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Pre-Season Friendly Report

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by kemgooner

CORRECTION Inter Milan AC Milan Soccer

Pre-Season friendlies have begun to kick off around Europe as teams prepare for next season, some teams have started slowly against lower league opposition, while others have taken on other big teams in tournaments around the world.  Already Chelsea have claimed the title in the World Football Challenge, while the Peace Cup is still taking place with teams like Juventus and Real Madrid as just a couple of the major teams participating. This pre-season has also seen the debuts of star players like Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid against Shamrock Rovers, and the introduction of Michael Owen as a red devil.

Here is a brief summary of pre-season matches so far from some of Europe’s big clubs:

England

Arsenal: vs Barnet 2-2, vs SC Columbia 7-1, vs Szombathelyi H 5-0. Leading Scorer: Bendtner (4).

Chelsea: vs Seattle 2-0, vs Inter Milan 2-0, vs AC Milan 2-1, vs Club America 2-0. Leading Scorer: Lampard (2), Drogba (2).

Everton: vs Bury 1-2, vs Rochdale 4-1, vs River Plate 0-1. Leading Scorer: Jo (2)

Liverpool: vs St. Gallen 0-0, vs Rapid Vienna 0-1, vs Thailand 1-1, vs Singapore 5-0. Leading Scorer: Nemeth (2)

Manchester City: vs Orlando Pirates 0-2, vs Kaizer Chiefs 1-0, vs Kaizer Chiefs 0-1. Leading Scorer: Ireland (1)

Manchester United: vs Malaysia 3-2, vs Malaysia 2-0, vs Seoul 3-2, vs Hangzhou Greentown 2-8. Leading Scorer: Giggs (3).

FLB-US-ENG-ITA-CHELSEA-INTER

Spain

Atletico Madrid: vs Colmenar Viejo 3-0,  vs Benfica 2-1, vs Ajax 3-3, vs Sunderland 0-2. Leading Scorer: Simao (2)

Barcelona: vs Tottenham 1-1, vs Al- Ahly 4-1. Leading Scorer: Bojan (2)

Real Madrid: vs Shamrock Rovers 1-0, vs Al-Ittihad 1-1. Leading Scorer Benzema (1), Raul (1).

Sevilla: vs Juventus 1-2, vs Seongnam 0-0. Leading Scorer: Squillaci (1)

Valencia: vs Den Haag 4-1, vs Udinese 0-0. Leading Scorer: Navarro (1), Gonzalez (1), Michel (1), Alba (1).

Villareal: vs Navata 27-0, vs Vilamalla 10-0. Leading Scorer: Pereira (10).

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Italy

AC Milan: vs LA Galaxy 2-2, vs Club America 1-2, vs Chelsea 1-2, vs Inter 0-2. Leading Scorer: Inzaghi (2)

AS Roma: vs Riscone 9-0,  vs Viktoria Plzen 1-1,  vs Blackburn Rovers 2-2. Leading Scorer: Totti: (3)

Fiorentina: vs Cortina 13-0, vs Belluno 7-0.

Inter Milan: vs Club America 1-1 (4-5 pks), vs Chelsea 0-2, vs AC Milan 2-0. Leading Scorer: Milito (2)

Juventus: vs Cisco Roma 4-1, vs Nancy 1-1, vs Vicenza 1-1, vs Sevilla 2-1.

SOCCER-SPAIN/

Some teams have started off their preseason’s with a bang while others have started slowly. How important are preseason games to how you feel about your team’s chances in the upcoming season?

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Cristiano Ronaldo is Presented at the Bernabeu

Posted in 1 with tags , , on July 9, 2009 by LFCJen

FBL-ESP-POR-ENG-REAL-MADRID-RONALDO

Kaka Goes To Madrid; U2 Goes To Barcelona

Posted in Barcelona, Real Madrid with tags , , , , on July 2, 2009 by LFCJen

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Kaka unveiled at Real Madrid

Posted in Real Madrid with tags , , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by kemgooner

Kaka unveiled at Madrid

Kaka was introduced to around 50,000 fans at the Bernabeu yesterday.  It was revealed that he was given the number 8 shirt, instead of the 5 that many speculated he might receive. In his introduction he said that Florintino Perez’s project to get Madrid to compete with the best teams in Europe was one of the reasons he joined, and that Madrid was the only team he would leave AC Milan for. He concluded saying:

“It’s a great privilege to form part of great teams. I’ve been fortunate to play with great players, and I’m now going to continue doing the same.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has also completed his reported 80 million euro move to Real Madrid and will have his own unveiling ceremony next week.

Breaking News: Karim Benzema has now become the latest player to join Real Madrid, with it being announced that the 21 year old striker has joined from Lyon for 30 million euro.

