Popular Posts

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chelsea Coach Roberto Di Matteo Gets the Sack

Chelsea Football Club have announced parting ways with coach Roberto Di Matteo barely five months after being given the job on a permanent basis. Di Matteo who became the club’s first and only coach to win the UEFA Champions League trophy in the club’s 107 year history has been given the sack after a string of poor results in the league, but especially following the club’s struggle in the UEFA Champions League.

The sacking comes on the back of a 3-0 Champions league defeat away to Juventus that left the Blues third in the log and needing a very unlikely miracle to advance into the knockout stages.

Di Matteo was given the Blues’ hot seat in the summer following their Champions League final triumph against Bayern Munich. A club statement read: "Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.

"The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.”

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has been tipped as one of the front runners to take over the job. Club owner Roman Abramovich will also be keen to look at the possibility of bringing former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola to Stamford Bridge. Both coaches have been out of work for some considerable time.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Barcelona Stung by Celtic Bhoys as Man United Seal Last 16 Qualification

Kenyan international Victor Wanyama celebrates putting Celtic ahead against Barca

Scottish champions Celtic recorded inarguably their most historic victory in European football since winning the European Cup final back in 1967 after they beat one of the world’s football powerhouses Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Wednesday night.

Coming just a day after the club celebrated its 125th anniversary, the Bhoys turned men as they stunned Barcelona 2-1 in front of a home crowd who will perhaps wait for years to see such a football feat being repeated again, if it ever will.

Kenyan international Victor Mugubi Wanyama did no harm to his rising stock as one of the brightest upcoming youngsters when he put the Scots ahead with a thumping header from a Charlie Mulgrew cross in the 21st minute. Parkhead erupted.

As expected though, Barcelona bossed the match but they could not get anything concrete past Fraser Forster as the England custodian impressed yet again against an intimidating Blaugrana attack.

Substitute Anthony Watt struck in the 83rd minute to put Neil Lennon’s side on course for an unthought-of victory and they achieved exactly that in spite of Lionel Messi and co. threatening to deny the Scots a win when the Argentine struck in the first minute of added time to set up a nervy final minutes.

But the fat lady wouldn’t sing for Barca though as the Scots held on for their second win in the group that leaves them second in the log, two points adrift of Tito Villanova’s side. Celtic’s next two matches is an away trip to Benfica in a fortnight before welcoming home Spartak on December 5th. Benfica beat Spartak 2-0 in the other encounter in the group with Paraguayan Oscar Cardozo scoring a brace in the second half.

Defending champions Chelsea got their campaign back on track when substitute Victor Moses nodded a last-gasp winner as the Blues grabbed a barely deserved 3-2 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. A goalkeeping gaffe from Shakhtar custodian Andriy Pyatov gifted Chelsea the lead in the 6th minute when the keeper tried to clear a casual backpass but the ball ricocheted into the net off an onrushing Fernando Torres.

The lead didn’t last long though as three minutes later, reported Chelsea target Willian punished potentially his future employers with the equalizer. Another suspect clearance from Pyatov however gave Chelsea control before half time. The custodian rushed outside his are to clear the ball and although he succeeded, the ball fell to Oscar who rifled in from distance to restore the Blues’ one goal advantage.

A perfectly-worked Shakhtar move two minutes after the interval saw Willian claim his double and make it 2-2 but Nigerian international Moses leaped high in the dying minutes to break the traveling supporters’ hearts with the winner. The win took Roberto Di Matteo’s men into the summit of the group which is very open. Juventus fired a warning with a 4-0 thumping of Danish side FC Nordjaelland which moved them within a point of both Chelsea and Shakhtar who have seven.

Manchester United became the third team after Porto and Malaga to book their last 16 slot after coming from behind to beat Braga 3-1. Alan put the Portuguese outfit ahead early minutes in the second half but a Robin van Persie equalizer was followed by a Wayne Rooney penalty and a Javier Hernandez goal in added time as Sir Alex’s side sealed their qualification to the knockout stage and avoided an early exit like last season’s. Galatasaray beat CFR Cluj 3-1 to heat up the race for the second position.

