Barcelona, (short of a second leg collapse for both) effectively set up a mouthwatering Champions League Semi Final Clash with bitter rivals Real Madrid following a sublime display against Ukranian side Shaktar Donesk last night.
Final Score Barcelona 5-1 Shaktar Donesk
Andres Iniesta was in inspirational form scoring the first and then setting up Danny Alves for the second, which effectively ended the tie after 34 minutes. Central defender Pique made the score 3-0 early in the second half, and although Rakitskiy briefly gave Shaktar a glimmer of hope, further goals from Keita on the hour mark and a late strike from Xavi secured a comfortable 5-1 win for the Catalonians.
Make no mistake Shaktar are a very good side and this display by Barcelona points to the theory that we might be looking at the finest club side ever esembled. All we can say is bring on Madrid who with the self proclaimed “Special One” Jose Mouriniho in charge might just ensure we get a competative game.
Its advantage Manchester United at the half way stage in what looks like being the only competitive Quarter Final in the 2011 Champions League as the other 3 ties look as good as over after the nfirst games.
In an entertaining and closely contested match at Stamford Bridge Manchester United scored the games only goal following a move fit to grace any game of this standard. The impressive Michael Carrick who passed the ball well all night started the move with a sweeping cross which veretan Ryan Giggs collected with a sublime 1st touch before pulling the ball back for Wayne Rooney who calmly side footed the ball into the net with the help of the goal post. United were good value for their lead going into the half, although Torres was a tad unlucky not to level things when hist deftly placed shot came back off the post.
The second half saw a bit more fight from Chelsea, and they will count themselves unlucky to to have had at least one penalty with the one in the final minute where Patrice Evra’s foul Ramires was so blatant that the ref was probably the only person in the stadium who missed it.
A 1-0 lead is nice, however this game is far from over and if Chelsea play like they did in the second half then it would be no surprise to see them overturn this deficit.
German side Shalke 04 recovered from being a goal down in the 1st minute to pull off an impressive 5-2 win at reigning chamions Inter Milan last night. The italians started the game as strong favourites and even though Matip equalised for the German side on 17 minutes it looked like normal service would be resumed when the Argentinian international Milito restored inters advantage.
However Shalke were level again before the break, and then a 3 goal blast in the second half silenced the Italian contingent of the 75,000 crowd, and left them with one foot in the semi finals.
Inter Milan will now effectively need to win by 4 clear goals to turn this one around, and although they showed great battling qualities against Bayern Munich in the last round it is almost impossible to see them advance from here.
Tottenham have probably exceeded their fans wildest pre-season expectations with their excellent debut Champions League season, however after last nights performance it looks like the end of the road for the plucky Londoners.
Follwoing great wins over both Inter & AC Milan in the route to the quarter finals, expectations were possibly a bit high, and after Peter Crouch received his marching orders early in the game the result was never in doubt.
Tottenham didn’t have a whole lot of luck with Jermaine Jenas having to be called in at the last minute after Aaron Lennon had to pull out, however they were 1-0 down before Crouch was sent off and had looked a little overawed by the occasion.
Real Mardid despite all their pressure took until the 57th minute to add a second when Adebayor scored again and then Di Maria (72nd) and Ronaldo (87th) effectively killed off any hopes Spurs had of a White Hart Lane comeback.
Its hard to judge just how good or otherwise Real Mardid are n this showing, however it looks like Jose Mourinho could be on his way to yet another Champions League Final.
Whitley Bay will attempt to secure a place in football history in May when they meet Coalville Town in the 2011 FA Vase Final. Winners in 2009 & 2010 now the Bay hope to make it 3 on the bounce, a feat never achieved in the competitions history.
They reached the final with an emphatic 5-2 aggregate victory over Poole Town winning the away leg 2-1 thanks to two very late goals, and they completed the job thanks to a Paul Chow hat-trick. It could have been very different had the Dorset side mamaged to keep their composure better, as they led in both games in the early stages, however Whitley Bay have shown a never say die attitude and they will go to Wembley as justifiable favourites, and we expect them to complete their historic treble.
Final Score 3-1 and 5-2 on aggregate
Happy Tweeters and some great Pics on Facebook
I posted 129 photos on Facebook in the album “Whitley Bay vs Poole Town, FA Vase Semi Final 2nd Leg” http://fb.me/tAs8idAX
By ImagesBySW at 04/02/2011 20:43
Great game!! Whitley Bay at Wembley three in a row!! Howay the Bay!!! @WhitleyBayFC
By roscopiccotrain at 04/02/2011 20:30
Image via Wikipedia
Coalville Town have reached their 1st ever FA Vase Final after a resounding aggregate win over the strongly fancied Kings Lynn Town.