Real Madrid vs. Espanyol

Posted in Espanyol, Real Madrid with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2008 by kemgooner

Madrid faced Espanyol Saturday following their disappointment of getting knocked out of the Champions League by AS Roma midweek.  Fabio Cannavaro was out injured and Gago was benched in favor of Higuain for los Blancos. The backline for Madrid was Heinze, Pepe, Torres, and Marcelo with the fabulous Casillas in goal for his 300th game. They looked shaky at the start, with Espanyol getting a great chance just 2 minutes into the match which Casillas had to make a great save to stop.

Espanyol were coming off a string of bad results, in which they lost 6 of 8 matches and were without midfielder Ivan de la Pena.  They were lucky not to concede in the 13th minute when Julio Baptista missed a header that could have put Madrid into the lead. After that the game died down some, with Madrid getting a few chances but none of them very clear cut. 

In the 29th minute Valdo scored a goal off a corner for Espanyol.  The Real defence seemed to completely miss him as he was unmarked at the back post, though Espanyol’s set up might have been a major factor. Luis Garcia played in a wonderful cross off a short corner, and Valdo had no problem heading it in. 

In the 37th minute Julio Baptista took a free kick about a yard out side of the box, and took it very well only to have Espanyol keeper Carlos Kameni pull off a wonderful save. Madrid did find their equalizer in the 42nd minute. Marcelo, who was having a great half, beat his defender on the right wing and put in a great cross and Higuain hit it into the net.  Kameni tried, but was not able to keep it out. 

The half ended with Madrid continuing to put pressure on their opponents and Guti had a decent shot at goal, but it was straight at the keeper. At halftime the score was 1-1.

The second half began with Robinho being substituted for Drenthe, who came on and almost immediately was shown a yellow card for a rough tackle.  In the 54th minute Espanyol almost scored again off a corner, when Casillas came out but came nowhere near to claiming the ball.  Luckily for him Pepe was there to clear it out for another corner.  The next 10 minutes were pretty back and forth, with Jonathan having a decent shot go over the bar for Espanyol, and Guti shooting a powerful shot right at the keeper.  Baptista was then subbed off for the finally fit Wesley Sneijder for Madrid and Jonathan was subbed for Raul Tamudo.

In the 70th minute there was a moment of controversy when Raul was brought down in the box and a penalty was given.  Daniel Jarque seemed to have pulled down Raul, who went down right away.  The penalty was taken by Raul, who smashed it into the right corner of goal for his 200th career goal for Madrid. 

 Guti almost got Madrid another goal, he went on a bursting run, cutting past two Espanyol defenders and almost turned to get a shot on goal but just lost the ball to the final defender at the last moment.  Madrid’s quality started to show as the match wore on, with more and more possession and chances coming for los Blancos. Sneijder and Marcelo both had shots, the first of which was saved, and the latter blasted wide.  As the match wore on it seemed more and more likely that Espanyol would not be abke to get an equalizer, but they won a late corner 3 minutes in to stoppage time for their last chance of the match.  It came to nothing however, as a foul was called on Espanyol, and less than a minute later.  Tamudo picked up a second yellow card after the match ended for arguing with the referee, and is now suspended for next week.  Madrid were able to get what seemed like a deserved win, though Espanyol played a good match and maybe feel a draw would have been a fair result. 

Final Score: Real Madrid 2 Espanyol 1

Weekend Preview- March 8 & 9

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2008 by kemgooner

Liverpool vs. Newcastle- March 8, 3pm GMT

Liverpool comes into this match after thrashing West Ham midweek, with Fernando Torres getting a hat trick. Newcastle on the other hand have lost seven matches in a row, and are still looking to get that first win under manager Kevin Keegan.  Liverpool have a fully fit squad except for the long term absentees Daniel Agger and Steve Finnan, and should have no problem beating a Newcastle side three points out of relegation.

Manchester Utd vs. Portsmouth-FA Cup- March 8, 12:45 pm

Machester Utd advanced to this stage in the knockout competition by beating their league rivals Arsenal 4-0. Portsmouth will not be a pushover, and have done well on the road this season in the league. They are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Everton, and their last FA Cup match was a 1-0 win at Preston.

Wigan vs. Arsenal March 9, 4pm

Arsenal are looking to open up a four point lead over Manchester United in the premier league, and should be able to playing against a struggling Wigan side which are just two points out of the relegation zone.  Arsene Wenger has called on his team to repeat the performance they put in against AC Milan in the Champions League, and while they are without Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott who were injured during the week, they should still have enough quality to get all three points.

Real Madrid vs. Espanyol – March 8, 7pm

Real Madrid are looking to avenge their Champions League loss to Roma by continuing to open up a lead in the standings.  Espanyol will not be a an easy team to beat though, unless Real Madrid are able to get back to their form from the beginning of this year.  Espanyol’s form has dropped some from the start of the season, but they are coming of a win against Valencia which will give them confidence that they will be able to beat Madrid.

