Football News Update

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This season is nearing to an end, so I thought I will write updates about the two most popular tournaments going on in European football : English Premier League and UEFA Champions League.

Let’s start with the English Premier League. Last Saturday all the top 3 teams – Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal were playing with ManU on top with 69 points, Chelsea on 68 and Arsenal on 67. Arsenal were up against Birmingham City (at Birmingham’s home ground – St. Andrew’s stadium), at the same time Chelsea were up against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea’s home ground) and Manchester were to play Bolton Wanderers later that night. All the three teams needed to win to keep the pressure on the other two for the title race.

Arsenal had a disappointing game overall with a 1-1 draw against Birmingham City. It was not one of the good days for Arsenal, and it was surprising to see that they were not able to find their rhythm for the most part of the game. At the half time score was 0-0. Second half was very similar to the first until the introduction of double substitutes Arshavin and Samir Nasri in the last quarter of the game. They had an immediate impact on the game and it was Nasri who gave Arsenal the lead in the 81st minute with a brilliant piece of football skill. He carried the ball from near the half line, continued his run and then fired a diagonal shot on goal from few yards outside the box. The goal keeper was beaten for the first time. Score 1-0 Arsenal. But Arsenal were unlucky to concede a late equaliser in the 90 th minute when their keeper Almunia made a blunder, and let a simple shot go into the goal. Arsenal drew the match 1-1. A very disappointing result for them as they could get only 1 point from the game.

Chelsea were facing the toughest opponent out of the 3 teams that night, playing against Aston Villa. Chelsea were slow to get their game going, but eventually found a goal through Frank Lampard. But soon enough Aston Villa equalised with a goal in similar fashion. However, Chelsea managed to retain their lead going into the half time as they were awarded a penalty, and Lampard made no mistake in scoring his 2nd goal of the match. Halftime, score 2-1. The second half was completely dominated by Chelsea in all respects and they thrashed Villa with a final score line of 7-1! Lampard score 4 goals for Chelsea in this goal fest, two of them coming from penalties.

In the 3rd match Manchester were playing against Bolton, and they got their lead with an own goal from Bolton player late in the first half. Half time 1-0. The second half Manchester made more chances and Berbatov scored twice for them to take the scoreline to 3-0. There was one more goal for Manchester from Darren Gibson, to give a satisfactory 4-0 win to Manchester United, maintaining their position at the top of the table, just one point ahead of Chelsea. It seems that this time it is going to be a very tough competition for the title till the very last game amongst these 3 teams, with only 6 games left to play for each team.

In the UEFA Champions League, the pre – quarters are over. The clubs that have made to the quarter finals are: Olympique Lyon, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Bordeaux, Barcelona, CSKA and Inter Milan. O Lyon made their way to the quarters after beating Real Madrid in a shocking result at Real’s home ground Santiago Bernabau. This early exit was doubly painful for Real, as they will be hosting this year’s UEFA Champion’s League finals in May, but they won’t be there to play, but only to watch it. The fixtures for the quarter finals are-

Bayern Munich vs Manchester United Olympique Lyon vs Bordeaux Arsenal vs Barcelona Inter Milan vs CSKA

Inter Milan made their way to quarters after defeating Chelsea in both legs of the Round of 16 and Manchester United after defeating AC Milan.

The most interesting draw is Arsenal vs Barcelona. Both the teams are amongst the top teams in the world and both are famous for playing ‘beautiful’ football that makes it a joy to watch them play. A lot of fans would have anticipated this draw to be the final this season, but these two will be meeting earlier than the finals.

Tonight the 1st leg of the quarter finals will be starting, with Manchester United playing against Bayern Munich, and O Lyon against Bordeaux. Arsenal vs Barcelona and Inter Milan vs CSKA matches will be played tomorrow. Football fans can hardly wait for the action to begin.