At the Allianz Arena in Munich, Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro’s 15-minute first-half hat-trick helped last year’s finalists Bayern hammer Lille 6-1 in Group F.

The Bavarians were 5-0 up by half time with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben also on target. Salomon Kalou pulled one back for the Ligue 1 side but any hopes of an unlikely comeback was hastily extinguished by Toni Kroos who netted the sixth as the Bavarians pulled on top with nine points, same as Valencia who won a six goal thriller 4-2 against BATE Borisov.

And That's thesteifmaster!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Night of Comebacks as Malaga, Porto Book Last 16 Slots

City boss Mancini has a word with referees after 2-2 Ajax stalemate
English champions Manchester City and German outfit Schalke 04 both had to come from two goals down to salvage a point against Ajax and Arsenal respectively as the Champions League return leg matches started Tuesday night.

Manchester City fell behind 2-0 in just over quarter an hour against Ajax at the Eitihad Stadium with Dutch international Seim de Jong scoring both goals. Yaya Toure pulled one back for the Citizens halfway through the first half and Argentine hotshot Sergio Aguero netted in the 74th minute to end it 2-2 at the final whistle but a point doesn’t look good enough for Roberto Mancini’s side who look certain to be eliminated.

City sit rock bottom in the Group D with two points and even victory in their two remaining matches against group leaders Borussia Dortmund and second-placed Real Madrid may still not be enough to sail them through to the knockout stages.

The ‘Group of Death’s’ other hopefuls Dortmund and Madrid were also involved in a 2-2 stalemate which ensured they remain first and second in the group respectively. Marco Reus gave the German champions the lead in the 28th minute with a fine swerving volley but Pepe restored parity in the 34th minute for Los Blancos only for Arbeloa to score an own goal to restore the German’s lead just before the interval.

Jose Mourinho’s men had the lion share of possession in the second period but could not break down a stubborn Dortmund defence. It took a Mesut Ozil master set piece in the dying minutes of the game to salvage a draw for Madrid and deny Jurgen Klopp’s charges from completing a historic double over the 9-time Champions League winners.

Meanwhile highflying Spanish side Malaga and Portuguese champions Porto became the first teams to book their slot in the round of 16. Malaga conceded their first goal of the Champions league season in their 1-1 away draw to AC Milan.


Eliseu put the visitors ahead five minutes before the break and they looked on course to maintain their 100% win record in Group C until Alexandre Pato popped in with the equalizer in the 73rd minute. The point however ensured the Boquerones progression from the Group with two games to spare while Massimiliano Allegri's side continue to struggle in the group.


Anderlecht brought themselves back into the qualification mix with a 1-0 win over Zenit Saint Petersburg, their first in the group. The win moved them above Zenit into third place, a point less than second-placed Milan.


Meanwhile Arsenal continued with their latest struggles as they surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Schalke. Contract rebel Theo Walcott continued his fine goal-scoring streak with the opener after 18 minutes and Olivier Giroud doubled the lead eight minutes later only for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Jefferson Farfan to ensure the stalemates were shared in front of a home crowd.


The draw leaves the group as open as any other and both teams will have to look over their shoulders as Olympiakos Piraeus’s 3-1 win over Montpellier sees them only a point inferior to the Gunners and two adrift of Schalke who lead Group B on 8 points.


Porto also ensured their qualification from Group A in spite of their barren draw away to Dynamo Kiev. Big-spending French side Paris Saint Germain looks certain to join the Portuguese after they mauled Dinamo Zagreb 4-0. Alex’s first half strike was added onto in the second half by Blaise Matuidi, Jeremy Menez and Guillaume Hoarau as PSG ran the rings around their opponents who have been eliminated with no points thus far.


The fifth round of the return leg matches will be played in a fortnight. 

And That's thesteifmastertake!!