Napoli vs AS Roma – March 9, 2pm

Roma sit only six points behind Inter Milan now, and would like that to stay that way as they visit Inters conquerors.  Roma are getting back on form after struggling some after winter break, and will be on a high after their historical win against Real Madrid.  Napoli will be looking to take advantage of any let off and take three points from another top Italian team.

Other Matches to Watch this Weekend

Barcelona vs. Villareal – March 9, 8pm

A must win for both teams, this will surely be an entertaining contest.

 Stuttgart vs. Werder Bremen – March 8, 2:30pm

Last year’s champions against this years hopefuls, Bremen must win in order to keep up with Bayern Munich.

Lyon vs. Bordeaux – March 9, 8pm

Number 1 vs. Number 2 in France, Bordeaux hopes to come out with a share of first place.

PSV Eindhoven vs Ajax – March 9, 1:30pm

Its num. 1 vs. num. 2 in Holland as well, as Ajax hopes to cut into PSVs lead.

Weekend Preview

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2008 by kemgooner

Premier League

Arsenal v Aston Villa

Arsenal face a very good Aston Villa team in what is a huge match for them to keep ahead of Manchester Utd in the title race. Arsenal are now down to only one experienced striker after the injury to Eduardo last week and Robin van Persie’s continued absence, so either Theo Walcott or Nikolas Bendtner will be pairing Emmanuel Adebayor up front or the 4-5-1 formation will be used, with Alexander Hleb most likely playing in the hole behind Adebayor. Tomas Rosicky is also out along with Kolo Toure, but aside from that Arsenal should be at almost full strength. Aston Villa are coming into this match after two consecutive wins and are going to be pushing hard for victory themselves to help keep their Europe dream strong.

Players to Watch

Emmanuel Adebayor-Arsenal-Adebayor is the leading scorer for Arsenal and is most likely the team’s best shot at getting on the score sheet. After to somewhat disappointing scoreless matches he will surely be looking to get back on the score sheet.

Gabriel Agbonglahor-Aston Villa-the speedy Villa striker already has 7 goals and will be looking to add to his total at the Emirates.

West Ham v Chelsea

Chelsea will have a tough task defeating West Ham away from home, but we all know if anyone can grind out a result, its Chelsea and they will be looking to rebound from their Carling Cup defeat last weekend.  If Chelsea loses this match and Arsenal and Utd win they will fall 12 points behind first place and will most likely be out of the race. Chelsea have a full strength squad and fans will probably be wondering who Avram Grant will be playing in this match, after leaving Michael Ballack, Joe Cole, and Salomon Kalou on the bench last weekend.  West Ham are looking to get their first win against Chelsea in 6 matches and are coming off a 1-0 win away to Fulham. Bobby Zamora and Henri Camara are both in contention to be in the squad after coming back from injury.

Players to Watch

John Terry-Chelsea- the Chelsea captain is going to be a key player in stopping the West Ham attack and leading the team to victory, and it’s going to be interesting to see how he will do as he is still coming back from injury and had an alleged fallout with manager Avram Grant.

Freddie Ljungberg-West Ham- West Ham is going to be relying on Ljungberg’s experience to help lead the attack on the Chelsea defense, his runs and crosses could be the key to grabbing a goal.

Everton v Portsmouth

In what is looking to be an exciting encounter in the race for European football fourth place Everton take on seventh place Pompey.  Both teams are coming off wins, Portsmouth a 1-0 victory over Sunderland and Everton a 2-0 win against Manchester City.

Players to Watch

Yakubu-Everton- Harry Redknapp has said that the Everton striker is back to his best, and he will have to be in order to help Everton to victory against a Pompey side that has an impressive away record.

Niko Kranjcar-Portsmouth-the Pompey midfielder is going to have to be on top of his game in order to change the result from the last time Pompey visited Goodison Park, which led to a 3-0 defeat.

La Liga

Atletico Madrid v Barcelona

This match seems to be the biggest match of the weekend in Spain, as Atleitico look to regain form after a string a disappointing results while Barcelona are looking to keep up their good run and gain more points on Real Madrid. As of now it is not sure whether Kun Aguero will be fit for Atletico, which would be another blow to an already injury hit side still missing goalkeeper Leo Franco and midfielder Simao.  Atletico captain Maxi Rodriguez has come out in an interview and spoken about how important the match was, stating that “we have to come out to look for the game using our heads, without getting thrown off. They have players that can make things complicated for you at anytime, so we have to be strong, united, and patient. “He also stated that the team does not depend on Sergio Aguero to win. Barcelona, while having relatively good form coming in from the league, will want to make up for their disappointing midweek draw to Valencia in the Copa del Rey and get back to the form that crushed Levante 5-1.

