played the final few minutes in goal. Turkey managed to hold on and went through at the Czech's expense.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Massey rescues a point for Yeovil

Two goals from Gavin Massey helped strugglers Yeovil gain a creditable 2-2 away draw with Colchester United.

Massey opened the scoring inside the first minute after Steve McLean's shot was deflected into the path of the on-loan striker. Andy Bond levelled the scorings with half time approaching as his long range effort swerved in the air, however Jed Steer in the Yeovil goal probably should have done better.

Michael Antonio's back post header gave Colchester the lead their dominance deserved, yet Massey against the run of play levelled with his second after Max Ehmer's effort was only parried by Ben Williams.

Yeovil nearly stole all three points in the last minute when Kieran Agard headed against a post. Defeat would've been unfair on Colchester whose patient football was pleasing on the eye, if not clinical.

Coming into the game on the back of four consecutive defeats, Yeovil stunned the Weston Home Stadium as Massey beat Williams through the keeper's legs to give the Glovers an early lead. McLean collected the long ball well and his shot was superbly blocked by Pat Baldwin, only for the ball to find its way out wide for Massey who when one-on-one with Williams finished superbly.

A quick response from Colchester nearly saw the Essex side level the scorings when Brian Wilson's cross found Anthony Wordsworth, whose on target effort was blocked by his own team-mate in Kayode Odejayi.

Despite the miss Colchester were dominating the game, as Yeovil sat back with ten men behind every wave of Colchester attacks.

Ian Henderson, playing on the left of an attacking three forwards, cut inside Ehmer brilliantly and his curling effort was well saved by Steer, however the keeper's parry hit Odejayi only to bounce wide after hitting the post.

It wasn't long however until Colchester opened their account for the afternoon as Bond smashed home from distance. A Colchester short free-kick wasn't noticed by Yeovil and Bond made them pay as his effort swerved in the air, beating Steer in the Yeovil goal.

The leveller was deserved and Ben Coker nearly turned the game on its head before half-time as his curling effort went marginally wide after nice hold up play from Odejayi.

The full-back made up for his miss shortly after the break, as his cross was headed home by Antonio for his second goal in as many games. Henderson and Coker did well done the Colchester left, before the latter's back post cross was headed home by the on-loan Reading winger for a 2-1 lead. Despite the goal being announced as Wordsworth's, replays clearly show Antonio headed home.

Yeovil equalised shortly after as Ehmer was left with too much space and his shot parried right into the path of Massey who slotted home for his second.

Frustration was clearly evident amongst the Colchester fans, as it appeared they would drop two points from a game they merited three.

With time running out substitute Steven Gillespie thought he had won the game for the U's only to see his strike disallowed. The former Cheltenham man went it for a challenge with Steer, however the goal was struck off as Gillespie went in too hard with the keeper and was subsequently booked for the foul.

Undeservedly Yeovil nearly stole all three points as Agard headed against a post from a late free-kick. The miss brought an end to the game, as Colchester missed the chance to close in on the play-offs, whereas Yeovil stay in the relegation zone.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

La Liga round up

Barcelona beat Sporting Gijon 1-0 thanks to a first half strike from Adriano, and in doing so ensuring they topped the table.

The Catalan giants were far from their best however, the win is their first away day success in the La Liga this season.

Despite a good performance Gijon continued their poor start to the season and they have just one point from their first six games.

Levante continued their fine start to the season with a 1-0 victory away to the early pace setter's Real Betis. A Juanlu Gomez strike ensured Levante topped La Liga, all be it for a short while after Barca's success. Levante's most famous win of the season was over Real Madrid thanks to an Arouna Kone winner, and the club sits in its highest league positions in the club's 102 year history.

Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid thrashed Espanyol 4-0 away from home with Gonzalo Higuain scoring a hat-trick as well as a goal for Callejón against his old club.

An unbelievable match saw Malaga come from behind to beat Getafe 3-2 with an amazing late winner from the former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista.

Pedro Leon, on loan from Real Madrid, gave Getafe a deserved lead with an incredible long range effort. The volley from the midfielder was nothing short of brilliance, and if Baptista hadn't stole the points with a wonder goal of his, Leon's strike would've been the games talking point.

Shortly after Ruud Van Nistelrooy equalised with his first goal for Malaga, only for Miku to stear the ball home from a Valera cross for a 2-1 lead.

A Lacen sending off saw Getafe reduced to 10 men, and they held on well until with two minutes to go Enzo Maresca made it 2-2 from close range.

However in the dying stages of the game, Baptista won the game for Malaga with an incredible over head kick.

Elsewhere Sergio Canales scored his first goal for Valencia as they beat Granada 1-0, as the club moved up to 5th in the table. Thibaut Courtois continued his fine start to his loan spell at Atheltico Madrid as the keeper on loan from Chelsea, was excellent in the Madrid sides goalless draw with Sevilla. The draw ensures Sevilla have maintained their unbeaten start to the La Liga campaign.

Other results
Osasuna 2 Mallorca 2
Real Sociedad 1 Atheltico Bilbao 2
Villarreal 2 Zaragoza 2
Racing 1 Rayo 1

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Why Michael Owen should leave United

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Michael Owen to get back into the England squad, and I agree with him, however the only way he can do is if he leaves Manchester United.

The two goals Owen scored in United's 3-0 victory over arch-rivals Leeds were clinical and brought back memories of the teenager which burst onto the scene at Anfield.

Since then however Owen has had to settle for a place on the Old Trafford bench, with the returning Danny Welbeck favoured ahead of hm in the 3-3 draw with Basel with Ferguson's favoured strike partnership of Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney recalled for the league game with Norwich. United's fantastic depth of strikers, with Dimitar Berbatov and Federico Macheda also struggling to get a look in, you feel Owen won't get many opportunities.

