Giggs Rolls Back The Years as Man United win at Chelsea

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.  

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Real Madrid & Chelsea both progress to the Champions League Quarter Finals

As expected Real Madrid and Chelsea both came through their second leg ties easy enough to complete the line up for the 2011 Champions League Quarter Finals.

Real Madrid had a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Lyon taking them to the quarter finals for the first time since 2004, and keeping alive Jose Mourinho’s dreams of winning the Champions League with a third team. They never looked in danger in the match and despite missing a host of chances early on, once they took the lead in nthe 37th minute the result was never in doubt. This was Real’s first ever win against Lyon having either lost or drawn in their previous 7 meetings.

The attendance was 76,489.

Chelsea had effectively won the tie in Copenhagen where they won 2-0 and despite creating 28 shots at goal they failed to add to their tally with the game ending 0-0. This will be Chelseas 6th appearance in the quarter finals in the last 8 seasons and they are just starting to find their form at the right time after going throug an indifferent spell by their standards.

The attendance was 36,454.

The final eight for 2011 are:

Barcelona

Real Madrid

Manchester United

Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur

Inter Milan

Shakhtar Donetsk

Schalke 04

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Chelsea Back On Track With Big Win In Denmark

Talk of the ultimate demise of Chelsea’s season will have to go on hold for a few more weeks at least as the reigning Premier League Champions cruised to a comfortable victory at FC Copenhagen in front of a crowd of 28,000. This was Copenhagen’s first ever home defeat in the Champions League, and was no more than Chelsea deserved as they dominated possession.

Although there is no such thing as a formality it would be a major shock if the Danes managed to overturn this deficit and Carlos Ancelotti can rest a little easier at least until their next game when they entertain Manchester United. 

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Chelsea Face Tough Task in Copenhagen As They Try To Savage Their Season

When the Champions League kicked off in earnest it looked like Chelsea were set to sweep all before them, However things have not continued in that vein and defeat tonight could effectively end their season. They face one of the Champions Leagues surprise teams in FC Copenhagen and the Danes will be well rested for the match given they are on a winter break.  Further the Danes have never lost at home in the Champions League, having beating the likes of Celtic and Manchester United in recent years and they gained an excellent draw against Barcelona in this seasons group stage.

This might just be the biggest game in Danish Club football, however Chelsea have not played that badly of late despite not getting the results they wanted and I have the feeling they will bounce back to form tonight and should at the very least avoid defeat and possibly take a couple of goal lead bat to Stamford Bridge. Whether that will be enough to save Ancelotti’s job is another matter.

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Marseille Book Champions League Last 16 Place

Marseille booked their last 16 place with another emphatic win and given Chelsea have already won the group the two teams meeting in the final game is now somewhat academic. Marseille’s 3-0 win in Spartak Moscow was impressive and they will be tough opposition in the last 16.

Chelsea secured the group by beating MSK Zilina 2-1 in a somewhat lackluster match. However given they had already clinched top spot it was probably understandable.

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Great Night For London Clubs In Champions League

The Clock End of the Arsenal Stadium, Highbury...
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Arsenal & Chelsea both had great opening wins in their Champions League groups with Arsenal hitting Braga for six and Chelsea’s winning 4-1 away to MSK Zilina.

Both looked very impressive and although they both have sterner tasks ahead this will have done their confidence no harm at all. Of their opponents MSK Zilina will have the most cause for hope having played pretty well despite the scoreline and they did manage to create more chances and had more corners. However class told and chances are no good if you cant score. They might fare a little better against the lesser teams in the group and should fight it out with Marseille for 3rd place.

Braga looked quite good in qualifying, beating Celtic and Sevilla, and this season they are 4th in the Portuguese league having narrowly lost 3-2 away to leaders Porto at the weekend. They are poor travelers however and it will be difficult to pick themselves up after this mauling.

Overall it has been a tough start for the six teams new to the Champions League this season, with only Tottenham & FC Twente managing to pick up points. So far the tally is

Played 6 Won 0 drew 2 lost 4 Goals for 5 Goals against 20. Realistically only Tottenham will fancy their chances at qualifying from the group of Six.

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Arsenal & Chelsea Both Coasting at Half Time In Champions League

Both Arsenal & Chelsea are 3-0 up at half time admittedly against teams new to the Champions League Group Stages. Both look very comfortable and if they continue to press they will both add to their tally’s in the second half.

Chelsea lead in MSK Zilina through goals from Essien & Anelka (2) while Arsenal who are at home to Braga have Fabregas (pen), Arshavin & Chamakh to thank. Not a British scorer in sight for either English club.

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Chelsea Clinch The Double with a Narrow FA Cup Win

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Chelsea joined an exclusive club today when they clinched the English League & FA Cup double with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth. In an enthrauling game Chelsea hit the wood work 5 times in a first half and then had to survive a Portsmouth penalty in the second half, before finally winning the cup thanks to a Drogba goal on the hour mark.

Chelsea were good value for their win creating 24 shots at goal compared to Portsmouth’s 2 and they should have had the tie sewn up before half time had Malouda kept his composure better in the 26th minute and they were also unlucky when Drogba’s shot crashed down off the cross bar but narrowly failed to fully cross the goal line.

Now the clubs can look forward to very differing fortunes as Chelsea continue their quest to add the Champions League to their list of honours while Portsmouth will have to come to terms with losing most of their squad plus manager Avram Grant will no doubt be on the move too.

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2010 FA Cup Final Chelsea V Portsmouth

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With around 30 mins to kick off there has been no late injiry scares and John Terry has declared himself fit to play. Chelsea will pick from:

Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, A Cole, Kalou, Alex, Drogba, Terry, Malouda, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Zhirkov, J Cole, Belletti, Ballack, Kakuta, Sturridge, Ferreira, Bruma & Ivanovic (who is doubtful due to a Knee Injury)

Portsmouth who are struggling to put a squad together will pick from

James, Finnan, Rocha, Mokoena, Ben-Haim, Mullins, Belhadj, Hughes, Boateng, Wilson, Yebda, Utaka, Piquionne, Diop, Dindane, Ashdown, Kanu, Smith, Basinas, Sowah, Vanden Borre & O’Hara. The majority of these will be playing their last game for Portsmouth.

The winner will get a nice chq for £1.8 million to go with the coveted cup and the runners up £900,000. Normally there is a European place for the Winners or runners up if the winners have alrady qualified but this year the FA in a classic kick someone while they are down move probably wont allow Portsmouth to compete. Lets hope they change their minds as Pompey could really do with the money next season.

Chelsea are justifiyably strong favourites to lift the cup today and in doing so complete the League & FA Cup double for the first time in their history.

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Chelsea Crash Out Thanks To The Special One

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Jose Mourinho‘s Inter Milan won 1-0 on his return to Stamford Bridge last night to send Chelsea out of the Champions League and give their manager a happy return to his old club. The self proclaimed “special one” will have thoroughly enjoyed his return having left the club under less than ideal circumstances after guiding them to their most successful period in the clubs history.

In a far from flowing game it was Samuel Eto’s clinical strike 11 minutes from time that settled the encounter giving Inter Milan a 3-1 aggregate victory and a place in the last 16.

Although disappointing for Chelsea fans they are still in with a chance of the League and Cup double and with their track record with managers Carlo Ancelotti may need to win them both to stay in a job.

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