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.
Manchester United kept the dream of a second treble alive last night as they beat Marseille 2-1 to progress to the last eight of the 2011 Champions league.
In a game of few chances it was Javier Hernandez who made the difference grabbing two goals, both from close range to put United 2-0 up. The first came after 5 minutes as he instinctively got on the end of Wayne Rooney’s cross and when he added his second on 75 mins it looked like the tie was over. However Wes Brown unluckily put the ball into his own net in the 83rd min and this led to a nervous last few minutes as Marsailles drove forward looking for an equaliser which would have put them throuigh on away goals. Fortunately for the majority of the 73,996 Man utde held out and will now join Spurs as English reperesentatives in the last 8.
After leaving him out against Everton, Manchester United have recalled Wayne Rooney for their Champions League Group C opener against Rangers on Tuesday. Rio Ferdinand looks set to return after injury and United will be at pretty much full strength against the Scottish Champions in what is being billed as the Battle of Britain.
Rangers have doubts about defender Steven Whittaker and Kirk Broadfoot and will hope both recover for what looks likely to be a difficult tie.
Rangers didn’t manage a win in their six group games last season and have failed to win any of their last 10 Champions League games. The odds don’t favour them making it 11th time lucky however with passions running high anything can happen.
England are slowly starting to lay the ghosts of their poor World Cup and last nights great win against the Swiss has moved them into a great early position in their Euro 2012 qualifying group.
They were helped a bit by the sending off of Lichtsteiner, however they were 1-0 up at the time thanks to Wayne Rooney’s early goal and once Adam Johnson added the second it looked all over. To Switzerland’s credit they did pull a goal back thanks to a thunderous long range shot from Shaqiri, however England rarely looked like being pegged back and Darren Bent put the result beyond doubt with England’s third goal in the 88th minute.
On this form England look destined to win the group and should put in a much better performance in Euro 2012 than they did in WC 2010.
England are strong favourites to win their second match of the 2012 qualifiers, however this is probably a trickier tie than the odds makers would have you believe. Switzerland are a solid team and with the cloud hanging over Wayne Rooney due to his personal life a win could be just beyond England tonight. Overall a draw would be a good result for both sides and this looks the unlikely result.
Scotland have a should win game at home to Liechtenstein and they will be looking to score a few goals to boost their confidence for the tougher tasks ahead. Expect Liechtenstein to put 11 men behind the ball and although a Scotland win looks assured it might only be 2-0. Darren Fletcher should win his 50th cap in the match a great achievement for a player who is only 26.
The other British team involved is The Republic of Ireland and they should be far too strong for Andorra and a 4-5 goal win is not out of the question.
England produced another inept performance tonight against Algeria and now must beat Slovenia in their final group match to progress to the last 16.
The game was poor at best and dismal in parts and neither side produced a clear cut chance of note. Algeria deserve plenty of credit for their hard running and occasional nice touches, and England can be thankful for their naivety around the box,often choosing to take wild shots rather than play through balls which could have caused problems.
The few bright spots for England were competent performances by Heskey and Barry and the steady goal keeping by David James – elevated to starter after Robert Greens howler against the USA.
Less positive was Capello’s inability to change his game plan when things were obviously not going well, and the sub standard performance from Wayne Rooney who looks a shadow of the player who starred for Manchester United last season.
Now everything hinges on the final game a draw will send Slovenia through and probably send England out and if Cappello’s men perform anything like they did tonight then they will be flying home on Thursday.
England 0-0 Algeria
Venue: Green Point Stadium
Bayern Munich grabbed an injury time winner last night against Manchester United to set up a thrilling game in the second leg at Old Trafford on 7th April. In a game which saw a repeat of the 1999 Champions League Final in which Manchester United went a goal down before winning with two late goals, things looked like going United’s way again as Wayne Rooney struck in the 2nd minute scoring. This was his 34th goal of the season in all competitions. However they failed to capitalise on their good start and it was not a major surprise when French International Franck Ribery struck the equaliser mid way through the second half. Then in a dramatic twist of fate Ivica Olic took advantage of a defensive lapse by Evra to coolly score the winner two minutes into injury time. This time it was Bayern’s turn to stage a late comeback win and they now go into the second leg knowing a draw will take them through.
A major worry for United will be the ankle injury Wayne Rooney suffered late in the game, which could rule him out of the crucial title clash with Chelsea and possibly the return leg against Bayern, who themselves will be stronger if as expected Arjen Robben returns.
A major worry for United will be the ankle injury Wayne Rooney suffered late in the game,which could rule him out of the crucial title clash with Chelsea and possibly the return leg against Bayren, who themselves will be stronger if as expected Arjen Robben returns.
Manchester United added the 2010 Carling sponsored League Cup to their impressive list of trophy’s following a controversy tinged 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at The New Wembley on Sunday.
Although on the balance of chances United clearly deserved to win it could have been so different had Phil Dowd followed the rules and sent off Vidic for a professional foul on Villa Striker Agbonlahor in the 5th minute, a tackle which led to the penalty which put Villa 1-0 up. One can only assume that Phil Dowd didn’t think it was a goal scoring opportunity, however even Alex Ferguson to his credit admitted it probably should have been a red card. The final decision was no card at all and this again played a part in the second half when Vidic was booked.
Anyway controversy aside it was an entertaining game and once Michael Owen had leveled the scores there was only ever going to be one winner.
The Luckless Michael Owen who had looked sharp during the 1st half succumbed to and was replaced by Wayne Rooney, who inevitably scored the winner and could easily have added a second had his deft header not crashed against the post.
Villa played some nice football but never looked like getting back into the game after Rooney struck and despite bringing on John Carew with 10 minutes left united always looked comfortable and held out for the win they just about deserved.