Owen's chances at United have been limited

With Euro 2012 qualification in England's hands, it represents the last chance for Owen to show he still has the international pedigree which brought him close to Sir Bobby Charlton's scoring record. Minus Wayne Rooney for me no centre forward is guaranteed a place in the squad, and with game time Owen has a genuine chance of making the tournament.

The cold facts don't lie however, the boy needs games. With the January transfer window looming, if I was Owen, I'd be knocking on the gaffers door requesting a six month loan spell.

There have been consistent rumours that Owen will join Everton, however the question isn't would he want to move there, its would he suit the Toffees? Owen has already shown he isn't afraid to join Liverpool's closest rivals, I mean he currently wears the red of Manchester United! However I can't see him spearheading a 4-5-1 formation, it wouldn't work.

Where else could he go, Sunderland? Stoke? Villa? Not for me.

Michael Owen has always been at clubs who thrive on their football reputation. You'd do well to find a CV of clubs that reads as well as Owen's: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United.

And for me he deserves his place at a top side, his goal ratio is still fantastic. That's why Arsene Wenger should be taking a gamble on him. Earlier I said he wouldn't suit a 4-5-1 at Everton, however he would suit a 4-2-3-1 at Arsenal.

Robin Van Persie is a fantastic footballer, one thing he isn't is a lone striker. The Dutchman's best position is off a striker. His ability to drop deep when playing up front for Arsenal is as good as anyone in the Premiership. However this leaves a gap in the box to score the goals, and Arsenal haven't had an out and out goalscorer since Thierry Henry, and to a certain extent Emmanuel Adebayor.

Yeah it'd be a gamble, but Arsenal are in the worst position they've been in since Wenger took over. What's the worst that could happen with a six-month loan deal. If he doesn't score goals the club have other striking options. But you can't tell me Owen isn't a better goalscorer then Marouane Chamakh and the new signing Park?

Given a run of games Michael Owen will score any team goals, and at Arsenal he'd definitely get the chances to score and possible fire himself into Fabio Cappello's thoughts.

Who would you rather have baring on goal in a Euro 2012 quarter final match, Michael Owen or Peter Crouch? Exactly.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Napoli romp ends Ranieri's short Inter honeymoon

Napoli moved top of the Serie with a controversial yet stunning 3-0 victory over Inter Milan in the San Siro.

A Marek Hamsik inspired Napoli were undoubtedly fortunate to take a lead in at half time, as Hugo Campagnaro smashed home after Hamsik's dubious penalty was saved. The controversial moment of the game occured after Joel Obi 's foul on Christian Maggio, which was a good yard outside the area, saw the Nigerian collect his marching orders for a second yellow card offence.

The second half however was a difference story as Napoli outclassed Inter's ten men, and further goals from Maggio and man of the match Hamsik meant Claudio Ranieri's honeymoon spell with Inter had well and truely ended.

Both sides came into the match on the back of their first Champions League victory of the season, however both inconsistent in the League. Another theme the two had in common was the absence of their key player as Inter were without Wesley Sneijder and Napoli missing their talismanic striker Edison Cavani.

Diego Forlan came the closest early on as Inter Milan dominated the early proceedings. The Uruguayans' shot went marginally wide of Morgan De Santics post, with the keeper beaten.

The returning Maicon was a threat down the right hand side, with the pace of the full-back on occasions ensuring the Brazilian got in behind the Napoli back three, however his composure when in the danger zone was poor and twice failed to find his team mate when well placed.

Inter continued to dictate the play and Giampaolo Pazzini had a goal disallowed for offside. The Italian striker reacted quickest to a De Santics parry from an Estaban Cambiasso drive, however the former Fiorentina man was, marginally offside.

The games turning point however happened on 41 minutes when Obi was adjudged to have fouled Maggio inside the box. The decision was highly controversial as the foul was clearly committed outside the penalty area. To rub salt into the Inter Milan wound, the unfortunate Nigerian was also shown a second yellow card for the incident.

Hamsik saw his spot kick saved by Julio Cesar, however the rebound fell nicely for Campagnaro who smashed past the Brazilian keeper.

A number of Inter players' frustrations boiled over as they surrounded the referee minutes after the decision and Cristian Zanetti and Julio Cesar picked up yellow cards for dissent. Cesar in particular crossed a line, as he had to consistently be held back by team mates and his actions where fortunate not to result in a second Inter red card.

Inter replaced the injured Cristian Chivu with Yuto Nagatoma at half time, and the Japanese full-back was at fault for an out of the blue Napoli second. Inter despite being down to ten men came out of the traps the quickest, however a long ball caused confusion between the duo as they both left the ball for each other and Maggio got in between the duo to loft the ball brilliantly over Cesar's head.

The goal ensured Inter Milan had conceded the most goals in Serie A this season.

With Napoli now in complete control, Zuniga incredibly missed an open goal from inside the 6 yard box to kill off the 2010 Serie A Champions. A one two between Zuniga and Hamsik saw the later released into the Inter box, the Slovakian unselfishly squared it for Zuniga who somehow contrived the blaze over with the goal gapping.

Napoli were demonstrating perfectly how to keep at bay ten men, and after a spell of five unchallenged minutes of possession, Ezequiel Lavezzi expertly thread the ball through for Hamsik who smashed by the helpless Cesar for an incredible third.

The full time whistle meant Napoli have beaten both Milan sides already this season, scoring three on both occasions.

The result enhances the belief Napoli have a genuine chance of winning the Scudetto as well as confirming Inter's place in the bottom half of the table.

Napoli stun 10-man Inter - FOOTBALL - Serie A