Players to Watch

Kun Aguero-Atletico Madrid- whether he plays or not it will surely have an impact on Atletico’s ability to win this match, whether Maxi says they don’t depend on him or not.

Lionel Messi-Barcelona-Messi is always a threat for Barcelona, and he scored the last time these two teams met, in which Barca won 3-0.

  Recreativo Huelva v Real Madrid

This usually would not be one of the biggest matches of the weekend, but with Madrid’s loss to Getafe anything seems possible in this match. While it is doubtful that Madrid will fail to gain three points again, Huelva will surely come into this match with the confidence that they too can get a result, especially after their 1-1 draw with Valencia at the Mestalla as their last result.  The return of Robinho to the Madrid squad is a welcome return, while Sneijder, Salgado, and Marcelo are back in training but don’t seem quite ready to rejoin the squad. Guti and Cannavaro, who both picked up niggling injuries in the match against Getafe, were also in training are working hard to be fit for the match Saturday. Madrid has beaten Huelva five out of the seven times they have faced each other previously.

Players to Watch

Sorrentino-Recreativo Huelva- the Huelva goalkeeper will surely be under a lot of pressure facing Madrid’s relentless attack and if they are going to earn a result he will have to be on top of his game, and then some.

Robinho-Real Madrid-the Brazilians return will be a boost to the already dangerous Madrid attack, and it will be interesting to see how fit he is in preparation for Madrid’s huge Champions League clash with Roma.

Serie A

Roma v Parma

Roma will be looking to get a win this weekend at the Stadio Olimpico after their frustrating midweek draw with Inter. Parma currently sit 14th in the league and are coming into this match full of confidence after a big 2-0 win against Udinese. Roma while being back to full strength attack wise, will be playing without three key members of their defense, Juan and Marco Cassetti are both seem to be out due to injury, though Juan might be able to return, and Philippe Mexes is suspended after picking up two yellow cards against Inter.

Players to Watch

Francesco Totti-Roma- Totti seems to be gaining form after being plagued with injury and sickness, and after his goal against Inter it wouldn’t be hard to see him scoring again, especially since he scored twice when these teams met earlier in the season.

Cristiano Lucarelli-Parma-the veteran Italian goal scorer will be one of Parma’s best chances of grabbing a goal.

 AC Milan v Lazio

Milan could have grabbed fourth place during the week, but because of their draw to Catania they are still in fifth. However, because Juventus and Fiorentina are playing each other a win would go a long way to get them into position for European football. Lazio are coming off a win, but will not gain confidence from the fact that they have not won in the San Siro (against Milan), since 1989. Milan may choose to rest some players in anticipation for their Champions League match Tuesday, but they still have to play a strong enough squad to produce a victory.

Players to Watch

Pato-AC Milan- Pato scored a great goal midweek and will be looking to add to his total for the season.

Tommaso Rocchi and Goran Pandev- Lazio- between the strike partners are 17 goals, and together they will be looking to punish the Milan defense for any mistakes and both are more than capable of producing a moment of magic.

Juventus v Fiorentina

The match of the weekend in Serie A, this match will prove the legitimacy of each team’s European hopes. Juve are coming off a draw in the Torino derby, and a loss to Reggina and need to get back to their winning ways in order to challenge Roma for second, while Fiorentina are coming off a 1-0 win to Livorno and are looking to stay ahead of AC Milan. Both teams have a trio of key players out, with Fiorentina missing Mutu, Semioli, and Liverani due to injury and Juve missing Zanetti, Chiellini, and Nedved.

Players to Watch

Giampaolo Pazzini-Fiorentina- with Mutu out, the scoring responsibility falls on Pazzini’s shoulders and if Fiorentina are going to get points Pazzini will have to be on top of his game.

Alessandro del Piero-Juventus- while Trezeguet is the leading scorer for Juve, del Piero also has 11 assists to add to his 11 goals and will likely have a hand in any goal Juve are to score this weekend.

German Bundesliga

Schalke 04 v Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich currently have a four point lead over second place Werder Bremen but have let challengers off the hook recently with draws to Bremen and Hamburg. Schalke look to get their big week off with a win to gain momentum to take to Portugal.

 Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund

Werder Bremen is hoping to gain ground on Bayern, but will have to play without play maker Diego who is suspended. Dortmund is looking to keep of their good form and continue moving up through the standings.

French Ligue 1

Lille v Lyon

Lyon is only 3 points in front of Bordeaux and need to win to keep that lead intact. They also are looking ahead to a Champions League match midweek and a trip to Old Trafford.

Portuguese Liga

Sporting Lisbon v Benfica

While Porto has all but wrapped the title, this match still promises to entertain, as both teams will be fighting for a place in Europe next season.