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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

European Leagues Review: Eto’o Nets Hat-Trick in Chelsea’s Thrashing of Man United, Madrid Cruise Past Levante as PSG Remain Top in Ligue 1

Arsenal ensured they remained on top of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 win over Fulham. The Craven Cottage outfit had weathered the Gunners’ storm during the first half until Santi Carzola popped in with a goal in the 57th minute. He scored his second just after the hour mark as Arsene Wenger’s men registered their 6th win on the trot. Both Manchester City and Chelsea won to pile pressure on the league leaders, City bashing Cardiff City 4-2 while Samuel Etoo scored his first hat-trick in the Premier League as Chelsea thrashed Manchester United 3-1. With Liverpool drawing 2-2 at Anfield, Everton had the chance to move into fourth place and dislodge their Merseyside rivals but they were held to a 1-1 stalemate against West Brom. Sunderland fought back from a 2-0 losing position to secure a point against visiting Southampton while Jose Puncheon atoned for his horrific penalty miss a week earlier as he scored the winner for Crystal Palace against Stoke City.

Real Madrid were the biggest benefactors of the weekend La Liga round 20 matches. Having thrashed Real Betis 5-0, Los Blancos saw other results go their way as the top two, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, drew their matches. Barcelona were frustrated at Levante who took the lead with only ten minutes on the clock. However, Gerard Pique netted to draw level and that’s how the game would end. David Villa put Atletico ahead in the 18th minute but a goal from Ivan Rakitic in the 73rd minute denied them the three points which could have sent them on top. Both Villareal and Athletico Bilbao won their matches as the race for the 4th Champions League position gathered steam. All the bottom five teams lost their matches.

Reigning Serie A Champions, Juventus, cemented their position at the top with a 4-2 win over Sampdoria in Turin. Arturo Vidal netted a brace, either side of Fernando Llorente’s 24th minute goal while Paul Pogba also found the back of the net for the Old Lady. Roma beat Livorno 3-0 to ensure Juve were still in their sight but Napoli lost further ground as they were held 2-2 at Bologna. Mario Balotelli’s 82nd minute penalty helped Milan to a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona as Inter Milan lost by the same score line at Genoa.


The top two in French Ligue 1 recorded victories. Paris Saint Germain hit Nantes 5-0 with Monaco beating Toulouse 2-0 to pull themselves away from the chasing pack which includes Lille who lost their second match in a row , the former Champions losing 2-0 at Saint Etienne.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or

After a 5-year wait that boarded between being so close and being too far, Portuguese and Real Madrid gem Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the second time in his career.

And who better to beat to the world of football’s highest individual accolade than the man who sat on that throne not for one, two or three but four years; Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo, who had a goal fest in 2013 finding the back of the net 66 times in only 59 appearances for club and country was announced the winner at a gala evening in Zurich. The 28-year-old garnered 1,365 points to finish above Lionel Messi and French winger Franck Ribery who received 1,205 and 1,127 points respectively.

A teary Ronaldo thanked his teammates and his family saying, “Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level, I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved."

His win ended Messi’s 4-year reign as the world’s best player and he becomes only the 10th player to win the award in more than one occasion. 

Other awards on the night saw Pele collect the first ever Ballon d’Or prix for recognition for his outstanding work during days when the award was given only to European players. Former Bayern Munich coach, Jupp Heynckes was presented with the coach of the year award for leading Bayern to unprecedented treble winning season where they swept all in front of them including the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the Ferenc Puskas award for his outstanding overhead kick against England while German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer collected the Women’s World Player of the Year award.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!