Tottenham Through to Champions League Last 8

Tottenham held AC Milan 0-0 at White Hart Lane to progress 1-0 on aggregate in the Champions League. In a nervy game AC looked the better team and had enough chances in the first half where they laid siege to the Spurs goal to overturn the tie.

Tottenham were a bit better in the second half but again it was Milan who remained the more threatening and the home contingent in the 34,320 crowd were mighty relieved to hear the final whistle.

Spurs will now have to wait until the 18 March to find out who they will face and what ever happens they can look back on a successful first excursion in the competition.   

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, is the first English manager to take an English side to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and his resume will now read victories over both Milan giants as they beat holders Inter Milan in the group stages.

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Mansfield Through to FA Trophy Semi Final

Mansfield Town beat their lower league rivals Chasetown 3-1 to progress to the Semi Final of the 2011 FA Trophy.

Adam Murray put the Stags 1-0 up after 35 minutes, however Chasetown never gave up and despite being under a lot of pressure managed to equalise in the 54th minute. Their faint hopes only lasted until the 56th minute though as Briscoe restored Mansfields lead before Mitchleyadded a third for the Stags in the 76th.

Overall Mansfield wer clearly the better team and with 20 shots at goal arguably could have won more comprehensively.

The attendance was 2,295 swelled by 525 Chasetown fans who made the difficult midweek journey.

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Shakhtar Donetsk into Champions League Last 8

Shakhtar Donetsk made it into the last 8 of the Champions League for the first time last night with a comfortable 3-0 win over for a 6-2 aggregate scoreline. Shakhtar lookeda little edgy early and it was not until Hubschman put them ahead after 18 minute thatb the seemed to gain their composure.

There after the result was never really in doubt and ironically it was an ex Arsenal player Eduardo who wrapped up the scoring on a night where the need to win your group was clearly evidenced. Shaktar surprisingly won their qualifying group ahead of the Gunners and so avoided Barcelona. On this performance its hard to see them priogress any further, however the Ukranians will give a good account of themselves whoever they end up playing.

Attendance 47,000

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Arsenal Crash Out OF Champions League Amid Refereeing Controversy

Arsenal’s season took another knock last night as they went out of the Champions League 4-3 on aggregate to Barcelona. An Impressive win for Barcelona was somewhat marred however thanks to poor officiating which cumulated with a ludicrous decision to send of Van Persie for kicking the ball away despite the fact it would have been impossible for him to have heard that the Ref had blown his wistle.

To be fair it is unlikely that the decision affected the ultimate outcome as Arsenal failed to muster a single shot at goal while Van Persie was on the pitch and ended the game still without managing a shot and their attacking endevours only resulted in 2 corners.

The scores were level just before half time thanks to a Messi goal in first half stoppage time, and Arsenal did manage to regain the aggregate lead when Busquets put through his own net on 53 minutes. However even though Arsenal were defending resolutely Barcelona were always threatening and once down to 10 men it was inevitable that the Gunners would cave in.

The scores were levelled on aggregate in the 69th minute when Xavi 69 struck, and when Barcelona were awarded a slightly soft penalty Messi made no mistake to sent the Spanish side through.

This is the second season in a row that Arsenal have been knocked out by Barcelona and overall any neutral fan would acknowledge that Barca gave the gunners a footballing lesson.

Final Score Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (aggregate 4-3)

Attendance 95,000

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Arsenal & Manchester City Both Win Easy in FA Cup

Arsenal & Manchester City both progressed into the last eight of the 2011 FA Cup with Arsenal beating League 1 Orient 5-0 in their replay, while Manchester City beat fellow Premier League side Aston Villa 3-0 in a pretty one sided game.

Reading are the only non Premier league side left in the competition and they will have a tough task away at big spending Man City.

The tie of the Quarter Finals however has to be Arsenal v Manchester United and the winner of this will no doubt be favourites to lift the Trophy and possibly the Double too.

2011 FA Cup Quarter Final Draw

Stoke v West Ham
Manchester City v Reading
Birmingham v Bolton
Manchester United v Arsenal

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Celtic Remain On course For Treble With Bad Tempered Scottish Cup Win

In a game which was plagued by bad tempers and sendings off, Celtic grabbed a well deserved win to maintain their push towards the Scottish domestic treble with a 1-0 win against arch rivals Rangers.