Callum Woodward, Jerome Murdock and Matt Gardener all scored for Coalville in their second leg away tie as they grabbed a 3-2 win to make the final score 6-2 on aggregate.
Robbie Harris second-two for Kings Lynn in the second half to put a little respectability on the score sheet however they will have to be content with a solid crowd of 2,345 offering some compensation for missing out on Wembley.
Coalville will now face Whitley Bay in the Final, who are bidding for an unprecedented 3rd consecutive win.
Happy Coalville Town Tweeters
Coalville Town FC are off to Wembley for the FA Vase.. Woohoo!
By haz_kendo at 04/02/2011 20:06
Am I proud of my Town – you bet! Pleased to be in Lynn to watch the match. Well done Coalville Town. Will be my first ever trip to Wembley!
By JohnLegrys at 04/02/2011 21:02
The Champions League Semi Final draw has paired Britains best hopes Chelsea & Manchester United guaranteeing an English presence in the last 4, but probably dashing any hope of an al English final. The final 8 are comprised of 3 English Clubs, 2 Spanish, and one each from Italy, Germany and the Ukraine.
Looking at the ties objectively we expect the final four to comnprise Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid & Chelsea, although with teams of this quality anything can happen and some exciting football looks instore.
Inter Milan v Schalke 04
Real Madrid v Tottenham
Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk
Chelsea v Man Utd
Nikica Jelavic grabed an extra-time winner as Rangers triumphed ove Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final yesterday. In a bad tempered match littered with petty fouls it was Rangers who took the lead through Steven Davis after 24 minute, however the lead was short lived as Joe Ledley headed Celtic level on 31 minutes.
Thereafter both sides had chances, with Rangers just having the better of them but it was no surprise when the game went to extra time. The decisive goal came after 98 minutes when Jelavic fired in off the post and in doing so ended Celtics hopes of the domestic treble.
Celtic were reduced to 10 men late in extra time when Izaguirre earned a straight red for a pointless barge on Weiss, and Diouf managed to maintain his ill disipline by picking up a Yellow card despite only being brought on for the final 3 minutes!
The official attendance was 51,181 and overall there were 45 fouls 5 Yellow Cards and a sending off. So much for the players being on their best behaviour following their unpleasant Scottish Cup meeting.
Slightly against the odds its Darlington an Mansfield who will compete in the 2011 FA Trophy final, after both earned balttling draws in the second legs.
Darlington who trailed 2-0 at one stage in the 1st leg held out for a 0-0 draw at their North East Neighbours in a game of few chances so progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
Mansfield who won their home leg 1-0 lost the Kennelworth road tie 1-0 so extra time had to be played. Luton who finished normal time with 9 men after Gnakpa received a second yellow card in the 84th minute and then Lawless was shown a straight red for an elbow on Kyle Nix. Not surprisingly Mansfield dominated the extra time but Luton held out until two minutes from the end of extra time when Mansfield were awarded a slightly harsh penalty. Briscoe fired his spot kicjk straight at Pilkington in the Luton goal, however was able to fire in the rebound to send the Stags to Wembley for the first time since 1987.
The FA Trophy Final is scheduled to be played on 7th May 2011
It was not a good night for the remaining British clubs in the Europa League as all three crashed out with only a single goal between them.
Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw at Anfield against Portugueseside Braga, who having done well in their Champions League debut are starting to look like contenders in what is the consolation prize for the Champins League group stage nearly made its. Liverpool to be fair had the bulk of the possession but lacked the flair and creativity needed to break down the Braga defense, and they were lucky not to be caught out by the Portuguese sides break away attacks.
Big spending Manchester City were always going to be up against it with a 2 goal deficit against Dynamo Kiev, and once they went down to 10 men the tie was all but over. They did manage to salvage a little pride thanks to Kolarov’s 39th minute winner but 2-1 was the aggregate score and its the Ukranians who move on to the Quarter Finals. Manchester City fans will now have to hope they can beat their rivals United in the FACup semi final if they are to have a chance of ending their silverware drought.
Scotlands remaining representative Glasgow Rangers had a great chance of qualifying having held the dutch side 0-0 in their away leg, however they played a strangely cautious game and paid the price when Lens scored for PSV after 13 minutes. The stats which show Rangers only had 1 shot at goal pretty much sums up a disapointing game and the risk of Scottland losing a European place due to their performance ranking is starting to loom large.
So there will be no British Interest in the Europa League quarter finals, which compares starkly with the 3 representatives in the same stage of the Champions League.