 

Rangers were dire as they struggled to come to terme with the early pace and they rarely managed to get out of their own half for much of the first half. This inevitably led to frustration and soon the fouls began to pour in and the biggest surprise of the match was that it took referee Calum Murray 27 minutes to issue the games 1st yellow card with Rangers Whittaker gaining the dubious honour.  Overall the referee showed the yellow card 10 times and Diouf’s sending off after the final wisthe meant that 3 rangers players als0 saw red.

 

The dire display inevitably spilled over into the dug out and the 57,847 were almost reated to a free boxing match as The respective managers Ally McCoist & Neil Lennon squared up.

 

So its onwards in the Cup for Celtic, while Rangers can focus on trying to get back on track in the league and will have the chance to reek revenge soon enough as the two will meet again in the Scottish League Cup Final on 20th March.

 

For the record Rangers managed 1 attempt at goal in the whole match and didn’t gain any corners.They might also wish to reconsider their decision to play El-Hadji Diouf in the future as he seems to be more trouble than he is worth.

McCoist V Lennon Round 1

 

 

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Shalke 04 Will Play Duisburg in German Cup Final

Schalke 04 who lost to Bayern Munich at this stage last season stunned the current German Cup holders with a 1-0 win to reach the German Cup final on Wednesday night and in doing so kept alive their chances of playing in Europe next season.

Schalke who are currently lying 10th in the Bundesliga, will now face second divison Duisburg in the Berlin Final in May. The winning goal was scored by veteran Spanish striker Raul.

This defeat for Bayern Munich coming on the heels of a 3-1 Bundesliga defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday means that last years double winners will probably end the nseason trophyless unlessthey can go one better in this seasons Champions League.

Their opponents Duisburg claimed their place with a 2-1 win over Energie Cottbus and they will be the first second-division club to compete in the final since 2004.

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Chasetown Hold Mansfield In FA Trophy Quarter Final

Chasetown F.C.

Image via Wikipedia

The 2000 capacity crowd at Chasetown’s Scholars Ground were treated to a high intensity display of end to end football last night which was an excellent advert for Non League football. Chasetown were behind twice  in the game but battled back to level the scores at 2-2 with 2 minutes to play, and the teams will now replay at Mansfield on 8th March.

In the game Mansfield had the better of the first half and were deservedly 1-0 up at half time thanks to a thunderbolt shot by Striker Paul Connor and at this stage  it looked like the Conference side were bound for the Semi Finals.

 

However Chasetown had other ideas and they continued to pour forward at every opportunity and their never say die attitude was rewarded whenthey grabbed an equlaizer. Mansfield then re-tok thelead before a slightly fortuitous own goal from Mansfields on loan Goalkeeper David Gorf (from Notts County) sent the home fans away happy.

 

Chasetown have had a quite meteoric rise since making history in 2007-8 season when they became the lowest ranked club to reach the 3rd Round of the FA Cup; where they lost to eventual finalists Cardiff City. They are currently playingat their highest level of the non league pyramid since 1954 and they have already beaten two other conference sides in the competition this season. It will be a surprise if they manage to win at Field Mill in the replay however on this display they will go down fighting.

 

You can check out a more detailed match report at Chasetown’s Web Site.

 

 

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FA Trophy 4th Round Results

No surprises in the fourth round as the Conference sides who played all went through. The Chasetown v Mansfield Match was postponed due to heavy rain making the pitch unplayable.

The match will be restaged  at the Scholars Ground on 1st March kicking off at 7.45pm

FA Trophy Results

Blyth Spartans AFC 0 – 2 Gateshead

Guiseley AFC 0 – 1 Luton Town

Darlington 2 – 1 Salisbury City

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Arsenal Blow Silverware Chance

Once again Arsenal failed to capitalize on their superior possession and chances as Birmingham won their first major trophy since picking up the League Cup way back in 1963.

Obafemi Martins who is currently on loan from Rubin Kazan, grabbed the winner in the final stages of the game following a comedy of errors in the Arsenal box between Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny.

The game itsself was entertaining if unspectacular and after Zigic had given the Blues a surprise first half lead it was Arsenal who dominated and it was no surprise when Van Persie equalised 6 minutes before half time.

Arsenal probably should have put the game beyond Birminghams reach with the chances they had but Ben Foster in the Birmingham goal was in brilliant form and his string of fine saves deservedly earned him man of the match and Birminghams resiliance was rewarded with their 89th minute winner.

Now Arsenal will have to regroup and focus onthe other three trophies they are still competing in, while Birmingham will probably use this as a launch pad to pull away from the relegation zone. They will also play in the Europa League in 2012 whicch will give their fans a rare taste of European football.

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